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Alys and Jess Tour Europe

Pints and Craic

IRELAND | Tuesday, 6 May 2008 | Views [637] | Comments [7]

I think we are falling in love. With the land and the people and the freedom. The freedom that seemed somewhat awkward at first but now  as a travel pair we are quickly easing into. It hit me today as Alys and I followed Bill, Hazel's father, through the fields that have been in his family for generations, how in love with life I have become. The late afternoon lighting was golden and the grass was so green and bright under the sun that for some reason decided to come out for the 3 days we were in Naas (pronounced Nace). Bill's cows were following the three of us timidly and the two Collies, Fritz and Puppy, were nipping our heals. It hit me then. In that lighting, how supreamly lucky we are to be doing this trip.  How much we will grow and learn is beyond what I can imagine at this point. It has been just about a week since we flew out of San Francisco yet it seems like much more time has passed. We have been welcomed so warmly by Hazel and her friends and family. We have been taken care of so completely that we know it will be a bit of a shock when we head off to Galway tomorrow on our own since we've landed. But that is after all the freedom we both crave and a part of the adventure.

In Dublin we walked around, what felt like, the city's parameters and saw just about everything we thought we wanted to see. Without any real direction, we stumbled upon the greatest cathedrals and without meaning to do so landed right at the stoop of the Guiness Storehouse of which we felt was a bit silly to pay the 10 Euro to get inside. So a pattern developed where we take aside a garda (the gaurd at the place) and ask questions which somehow turn into our own mini tour or just slip inside for a moment, grab a brochure, and be on our merry way. It has become an art form learning how to conserve our money. Hazel took us out and about on Thursday night where we were joined by our mutual friend Kate and Hazel's brother Conor. They managed to get us sufficently tanked which what led to what (I hope) is my last bad hangover for quite some time which I suffered through the entirety of the next day.

Saturday we headed off to Naas where Hazel grew up. Alys and I were thrilled to be out of the city, regardless of how nice of a city Dublin is as cities go, and then surrounded by countryside and local pubs. Hazel's family owns the McCormack's Pub in downtown Naas, a place which we were so fortunate to experience. Never before had either of us experienced such a warm welcome in any pub, or any town for that matter, as we did in McCormack's and all of Naas. Not to mention the Guinness was the best your'll find anywhere. While Hazel worked in the pub on Saturday and Monday, Alys and I milled around the town, took naps in the sun by the canal and told jokes to the family's cows.  

On her day off Sunday, Hazel drove us all about Naas and the surrounding areas where we visited Glendaloch's ancient ruins from the Viking days, and explored the slopping hills that feed into Dublin. It was lush and green everywhere we went and it felt so good to be just exactly where we were.

And now we get ready to sleep on our last night in Dublin still hearing the sounds of the men singing in the pub and hoping desperately that our laundry will finish so that we may hang it up and go to bed. In the morning we are off to the coast...



Oh... sooooo jealous already. I am so happy to hear it has been so fabulous already. But I must say Al - I miss you already. =(

Thanks for keeping us posted!

  Jaime May 6, 2008 11:21 AM


Hi Jess and Al,
I went to read and the server was not letting me read
more than the teaser. It sounds great
We are celebrating Jack 75 this sunday, so lift a pint
to him.
Love flo

  flo May 12, 2008 4:38 AM


Hope you're having fun! It sounds like it!

  Robert Hayes May 12, 2008 2:09 PM


God bless you and watch over you in all you do, as you enjoy His creation. Love from us! Sue and Jim

  Sue May 13, 2008 9:31 AM


I can't wait to see your pictures. Miss you. Love you. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

  Mommy May 14, 2008 6:49 AM


I'm so happy to hear you are learning so much already and having such an amazing time!! I'm heading to Granada for the weekend and will definitely send any advice your way to help with your travels there this summer.

  missmelissa May 16, 2008 2:55 AM


Alys and Jess:

What an amazing time you had in Dublin and Naas. You are blessed to have met such fantastic people who shared so much with you. Your outlook of life and the trip in general is awesome- there is so much to love in life, every moment, if you just stop and Breathe for a second. I am glad you have found that. "Launch yourselves on every wave. Find Eternity in each moment." You two rock.

  Jacob Haider May 16, 2008 8:50 AM

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