Welcome to September 2021. A few months ago, everyone was hoping the Covid pandemic would be pretty much over by now. Instead, the Delta variant is running rampant through the streets like the bulls at Pamplona, and we’re all frantically trying to stay one step ahead.
At the moment, international travel seems like not such a great idea. Social distancing is next to impossible in airports and on airplanes. Not to mention the annoyance of wearing a mask for the duration of each flight.
Meanwhile, the United States has put lots of foreign countries on its “you really shouldn’t go there right now” list. That includes our next destination, Ireland. As I write this, Ireland is seeing nearly 2,000 new Covid cases every day. That may not sound like a very big number, but then, Ireland’s not a very big country. It’s actually an island about the size of Indiana – but please don’t tell the proud Irish I said that. I mean, who wants to be compared to Indiana?
Given the discouraging circumstances, you may be wondering – what the hell are we doing? Why are George and I traveling so far from our home in the time of Covid?
I can answer that question in one word: Florida.
Florida, you see, is where we live. And in our home state right now, the Covid case rate is way worse than in Ireland. Which means we’ll actually be safer quaffing down pints of Guinness in a quaint Irish pub than venturing into our local Publix for a six-pack of Michelob.
Florida is also where you’re likely to find more guns than masks in the schools right now. And where the state legislature, spurred on by recent events in Texas, will no doubt try to pass a law stating that women who refuse to remain barefoot while pregnant can be sued by any eligible man, domestic animal, or sentient Roomba within a 1,000-mile radius.
Putting up with the Sunshine State’s special kind of nonsense really vexes our spirits sometimes. Which is why getting the hell out of there for a couple of weeks sounded so appealing to us – Covid be damned.
And there’s another good reason to travel right now: the Florida weather.
You see, it rains a lot this time of year in Florida. Sometimes it rains so much they call it a hurricane.
Then again, it rains a lot in Ireland all the damn time. So maybe the weather has nothing to do with us traveling right now. Maybe I’m just trying to blame everything on Florida. Then again, you could pick almost any controversial topic, and Florida probably deserves at least some of the blame.
(For the record, we love living in Florida! In relatively progressive Broward County. I’m also a proud alumnus of the University of Florida. Go Gators!)
So whatever the reason we’re going to Ireland – whether it’s because we haven’t travelled for so long that we’re simply willing to take the risk, or because the Irish could really use the tourist business right now, or because we’re just fucking crazy – whatever the case, we’re off to Ireland! Please join us via this blog as we meander around the country in search of the perfect pint of Guinness. (No, wait. Every pint of Guinness ought to taste more or less the same, no? We’ll find out soon enough.)
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