For the love of potatoes

Torr Head, Northern Ireland
The view from Torr Head in Northern Ireland

Earlier this year I learned that I won — yes won — a week-long trip to Ireland for four people through a draw offered by Tourism Ireland at the Canada Blooms garden show. Crazy, right? People actually win these things!

My Mom had already been working on trying to organize a family trip for next year as part of her 60th birthday, but the plan wasn’t working out for a whole variety of reasons. It was a trip she intended to take with my Dad before he passed away, to go back to the ancestral homeland and try to see some of the places our fore bearers came from. So it was strangely karmic, like stars aligning, to win such a massive prize out of the blue.

Aunt Beth and Mom in Galway, Ireland
My Aunt Beth and my Mom at the Cottage Bar in Galway City, Ireland

We decided to extend it to a two week vacation, and I invited my Mom and Aunt Beth (my Dad’s sister) to join Chris and I. We just came back on Saturday, and it was a fantastic trip…although I’ll happily abstain from eating potatoes for at least a month, and I’m going on an intensive veggie kick for a while after what is a very meat based diet. It’s no surprise that the Irish love potatoes but…just WOW.

While we were there we even managed to connect with some long distant cousins, to see some family graves and even visit the farm that my great-great-great grandfather likely grew up on, a farm which still belongs to a family member today.

The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland
The Dark Hedges (of Game of Thrones and other film fame) in Northern Ireland

I have filled a 32G card with photos that are likely going to take me weeks to process and edit, so this post includes just a tiny sample of a couple favourites from the good ol’ iPhone. We saw a great deal of the country but I think the north was my favourite. Stay tuned with much more to come!