Friday, June 10, 2011

Day 214: Family Reunion– Day trip to Howth

No blog in 9 days? Uh-oh. It's been a while, my friends. I wish we could have been in better touch but sometimes life has other plans. As I write to you, laying atop a balloon mattress in a Scottish flat, quite a lot has happened since I left Liverpool for Dublin. I explored Dublin for a week before fleeing to the green womb of Western Ireland. Immersed in nature I spent most of my time camping and hitch hiking. If I were to go on – like grandpa reminiscing about the war, I wouldn't be able to stop. Life has been satisfyingly fulfilling the past two weeks and I'm excited to share.

Classic Kerstin and Adam.

I had been exploring Dublin for three days before they came. Celebrating Christmas alone helped me realize how much I missed my family and friends. When Monica visited in Ronda, I felt myself flooded with nostalgic energy. Planning to meet up with people in Europe can be difficult, but sometimes everything works out without planning. This was the case when I heard my cousin Kerstin that she and her boyfriend Adam would be in Dublin.

A globe sculpture at Trinity College.

We met up at a bar late Friday night. We both had a lot to share, themselves freshly back from occupying Afghanistan with the US Army. Being with the two of them made me feel warm and comfortable. Beers disappeared and conversation flowed as they told me about army life and I weaved some tales of my travels. It wasn't long before the big news came out – boy, was it big. So big I'm surprised it didn't cut off the circulation to her finger. Yes, Kerstin and Adam are due to get married. I felt closer with Kerstin than ever before. Fortunately, they were staying for a few days so we could continue enjoying each other's company.

The next day my CouchSurfing host treated us to a tour and suggested that we go to Howth for the day. Originally he was going to drive us up to Glendalaugh but the air inside his car tires had other ideas. Around mid-day we hopped on the train to Howth, blissfully ignorant of what to expect.

Kerstin was ever-so excited to board the train.
Octopussy's Spanish tapas were delightful and best enjoyed with family.
To drive your car into the bacon or not drive your car into the bacon.
Kerstin is almost as tall as the lighthouse.
She said doing this used to freak her mom out.
Buoys and boats.
After the harbor we hiked up this cliff...
... and looked at rich people's yards...
...and then we looked at some rocks and the town...
... until Kerstin got fed up and went for a swim.
The helicopter came to rescue Kerstin from the ocean.
So I took some photos of flowers while I was waiting.
Kers thought that there were penguins in there... somewhere.
So cool. So serious.
We reached the lighthouse at the end of the peninsula and went for coffee.
Ha! What a last name.

Not only did Howth make an excellent day trip from Dublin but I got to share it with my cousin. They've been dating for somewhere around two years now and it's exciting that we will have a new member of our family. Howth's lazy harbor, lush hills, and treacherous cliffs provided an excellent environment for a reunion. Even though I just wrote an article about why I travel alone spending time with family warmed my lonely bones. It was a pleasure to see you two and I look forward to spending more time together on my return. For the rest of you, go to Howth. 


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