After a lifetime of working at jobs that required long past normal working hours, we were a bit concerned about how quickly we'd adjust to a life without such a busy schedule. We had read that educators often find the first fall after retirement to be particularly difficult and that it can be helpful to plan to be away for a while during the start-of-school season.

The Brexit vote resulted in a sudden drop in airfares to London, which was a temptation, as we had enjoyed London and the UK so much in 2013, but by the time we looked into it seriously, the fares had risen again. During our trip to Boston in July, Lisa encouraged us to consider a trip, and found some cheap fares to Dublin. That led us to do something unprecedented for us, which was to make a quick decision on a major trip and a significant expense.

The trip was marvellous! We knew very little about Ireland before starting our preparation for the trip. It is a beautiful country, with friendly people that have a nice sense of humor. Of course, it is also a country and a people steeped in a challenging history, about which we learned so much more as we travelled around the country.

Our trip to Ireland began and ended in Dublin. After a few days in Dublin, we rented a car and proceeded clockwise around the island, sticking mostly to the coast, missing only the very northwest corner of the island (County Donegal). We also went to Northern Island.

After nearly three weeks in Ireland, we headed off to London for the final nine days of the trip before going back to Dublin for the flight home.

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