Hubby talks about Ireland with a slight wistfulness.
"You've never seen a country so beautiful."
He lived in Ireland for about nine months years and years ago. He talks about the green, the fog, the damp, the romance, the smells, the countryside, the things that make this country so quintessentially exquisite. He talks with a yearning, a connection, a familiarity, a love.
Some time ago, Sondra hosted a birthday party for her husband at a gorgeous country home in Tipperary; I elected not to go for stupid reasons and have regretted it since. I was particularly captivated by the elan of celebrating a birthday with a house party, and even more so when my sister Hani did the same for her thirtieth birthday: she and a group of friends went to Tuscany and rented a house.
So it seemed fitting that when planning his 40th birthday, I should take Hubby back to Ireland. I found a gorgeous house in Galway which has been lovingly restored. (Gigi: "You rented a castle?!" Uh...no...Not quite.)
"You will eat so well in Ireland," says Stephanie.
Of that, I'm certain. The house's owners are wine and food aficionados who prepare four course dinners with wine pairings and he is a noted chef.
"Pick the six people with whom you most want to spend 7 days," I told Hubby last year when I informed him that we were going to Ireland for his birthday.
And so we are on our way tonight with four dear friends, and two more who will join us next week.
What better way to celebrate a milestone?
The only downfall to this is that my precious little Puggle is too young to come with us, and so is enjoying a stay with his grandmother, who is sure to spoil him rotten.