Caela at the Cliffs of Moher
I have a running joke with my Mimi and Aunt Lynn about the number of times I’ve visited certain places while here in Ireland. To explain this in the fastest and most complete way, I need only give you the following information:

1)    A have the most amazing family/friends in the world, some of whom have made the trek to Ireland to come visit me during my year-long graduate program. (You all know who you are, and your visits have meant the world to me.)

2)    I’m somewhat of a collector of “favorite things”. I don’t know whether this is just one of my unique, yet incredibly endearing, quirks or if it’s somehow related to the amount of times I asked my Aunt Lynn to watch “The Sound of Music” with me as a child, but never the less my “favorites collection” is going strong. As you may have guessed, I have a “favorite Irish sites” list.

3)    Put together these last two points of information, and you don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out where this explanation is going…throughout the course of my Irish visit I have been playing BINGO with Ireland’s historic buildings and famous landmarks.
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Let me explain further. Because of my family/friends visits and my love for certain areas in Ireland, I have been to several of the “must see places” in Ireland a number of times. I get BINGO when I visit a place five times.  So far, I’ve gotten BINGO at the following places:

1)    The Cliffs of Moher
2)    The Poulnabrone Tomb
3)    King John’s Castle
4)    Bunratty Castle
5)    Doolin
6)    The Burren

When I tell my friends here that I’ve been to these places this many times, most of them laugh and ask if I ever getting tired of all of them. The really amazing thing is…I don’t and I don’t think I ever will. And why you might ask? Well, I would be a fool if I didn’t give due credit to the beauty and historic value of these places, but something I came to find out these past few days when my cousin Travis was visiting was that it’s not just the places that make the trips enjoyable, it’s the people.

Every single person, or group of people, that I have had the pleasure of exploring these places with has brought something different to the trips, and because of this, in a roundabout way, I get to explore little bits of myself while I’m with them. Without Brittany’s humor, Cameron’s curiosity, Chelsea’s enthusiasm, Travis’s congeniality, and the eclectic and wicked fun group of personalities that came together during my first trip (Erin, Shevon, Rhiannon, and Carrie this means you) my trips would not have been nearly as memorable or enjoyable.

So, yes, maybe I’ve gone a little overboard with my visits to certain places here on the Emerald Isle. But the way I see it, the places are and will always be incredible, but it’s the people that have shared them with me that have made them unforgettable.

And, in any case, since when has getting BINGO ever been a bad thing?