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Cows and castles

In case you were wondering where I've been for the past two weeks...I've been out of the office and out of the country.

I spent ten days in Ireland with my youngest sister. The trip was post-graduation celebration for her and a long-deserved vacation for me. We divided our time between three cities -- Dublin, Cork and Ennis -- with day trips to places like Blarney Castle and the Cliffs of Moher. We used public buses to get between cities and along the way we saw lots of scenes like one above -- cows and castles in fields.

I don't have a lot of pictures to share right now, because my sister still has my camera. But there is a picture of the two of us outside Blarney Castle, next to a huge tree that must have seen the Middle Ages. I hope she doesn't hate me for posting it.

If she does...there's also much more embarrassing picture of me, kissing the Blarney stone. You have to practically do a back-bend to reach it, so thank God for yoga.

We got to Ennis on the last day of Fleadh Nua (pronounced flah new-a, I think), an annual festival of traditional Irish culture and music. We heard this band, Goitse, perform for free right outside our hostel. (Goitse is pronounced "gwitcha" and means "come here" in Gaelic)