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Archive for March, 2012

Clare Fish_edited-1

When I was a kid, I loved to fish. For a short time we lived in rural Arkansas and like most kids in the area we’d go fishing in the lake or in the creek (or “crick” if you’re saying it like a true Arkansan). At first my dad got my sister and me plain bamboo poles with a string and a hook tied to the end, but eventually we graduated onto real fishing poles complete with a reel (for real!).

He taught us how to scale and even gut the fish we caught, and sometimes we’d wrap them in foil with some lemon slices and a squeeze of mayonnaise (weird I know, but so good) and throw them over a campfire to cook. Other times we’d cook them up at home on the stovetop – but either way, the fact that we’d caught it ourselves made the fish that much more delicious.

Boats Boat 2

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beach 1

It seems appropriate on this St. Patrick’s Day weekend to pay homage to Ireland, my current home and land of rolling green hills, shepherd’s pie and Guinness. Aren’t these the things that come to mind when most foreigners think of the Emerald Isle?

Thing is, Ireland is so much more. And the longer I live here, the more I realize just how much this country has to offer – especially when it comes to breathtaking views and FOOD. I’ll admit that when I first moved here I thought Irish food was terrible: overcooked meat, over-boiled veg and breaded & fried everything. I was wrong.

Fireplace Menu

Last weekend, I sampled the best of Irish food in a place that is quite possibly one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. Along with a few other food bloggers, I was invited to spend a weekend at Inchydoney Island Lodge & Spa in West Cork. Though I’d been to Cork, I’d never visited this picturesque coastal area before. With its pristine beaches and lush green pastures, West Cork is an absolute stunner of a place.

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Things have been so nuts lately I completely forgot that March 4th marked the two-year anniversary of my move to Ireland. I suppose in one sense, that’s a good thing – living here has become so normal that I don’t find myself counting days or marking time based on when I arrived – or when I’ll leave, if and when that day ever comes.

If I thought the first year of living here was a whirlwind, the second has been a down-right blizzard of activity and major life changes. In the last year, I moved from my humble little apartment in the centre of Drogheda town centre into Mountaineering Man’s bachelor apartment in Dublin 8. We then moved together to our place in Raheny a few months later.

I spent my first Christmas in Ireland with MM’s family, which was lovely (though no sign of snow this year, which to be honest was a bit sad for me!); I’m working like crazy (a good thing) and I’ve made a good number of new friends in Dublin over the last 12 months. Of course there was the engagement (!!) and now I’m in the thick of wedding planning. We’ve already got our appointment at the courthouse and in the autumn we’ll marry in Tuscany (more on that later, I promise!).

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