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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
               Friday, August 23 2002 

Jet lagged

One last roundup of highlights and obversations on how I spent my summer vacation, then on Tuesday we'll move on.

Ireland—After my sixth visit, the Old Country seems as elusive as ever. This time I didn't try to do it all, but still was surprised at how little could be done within my lowered expectations. Tara, which some will recognize as the name of Scarlett O'Hara's plantation manor house in Gone With the Wind, in Irish history refers to the closest approximation the Isle of the Saints has to Mount Sinai, or even more aptly, Mount Carmel, the place in which the Druid priests were challenged by the missionary bishop Patrick and lost their land and people to Christianity...Tara was high on my itinerary, but fell "between the cracks" of not enough time to do it all. Likewise Kells, the fabled ancient monastic site, was on my list but missed. Though it would be impossible to cover all the major sites where St. Patrick ministered in Ireland in a week's tour, it was all I could do to add two of them, and those only superficially.



Typical Dublin Street

It's been a dream of mine for years to get an opportunity to work in Ireland for at least half a year, but every year as I get older the likelihood of it happening seems more remote. This time we made sure we got an opportunity to interact with Dublin, having been cheated out of our time there the previous year because of a car breakdown. I enjoyed that time, but the lesson learned from it is that more than ever the charm and draw of Ireland for me is the smaller towns and cities. I want to visit Cobh (pronounced Cove), near Cork, and County Cavan, which is not on any main roads but looks idyllic in the movies.

Paris; ah, Paree—When son Mike put Paris on our itinerary, I knew it would be the highlight of the trip, and it was. Despite the dearth of smiles and warmth, the city charms nonetheless. It vies with San Francisco year after year as the most desired destination among world tourists, and there are obvious comparisons between them...obvious when you see them, but hard to put in words. Charm, charisma, some elusive quality...the natural beauty of the places draw you in. I imagined far more than was possible to do in our time there, and part of the reason it couldn't be done is that it's hard not to just sit at a cafe and let the city entertain you.

London—My fifth visit here was also full of discoveries. The last-minute booking of our last two nights' lodging had the serendipitous effect of taking us into a new part of town that turned out to be one with lots to offer. London is more like New York than Paris is. People are always rushing, bustling down the street or up the escalators with their cell phones plastered to their ears...making things happen. In Paris, it's more a matter of letting things happen rather than making anything....

—Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Why men are not secretaries

Husband's note on refrigerator to his wife: "Someone from the Guyna Colleges called. They said the Pabst beer is normal."

Thought for today

Man does not live by words alone, despite the fact that sometimes he has to eat them.

Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

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