We got up this morning and had a pleasant chat with our B&B hostess. Serious, you guys. I have eaten more sausage and bacon in the last week than I have ever had in my entire life.
Today, we were off to Belleek so I could do a little requested shopping for my mom at the pottery place -- and I'll be honest, a little for me, too. We walked into town, intending to have lunch at the Thatch Coffee Shop which I'd read good thing about. I walked in and promptly walked back out. Too busy and too dark for me. But we wandered back down to the cafe on the corner, whose name i can't remember but might have Lemon in it. I liked it much better... light and airy... probably too girly to take your husband to, but the food was good, light, and simple.
Over lunch.... I said... "So.... about this place we're going to tonight.... ok, it's the only weird thing I've done the whole trip..."
Joel raised an eyebrow at me. "Only? You've stopped to say Hi to every single cow and sheep we've encountered."
"Ok, I didn't know I was going to like Irish livestock so much. That doesn't count. I meant, the only PLANNED weird thing. So... this town.... it's Ryan's hometown." Ryan is a musician I met who, over the years, has become my friend. "He's not even there. I just wanted to see the place he talks about."
I got a "I will humor you but you totally owe me" look in return. And I'll own that -- I so do.
It was interesting to drive across County Tyrone to the Moy. We'd just spent several days in the Wicklow Mountains and the West of Ireland -- both landscapes that seemed fairly rugged and hardy. They were the kind of places that you understood the people who lived there were made of tough stuff... that they endured hardships that they didn't really speak of because it was just something that came with the place. I'm sure I'm romanticizing that... but that was the impression it gave off.
Co Tyrone was a completely different landscape altogether... rolling hills of green farmland, big full trees, nary a stone wall to be found... It feels peaceful, like a place that you can draw a deep breath and relax. Let the world go on without you, don't you know, because this around us is all fine. I liked it.
We drove into town and checked into our B&B, which had this adorable Victorian vibe going on. Different from anywhere else that we stayed.. so I liked it just for that. The lady who checked us in was super nice, and I liked her a lot.
"So." Basically, anything I say after that word is going to be weird. "When we drove in... Okay, a super long time ago, Ryan wrote a song about this town.... and I noticed one of the streets he sings about when we drove in. Do you mind if we go out and hike it?....Just to say I've been there?"
So much owing, you guys.
It ended up being a five mile walk. In the rain. With a mile on a highway that had no shoulder, sidewalk, bikepath, anything. Basically, it was like "Here! Come to Ireland! Die on the highway!" But I ended up walking through three lines of the song! That's worth it, right? Okay, I know. So much owing. (There were also baby goats and cows to talk to. So awesome!)
Takin' a stroll over Drumgrannon's Hills
And back by The Major's Lane.
I walk the fields of Listamlet,
Eventually, we made it back and changed out of our soaking wet clothes and went to dinner at the hotel down the street, which was really good. I ordered an "8 oz" steak. I looked at it so quizzically when it was delivered that Joel asked me what was wrong.. "Nothing... I just... How is that 8 oz???" It was huge. But totally yum. It didn't need a thing but the steak.
And then it was off to the pub...