• Ireland,  moving

    Living in Ireland: When to Move Back to the U.S.

    This was a hard article to write. If you’ve been living in Ireland, how do you know when it’s time to move back home? In our case, home is the United States. If you are an American citizen who moved to Ireland for work, then you probably entered Ireland in one of two ways: on a contract or as a permanent hire. If you were on a contract with a set end-date, then you know when you’ll be leaving. If you entered Ireland as a permanent hire, then your end date (if there is one) is more ambiguous and something you’ll have to determine for yourself. My husband works for…

  • Ireland,  travel

    Visiting Ireland: The Book of Kells

    It’s hard to prioritize what to do and see in Dublin if you are visiting for a short period of time. You’d think this process would be easier if you are living in Dublin, but NOPE! It took us two years before we got around to seeing the Book of Kells. I’m not sure why we waited so long. No one else does! Close to a million visitors a year view the Book of Kells making it the 5th most popular tourist attraction in Ireland. If you’re a history buff, a book lover, a believer in the gospels and/or a Star Wars fan, this is the tour for you! WHAT IS…

  • Ireland,  travel

    Visiting Ireland: Kilmainham Gaol Museum

    When we arrived at Kilmainham Gaol Museum on the west side of Dublin, we were greeted at a big imposing door by a stout-looking Irish man with grey hair. He looked at me and with all seriousness said, “Ah! I see you’ve brought us some long-term guests!” My kids stared at the man and then slowly looked at me like, “He’s joking, right mom? RIGHT?!?!” Have I mentioned that Kilmainham Gaol is a prison? Technically, it WAS a prison. Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 on a site known as Gallows Hill. If that doesn’t set the stage for an 18th century prison, I don’t know what does. WHY YOU SHOULD…

  • Ireland,  travel

    Visiting Ireland: St. Patrick’s Day

    Visiting Ireland any time of year is special. Visting Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day? Well, that’s taking things up a notch or ten million. Let’s start with some basics. St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland who is believed to have died on March 17 around the year 460 A.D. Record keeping might not have been quite as stringent in the 5th century. Hence, all the qualifying words. It is believed that St. Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland or, at least, had a large influence on Christianity in Ireland. Many of the stories about St. Patrick aren’t necessarily factual. However, they are impressive if you have certain phobias. For…

  • Ireland

    Living in Ireland: Surviving a Snowstorm

    Surviving a snowstorm. Yes, that’s a bit melodramatic. However, snow is not something I thought I’d be writing about while living in Ireland. This island is supposed to have a temperate climate, after all. But every decade or so conditions are just right to deliver a weather wollup to the country. In this case (March 2018), it was in the form of Storm Emma colliding with “The Beast from the East,” which was a disruption to the stratospheric polar vortex that normally stays right where it belongs – up above the Arctic Circle. (And, yes. I had to google that.) When these two meteorological forces combined over the country of Ireland,…

  • Ireland

    Living in Ireland: Life Without A Car

    As I type this, our family has lived in Ireland without a car for 21 months. Almost 2 years. No car. So what’s that like? It’s interesting. How is it possible? It’s complicated. Will we ever get a car? Not sure, but my kids ask everyday. How do you get stuff home? I have strong muscles. Doesn’t the weather suck? Yes, usually. Do you miss driving? Not as much as you’d think. First, some background. We are an American family who moved from Atlanta, Georgia, to Dublin, Ireland, for work. Our kids were starting 1st and 4th grades when we embarked on this adventure. To say we have learned and grown from this experience of not only living…

  • holidays,  Ireland

    St. Valentine’s Remains Are In Dublin

    Hold onto your pink teddy bear and open up your box of mystery chocolates because I have an interesting Valentine’s Day story for you! The actual saint that kicked off this entire multi-billion dollar holiday is St. Valentine and his remains are indeed located in Dublin. I read about this link between Valentine’s Day and Ireland on a site called Irish Customs and Culture. You’ll have to read the full account yourself because it is quite detailed. And we all know digging into the minutiae, as important as it may be, is not my love language. That’s why there are experts. Now, as I understand the story… The remains were…

  • Ireland

    Living in Ireland: Inside My Kitchen

    I find it fascinating to see how people truly live in their homes. If you leave your curtains open at night when I’m driving by – I’m going to look! I know you guys do that too! Don’t worry. I won’t make you admit it. If you’re moving to Ireland or if you do that thing you’re not admitting to this post is for you. If you come here for pretty pictures…uh…you might want to skip this one. I’m flinging open the cupboard doors so you can see inside my kitchen in Ireland. Who knows what might fall out!? Handy Husband and I have lived in a lot of homes…

  • holidays,  Ireland

    Living in Ireland: Festival of Trees

    I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! Before we say goodbye to 2017, I thought I’d share one last holiday-themed post. One of the things I’ve enjoyed or found the most interesting about living in Ireland is seeing how the locals celebrate the various holidays. Ireland doesn’t have the Christmas markets that other European countries are famous for, but it does have plenty of other events for locals (and visitors!) to enjoy. This year a friend invited us to see the Festival of Trees at Christ Church in Bray. Bray is a cute seaside town south of Dublin. It’s one of the farthest points south that you can live from…

  • Ireland

    Living in Ireland: Christmas in Retail 2017

    We are counting down the days until we celebrate our second Christmas living in Ireland! Last year I didn’t know what to expect as far as the holidays go and I was pleasantly surprised to see that everyone – including retailers – really get into the Christmas spirit here. This makes sense given the heavy Catholic influence in Ireland. There is no “buffer holiday” between Halloween and Christmas in Ireland, so the holiday decorations starting going up in early November. As an example of how early festivities start, the tree lighting event in our town was on November 18. Santa arrived on a Harley Davidson (why not?) to turn on…