Saturday, August 23, 2014

4. milk a cow

I thought I had an idyllic childhood of excessive romping about the yard and swimming from dawn till dusk, until I saw where Niall grew up.

That’s his family’s dairy farm in Ireland. It's... pretty awesome.

When we went to Ireland in May for my vacation and his visit home-and-show-everybody-his-American-girlfriend trip, we managed to have a nice balance of spending time with his family and friends interspersed with doing touristy/travelly things for me since I’d never been there before.
We saw the Cliffs of Moher, dined and walked around at Bunratty Castle and Folk Park, I kissed the Blarney Stone, we saw the Book of Kells, and drank a pint at the Guinness Storehouse. We also spent five days staying in holiday homes in Kenmare with his parents, sisters, and their kids and visited his extended family at the dairy farm. They are spread out in several houses on the farm property and we visited them all. I’ve never had so much tea in my life.
I embarrassed Niall by taking photos of the gorgeous scenery and we got to see his uncle’s fancy new milking machine. The lads were intermittently in and out doing chores and cutting silage. We visited the little calves and walked down to the lake.
In the interest of full disclosure I should mention that I... um... did not actually physically milk a cow, BUT I had a good long visit with Niall’s grandmother, aunties, uncles, and cousins on the Irish dairy farm. And I’d much rather do that than announce hey it’s been nice talking to you all but I’ve got an item to cross off a list so can somebody point me in the direction of the nearest cow teat. It’s a scavenger hunt, not a checklist. There’s no prize crossing off each item; the fun part is the experience.
Especially if the experience includes getting Niall to stand awkwardly in front of things while I take his photo.