Leading up to that trip all I could talk about was going to England. I had long been obsessed with England and Scotland, and since I wasn't going to Scotland, I was sure as heck going to lap up everything about England I could. We spent the first few days of the trip in England, then moved on to Southern Wales. I was in heaven. I was seeing things I'd read about my whole life, things I'd dreamed of seeing someday. I woke up every morning with pure joy in my little heart. I was in England. My family and friends had joked about how the country was not going to live up to my expectations and I would end up hating it. Of course this made me determined to love everything about that trip. And while I did love England, and it did live up to all my hopes and dreams, there were many things about that trip I absolutely hated. Being there was the only thing that made that trip bearable.
As we drove through the various places we went, PJ gave us a history lesson, sang us old Irish tunes, or told us stories in his soothing oratory. While the others slept as we drove, I couldn't. there was too much to see, and hear. I loved everything about being there. My home stay family were so wonderful. They wanted to know everything about us, they brought us to a pub for dinner and bought us cokes and told us about their lives and laughed when I told their son I didn't speak troll because he was mumbling at me. Our home stay mom had gone to school in America and asked us about things that had changed. The next day her best friend came over and we showed them pictures from home and they freaked out about the palm trees and how "lovely" they were. I never wanted to leave.
It wasn't just the people that made me love it. It wasn't just the rain, and lovely gloominess. It wasn't even how heartbreakingly beautiful the whole country was. There was just something in the air, some intangible force that made me love this place so very much. I took the most pictures in Ireland. Everything was a Kodak moment. I remember one day we were driving to the Ailwee caves and as we drove down the road we passed some ancient wall covered in ancient carvings. It was just an instant flash that I saw them, but I wanted to see more I wanted to spend as long as I could there, just looking.
Whenever it get's rainy here, or when I really need a bit of an escape, I go back through my pictures from that trip. Instantly I am back there, the wind swirling my hair in my face. I'd give just about anything (left lung included) to go back. I've wanted to go back since I left. Thinking about that part of my trip makes me smile so widely.
My mom and I were talking a few weeks ago about that trip and some of the things we did and she asked me if I'd like to go back there now, with an older perspective. The answer is of course. And someday I will.
But I promise to pack less jeans and black eyeliner this time.
There are a few more pictures on my flickr here.