Things I loved about Ireland

1. The gorgeous scenery. The cliffs with the water below splashing up off the rocks in spouts and mists. Picture perfect.
2. The sheep, cattle and other livestock. I mainly appreciated it because it’s something I don’t see here in Albuquerque. It was cool seeing the animals dotting the countryside pretty much everywhere we went. I even got used to the weird coloring system of pink and blue stains on the wool. And It was fun to watch the two cows next door with their new calves.
3. The grass! This may sound weird, but I loved it because it’s this really long grass and it’s swept around like from a paint-brush and it’s spongy underneath, and it’s that nice thin (golf course-like) grass, not that stiff, crab-grassy stuff with the ‘cement’ underneath that we have here in the southwest.
4. The weather. Even though it was somewhat ‘challenging’ (one local called it ‘random’) with wind, rain and even hail. The weather created a variety of ‘moods’ in the water from frothy chocolate, to emerald green, to turquoise on sunny days.
5. The people. Everyone was very friendly and tolerant of tourists even when we were being somewhat obnoxious.
6. The dogs. Extremely well behaved dogs in this country! There was this pretty, red (ok, obviously) irish setter that came by the house in Ballydavid to escort us on walks periodically and he actually ‘went home’ when he was told to. The herder dogs (border collies?) were also really sweet, they ambitiously herded our small group to the nearby pub (not that we needed the motivation). There were other dogs that waited patiently outside of grocery stores for their owners. One strange fact–Apparently they don’t pick up after the dogs in this country, but it seems to wash away after 1 or 2 rains anyway.
7. The pubs. They really had that Irish pub feel that ‘Irish’ pubs try to mimic here in the US. Most had live music ranging from rock to typical Irish. We were even serenaded by the bartender/owner? (with an accordion) at one nearby pub. We learned to appreciate jamesons and guinness to the point that we actually missed our ‘watered-down’ American beer and Jack Daniels at the end.
8. The guinness and jameson’s tours in Dublin. With the 360 degree view in the Guinness Gravity bar and the scotch, irish whiskey, Jack Daniels taste test at jamesons.
9. Walking and pub hopping in Dublin. We could walk pretty much anywhere from our apartment near the Ha-penny bridge.
10. Our self catering ‘flat’. Perfect location, attentive and friendly property manager/owner.
11. The food. The fish and chips, mushy peas, meat pies and this amazing heavy brown bread with ‘treacle’? (I think it’s like molasses) in it at one of the bars in Dingle.

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