Saturday, March 03, 2007

Goodbye Wexford, Hello Famine ship?

The first thing on the agenda after Irish Breakfast was more coffee! C likes a mocha in the morning and I like...well, more coffee. In our walking around the evening before we had found a couple of places that looked promising for coffee this Sunday morning. Ireland is still in its coffee addiction infancy. Which means...the coffee shops we had found the night before aren't actually open before noon on a Sunday! We did manage to find a restaurant where we could order coffee for 'take away'. The mocha, however, was concocted out of desperation...it wasn't listed on the menu board... but this did not deter C!

C: Good morning! Do have mochas?
Lady behind the counter: Mocha? Uh....(she pauses while she reads the BUTTONS listed on the espresso/coffee MACHINE. This tickles me!)...no. We have lattes (there is hope in her voice)
C: Ok, do you have hot chocolate mix?
LBTC: (looks confused)
C: (seeing cocoa mix packets on top of the fancy coffee machine) I'll have a latte and one of these (holding up cocoa packet)
LBTC: And you?
Me: Coffee, black.
LBTC: Where are you from?
Me: Seattle.
LBTC: ohhhh...doesn't Starbucks have terrific coffee?
(Our eyes lock. We bond immediately.)


While C and I were on our coffee adventure... Sara, F and A were exploring the Wexford boardwalk. Sara took some beautiful photos. Feeling like we had seen Wexford, we loaded up and headed out to New Ross to see the Dunbrody Famine ship replica.

New Ross is the proud birthplace of the great-grandfather of President John. F. Kennedy and home of the John F. Kennedy Trust, which is the organization that oversees the preserving the history of hardships during the mass emigration caused by the potato famine. Why do I mention the trust??? Well, despite the scrolling header "Dunbrody open seven days" on the website... it had closed the one day out of 365 that we were there. It was to pay respects to the CEO of the Trust who had recently past away. What can you do? We were able to look at the ship (personally, I was relieved not to have to experience the " interactive exhibition" in which actors re-enact life on the ship...the Plymouth rock experience when I was a teenager still haunts me).

We decided to go see the Rock of Cashel since we had the afternoon free. Everyone had to work pretty hard to convince me that the even though it looked like it was a long way out of our way...it really was not all that far. Of course, I remained skeptical about how far it really was until we arrived back in Maynooth.

(Interesting fact: It was not just Ireland that was hit with potato blight, England was severely affected as well. But because Ireland was under English rule at the time, England stopped food exportation in its own country but continued to export food from Ireland despite the fact that its people were starving.)

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