I FINALLY finished unpacking from our vacation-trip over a month ago–the last small bag hiding the cocktail napkins filled with notes of those interesting observations that I would almost definitely have forgotten if not scribbled.
“I’m sad for my country”
Traveling through Ireland and Scotland I am often reminded of what “we” once were, and what is lost in the name of progress and being “the greatest” country. When I ordered pork chops in a restaurant, knowing that the pork was raised from not too far away, by a farmer-family on a small farm (vs the huge-industrial type we Americans have mostly morphed to), I am so happy by the rich porky flavor that was reminding me of what I recall pork chops once tasting like, a long time ago, before I knew of farms and growth hormones and what not. I rarely ever order pork now, in the U.S.–unless I know…
I love the Scottish sense of humor. I enjoyed those pork chops with a Scotch Ale–the locally brewed beer while eating (and also sleeping and drinking and hiking and golfing!) in the town of Avimore, at the base of a mountain Cairn Gorm). A “wee heavy” and quite tasty the Sheep Shagger sported a sneaky but appreciated 7.5 AB V!
So that’s how it reads on menus. Fresh, green, mushy, peas. That’s all. Just sharing.
There’s a chance you will visit Scotland. There’s a chance you “brave” the highlands. There’s a (good) chance that if you do, you’ll ride the funicular to the summit of Cairn Gorm. But there is almost no chance you will decide to sneak in 9 holes of sunny golf, in the meadow’ish links course surrounded by mountains complete with “honesty slot” (for payment when the office is closed) and random sheep roaming across fairways. But, if you DO, bring back proof and I’ll buy your round (drinks, not golf!) so we can toast the completely unexpected hidden gems in life! (And how about that 8th hole).
“Inside Man. Paul the driver” and “Fishy fishy”
We had a driver for some days in Ireland, who allowed us to enjoy places (and drinks) like Killarney and Kinsale, and “local” restaurants like Cronin’s and Kanes and Fishy-Fishy. A bold name for a high level restaurant. The food was amazing. The table maintenance? I bit my tongue but, ay caramba. (At one point, they were extremely slow to deliver our next round of Irish coffees claiming “We are running low on glasses.” We couldn’t help but laugh because, they all seemed to be on our table!)
“I’m with That Guy”
Eight people walk into the restaurant (us), and the wise and helpful lasses (Is that PC?) pulled together two tables of (4) as servers will do for eight guests (it’s a 4+4 thing), but, they left a gap between the two tables. Clear to some of us, how much easier that makes it to get in and out of the booth. From the left, and the right, and in the center. Its a don”t have to scootch and slide thing. BUT, “that guy” requested that they push the tables together. Before we are seated. What the… My tongue almost bled for all the biting I did while traveling with so many people. The back seat is not my favorite. Just sayin’.
Dinner was amazing.