Cahir Castle & the Flooded River Suir, Cahir, County Tipperary

Cahir Castle & the Flooded River Suir, Cahir, County Tipperary

If you are traveling to Ireland, there is one ‘must have’ in that suitcase … an umbrella. If you want to be really savvy; pack a raincoat, too. There are times you can use both. For December 2015, an ark would have been a good addition. If only it would have fit in my carry-on.

Actually, it became kind of comical. There was a common occurrence as I met people this last December. After an introduction and the discovery that I was on vacation/holiday, I started to notice a similar reaction. There would be a pause, a faint look of pity and a slight shake of the head. It would be followed by a sincere apology … I am sorry about the weather or all this rain and you’re on holiday.

If I may, please let me send a quick note to the people of Ireland … there is no need to apologize for the rain. After all …

It is Ireland.

Clearing Fog, Glendasan Valley, County Wicklow

Clearing Fog, Glendasan Valley, County Wicklow

I have learned that you …

  • Never trust the forecast; the best forecast is the one that you see when you look out the window or to the horizon.
  • Plan on some type of rain every day, which may range from five minutes to a couple of hours. Smile when you have sunlight.
  • Use an archway or a doorway of a ruin during a downpour, especially if the ruin no longer has a roof.
  • Never leave the umbrella in the car … ever. (Although, I always manage to do it once a trip and get caught in a shower. I’m hopeful.)
  • Always take one pair of weather-proofed shoes.
  • Plan to get a little wet at least once. If you are really lucky, a good soak will be a great story to tell for years.
  • Always carry a cloth in your pocket to wipe off your lens. They even make a rain jacket for cameras.
  • Need a little patience.  It can go a long way … and is often rewarded by clearing skies.

Even more important, don’t change your plans. It is Ireland and it’s going to rain. In reality, I have been rewarded with more sun on my trips than rain. (I have actually experienced 15 days of ‘no rain’ in a row and an abundance of sunlight … and sunburn).

But, believe it or not … even the Irish can’t control the weather.

So, what do you do when you arrive on the tail of Storm Desmond and depart the day after Storm Frank? You take advantage of those fleeting moments of clouds and sun. You ‘go with the flow.’

Fairy Trail, Wells House & Gardens, County Wexford

Fairy Trail, Wells House & Gardens, County Wexford

Okay, I will admit, December 2015 meant day-long rains and some gale force winds. Even I gave up after ‘slip-sliding’ across a lawn one day. But here is reminder … Ireland isn’t just about what is outside. It also has wonderful activity inside. I would encourage you to slow down on those really rainy days and linger over your lunch at the local pub or cafe. Wander around some great historic buildings that do have a roof. Shop. Find an opportunity to engage people in conversation over a tea, coffee or Guinness.  Experience Ireland, instead of just ‘seeing’ it.

December 2015 will go down in history for record flooding in Ireland. And, while I did spend more time ‘in’ than ‘out’, I will also say that my vacation was amazing! Thanks to some brief moments of sun, I was able to get out with the camera. But in reality, I have to credit some amazing people that have become friends along the way.  They were kind enough to look out for me and made sure I wasn’t staring out a rain-drenched window the entire time. Thanks to them, I had some truly amazing experiences.  If I had been out and about, I would have missed them.

Wicklow Mountains, County Wicklow

Wicklow Mountains, County Wicklow

Lower Lake, Glendalough, County Wicklow

Lower Lake, Glendalough, County Wicklow

December Blues, River Suir, County Tipperary

December Blues, River Suir, County Tipperary

Cahir Castle Grounds, Cahir, County Tipperary

Cahir Castle Grounds, Cahir, County Tipperary

Military Road, County Wicklow

Military Road, County Wicklow

Glen of Imaal, County Wicklow

Glen of Imaal, County Wicklow

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