Every month we feature funny, cautionary, or inspiring anecdotes from travelers. If you have a true (short) travel tale to share, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have a photo that illustrates it, please attach it. And don't forget to tell us your first name and the city where you live. We'd love to hear from you!
Sometimes a Travel Tale will fill our inbox with similar experiences others have had. This rich memory of an evening in an Irish pub, shared by Lori from Minneapolis, is one of our favorites...
It was October of 2001 when my husband and I went to Ireland for three weeks. It was just after 9-11 and everyone we met was so gentle with we Americans, seeming to feel the shock and pain as much as we did, all across "the pond" to Ireland.
One night in Lisdoonvarna, we had dinner at the pub in the basement of our hotel. A two-piece band was playing. At one point, one of the bandmates, Tom, got up and came over to us. He asked my husband how he'd been "so lucky to find a fine Irish lass," mentioning my red hair and blue eyes. He then asked me to dance. Something about the way he smelled (cigarettes and whiskey), something about his voice (a rich baritone), and even the way he held my hand, was so reminiscent of my father, dead for many years, that it truly felt like my dad was there with me. I still get tears in my eyes when I think about this.
Tom asked me to dance once again, and then later asked if I'd like to play the bodhran with the band! Thrilled, I accepted, but nervous, as I hadn't ever played a bodhran. Tom showed me how and I played with them, smiling from ear to ear, for three glorious songs.
Afterwards, Tom came over and told us to stay (it was getting quite late), as there was a wedding couple coming back from their honeymoon. Soon the small basement pub was packed with people, many dressed in scarecrow-type costumes (some sort of Irish tradition), and the honeymoon couple came in. The room erupted with cheers, toasts, and wild dancing between the "scarecrows" and the newly married couple.
What an evening! Feeling the presence of my dad, playing in an Irish band, and witnessing a joyous local tradition. It was truly a trinity of memorable moments, all in one night.
— Lori in Minneapolis, MN
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