Last Monday, on my final day in Dublin, I had the pleasure of taking in some of Ireland’s legendary countryside.
I chose , a company known for providing lively tours for a smaller groups in comfortable vans. As soon as I met our guide Edmund, I knew we were in for a great afternoon. An avuncular guy who became a guide after retiring, Edmund was one of the best guides I’ve ever encountered in my travels.
“A thousand different shades of green — that’s Ireland,” he said poetically during one stop on the tour.
As is the Irish way, Edmund spoke like a storyteller (instead of in that canned, sleep-inducing cadence of most guides). And he truly made what we were seeing come alive, sharing such tidbits as where Oscar Wilde grew up to the argument that ensued over where a white line should be drawn along a country road. Best part — when Edmund used his charm to convince one of the Garda (Ireland police) to let us into a scenic area that was closed off for a movie shoot.
The full day tour included the Wicklow Mountains (and areas seen in “Braveheart and PS I Love You”), the charming lakeside town of Glenadlough and lunch at an authentic Irish pub where I had my first taste of Guinness and beef stew.
After the tour, I had just enough time to head back to the Brooks Hotels and freshen up for my date with Patrick, the sweet forty something bachelor I’d met at speed dating a few days before.
Patrick planned a lovely evening, which began with a drink at the swanky Shelbourne Hotel. From there, we walked over to Bleu Bistro, settling into a corner table as we talked about family (he’s one of 10, and uncle to 23 nieces and nephews), the beauty of Ireland and our shared appreciation for salsa and Michael Jackson.
At one point, Patrick reached across the table and took my hand, telling me that he would love to see me return to Dublin at the end of my trip. He walked me back to my hotel, where he pulled me into a goodnight kiss.
Contrary to what I heard from most single gals in Dublin, there’s a lot to be said for men from the Emerald Isle.
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