Tuesday, March 17, 2009

I Love Me Some Ireland.

In the summer of 1997 I lived in Ireland for a couple of months and to this day I maintain it was the best time of my life. Mostly because I got to tell many people there (especially kids and teenagers) that Jesus loves them, but also because hello...it's Ireland!

I love how Americans embrace the Emerald Isle as their own. Ask any random person you meet about their ethnic heritage, and 90% of them will claim to have a bit of the Irish in their blood: "I'm part Hungargian, part Scandanavian, part African, and a bit Native American Indian mixed with Japanese. Oh, and I'm Irish, too!" Of course you are.

When I think of Ireland, I do not fondly recall rolling green hills, though I saw thousands. Yes, they were beautiful. Especially the Ring of Kerry:
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My memories aren't of all the castles we toured...by the time we rolled up to the 5th stone palace it was clearly evident, "Seen one castle, seen 'em all."
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(This is Bunratty Castle. It was beautiful, I will confess. But it was also one of the first I toured!)

I'd love to tell you that I kissed the Blarney Stone (at the Blarney Castle), but I didn't. Seriously, I saw the folks puckering up to that thing and decided then and there: It Ain't Gonna Happen. Stranger kiss spit? No for me! Plus, you have to lie flat on the ground, then lean over backwards to kiss the actual spot which is supposed to give you the gift of gab. I already have this gift. Enough said.
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This is not me. I have no idea who this poor girl is, but I'm certain she's thinking, "Dear God, please don't let this wee old chap see my boobs." 'Cause that's totally what I'd be thinking. And proof positive as to why I refused to kiss the Blarney Stone. The end.

Whenever The Princess Bride is on television, I obnoxiously remark to anyone who'll listen, "I've been there--to the 'Cliffs of Insanity'--yes, I have." Ah, the Cliffs of Moher. So amazing! Yet still not the fondest recollection of my time spent in the Republic.
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Ireland does not mean Waterford crystal, woolen sweaters, Irish linen, or Guinness draught to me. Although I certainly love Waterford, my sweaters & linens, and Guinness, of course. No, on this St. Patrick's Day I can think of only one thing:
Cadbury Flake Pictures, Images and Photos
Praise be! It's Cadbury Flake! My friends, this is the finest chocolate I have ever consumed in my life. Any attempts at describing this delicacy would fail miserably. So please trust me on this, and remember that it's the day my beloved Irish (and the rest of us wannabes*) celebrate Saint Patrick. And I'm all up in here celebrating some chocolate.

This is so me. Amen.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, y'all!



*OK, OK, OK...yes, I do have some Irish in me. For real. Thanks to the Raley side of my heritage. I knew Arnold & Lisa would out me if I didn't admit this.

**Oh, and you MUST listen to Lisa Hannigan. She's Irish, she's fabulous, and she'll be representing on my Pod all day. "Splishy Splashy" and "Lille" are two of my faves.

51 comments:

Kristina P. said...

My paternal grandmother is Irish. And I really don't know what the Blarney Stone is.

kari and kijsa said...

What a great Irish post! You are such a fun writer- and an amazing experience!
blessings,
kari & kijsa

Amy said...

I don't think I'm Irish at all. Not that I know of. I do know they are some amazing pictures. That one of the cliffs is totally cool. I would love to just sit there and stare at that all day long.
Happy St. Patricks Day.

Mariah said...

I am approximately 1.2% Irish and I'd out eat you in a Flake eating contest, I think. That's some good business

Elena said...

I swear you were putting my Heinz 57 heritage up there. NO joke! LOL! Beautiful pictures. And I could handle meself some Cadbury Flake right about now. Mmmmm...

Jenny and the Princess Peonies said...

I LOVE Lille. Such a great song! Happy St. Patty's Day!

I actualy am part Irish. I still have family living there. I just have never been. If only I could get the fundage to go and see Jonny sing on the 4th of July! Now that would be a trip to remember!

dancinginthemargins said...

A Happy St. Patty's Day to you. My fellow Irish lassie.

And you know I wasn't kidding when I said I was Irish, right? My grandparents are from Ireland. For real.

: )

I was raised on Gaelic, Guinness and Ghost stories. Tis true.

heathersister said...

My Grandpa's name was Conley. Good Irish name. He went to Ireland and he did kiss the Blarney Stone, I have the picture!!

Here is a bit of information from the calender of useless information for St. Patty's Day:

A full 7 percent of the entire Irish barley crop goes to the production of Guinness beer.

Greg said...

You already know I am Irish, born and raised ;) I have been to all you have mentioned above, and yes the flake is by far the greatest thing to come out of Ireland since Paddy himself.

Happy Paddy's day Girl.

Kat said...

I am going to have to go in search of flakes...

Sissy said...

I had a British roommate at one point and she used to have her mother ship her the Flakes. I didn't like them all that much, but she did introduce me to Galaxy Minstrels and those I would store in the fridge and only eat one or two a day until the pack ran out. So sad. She refused to eat Hershey's chocolate and after tasting Cadbury's, I understand.

Amy said...

Happy St. Patricks Day! I would love to visit Ireland, heck I'd love to visit 'anywhere' outside the good 'ol U S of A. Thanks for the 'trip' :D

Caroline said...

My favorite are the Penguin bars - did you ever have those while you were there? They are muy yum, and I just realized that muy is yum spelled backards. I am cool. Cadbury makes the most yummy of confections do they not? I miss Ireland and I miss the chocolate. I think one of my most favorite food memories of Ireland has to be this place called Lemon (in Dublin)that the locals know about. They serve crepes with anything in them you can imagine. Their dessert crepes are TO.DIE.FOR. Drizzled with chocolate and Bailey's Irish Creme. It just shouldn't be legal.

Live.Love.Eat said...

Leave it to you for a wonderful insightful historic post for St. Patty's Day. It sure looks beautiful there. How cool you got to spend 2 months there. I was the only Jew amongst all my Irish friends growing up in the Bronx so I have fond memories and some knowledge of the strong heritage. Happy St. Patty's Day!!!

Alabama Redhead said...

Hmm....chocolate....drool.

Beautiful pics! And I'd pass on the Blarney Stone too...not enough Purell for me!

Heather said...

Praise be to the chocolate gods!! I've never had that particular Cadbury confection. I've never been to Ireland or to a real castle. It's on my life list. Actually, LIVING in a castle is on my life list. I just really have always felt it was my destiny...along with being famous.

Bekah said...

i actually do have a LOT of irish in me but i've never even be proud of it once (i'm not "not proud" . I just don't care, i guess)

actually i may have made that up. I need to check with my grandmother on that.

those cliffs are beautiful
love lisa hannigan

Speedcat Hollydale said...

Great post ... so, err - "Irishy"!

I thought I was Irish growing up, but when chasing down the family tree found I was NOT. A great grandmother was adopted by Irish parents and took the nationality. Turns out I am just a regular old Sweedish Norwegion !!!!

Hello from Speedcat Hollydale ;-)

Nicole said...

Hell I dont know what I am! I'm a heinz 57. My ex husband is Irish, does that count???

a Tonggu Momma said...

I love Cadbury Flake! And I am a bit Irish, but I married IRISH. Our daughter's name is so Irish, it fairly bleeds green. So it shocks people when they first see she's Chinese. Hee hee.

sassy stephanie said...

I'm about a quarter. The other three fourths...sass. And French.

Brandy said...

I'm such a dummy...I though Cadbury was just for EASTER! LOL!

...you had me at chocolate...

Happy St. Paddy's day!

Melissa said...

Have you ever heard the story of St. Patrick? It's awesome! I actually can't believe how this holiday has been turned around into a drinking day.....when it started with a man who reached the country of Ireland with the gospel. I guess it's like anything else.....What God intends for His glory, Satan intends for the opposite.

jori-o said...

Haha! I am SO with you! My time spent in London, while marked with many lovely memories, is definitely crowned by the chocolate that was available! EVERYWHERE. And so true about the castles...!

jori-o said...

Haha! I am SO with you! My time spent in London, while marked with many lovely memories, is definitely crowned by the chocolate that was available! EVERYWHERE. And so true about the castles...!

Becky said...

My favorite story of the Blarney stone is the one from Richard Scary. Loved that one as a kid!

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Mama Dawg said...

Ireland is on my must visit list.

c'est Moi! the tink-n-frog said...

Happy St. Patrick's Day. My cousin kissed the Blarney Stone and I swear he's been lucky his whole life. Lucky bugger

Sun said...
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Sun said...

So, I really am part Irish..and English. . (the land of barley). Thanks to the Teague's and The Barlowe's..
I am a Mutt.
Proud of it.


Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Britt said...

You've been to the Cliffs of Insanity? Inconceivable!

hehe

Yeah, no Irish here. American Indian and Welsh on my mama's side =-) The rest is unknown. Which means I can make up whatever I want, right? =-)

My Front Porch said...

Haha, Leigh Anne! I promise that I was just thinking TODAY: "I don't know if I could kiss the Blarney Stone even if I had the chance. There are waaaay to many germs for me to be comfortable with."

I don't blame you!

(I think I may have gotten really, really close though, just so I could get a picture. =)

Swirl Girl said...

Not a drop of Irish in me...unless you count the old boyfriend from county Cork.

Irish by osmosis???

Gina said...

You're cracking me up! All that good Irish stuff and you swoon over a piece of chocolate?

But I must confess, I've had 3 bowls of Lucky Charms today. And THAT'S why I don't buy them.

I really am Irish. 1/4. Or was that a fifth? No, it's a fifth of Scotch. Got it now.

April said...

Girl.....I would not leave Ireland without kissing that Blarney Stone!

My Mahan family claims to be Irish.....and AP swears we're Leprechauns....due to the small stature! LOL

angie said...

I haven't been to Ireland, but I want to. I don't get the whole kissing the rock thing either.

Ashley said...

I saw a special on PBS this weekend that featured kissing the Blarney stone. Yea... I know I'm a loser. But we don't have cable so options are limited. Yes, I know. We already covered the fact that I am a loser. Oh, well. At least that special came in handy today and I'm filled with Irish knowledge!! Haha!

Queenie Jeannie said...

DUDE!!!

You just can't go on and on and on about ANYTHING chocolate and not share! It's just not done hun!!!! So do you have my shipping address all set?? =)

Pinky Roth said...

Beautiful pictures of Ireland and yes you do have a tad of Irish in you from the Raleys...

Love,

Mom

Lauren said...

I couldn't see any of the pictures :( Sad day. BUt anyway...I hope you can get your hands on some of that chocolate. Because it would make your St. Patrick's Day cool-style.

Jen said...

Ireland looks beautiful. How awesome that you got to go. And come on kissing the same spot that 1000s of ppl have kisses doesn't sound exciting? Where is your sense of adventure? ;)

ParentingPink said...

Oh, I so want to go to Ireland! Hubby and I are hoping to go next year! Love the pics - especially that perverted old man...and I'll buy that it's not YOU in the pic, but hmmmm, not so sure! LOL

CaraBee said...

I keep trying to get Neil over to Europe, but for some reason he's resisting. I think I almost have him convinced. He now says he will go, but we have to go somewhere they speak English, you know, like Ireland. I say sounds good, honey. I'm not going to mention that the English they speak might as well be Greek as hard as it is to understand.

That chocolate sounds deee-lightful. Wish I had some now.

Rhea said...

I'm so jealous. I'd love to see Ireland. BTW, I listen to NPR driving to and from work, and Ireland is in worse shape than we are right now, economy-wise.

Tiffany said...

There are very few things hotter than a guy with an Irish accent.

Let's go.

Now.

Heather said...

I love the pics on this post.

One more thing we have in common. 'Cause I've got some Irish in my blood, too. My mom's dad went back to Ireland and kissed the Blarney stone, which sounded neat when he told it...your version is kind of gross. I don't think I would do it, either.

Thanks for the St Patty's Day video postcard. I will cherish it forever :)

Heather said...
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swile67 said...

My maternal grandparents were born in Northern Ireland, so I still have loads of relatives there. My last visit was in July and I still LOVE it! I had a funny airport story but will spare you the details except to say I had a knapsack full to the brim with chocoate, including flakes and had to start stuffing them in my pockets as I was not allowed to take that bag on the plane!! The security guards wondered why anyone would have so much chocolate. I had to educate them on the state of the chocolate in Canada! Thus, my flakes made it b ack to Canada and I enjoyed every morsel!! So glad you were able to spend some time in the Emerald Isle..it is a gorgeous country! And I did gather the courage to kiss the blarney stone!!

Angie's Spot said...

Gorgeous pics! And ma'am, EVERY holiday is a reason to celebrate the gift of chocolate in my opinion. Amen.

Marrdy said...

I am so jealous! I want to visit Ireland too! My family is mostly Scotish and Welch but I do have that one Great Great Great Grandmother who really was born in Ireland!

Bethany said...

Happy (late) St. Patrick's Day! I visited Ireland for a week in 2004 and LOVED it (who wouldn't!?!). I saw the Cliffs of Moher and kissed the Blarney Stone (actually the guy in the picture is the one who held me too). Fantastic post :)