I’d left Dublin via bus to reach the little town in Ireland with the “kicky” name of Ballylickey. Without lodgings known, I wondered what I would find when we reached this relatively small, but fun, town. I asked another bus rider what she would suggest. She mentioned the name of a small hotel just this side of town.
I took her advice, so when the driver called the name she’d mentioned, I pulled the cord to ring a bell to stop the bus, letting me off. The owner of the small hotel greeted me at the door, with two large tan dogs at either side of her. I’m always carefully wary of strange dogs, so our conversation was carried on at a little distance. But the price was right and the view of the hills across the road, divided by ownership or use by white fencing, was so appealing that I overlooked the dogs and registered for a week’s stay.
That week of exploring the little town about a fifteen-minute hike down the road and its nearby “interests”—playing with the now-friendly dogs, eating calorie-laden Irish meals, and hiking some open nearby hills, and taking a small boat out to an island—was completely eclipsed by the absolute fun of attending an Irish wedding. That “fun” was actually the reception which followed the church portion of this big celebration of “tying the knot” by two popular not-so-young people.
Dancing music performed by energetic “saw-ers” on fiddles and other stringed instruments, plus some untrained voices singing traditional Irish tunes, and the inevitable tricks already being played by some of the guests on the bridal couple, created a wedding celebration the likes of which I’d never seen. Excited dogs, priests, parents, grandparents, smiling friends, all ages of children, and a couple of other guests like me filled the small hotel’s main room.
Then the tricks began. You need to see them yourself; I don’t want to spoil it for you. But let me just say, it was so much fun, that I kept brushing away my tears of laughter. With the last name of Ryan, I’m allowed.
I explored this town, always treated with courtesy and helpful advice. I took a tiny boat, certain it would sink any minute, over to an island that someday will be world-famous. I did a little shopping, but none of it reached the heights of a three-foot-by-three-foot painting of an Irish sunset. The painter’s name is Klee, but I don’t think “he’s related” to the other Klee. Maybe he is. One doesn’t ask. And I had a heck of a time getting it home. But it’s still a favorite of mine.