But first some other trips. In January I went down to New Orleans for a wedding.

I loved New Orleans. Go for the music, stay for the beignets and the shrimp po’boys.

Then to Mexico for a week at a resort with friends.

We didn’t really do anything that week, it was wonderful.

Then I went to Ireland with my community band. We stopped in Cork, Waterford, and Dublin. We kicked it off with a 6 hour delay in the Philadelphia airport. Rumor is that the stick that steers the plane needed to be replaced, twice. You know it’s bad when they bring you snacks and drinks in the airport. We made it there eventually.

Over the course of the week we have three concerts. My favorite was the second one inside a cathedral.

We stopped to see the Blarney Castle. There was a Blarney Stone there but I did not kiss it. Many people did though.

I also went on a walk near the lake. The weather was much nicer than was promised, pretty much the whole week.

The first two nights we stumbled upon a bar in Cork with some live music. The second night we went as a group after the concert.

In Kilkenny I found the Crotty’s Cafe. Caden was not working that day.

Kilkenny is also known for its Castle, I guess.

We stopped in the Waterford Crystal factory where they make the trophies for college football and basketball, among other things. We saw how they started by blowing the crystal into shape and then how they would grind the designs in place.

We had an excellent tour guide the whole week who had a good sense of humor, so we taught him how people speak in Pittsburgh. He was amused.

We stopped in Dublin where there was all kinds of street music.

And I stopped for a cappuccino

On the last day we took a tour of a monastery. It had probably the most beautiful scenery from the whole trip. It was also my monastery it turns out. Saint Kevin was known for standing so still that birds build a nest on his shoulder.

Most Kevin’s can do that by the way, he was just showing off. He was good at picking locations for monasteries though.

Oh and he had a cell for a room.

We also saw some traditional Irish music at dinner

Ireland was fantastic. I wish we had more free time to spend in each of the places we stayed, there wasn’t much time to explore. They kept us busy for the whole trip. We had meat mashed potatoes pretty much every night which is fine with me.

Next up are some life changes. I’m switching jobs and buying a house. Most people don’t do those things at the same time and I don’t recommend it. I picked the “let’s change everything all at once” option.

The house originally tried to buy fell through actually, so I have a small window to go to South Korea. I’m also now buying a nicer, cheaper house in the same location, so it all worked out.

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