We left and came back

On Wednesday, June 16, I was waiting for my plane at LaGuardia, en route to a work trip to Hamilton, Ontario (which also, by extension, is filled with a lot of fun), when Apple called and said that no, my dead computer wasn’t covered under warranty because it was showing liquid damage to the logic board and I could either pay $750 to fix it or just cut my losses.

It’s two years old, so I chose the latter option, which of course means I’ve been computerless, since I immediately hopped on a plane (with my husband’s laptop), came home two days later for twenty-four hours or so, then boarded another plane at another airport bound for Dublin. (After much deliberation, I ended up ordering a netbook from Asus. I hate Windows – a feeling that has not abated but grown since I started using it again – but the iPad lacks a lot of functionality I need from a portable computer, and I lack the funds to buy another MacBook.)

Dublin, though, was great. We immediately rented a car and headed out of the city for a few days to Cashel and other places, spent the night in Kilkenny, then climbed a very tall hill in Glendalough before returning to Dublin:

Not nearly a good-enough photo. It looks quite low and uninteresting here. More pictures to come.

Back in the city, we visited galleries, museums, old buildings, new sights, and more, winding up at the end at the Guinness Storehouse (as one does in Dublin). We spent evenings in pubs, watching the football, and had a great time.

A week later we moved on to Glasgow, where we stayed with very kind friends, and spent a few days tooling around Glasgow and Edinburgh – two very different but very interesting cities. We saw the Queen’s Scottish home and some underground streets and the fabulous cathedral in Glasgow, above which towers, perhaps ironically, a statue of John Knox:

John Knox atop the necropolis behind the cathedral in Glasgow, the only one to survive the Reformation in the country. Irony?

England was last: first Bristol, where we stayed with the marvelously longsuffering and generous Beldmans, and visited both beautiful Bristol and the best place in the world – Bath – where we went to the contemporary hot baths and soaked in a warm pool on the roof overlooking the Georgian town, and visited Jamie’s Italian twice in one day; then London for two nights, where we went on the London Eye, ate Indian food, and spent a day in the Tower of London, which is enormous and fascinating.

We got home Saturday and have been running around madly since – Tom to D.C. to see his grandpa, me unpacking and cleaning and sneaking in the World Cup finals yesterday in a Hell’s Kitchen bar full of yelling Americans, who, after all, were a bit more enthusiastic than any pub crowd we ran into in the British Isles – go figure.

So here we are – back home. Three weeks and I head to the Glen in Santa Fe. Tom’s working on an action flick in Manhattan beginning today. I’m finishing out my tenure at IAM this month and getting my syllabi put together for my three classes this fall at King’s. We’re attending a dear friend’s wedding at the Botanical Gardens on Sunday. And hopefully squeezing in the Philharmonic’s performances in the parks this week.

Traveling, we find, always reminds us why we’re happy to live in New York, a place where people are friendly when they need to be, where they walk quickly on the sidewalks, where it’s easy to carve out a small corner in a big city if you want it enough, where you can get food or really anything you want past 6pm, and where the subways are VERY cheap (1/4 the price of the Tube!). We’re grateful that we have such a wonderful town to come back to, filled with wonderful people.

Be it ever so humble – or maybe not so humble! – there’s really no place like home.

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