Howth

August 2016

 Lea at the harbor

Lea at the harbor

Just outside the city of Dublin lies a small seaside town called Howth. Initially, my plan was to travel to either the eastern or southern coast of the country with my friend Lea, but when that day came, we were both feeling a bit tired and the skies looked as if they were about to pour any second, so we agreed to go somewhere closer instead. Since Howth was only 30-40 minutes by train, our choice was fairly easy.

Once we got there, I looked around and got an unexpected familiar feeling. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what it was. Maybe it was the mis of green, blue and gray in the sea and sky, maybe it was the reef and the lighthouse, or maybe it was the architecture of the seaside buildings, but for some reason, it reminded me of New England. For example, if I were to randomly wake up there one day and someone were to tell me it was Maine, Rhode Island, or Eastern Connecticut, I would believe them. I mentioned this to Lea, but apparently it didn't bring back memories of her home area in southern France (who knew, France and Ireland differ).

Anyway, we walked around for a bit, taking in the views and appreciating the fresh ocean air while carrying on a good conversation. It felt great to escape the confines of the city and enjoy the slower, more relaxing pace of everything, but since it was Ireland, the rains came. We headed into a small, cozy looking cafe on a hillside to wait it out until the sun came back (plus I was in a bit of a need for a caffeine fixing). We sat down, expecting to stay for maybe a half an hour or so.

The wait staff was incredibly warm and welcoming as I ordered my coffee and Lea, tea. I looked around, took in the warmly colored surroundings and the smells of freshly baked goods and ground coffee (two of life's greatest pleasures). That's When I happened to notice that all the other tables were empty. We were the only customers there, which actually felt really nice. No other voices or commotion. It was our chance to savor the silence, so we decided to make the best of it and play a pictionary type game where we had to guess film, book or movie titles. (As seen)

 Yes, there is a Big Lebowski reference on here

Yes, there is a Big Lebowski reference on here

At first, I thought this was going to be easy for me. We were playing in my native language, drawing was one of my hobbies, and I spent many lonely early-teen years watching movie after movie. I've got this, I thought. Then Lea  handed me her paper with her drawings, and I realized I had just foolishly let my guard down as I strutted into a lion's den. Turns out she also had an extensive film knowledge and just so happened to be like the most creative person on planet earth. I was going to have quite a challenge on my hand.

Match after match went by, each of us trying to outsmart the other. And every time I thought I had an unbeatable creative idea, Lea countered with another just as strong, if not stronger. Game after game went by, until Lea asked, maybe just to break the intense focus, "Do you think it's still raining?" I checked outside, and to my surprise, the sun was actually setting. Already? How could this be? I checked my watch and was stunned. We had been there for not one, nor two, but four hours! Maybe the game of the cafe had some sort of magical charm on it. Either way, we had to call a temporary truce until next time on the game and hurry on out before the last train left.

As we headed back to Dublin, I realized that I had first come there for the sea and the nature. I thought I would spend most of the day walking around the town, taking in the feel of the place and taking as many pictures as I could, but I didn't. I spent most of the time sitting in a cafe drawing pictures. And I wouldn't have had it any other way! Round two would be a must.