The end of March marks six months that we’ve lived in Dublin. Our visa is for two years. Knowing that we’re a quarter of the way through our time here makes me feel panicky. We’ve done so much already, but I feel like we’ve just scratched the surface. No matter how much we manage to do, how many places we visit, there’s no doubt in my mind when we reach the one-year mark, however, I’ll still feel the same way. I’ve already told Alan I want to live here for much longer, but that’s really out of our hands. If his job wants to keep him here and the Irish government says it’s okay, that’d be fantastic, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up. So instead, in the meantime, I plan and we play and we love the life we’re leading.
- In early March Alan and I flew back to San Francisco for his job. While there, he turned 40 and his dad turned 75. We spent the first two days there at the skilled nursing facility where his dad was living at the time – he’s since been moved to a stroke center across town – and it was astounding to see how far he’s progressed since we last saw him on January 2. He’s talking and joking and his physical capabilities are amazing. If all goes according to plan, he actually goes home today.
- When we were in SF, I took Alan to Chez Panisse for his birthday. It’s probably our favorite restaurant in the whole world. Those of you who’ve been there understand the draw. For those that aren’t familiar with it, Chez Panisse is one of the restaurants that put California cuisine on the map in the 1970s, and today Alice Waters is a well-known food activist. The restaurant’s philosophy is built on sourcing food that is locally, organically, and sustainably grown from a known and trusted network of farmers, ranchers, and dairies with the menu, set daily, dictated by what is fresh and in season. We’ve been going to Chez Panisse for about ten years now and each time we visit we are reminded again why we love it so much. We were terribly saddened when after an anniversary dinner there, a fire broke out in the same area of the restaurant we had sat in earlier that night, causing the restaurant to close for a time for renovations and refurbishment. This is our second time back since then and you’d never know that the whole front of the building was new. The warm, cozy craftsman style is as much a part of the dining experience as the food and the wine.
- On St. Patrick’s Day we walked down the road to stand in front of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and watch the St. Paddy’s Day parade. You can read all about it here. Afterward, we walked across down via the canal to RDS where we spent several hours at the Irish Craft Beer and Whiskey Village discovering some amazing beers by Irish craft brewers.
- Doing something that is so far outside our comfort zones and totally out of character, we flew to Portugal with some new friends. Yes, we vacationed with people we met for the first time in December. Back home I can barely go to lunch by myself with people I’ve known for years, and here we were boarding a plane to a foreign country and staying in the same place as people we’d probably spent a grand total of ten hours with. Much to my delight they are lovely, wonderful people and we had a fantastic long Easter weekend in Burgau, Portugal soaking up the local sights, getting some sun, and eating our weight in seafood.
- Oh, how can I forget that it snowed. In March! I was giddy like a little kid on Christmas morning.
- We watched the last couple of Six Nations matches at The Bleeding Horse, with Ireland beating Scotland in the last match of the tournament. They finished better than I feared after the loss to England in late February, but not as well as they could have considering how close the matches were with Wales and France.
- Alan’s fiddle classes wrapped up and he continues to practice at home the songs he learned during the course.
- I continued writing my contemporary romance novel set in Ireland featuring a rugby playing hero and the American woman he falls in love with. I also put the finishing touches on the second installment of my paranormal romance which will be available in mid-May (available for pre-order now on Amazon).
Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about everything we did in March, and here it is already mid-April and I know next month’s recap is going to be just as wonderful.