The Emerald Isle, Land of Saints & Scholars - Ireland has many names, but I just call it Home.
Our little family is about to embark on a move back to Ireland after 9 years in California, and as I'm packing up the last 9 years of our lives, I've been reminiscing about what I've missed most about living in Ireland.
1. The People
I've missed family and friends, of course, but I've missed Irish people in general. We really are a friendly bunch, and I miss the "hello, how are ya's" when I pass someone I barely know in town, and the obligatory wave when driving.
2. The Food
Chocolate, chippers. good Chinese food, chicken fillet rolls. rashers, Tayto, bread, oh god the bread! The list goes on and on - I might actually miss the food more than people!
3. The Craic
The Irish have the best sense of humour in the world. You just won't get quality banter anywhere else, and Americans don't understand our unique brand of sarcasm.
4. Tea & Chats
Nothing beats chats with friends and family over endless cups of tea. Throw in some decent chocolate biscuits and you're set.
5. The Landscape
California might have majestic mountains and valleys, but there is nothing like the green, green grass of home. You don't appreciate how beautiful the Irish countryside is until you leave it.
I really miss having four seasons. In California, it's just dry weather all the time, maybe some rain if you're lucky. Call me crazy, but I miss the leaves changing colour in autumn and being nice and cosy in front of the fire when it's frosty outside.
I make a beeline for Penneys as soon as my foot hits the ground in Ireland. There is no equivalent in the US. I'll go hell for leather stocking up on pyjamas, undies, cute clothes and accessories. Last time I was at home, I left Penneys with four bags of stuff, I've no shame!
Most companies in the United States only observe Christmas Day as a holiday - that's one day off for Christmas folks! We go home most Christmases, but we have spent a few in California. It's just not the same when it's 25 degrees out, the pubs are open and you've got work in the morning!
Life in California has been good to us, and there is a great deal I'll miss about it (*cough*Target*cough), but we're so excited to move home.
Penneys, watch out!