Spring 2024
by Tom Sylvest, Jr.

The Vernal Equinox arrives this evening. Of all the signs of Spring around our house, planning the trips we'll take in the warmer months stirs my imagination the most.

My heart quickened when My Lovely Bride, Kathleen, texted, “OK. It is done. We’re going to Ireland!” Her message meant she found flights to Dublin that met her strict standards. Her shopping prowess astounds me. Had she sought a career in the travel industry, she could have kicked ass.

The firm flight dates on our calendars gave me the parameters to build our adventure. Last year, we traveled the entire eastern and southern coasts of the Emerald Isle. We ventured along The Wild Atlantic Way (WAW) from Kinsale, County Cork, to The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare. This year, we intend to start from Galway City and finish the WAW, tripping past Westport, Sligo, and Donegal to the northernmost points of this scenic drive.

Kathleen and I research possible sites to see independently and compare notes, interests, and possibilities. Our combined efforts contribute to designing a plausible itinerary and tentative road map.

Naturally, in our planning, our conversations reignite the flames for last year’s memories of our first trip to Ireland. The people, places, and experiences we gathered in Ireland left indelible impressions in our minds. When we recall some of these moments, we always smile but more often laugh.

I enjoy recounting the stories of our travels. Allowing the memories to percolate for a while helps me build clear visions of the most salient features I retained, the ones at the essence of a tale or the most humorous moments. This I call “culling the clutter” or “nixing nostalgic noise.” Tiny details and distractions can enhance a story, but they potentially detract and clutter the primary narrative. Not surprisingly, retelling a happening requires finding a balance and deciding what to share.

Assembling our next trip has pushed my storytelling buttons. I have shared a few from last year already, but now, I am bubbling with more than a few I want to capture.

This recent story I compiled has to sit near the top of the list from last year’s travels. 

"Pitstops, Pisspots, and Passports" describes an incident that only a Tom and Kathleen trip could produce. I hope you like it. You may expect a few more stories.

My very best to you.