|An evening of storytelling and music on our first night in Ireland|
|Blarney Castle in County Cork|
|Me with Kari and her parents in front of Kylemore Abbey|
|Touring the Waterford crystal factory|
|Our guide, Ciaran Ganter|
|Holding a Harris hawk at Aillwee Caverns|
We were fascinated by Blarney Castle, where each of us took turns kissing the Blarney Stone, said to convey eloquence upon anyone whose lips touch the rock. By day we visited historic edifices, some of which pre-date the pyramids of Egypt, and at night we found traditional Irish music and local food at old world pubs in each city. The days fit seamlessly together and the time rushed by, even as we did our best to savor every moment.
|Looking out over the Cliffs of Moher|
As it turned out, the airlines lost my checked luggage on the way to Ireland, so I wore the same outfit for the first three days of the trip. Kari's parents' luggage was also lost, and took longer to be returned than mine did. But nothing could dampen our spirits. Every day seemed more exciting than the last.
I flew home last night, anxious to be reunited with my kitties and concerned about the condition of my home, since a storm of catastrophic proportions hit Baltimore after I departed, leaving my house without electricity for eight straight days and causing everything in my refrigerator-freezers to be spoiled. But despite my lost baggage and being greeted by the stench of rotting food as I unlocked the door upon my return, my trip to Ireland was an adventure of a lifetime. I will never forget it.