EVERYTHING!!!!!!! Ireland, in you I found an unexpected soul mate. If there was ever a place I did not want to go, it was Ireland. Your fiction authors depressed me (and I certainly tried again and again), your history made it even worse. What did your country do for such bad karma? And I love nature as much as the next person, but really 40 shades of green just weren't doing it for me.
Thank you to my friend Allie for giving me my boat ride and forcing me to face my arch-country Ireland. I have learned that in life you need to do the things that you REALLY want to do and those you REALLY DON'T (so long as they are not physically or mentally harmful). I REALLY DID NOT want to go to Ireland, but I could not be happier that I did. Just to prove it, here are the things I will miss the most:
* Tour Guide Tony! (If you are ever in London, go on an Over the Top Tours adventure. If you are really lucky, Tony will be your tour guide to the Wicklow Mountains. He knows his Irish history and his personal history is fascinating including a 30 year career on the Irish Garda. He was the sweetest and funniest person I met on my entire trip. Check out the entry about the Wicklow mountains. for more information about the tour or Tony.)
* Wicklow Mountains. Right up there in the top two best days of my life along with my wedding day. Thank you again Tony!
* The wonderful Irish People. (For as much as Londoners dislike Americans, and they do. the Irish love us and can't wait to speak to us. They look at us as partners in freedom since we all seceded from the British. They think that itself is hilarious. How can you not love them?)
* The Bog and the Bog People. (See the Wicklow Mountains blog. Gotta love the bog!)
* Bobo's! (For the best hamburger and onion rings on the planet, you MUST go to Bobo's. It is a little whole in the wall place that will make your whole life worth living in just one meal!)
* Fruits and Vegetable!!! (For as much as London lacked them, they were abundant in Ireland. The land must have some of the most fertile soil in the world because I have never tasted anything as fresh, green, or tasty as the vegetables in Ireland.)
* Funny (or lack of) shop hours. (The Irish are great! They work when they feel like it and they don't if they don't. Shops that don't have hours listed on the window are totally on the whenever system (and some of these are even chain stores) and those that have hours listed are optional. You can never make a special trip to any store, but it is a hoot to see how the city runs.)
* A million shades of green. (It is Ireland after all. And they are right, there are a million shades of green in the world!)
* Ferry Rides. (I love boats. Taking them on the open ocean from one country to another is even better!)
* The Bathtub. (Best. Bathroom. Ever. Now only if I could have found some bubble bath in this country!)
* Cows and Sheep. (The Irish would be lost without their cows and sheep everywhere. I love it! I withheld the urge to go up and hug every single one, but that is only because of electric fences and a little better sense.)
Ireland, I haven't even gotten on the boat back to London yet and I already miss you! We'll always have Wicklow Mountains!