Monday, September 18, 2006

I'm Back!

Well, I'm back! I spent two and a half fantastic, active weeks in Ireland. My friends and I touched down in Dublin the morning of September 1st and ran non-stop until we landed back on Canadian soil yesterday afternoon. For six days we walked the Ring of Kerry. To our surprise, the definition of walking in Ireland is very different than walking in Canada. "Extreme hiking" up and down mountains, through bracken, thistles, heather, mud and rocks was the order of the day. We walked through forests, bogs (which I assumed as my personal specialty), farmers' fields and along "small but obvious" sheep trails. We met sheep, cows, goats, dogs, and washed out roads. We waded through rivers and tried to avoid the mud as much as possible.

Then we dried ourselves out for a couple of days in the very lively Galway city (well, we dried our clothes out at any rate), where students arriving back at the local college mingled on the cobblestone roads with tourists from all over North America and Europe. High school students just back at school congretated in the local square just in front of our hotel, so overall it was a pretty wild place those two days. We ate and shopped, shopped and ate.

The next week we did a cycle tour of Connemara. Four "mad" Canadian women and a very tolerant couple from Maryland, along with our tourguide from Northern Ireland, Patsy. Patsy did his best to keep the six of us on the route when we cycled, and guide us off the route in the evenings. We had some amazing meals in local eateries and even enjoyed some local Irish music under his guidance. Not to mention the pints of Guinness and cider.

Then back to Dublin for a quick bus tour of the city, and a literary pub crawl in the evening. Then back home the next day! Whew! And I managed to avoid voicemail, email, and Internet the whole time. It was truly a fantastic, long overdue break.

Now I'm back and delighted to see Anh has managed to get a couple of terrific posts in. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences back at school, Anh! I hope you will stick around to post a bit more as time allows. It feels like you are just getting started.

My other surprise guest blogger ended up due to various circumstances being unable to post, but since she has some great ideas for posts, I invite her along when she has time.

As for myself, I am just gearing up for another conference this week so will be off to Chicago for the Ark seminar on library management best practices. I'll be talking on a couple of panels and also presenting a session on change management Thursday. Since I am still putting the finishing touches on everything, I probably won't get a chance to post again until later in the week or the weekend.

Talk to you soon!


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