Check this out…it’s a photo that I found in an old book at my family’s store. It was taken by Ray Gora and ran in the Chicago Tribune on October 3, 1959:
Jona and I spent the last full day of our trip at the cliffs on the eastern coast of Ireland:
The area (called Howth…rhymes with “both”) was so pretty that I’m gonna let the next 10 photos do the talking, although I will say quickly that the water you’re looking at is the Irish Sea:
Toward the end of our trek, I sat on the edge of a cliff:
Jona came over and joined me (her cousin Shane took the following photo) and we cheated death together:
It really was a long way down. Here’s what it looked like from where we were sitting. The red arrow (to provide some perspective) is pointing to a person who somehow found a way to climb down there:
It actually wasn’t that scary. But you know what is? Standing on the edge of the subway platform at 59th and Lexington during rush hour. Now THAT is something to think twice about.
Back in the adjacent village, the first few houses we passed were all spectacular:
It was already dark at 5pm when Shane took us into a pub to get hydrated and warm. He and Jona are sitting in the corner in the photo below:
Then we got a “take-away” order of fish and chips at this place…
…and walked to the edge of the village…
…where Seamus (Shane’s father) picked us up and drove us home.
In Ireland, there are all sorts of funny words for things…like, for example, the trunk of a car is called the “boot” and bathrooms are casually referred to as “toilets.” When it comes to food, chips are called “crisps” while french fries are inexplicably known as “chips.” That said, here’s what my fish (smoked cod) and “chips” looked like (after they were reheated and dumped on a plate):
We finished off the meal with a few mince pies:
After dinner, we watched several hilarious episodes of “Little Britain USA” and Jona spoke to one of her newly discovered half-brothers on the phone for the very first time.
Day 3 of our trip was Christmas, aka “Rickey Henderson’s birthday” to those whose religion is baseball. (More on baseball in a bit.) There wasn’t anything to do in Dublin. Everything was closed. So Jona and I hung around the house all afternoon with her aunt and uncles and cousins and their kids (a few of whom aren’t pictured below):
During the last hour of daylight, we walked over to Dublin Bay (less than half a kilometer away) and took a long, leisurely stroll along the promenade. The tide was way out, so it wasn’t as pretty as it normally is, but I still got a couple nice photos. Here’s the first…
…and here I am with Jona (and her pink mohawk hat) in the second:
Back at the house, we ate a traditional Irish Christmas dinner:
That’s right. We had turkey with gravy, mashed and roasted potatoes (or “spuds” as they’re called here), cranberry sauce, and stuffing. There were also a few vegetables that I avoided.
After dinner, Jona and I played a game of Scrabble (on a mini-travel set that we’d packed for the flight). We all watched a lot of TV, and Jona and I fell in love with a comedy duo that’s insanely popular here in the UK. It’s called “Little Britain.” Check them out on YouTube.)
That was pretty much it. Slow day. But I have a few baseball things to report.
Seamus (Jona’s aunt’s husband, whose name, as I mentioned in my Day 1 entry, is pronounced “SHAY-muss”) surprised me with his interest in baseball. Not only does he own The Ultimate Baseball Book…
…as well as three major league caps and a 1986 Mets mug…
…but he’s related to a Hall of Famer; his great-grandfather was married to Ed Delahanty‘s aunt!
By the way, Seamus and his wife Joan had a funny exchange when he first put on the Sox cap. She thought it was perched too high up on his forehead, so she told him to “bring down the peak.”
“Don’t tell me how to wear me bloody cap!” he barked with a smile, then turned to me and said, “She’s a terrible woman.”
Seamus really DOES like the Mariners and reminisced about the days when Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr., and Randy Johnson all played together on the team. Seamus gets a good amount of MLB games (and news) through his standard cable TV package, and he makes a point of watching the World Series every year. (He doesn’t understand why it’s called the “World” series when it only involves teams from North America.) His favorite player nowadays is Ichiro Suzuki, and he described a defensive play he once saw in which Ichiro “threw the ball nearly all the way to home base from the boundary.”
I’ve been keeping up with MLB news since I got here. First it was Teixiera, and now it’s…
GUSTAVO WATCH, PART 17
You remember the sad story of Gustavo Chacin, right? To sum it up quickly:
The latest Gustavo news is proof that the Jinx is always with him, even during the off-season when I’m an ocean away and distracted by other things. Just within the last few days, he was signed to a minor league (Ha!) contract by the worst team in baseball. That would be the Washington Nationals. Chacin has become such an inconsequential scrub that the move didn’t even make front page news on MLB.com.