So, we went to Ireland. And the light was exactly as I remembered - blinding, sparkling, and leaking through every low hanging cloud. We spent three days by the ocean in Galway, taking bracing daily walks on the beach to watch the surfers.
And then after three days of family visits we headed off to the south, to Cork, where I was born. I've always loved Cork, there's something there that feels so familiar (familial even) to me. And even though it's is not where we used to live in Ireland, it contains the most childhood memories for me, and so I always return. And now it will hold memories for my own children.
We stayed in an Airbnb house in Cobh, a small town on the coast for the last week of the visit. The back of the house looked over the water towards Monkstown, and we watched gigantic liners and tankers sail by daily. Swans swam inland every night as the sky darkened, calling to us gently for bread.
I never skip a visit to famous cooking school, Ballymaloe, when I'm in Ireland. That old house charms me to no end, and the surrounding grounds and vegetable gardens are so lush and beautifully tended. The house was having a garden festival the weekend we visited and it seemed as if the entire county came out for the event.
|I was told that the hummingbird-like creature above the flowers in the center is actually called a hoverfly|
Trips back to Ireland never feel like a holiday because there is not a lot of downtime or relaxation, and there is always a great deal of driving. But it means more to me than any holiday to return to my home, to reconnect with my family, and to see my grandmother smile at my children.