I did not fall off the earth. But I did get on an airplane, fly across an ocean, and take a road trip around Ireland and Northern Ireland that included: Hiking Slieve Binnian, walking Rossnowlagh Beach, swimming at Rossnowlagh, sea kayaking, eating fabulous food, crowd-watching after the All Ireland Game at Croke Park, which for once is an Irish word spelled exactly as it sounds, eating great Lebanese food in Dublin, watched the closing of the Harp Bridge, watched sailboats motor up the river than fly their spinnakers to get back down, watched a camogie game in of all places East Belfast, congratulated a friend who started the first ever East Belfast GAA, went to Giants Causeway but got so comfy in the cafe the sun set before we saw the Giants Causeway, drove the Antrim Coast, took a tour of the Bogside in Derry from a man who's father was the 13th victim on Bloody Sunday, crossed and re-crossed and crossed again the invisible yet ever present border between north and south, tried to remember which money was which because I had 3 currencies in my wallet, met my third cousin once removed, had cappuccinos, visited the graves of my great-grandparents, visited my cousins house, talked family history for hours because Americans are all rootless immigrants regardless of what the politicians say, watched my friend's daughter practice football while I sat behind the net, with the sun shining and clouds skittering, hung out with my step-grandchild if there is such a thing, had lunch and dinner and birthday cake with my step-kids and their mom, walked the streets of Belfast as if I'd never been there before, rented a car that cost more than my airline tickets, didn't clip a wing mirror or leave a scratch on it, took the express bus to Dublin Airport, forgot to get a PCR test before returning to the US, but I think the Irish were glad to just get us on a plane, touched down at Logan, and immediately wanted to turn around and go back.
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