Friday, March 27, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Four years ago I was at Heathrow Airport waiting for a flight to take off to Dublin. It was the day after St. Patrick's Day. It was 10 a.m. and a cluster of Irish men sat around the gate with glasses of Guinness.
"It's 10 in the morning!" I exclaimed to my parents. These were pre-UF days, and I hadn't seen sane people drink before nightfall.
I always thought that Irish/Guinness relationship was overplayed by Americans. We tend to do that. But throughout the week I saw the familiar black beer with the creamy inch of foam on top all around the country at any time of day.
For the first time, I enjoyed each sip I took instead of labeling it "horsepiss" and trying to find a juice chaser. I tried it in the bar of the Guinness factory, at a pub where sloshed 3-a.m.-ers sang Billy Joel's Pianoman with their arms around each other.
In the past few years I've heard stories of Ireland -- of the cold people, the crime, the dreary weather. But I went when the skies were gray too and I can still picture the dreadlocked Heath Ledger lookalike who basically put his torso in our car to help us map out a route. I remember the lilt on a cashier's voice when she told us to have a good day. I remember the way a local told us to take the "twistywindyroad" because we would like it better than the highway. When I hung upside down to kiss the famed Blarney Stone, the ageing Irishman hit on me right in front of my parents.
Little things. But with a glass of Guinness the country was a beautiful, beautiful place.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
I spent the weekend in New Jersey, the extended suburb of New York City. There was still snow on the ground, but it was t-shirt weather. My family and I celebrated my aunt and uncle's 30th wedding anniversary by throwing them a surprise pseudo-second-wedding.
New additions to the family (fiances, boyfriends) reminded me how weird we are. We talk in baby voices, make up ridiculous nicknames for everybody and put chutney on our shmear. Everyone crashes on extra comforters and couches and in the basement with no issues. We have made a ritual out of the post-party breakfast -- fresh bagels, leftover cake and lots of masala chai.
Now it is the middle of my spring break, and I am back in Florida with more sunshine and my restless mind. I am forcing myself to wind down with a list (I know, counterintuitive) of things like pedicures, facials with Vibha, swimming, Hard Rock for a birthday and reading Pepto-pink paperbacks (I finished one today).