Eat good – Live well – Enjoy life !
24 hours of transportation in virtually every conveyance short of donkey carts has found me safely ensconced in Slane, County Meath, Ireland. After a tearful family goodbye at the airport and an event free TSA encounter, happenstance found me seated next to a chatty vacationer from Phoenix for the trans-Atlantic flight. We shared my contraband Jamison’s whiskey (Thank you Lisa V!) and talked more than we slept. I reached my first destination, Slane Castle http://www.rockfarmslane.com http://www.slanecastle.ie ,to be greeted by a mini United Nations of fellow volunteer farm workers and our hostess, Carina. Over a proper two hour lunch of chicken stew over rice with home baked bread we had a friendly “Failte”.My new home for the three week stint at Slane is a rough yet idealic 18th century Gate House complete with arch entrances and a view of the castle. I am most definitely not in Missouri anymore. It’s so picturesque and charming that I don’t even mind the pitter-patter of wild “pets” in the attic.After a quick evening nap I headed out with my dorm mates for a trek across the dark estate grounds. We stormed the castle wall as a short cut to The Boyles Pub in the quaint village of Slane. Here the proprietor, surely Freddie Mercury’s love child, presides over a nightly gathering of locals for community and pints. My luck was in, since on Wednesdays they add an open jam to the mix of camaraderie and libations. The session list included pub classics, rock, american folk and of course many rousing Irish favorites. Their rendition of “Wagon Wheel” (written by Bob Dillon and made famous by Old Crow Medicine Show) had me feeling I was still home with the Labadie Back Room Quartet for a Thursday night jam.While I sat quietly in the corner with my £3.20 pint of excellent Irish ale (hopefully dispelling any myths about pushy American travelers) I managed to score an invite to sit in with my mandolin next week – and drink for free with the band. That pint had already thrown my over budget for the week, but the investment in my first evening in Ireland was worth it.