Lately, I’ve been dreaming of fog and rain and pints of Guinness. Four years ago, my daughter and I, along with one of her friends, went to Ireland for spring break. Every Dubliner who learned we chose Ireland over sunshine and beaches, thought we were crazy. 

In their lovely accents they would exclaim:

“Why, of all the places in the world, did ya’ choose Ireland?”

“Ireland is gray and rainy, love. You should have gone to Florida!”

“Did ya’ lose a bet, did ye?”

Clearly, the Irish don’t fully appreciate the wonderfulness of their country. 

Spring break trips are not the norm for our family, but because I had not spent a lot of one-on-one time with this daughter, and she was headed to college in the fall, I wanted to do something very special with her. 

Having accumulated enough airline miles that it would cost nearly nothing to fly, I asked her where she would like to go more than anyplace in the world. It seems impossible that the Irish do not understand why their country is a dream destination. 

Sunshine does not compare to standing on the unique formations of lava that created the Giant’s Causeway.  

Sunshine is nothing compared to walking along the Cliffs of Moher, feeling the mist of fog on your face as you take in the Atlantic, seven-hundred-feet below. 

Sunshine cannot replace a seventy-seven-year-old policeman turned cabbie, regaling you with ghost stories and bawdy jokes.  

There were times when the sunshine did burst forth, leaving rainbows scattered across the sky. I have not seen that many rainbows since I ate me last box of Lucky Charms.    

I was a wee bit disappointed that the pubs were closed on Good Friday, but then I had to laugh. A huge sign painted across a pub window read, “Have a bad ass Easter!” So, you can’t drink, but you can have a slightly off-color religious holiday. 

It would not have been a big deal, except it was our last day in the country, and I had a goal. I know. I know. Most goals involving alcohol are related to college kids and kegs, but my goal was a bit more along the lines of a scavenger hunt. I’d been gifted a book called, “1001 Beers to Drink before You Die.”  There were eight listed for Ireland, and I had seven days to find them.  

Several locals got in on the fun, directing me to pubs that might carry the various brews. By Thursday night, with Smithwick’s coming in as my favorite, I had marked all but one from the list. I felt confident I could find Murphy’s Irish Stout in the remaining twenty-four hours. 

As I walked into the hotel, Martin the security guard asked if I had found all of my beers yet.

“No, but I only have one left. I’m sure I will find it tomorrow.”

“I’m sorry to tell ya, lass, but the pubs are closed on Good Friday.”

Certainly, there are more important things to consider on a day set aside for religious observation, but I was disappointed. I guess I’ll have to go back. When that day comes, and they ask why I chose Ireland over the beaches of Florida, my answer will satisfy even the most cynical Irishman.  I came for the beer, love. Particularly, Murphy’s Irish Stout.

-Syndicated columnist Ginger Claremohr is an author, speaker, and mother of five. Follow her on Facebook, find her on the web: www.claremohr.com, or contact ginger@claremohr.com