Beginning at the End

A view of Carlingford, Ireland
Just outside Carlingford, Ireland

If you noticed an absence here on the blog recently it is because I am just back from 12 days in Ireland with my family. It was a trip we’ve wanted to do for a long time. Most of our vacation are road trips here in the U.S. That made this our kids’ first overseas trip. It was my second time to Europe.

I’m still adjusting to being back. There is a five hour time difference between U.S. Eastern time and GMT, which is Ireland’s time zone. Our flight left Dublin at 4:25pm yesterday afternoon, and we got back to Washington D.C. around 7:30pm last night. I didn’t sleep on the 7-1/2 hour flight in order that I’d sleep through the night last night, which I did. I was a little later than usual this morning, and was out for my morning walk around 6 am. The humidity here felt particularly oppressive after 12 days in Ireland’s dry, mild air.

The trip is still something of a jumble in my mind. We were all over Ireland and packed our days full of interesting travel and sight-seeing. I have nearly 70 journal pages that I wrote on the trip, and that helps with the jumble in my mind right now. It also should come in handy for a little project I want to try. I enjoy good travel writing, and now and then, I’ve done a little here on the blog. Indeed, I wrote all about my last trip to Europe, more or less in realtime, fifteen years ago. But I’d like to try my hand at it again, in part as a way of decluttering my thoughts on the trip, and in part to see if I am any good at it. I think the journal entries and notes I took along the way will help with this.

Catching up on my journal
Catching up on my journal one afternoon, with the help of my notes and a Guinness.

Over the next few weeks, therefore, you can expect a lot of posts relating to our trip to Ireland. If this is not your cup of tea, well, there are more than 7,000 other posts you can read here, or plenty of other great blogs to read in the meantime. But I really wanted to give this a try. I figured I needed to begin at the end in order to explain my absence, and what I propose to do. You can expect the first of these posts on Sunday.

But, if you want to know how the trip was overall, I can saw without hesitation that it was amazing. We took a 10-day tour of Ireland (details on the tour to come), and padded our trip with a few days in Dublin before and after the tour. Our tour took us all around the country, beginning in Dublin, going into Northern Ireland including Belfast and Derry (or Londonderry, if you will), Sligo, Galway, Limerick, Foynes, Killarney, Blarney, and more. I fell in love with the Irish countryside. An our kids got to experience their first international trip and see what life was like in a country that had castles going back to 1100 A.D. and other structures that dates far earlir than that.

In any case, I hope that explains my absence here. I didn’t bring a laptop with me on the trip, and spent my early mornings filling my current Composition Book journal with handwritten notes and observations from our trip. More details on that coming beginning on Sunday.

Written on July 28, 2022.

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  1. I visited Ireland when my wife did some work at a Masonite mill several years ago. We were in a small town, Carrick-On-Shannon. It was delightful, and the people were very friendly. We did a two day road trip and returned to Dublin for the flight home. The one night in Dublin was a pub crawl. I like the Brazen Head pub which opened in 1198. Still have a souvenir t-shirt from there. The Guinness on tap was wonderful.

  2. Welcome back, Jamie! I’ve been to Europe once in my life, and it was to Ireland. A magical place, though I did not see the Maureen O’Hara museum. Fingers crossed you’ll do a post with more detail on that one.


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