Your humble schlub is back from the Emerald Isle -- land of his ancestors. (Well, at least one of his ancestors: Grandma Mary Houlihan Gross. In case you didn't know, I'm only three-quarters Jewish.) And it was fun!
This is a photo of me getting a falconry lesson at Ashford Castle in the County Mayo (0nce the playground of the Guinness family) -- which is actually a lot more fun than this picture would lead you to believe.
I'm going to save my comments about my trip until after the article I write is published, but I would like to say one thing:
If I ever moved there, I'd give myself six months before dying of a heartattack.
Seriously -- how do those people drink like that? I did the calculation one day and I was a little staggered:
* At noon I stopped in a pub in Gallway for a pint of Guinness with an Irish friend.
* An hour later I had another Guinness with lunch.
* At around 5 o'clock I went to a whiskey tasting in Limerick where I had sips of numerous whiskeys -- but let's say (conservatively) it added up to one glass.
* At dinner we were treated to a glass of champagne before the meal started -- which would have been rude to refuse. The guy next to me didn't want his champagne -- and I figured it would be a shame to go to waste, so I had that, too.
* I had about three more glasses of wine with dinner.
* Then, after dinner, everybody went out to the pub. That was two more beers.
So that added up to 10 drinks in one day. And we drank like that nearly every day! Jews should not live like that. Every once in a while, though, it's worth the spree, but I'm just glad I got out of there alive. (As for my gentile readers: you'll freakin' love that place.)