Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I LOVE everything Irish. I think I have enough Irish paraphernalia to decorate a whole room of my house. I have enough Irish-related books to fill a whole bookshelf (or close to). But, despite my Celtic-sounding last name... I am NOT Irish.

At least not as far as I know. My mom's family has researched their genealogical history waay back, and they are quite thoroughly German. To my knowledge, though, no one has traced my dad's family history back very far. It's entirely possible that I might have some Irish in me... But then again I might not!

Despite confusion on my historical blood line, I LOVE Ireland.

When I was in college, I spent a semester studying abroad on the Emerald Isle (spring '04). I fell in love with the history, the culture, the people, the castles, the scenery, the food, the accents, the shopping... I could go on. I busted out my scrapbook today to spend some time reminiscing. (The scrapbook was, by the way, a one-time only thing. Gracious do those things take a lot of time!) If you ever want to hear about my trip, come over and I'd be glad to give you a tour via scrapbook. But until then, here are 10 things that I LOVE about Ireland (in no particular order).

1. Fish and Chips -- a heart attack in a paper bag, doused with another heart-attack's worth of salt and vinegar.

2. Bewley's -- the perfect cup of tea! I learned the art of drinking my tea with milk and sugar in Irleand.

3. St. Patrick's Day Parade -- the most random parade that I have ever seen, complete with dancing polar bears and men on stilts. and lots of drunk people.

4. Trains -- the best form of public transportation.

5. Castles -- and cathedrals, and mountains, and miscellaneous statues... everywhere you look in Ireland there is a statue or a plaque commemorating the historical significance of some particular place.

6. The Bad Ass Cafe -- Ass is not a bad word in Europe, which is why it's so much fun to say!

7. Stella Mew -- my Irish literature professor, who could tell you absolutely everything you ever wanted (or didn't want) to know about William Butler Yeats, right down to the color of underwear he was buried in (not really).

8. Live music in the pub -- every pub, on every corner! The flutes, violins, guitars, bodhrans (drums), etc, best enjoyed with a pint of Guinness. (Guinness, by the way, is disgusting!)

9. Ceili -- Irish dancing. enough said.

10. Canceling class because of a sunny day -- only in Ireland!


janet said...

i'm still dying to go to ireland! dublin was a finalist for my last weekend off adventure here, but because ryanair doesn't fly to dublin from basel on the right days, we're going to amsterdam instead (which is also very exciting). i think when i get back, though that i'm going to start doing some hard-core planning for a trip to ireland. you should come with me :)

J. M. Richards said...

Okay, add one more thing to the list of "things to chat with you about." Did I tell you I'm going to Ireland this summer? For a prayer conference. I definitely want to hear all about your experiences and recommendations.