John McDonald

Blogging about politics, life, and the web

Three Weeks to Ireland

May 17th, 2009

Aisling and I were starting to get concerned that we were becoming old & boring.  Her work as a teacher keeps her busy long after school hours are finished, and I’m constantly stuck to the computer writing, coding, analyzing, or promoting something.  To make matters worse, neither one of us is particularly good at planning things in advance.

So, this is exactly why we suddenly decided to buy plane tickets to Ireland.  Roundtrip airfare was only about $700 each, and we will figure out some way to save money on lodging by staying with her family or sleeping under a bridge or in a hostel or something.  Did I mention that we’re really not good at planning this sort of thing?

Anyway, the lack of planning and frugality never really hurt our enjoyment of some other trips we’ve been on.  I’ll always remember the night I blurted out “You’ve never been to New Orleans?  We should go tonight!”  Sure enough, by noon we were in a campground in Louisiana and we had a great time for the next three days.  Similar last minute decisions have led us to Tennessee and Key West, but this will be our first spontaneous voyage across the ocean together.

Although the dollar is weak, prices are also generally down across the board.  Ireland’s economy has been hit particularly hard by the banking & investment problems sweeping the globe, so many costs might be quite reasonable in the face of low demand and lower levels of tourism.

So now… what exactly are we going to see?  I like politics, art, history, and controversy – so I figure we’re going to spend a lot of time in the cities absorbing the modern culture and exploring the political flashpoints.  There are killer murals in the north I want to see – since I first saw to Barcelona, I’ve wanted to see more public political artwork.  We give a lot of talk to free speech, but in the era of mass media speech isn’t really heard until it is given a platform for broadcast.  So what if the side of a building is the best channel you have to promote that message?  Its better than staring a brick and stucco siding all day.

Any ideas of what we should see?  Some locals have advised us to stay away from the temple bar but it sounds like the exact type of music scene we wish we had more of in our less urban town.  I can’t drink beer so the Guiness tour is out – but perhaps instead I’ll be able to find some quality gluten-free food without looking as hard as here.

We’ll attempt to come up with some plans over the next two and a half weeks – and then as soon as we get off the plane, I’m sure we’ll get distracted by something we never even planned for…

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