It was just  regular-auld weekend here in Ireland but back home in Los Angeles my friends and family were barbequing and lighting fireworks and celebrating the Fourth of July – America’s birthday. My parents had a little shindig at their house where my dad made his famous smoked ribs and my mom prepared Japanese macaroni salad and my sister and her friend Miks kicked back, had a few drinks and enjoyed the grub!

Mountaineering Man and I spent the weekend doing what he loves best: climbing a mountain (duh!)! We hiked up Mount Leinster from the Ballycrystal side – meaning we opted to take the rougher, fern-covered terrain over the easier road access – and enjoyed the peace and quiet of nature. We didn’t come across a single person during our 4.5 hour trek, though we did run into a couple of mountain goats and several sheep along the way.

Fairy potato salad 2

We had our own little July 4th celebration of sorts at the summit, where we chomped down some classic American favorites that I made in honor of the holiday: Sloppy Joe’s, which is a mixture of beef mince and a tangy, spicy tomato sauce served up on a hamburger bun; and my mom’s famous potato salad. It was the perfect fuel for our hike and quite tasty as well. We were lucky enough to get spectacular weather up there that day. Sitting atop of Mount Leinster, eating our fab American lunch and enjoying the view – honestly couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend the holiday weekend.