As I write, I am on my way to New York to gather up 5 friends and connect with our flight to Ireland.

Yes, I’m going back again, even after my less than ideal trip last year.  I have been upgraded to business first, which I’m taking as an amazing omen of good fortune (and comfort).  I am in love with Ireland and her generous people.  I love the scones for breakfast, the musical lilt of people’s voices, the mournful melodies of traditional ballads, and the countryside with its many hues of green and pastures of sheep.  It’s weird, I’ve never felt this connected to any other place that I’ve visited.  To me, it seems that Ireland has the soul of music. One of the things that I find so fascinating is that the seasoned professional musicians all seem to be mentoring one or more young musicians.  Even in the pubs, you will find 15-year-old boys with their dads who have been “sitting in” with well-known musicians for years.  What a beautiful way to instill the love of traditional music and instruments in young people.  It’s like learning the language of a country, and in Ireland, that language is music.

I am co-hosting a trip with Tom Kimmel, and since the entire country of Ireland apparently has NO pianos, I have been practicing guitar.  Frantically.  The talented Glen Roethel taught me 4 traditional songs off of CDs that I bought in Ireland on my first trip.  I think I can do this if I can remember all of the words.  It actually took me longer to figure out how to sync the songs to my iPhone than it did to learn to play them.

Next year when I renew my passport, I’m getting my niece Sage a passport so that she can travel with me.  I want her to experience the pure joy and wonder of international travel.

So off I go, armed with travel insurance and excitement.  To be continued!

PS:  I flew to New York this morning and a lovely elderly Haitian woman died of an apparent heart attack on the flight, ten minutes before we landed.  the crew was amazing as was the ground team.  Very scary to have a medical emergency on a flight.  I’m sending out prayers for her eternal unfolding.