Heading West

Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher

Liz, Méabh and I dropped off Erin and Brenna on Saturday and drove to the west coast of Ireland.  It was the first time since we arrived here last summer that we’ve taken any time to get away…it was long over due. We were originally planning to stay for two nights, but the hostel we stayed at in Doolin offered a free 3rd night. And free is hard to turn down.

We didn’t do a lot. We mostly relaxed. Well, as much as having an almost 2 year old around allows you to relax.

Also, it was really cold and windy, and Méabh, who normally loves being outside was simply miserable walking around.  Normally she hates sitting in her car seat. She was actually asking for her seat shortly after exiting the car.

We did see some sights. We hit the Cliffs of Moher,took a drive through the burren (which may have been the inspiration for the Shire) and descended into a cave (which was by far the warmest sight we saw),

but spread out over  parts of 4 days, it didn’t at all feel like we were cramming things in.

I did do something I feel like kicking myself about.  There was a job I applied for that contacted me on Friday to say that I’d been selected to participate in the next round of the recruitment process. I was to complete a 2 page (A4 paper of course) project before noon on Monday, and from the projects they received, they’d decide who to interview.  I contacted a couple of my friends who are in this field, got their input and spent some time on Saturday and Sunday mornings putting together what I thought was a pretty good offering.

burren
The Burren

Tuesday on the drive home, I got the form email saying that I was not being considered for an interview.

I hate rejection form letters.

The “kick myself” part is that instead of putting all else aside to just relax, I did job search stuff, that amounted to nothing.

However, that was the only downside of our time away.  The highlight….easy.

Each day we made our own breakfast and lunch in the hostel’s kitchen, and we went to dinner at a different pub each night. The second night had 3 great musicians playing.

After dinner, Liz and Méabh were walking around, and Méabh started dancing.

She then made a song request, “Up pa ba” (or up above, also known as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.) So they played it. Then they played another kid’s song.  After another 45 minutes or so of Irish music, Méabh began dancing again, and making more requests. (it was a bit embarrassing when the woman in the group is singing a slow quiet song, and Méabh is back chanting, “Up pa ba? Up pa ba?”)

The guitar player mentioned that she must live in a musical house. Which of course kicks Liz into self-depreciation mode. So I volunteer that she is a fiddle player.

At that point the guitar player hands her his guitar, and asks her to play.  
dooliner

While the guy in the corner of the pub tells me I’m in trouble, Liz looks at me and asks me what songs she knows. She pulls off 2 songs amazingly well, and gets a great ovation.

It was a lot of craic!

On the way home we drove through a snow storm on the Wicklow Mountains. We had to pick up Erin & Brenna from their youth group retreat down in Glendalough.

As we mentioned in our newsletter, we really needed the time to relax, talk, and pray a bit about what we’re to be focused on, and we both have a pretty good sense of that.

We’ll share more as we move ahead.

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