Friday, January 30, 2015

Plan B: King John's Castle

There's a saying about the best laid plans.  I could take a second and look up exactly how it goes, but I think I'll paraphrase it instead. Basically, it says don't count your chickens, your mice or your men, because they could all join together and royally screw up your plans.

Such an event transpired just this week, when I boasted- on this blog, no less- about my plans to go to Durty Nelly's, an old Irish pub in an old Irish town. It was all but a given that I would soon be strolling into a 400 year old bar and an old guy would be singing "Danny Boy", much to the delight of a dozen or so other old men.  I would be there,  nodding politely, straining to figure out what the garbled sounds- some would call them words- coming out of the bartender's mouth signified.

We landed in Shannon, Ireland, a little late, but still within peak pub hours.  We got off the plane and I began to head towards the usual hotel, the one right by the bus stop that would take me to Bunratty Castle, Nelly's more dignified neighbor.  No one followed.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Hanging High in Vancouver. Again.

Later this evening, I will be going to Shannon, Ireland. It will take me over 14 hours of overnight flying to get there. I will be exhausted. But I will reach into the reserve tank and find the energy to go to Durty Nelly's for at least one pint. Why? Because Durty Nelly's is a 15th century pub attached to a castle and is everything that I imagine an authentic (albeit touristy) Irish pub to be. It doesn't matter that I have been there before. It is one of those places that I will go to every time I have the chance.

And it is not alone. There are plenty of museums, squares, pubs, etc that I don't tire of visiting. Of course, there are others that take a bit more deliberation. How much did I enjoy it the first time? Am I going to get something new out of it? How easy is it to get to? How much does it cost? Am I enjoying the present company of those around me or would I rather ditch them?