As my husband is fond of saying, “It takes 5 years to make friends in France, it takes 5 days in Great Britain, and it takes 5 minutes in Ireland.” It’s so true, at least about the Irish people.

After 5 years of doing other things, the call to return to Ireland got louder and stronger. Living in hot and humid North Carolina may have something to do with that little voice we kept hearing. After all, the last time we were there it was 55 degrees and raining EVERY day! It’s good for our skin, I thought. It’s good for our souls, we learned.

Vacations are hard work, at least for me! First there’s jetlag, right on the heels of making decisions about where, then when, then what to take. Ultimately, the vacation gets better and better when it’s in my memory. All that isn’t to say that I’m unappreciative of time in a fabulous new environment, but there are always some obstacles in the way…like rocks. And icebergs.

Imagine finding yourself at a working lighthouse, in a cottage, overlooking the Atlantic, from the OTHER side. The Irish side. Then notice the books on the coffee table about shipwrecks off the Irish coast, like the Celtic, and other famous boats going down, usually in a gale, or on the rocks. Such is Irish weather, it seems, a whole lot of the time, as our hosts are proud to tell us.

There were fierce rocks down below, and we quickly related to the shipwrecks over multiple centuries. Little did we know at the jetlagged beginning, just how many, and how ominous that spot actually was and is. The beauty, and the light were a photographer’s dream, and from the moment we walked into our house it all just kept getting better and better.

Long about the third day, it was time to visit a “village perché,” as my husband calls a day trip. In the olden days it was visiting ruins in France or walled cities, and it always involved precarious mountainous roads. Ireland is no exception, except instead of the mountains, we were driving on the left side of the road on tiny impassable roads. That’s all part of the mystique. Live dangerously on a vacation!