March 17. St. Patrick’s Day. Everyone knows that, right?
In New Orleans, we find any excuse to have a parade. Not only do the riders throw beads and doubloons to the onlookers, but they also throw cabbages, carrots, onions, and various other vegetables.
My friend Claire and I used to take the girls to the parade; then we’d go home and make a nice soup with our loot while the kids played and the menfolk fished.
Claire and I had all kinds of fun together with our children. Then Claire moved away and life took a different turn. *sigh*
I should learn to cherish these changes because they herald new experiences that I might otherwise miss.
In late spring 2008, I led students on a tour to European cities, and one of those cities was Dublin, Ireland.
It was cold. Not just Southerner cold. It was so cold that my spring coat, cardigan, and cotton scarf did not keep me warm.
So I went to a shop across the street from Trinity College and found the most magnificent hand-knit wool turtleneck sweater. Wool. In May. Fancy that!
Then we hopped on over to the college where the library did its best to astound me.
The smell was what I imagine heaven to smell like – old books. (I still haven’t gotten a digital reader. I just can’t imagine not having a complete sensory experience!)
The library was my favorite sight in Dublin.
As enchanting as the library was, a jaunt to Ireland wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the pubs, right? These are lively, family-oriented haunts with delicious Irish cuisine. No need for awkward-looking green food to prove your affinity for Erin!
This postcard of the world-renowned writers from Ireland proved to be too much for this weak writer-junkie to resist. It complemented quite nicely the plaques that were revealed to us as we followed in the footsteps of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Oh, imagine my heart’s delight when I witnessed at St. Patrick’s Cathedral a memorial to Jonathan Swift, complete with a first edition of A Modest Proposal!
“Erin Go Bragh,” I cleverly said to our tour guide as I stepped onto the bus. I figured he would be well-familiar with this expression. However, he said that he had never heard it before. “Does it really mean ‘Ireland forever’?” I asked.
He shrugged and answered, “Yes, you could translate it that way.”
“Ok, one more question. Do Irish people really say ‘Top of the morning to ya!’?”
He shook his head and opined that no Irish man, woman, or child ever says this. No, only Americans trying to impersonate the Irish say such a thing.
No matter how the Irish say “good morning,” we had a chilly awesome time in Dublin, and I feel nothing but fondness for Ireland and her people. A once-new experience that I cherish now as a memory.
It will never be too soon to visit Ireland again.
Stop reading here if you don’t want to see ridiculosity.
(Will you forgive my need to feel a little bit goofy on St. Patrick’s Day?)
Oh your goofy moment made me smile!
I wonder now if the Irish ever say “To be sure, to be sure”, if the don’t really say “top of the morning to ya”!? It’s always a bit of fun to celebrate St Patrick’s Day, even if you aren’t Irish. It must have been fabulous for you to actually visit the country. 🙂
It was a special trip, for sure! ❤
That library! I’d want to stay ‘gil I’d read all the books! I love real books, too, the older the better so far as the total reading experience is concerned. A machine will never give me that; touch, smell and the look of the old paper! And how do you judge a book by its cover on a machine (and I DO! All the time!) i used to love walking around in the library, looking at the spines, waiting to see what jumped into my hands, crying, “Read ME! Read ME!” alas, some young illiterate accountant types have decreed the demise of old books in our library; my old favourites are nearly all gone. Now we have long expanses of empty shelf, with poorly-edited ‘modern’ books. Lots of mysteries that are written to formula, don’t tax the mind, leave one feeling that time was wasted . . .
I may have to re-locate to Dublin, just to read real books again!
BTW, I love those socks!! ~ Linne
As long as we’re around, I think the old books still have a chance. 🙂
Beautiful photos of Ireland and all it’s interesting and wonderful sights. I would be in heaven in the library, too. I’ll bet that woolen sweater kept you nice and warm. Love your socks. xx
It was a memorable city. I’d love to go back one day. ❤
El Guapo said:
Nothing beats a real book, but an e-reader is easier for the commute.
Love the socks, and Happy St Patricks Day!
I might get one yet, Guap. Happy belated St. Patrick’s Day and early St. Joseph’s Day! ❤
Happy St. Patrick’s Day, Stacy! It was so interesting to read about your trip to Dublin. I’ve never been to Trinity library. And I completely agree with you about books made of paper. And I could well imagine your need for a wool jumper. Last May we had snow here in Aberdeen (the second time I’ve seen snow in May here in 20 years). I’m really hoping it’s not going to be quite that cold this spring!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you, Michael, and the Dafter, Christine! I’m going to send some warm weather your way. ❤
I so like you, Stacy. I really do. Hey, perhaps you can answer a question for me? Is Mardi Gras at the end of Lent? Or is it before Lent begins? I have been contemplating this but have not Googled, but think you are the Appropriate Person to ask.
Why yes, Kathy, I am the appropriate person to ask. Mardi Gras (Shrove Tuesday) is the final day before Lent begins. It’s kind of a last hurrah before the season of abstention begins. The “Mardi Gras Season” begins on January 6 (Epiphany or Kings Day) and ends on Shrove Tuesday. Does that answer your question? haha
It SO answers my question! Many thanks, Ms. Stacy. I am now more the wiser. lol!
Good deal, as my mom would say. And by the way, I SO like you, too, Kathy. 😉
We’re soul sistas…
Linda Duff Niemeir said:
I enjoyed hearing about your trip to Ireland. My husband and I lived in several European countries during his service with USAF but we never made it to Ireland so I still have hopes and dreams of getting there some day. Your blog post has rekindled that desire to go there. Thanks for sharing.
I hope you make it there one day, Linda. As my sister says, “The Irish always have a smile in their voice.” ❤
I still prefer holding a book and reading, so no digital for me. There is something special about reading a ‘real’ book, and I hope that there will always be paper books in my lifetime. Thank you for the little tour of Ireland. The library is magnificent. Cheers.
I have books crammed everywhere, and I lost most of mine in Katrina! How did I wind up with so many more in just eight years? ❤