Updated: Oct 7, 2021
One of my favorite places is Ireland, but why? I've been stumbling around this question for years. The obvious answer is that every shade of green exists in Ireland and you can visit the Leprechaun Museum
Today the answer dawned on me as I was enjoying my second cup of coffee. In Ireland, tea and Guinness prevail. Only from Ireland and Uganda has tea found a way into my suitcase. I would have brought a case of Guinness too, but according to the Institute of Food Technologists it tastes better in Ireland than if exported, and I agree!
My lovely Irish-American friend Charles has given me many presents over the years. I think the extensive list includes Irish tea, a book of Irish short stories, Irish tea, a teapot with integrated infuser, Irish tea, brown bread mix, and oh, Irish tea. He actually has lived in Michigan for decades but still sounds like he’s straight off the boat. His nickname on his soccer team was “the enforcer” and his emerald green eyes sparkle when he shows guests his basement - full of pictures of him and his daughter at Michigan State spartan games (colors green and white of course). One of my favorite places for tea was Grafton Street Cafe
So Ireland makes me think about tea, Charles, and of course, Guinness. Thirty years ago it cost an Irish pound to get into the Guinness factory for a tour which concluded with bellying up at the bar for all you could drink Guinness - not joking! Oh my! Tourism made in heaven, except after the third day in a row, the boisterous bartender lectured us on there being more to Dublin than the Guiness factory. Really?! I was having such a good time drawing smiley faces with my finger in the head of each pint! Guinness Storehouse
One last reason to visit Ireland - only place I’ve ever entertained the option, and engaged in hitchhiking as a single woman. Now this was 1989, but still... This was after multiple experiences with personal escorts. No, not that kind! I mean when I asked directions, people would walk me to the desired destination, and we had a lovely chat along the way. One time hitchhiking I ended up at a farm for a weekend of true country hospitality. So what is there not to love about Ireland!