Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Homeland Part 1.

As I mentioned yesterday, Beeps and I spent a couple weeks in Ireland back in 2006. Beeps was actually mad that I left the fact that he is indeed Irish out of my post. So my response to him was, "If you want to talk about you, then start your own blog." He didn't find that very funny. Luckily for me, Beeps did not inherit the stereotypical Irish temper. Instead he poured himself a Jamesons on the rocks and shrugged off my attack.

But I digress. Where was I? Oh yea, Ireland 2006. We had a blast and hope to go back some time soon. I would even live there if I thought that I could find some type of employment that did not entail sheering sheep or pouring pints. The landscape is so beautiful and the houses so quaint and sweet. We flew into Shannon and rented a car. I was scared to death about driving in Ireland: wrong side of the road, wrong side of the car, crazy locals, roads as wide as one lane and no shoulders edged by stone walls. I was sure that I was going to wreck the car. So Beeps did most of the driving. And he kicked ass at it. Round abouts? Who's scared of round abouts? I'll tell you who wasn't - Beeps that's who!

Anyway, we drove up the coast starting in Doolan a cute seaside town with the best pub of our trip. They also had a ferry to the Aran Islands, and a beautiful castle. It's amazing when you finally see your first castle. In the US our oldest man made structures are maybe 250 years old. In Ireland they can be in the thousands of years.

In Doolan is also where we ran into John Frances Daley of Freaks & Geeks fame. He's much older than his F&G character (probably in his early 20s). He was on vacation with his Mom & Dad and we ended up sharing a nice conversation with John and his Dad over a few glasses of 18 year old Jamesons. Whoda thought we'd have to leave the US to meet a famous person? Beeps made sure to tell John that he actually used Freaks in Geeks in some of his teaching lessons. We were too cool to ask him to take a picture with us, figuring he was on vacation and whatnot, so instead he accidentally ended up in the bottom corner of a picture I was taking of the castle on Inisheer. Behold.

We took the ferry to Inisheer (one of the Aran islands) and it was a beautiful place. There were pony carts waiting to take tourists around. Of course we grabbed one and had one of the best tours by a man named Michael. He spoke with the thickest Gaelic accent so it was hard to understand him at first. But once we got the hang of it I was asking him all sorts of stupid questions. He took us to see the shipwreck, the homes of some local artists, and the O'Brien castle.

On the way back in the ferry we could see the Cliff of Moher, which we drove to the next day.

A beautiful start to our Irish adventure.