|We're enjoying the Kenmare Druid Circle|
But part of what I wanted to do is just hang out and "absorb" the culture. So that could be as simple as having lunch at the pub (check!), walking around the city of Cork (check!) or wandering through the grocery store and marveling at the box of "man-sized" Kleenex (check!).
First, things are ridiculously expensive here. Everything is in Euros, which is about $1.30. So I see the price and think "oh, that's not too bad" but then realize I am thinking about it in dollars rather than actually converting it. We spent around $70 on *lunch* the other day, and it was just in a pub.
There is no fountain diet Coke here. All diet Coke appears to come out of a bottle or can (usually 200ml, which is not very much), is really expensive, and is served lukewarm, with a few ice cubes if I request them. And of course, there are no free refills. One could argue that I shouldn't be drinking it anyway, since I'm pregnant, but it still makes me sad.
People are kid-neutral, not friendly or actively unfriendly like many places in the US. But there are a lot of little kids everywhere, including at the tables in the pub.
The roads (and cars!) in the country are really, really small. In some places a two-lane, two-way traffic road is about as wide as a one-way street back home. In a few spots, we actually had to pull over to let the other traffic come our way before we could cross the bridge. You also have to watch for sheep that have wandered onto the road. I'm regularly carsick here and that's rarely been an issue at home.
I think I might be the only brown person in all of Kenmare. OK, that's probably not true since there is a combo Indian/Thai takeout place and a fair number of tourists, but I forgot what it's like to be somewhere with so little diversity. Cork had more people speaking different languages and visual diversity, and I suspect Dublin is very different (we'll find out next week).
The countryside is crazily picturesque. It's like driving through a series of postcards. Lots of mountains, forests, bright green fields, cows, horses, sheep, cute houses here and there. And the other day we drove part of the Ring of Kerry and saw amazing bright blue water on the coast. My photography skills are nowhere near good enough to do this justice.
"Hot" salsa is maybe mild, at best. I had a craving for Mexican-ish food so asked TJ to pick up some tortillas and salsa at the grocery store. Which they had, in Old El Paso brand of all things. He bought the HOT salsa and I was worried, but it turns out I shouldn't have been. It's not even remotely spicy. (And I'm a spice lightweight.)
The BBC thinks children should be in bed by 7pm. They have a kids-only cable channel that T was settling in to watch yesterday, but they stopped programming at 7pm and told everyone it was time for bed (!). T's Ireland bedtime is around 9pm, and she's still waking at least once at night. Sigh.
We have a week left, and are planning a visit to a petting farm, and to Dublin as well as exploring the town of Limerick on our last evening. And there will probably be more Guinness in pubs.