Well, after my very long break from blogging, I think it’s time I at least attempted to write something about our amazing Christmas holiday. At long last, we made our (very brief) return to Ireland. We’d been looking forward to the trip for MONTHS, and it was just as good as we’d hoped. It was great to slip back into our old lives for a couple of weeks and enjoy some great times with family and friends, catch up with everyone and enjoy the feeling of being home. Everyone really made our holiday superfantastic!
Actually, we were lucky to get to Ireland at all! As most of you probably know, there was crazy, cold, snowy weather all around Europe and then in the US too, but things in Ireland seemed okay before we departed. We arrived in Dublin without any problems or delays, but about four hours after our flight landed, the airport closed because of the snow! It was the coldest weather I’ve yet experienced in Ireland, and for days and days it just kept snowing. Now, it wasn’t really all that much by North American standards, but all the same, it was a decent bit of snow and, apart from last year apparently, not a very common occurrence in Ireland. It was certainly festive though! Tons of big fluffy snowflakes falling and falling and falling. It definitely helped make it feel extra Christmassy.
We spent a few days in Dublin catching up with friends before heading to Tipperary to stay with Richie’s family. We stayed with Diarmuid and Andrea, and we also got to spend quite a bit of time with friends from Kafka, the restaurant where I used to work. It was so great to catch up with Anthony and Ivano, Paolo, Shannon and Debs, Zeila, Joe and later Sheena who was over from London. The only bad thing was that on our second night in Dublin, I came down with a terrible cold/flu, the worst I’ve had in years and years! I got a fever, cold, cough, etc. and was a bit out of it for a couple of days. But once we got to Tipperary I just collapsed at Richie’s parents’ house and had lots of rest and relaxation to help me recover.
So, we spent about a week in Tipp, catching up with Richie’s family, eating loads, staying toasty warm by the fire, and just completely relaxing. It was a lovely Christmas and I’m just so happy we got to have a family Christmas this year! Diarmuid and Andrea drove over from Clare and stayed one of the nights we were in Tipp, so we got some extra time with them.
After a week in Templemore, we headed back to Dublin to meet some more friends; Phil and Anouk, who were over from Germany for Christmas, and James and Eddie. We met for pints and had a lovely evening catching up with everyone! The next day we did a bit of shopping in town, getting some of the things we miss when we’re in Turkey, using some Christmas gift vouchers and that sort of thing. We had a quiet New Years Eve in the flat, just Richie and myself, watching a film and drinking some delicious ales. Nice tasting beer/ale/stout is definitely something we miss in Istanbul, so it was a nice treat!
Then we met Diarmuid and Andrea the next night when they returned from Clare, and after that met the Kafka crew for drinks in our old local in Rathmines. We had a bit of a lock-in and stayed for a sneaky drink after closing time, which was a great way to end our last night in Dublin. In the morning we had breakfast with Andrea and Diarmuid before heading off to the airport.
Travel was no problem, and we got home safe and sound. It was a bit surreal to be returning to Istanbul, leaving one place that feels like home and returning to another place that now feels a bit like home as well. So, thanks to everyone we met and stayed with, for making our Christmas amazing, for all the fantastic hospitality and for great chats and hugs and fun. Richie and I were talking about how amazing it is to have such good and caring family and friends to come home to, and we can’t wait to see everyone again!
More photos will be coming soon!