There certainly is the beauty of the most vivid greens you can imagine.
And the hillsides that look like green quilts stitched with stone fences.
Brilliant flowers that pop against the green.
Or maybe it's the ruins of castles along the way.
Or the fact that the people generally seem happy despite many generations of being downtrodden. In ancient years it was invaders or famine stepping on the Irish, and more recently they are dealing with massive debt created by the 2008 economic crisis and the brain drain of young adults who leave Ireland looking for jobs after graduating from college that was fully paid for by Irish citizens.
|Diane, John, Michele and Joey enjoying some ice cream|
|Mike eating ice cream next to Weight Watchers sign?|
And I won't even go into the Irish beers and whiskies.
|With Mike and John|
And since returning on Sunday I am a bit worn out by jet lag but still dreaming about Ireland. In addition to the pictures above, here are a few of my favorite moments...
|View across the cemetery|
Sitting on a park bench by the cemetery by Muckross Abbey and feeling the most calm and relaxed I've felt in months.
|My "monk look" in the Abbey|
Hiking in Killarney National Park with Mike and John, enjoying a 5-6 mile trek despite the daily mist and rainfall.
Watching Switchback perform at sunset with a beautiful lake in background.
|Bachelor party at the pub?|
Tooling around Dublin with Mike visiting music stores, shopping, eating and drinking at Irish pubs
|Mike trying out an Irish concertina|
|View from our room at Lake Hotel|
|Relaxing outdoors at The Lake Hotel|
Meeting some great people traveling on the Switchback Tour and catching up with a few people who were with us during our trip in 2012.
|With Mike, Michele and John at Killarney pub|
Ireland remains close to my heart, and I hope to return again someday...