….and not the kind you find on a wine bottle.

I have a few things to write about (I’ve been busy!), but I’ll start with a recent trip down to Cork. Both of our birthdays are in February, and of course there is valentines day, and since January was a little sparse money-wise, due to the HUGE expense of that New Years wedding (yes, that’s me complaining just a bit), we decided to treat ourselves with a trip down to county Cork. Admittedly, it was also a scouting expedition for Himself, as he plans to start a business there in the next year.

We drove down on a Friday. He visited with the Enterprise Board while I sauntered around the town centre. Can I just say…I LOVE Cork City! Clearly, it is love at first sight. I had never wandered around the town itself, though I was lured through it’s one way streets on a wild “wallet” chase a few years ago (remind me to share that story some time), and I heartily admit to finding it delightful. The pace was Oh SO Much more humane than Dublin, and I saw nary a Poser. (be warned: take with a pinch of salt, and wedge of lime) There certainly might be posers in Cork City, and I’m not condemning all Dubs to the outer fringes of coolness by declaring them all posers, but it was refreshing to see “individuals” walking the streets of Cork. The people I saw had a decidedly more individual style than those I usually see in Dublin, where many look like High Street cookie cutters. There was also FREE WIFI!

It has been more of a struggle than I anticipated finding free wifi in Dublin. Back home in Austin you can pick-up free, no-registration-required, wifi on almost every street corner. (sort of like lard. lol) So far in “town” I’ve figured out how to get wifi at Starbucks (with the purchase of a starbucks card), and there is free service at the No Name Bar and Solas, but every other place I’ve been to requires some sort of registration, and I’m just not willing to hand out my email address to every Tom Dick and Cafe. Cork surprised me with access in the first coffee shop I visited. This is a big positive in my book!

We stayed over in a local B&B and almost went to see Republic of Loose for a tenner that night. I say almost because we rang down to make sure they still had tickets, made a plan to go, and then ….. promptly fell asleep when our heads hit the pillow. Does this make us old? (lie to me….please) Even though we missed the nights music we did enjoy a few exceptional street performers the next morning. Jazz piano in the alleyway? Classical guitar on cobblestone? Opera in front of the post office? The caliber of panhandling in Cork blew me away!

After lattes and music we drove down to Kinsale. It was a bit rainy and gray, which didn’t showcase the little coastal town in the best light (Badump Bump Chhhh!). We had a lovely meal at the Blue Haven Hotel, then drinks at An Seanachai where a cool 70’s band was playing. I liked this spot because the vibe was so mellow and there were all ages grooving to the awesome tunes. Literally. There were very young adults and “old guys” there. This is a good sign in my book. Another score for this spot was the “Fig” sitting outside. A cute little Nissan Figaro was parked just outside tempting me with it’s cuteness. Yes, little Fig…one of your kind will be mine someday (if you are easy to maintain and don’t cost a fortune in parts). I’ve since discovered that the Blue Haven “Collection” owns both the places we visited that night…which makes me wonder if Kinsale is the epicenter of the Illuminati in Ireland. (I admit, there has been Bulmers tonight. Can you tell?)

We stayed over at the Cloisters B&B (which I highly recommend) and the next day we explored Kinsale town a bit more. It was a bright sunny day and Oh, how picturesque the harbour was! We drove the coast road (OMG Gorgeous) to Clonakilty where we had lunch, watched the rugby, and traipsed around in a stone circle. On our way back to Leinster we took the little ferry over to check-out Cobh. We had considered it as a place to live when we make the big “start-your-business-move” because it has easy train access to Cork city and Dublin, while being a bit smaller. I wasn’t overly impressed I have to say, but we arrived at night so maybe it wasn’t seen in its best light either. 😉

All in all, it was a Great trip!