This weekend was an eventful and pleasent one.

I met a friend of mine from years back in O’Hare, and it so happened that he was sitting right in front of me on the flight. Other than that it was a typical flight – about 90 minutes of sleep and the usual clammy, drained feeling when I finally arrived into Shannon.

I was exhausted (as usual) when I arrived home after driving back from Shannon. I really, really should stop doing this: I’m flying to direct to Dublin from now on. After a 3 hour nap, I headed out to Roches Point, the lighthouse at the eastern entrance to Cork Harbour. It was wonderful. There were some fantastic rock structures out there and the seas were raging. The “harbour effect” was quite dramatic – I could virtually draw a line across the harbour mouth where the waters suddenly became calm. Further on in my travels, I came across a pristine beach that has a stunning cave and cliff backdrop. No photos unfortunately. I’ll definitely be back, though.

Today I took all four kids on a trip up to the Nire Valley in Co. Waterford (once again, no photos 😦 ) . We ambled a short distance to a place where a small river cuts deeply into the valley. Nobody there but ourselves. Flocks of ravens could be seen fighting the air currents. My eldest was thrilled when we came across a megalithic standing stone on our return journey. After looking carefully at the stone, I noticed that the symbol of the cross was incribed in the rock.

I then took a meandering trip to Ardmore, Co. Waterford, the site of one of Ireland’s best preserved round towers (a defensive structure used by monks during Viking times). We found a terrific playground there quite close to the beach, and I pretended to be a big bad monster while the kids tried to defend their playground castle from me. We spent the time there shrieking with joy. It was great fun.

They were exhausted when we got home. One thing though – my eldest son tried to put on a DVD movie (thinking I wouldn’t notice) and when the Universal Pictures intro started – the one with the world turning – my two youngest boys (age 2) started shouting “Earth!!!” and one of them pointed to a small country on the globe and said “Ireland!!!”

He was quite right.