When a picture won’t do it justice…

… sometimes a 1000 words are needed.

There are instances during my travels which cannot be captured with an image. The collective influence of the sights, the sounds, the smells, the ambiance — all contribute to a moment which is without measure. The best I can hope for is to capture some faint outline through a re-telling and recollection of its passing.

My first day in Dublin I came to the conclusion I loathed Ireland. The coastal city of Malahide was pleasant and cheerful, but the city of Dublin was an inavigable disaster. We arrived with hopes of taking a bus tour of the city by day, and a ghost tour by night — but our hopes were quickly dashed by the steady downpour of rain. It wasn’t heavy enough to warrant giving up, but just enough to ensure we were damp, cold, and miserable. On top of the damp and our inability to decipher our city map, was added the fact that our ghost tour (which we most were looking forward to) was sold out. I suppose that’s what you get for visiting Dublin over St Patrick’s day weekend.

By the end of the day I had wished we scrapped Ireland altogether and remained in England. And then, we found the pub. For the life of me I can’t recall the name, but in this little hole in the wall off the main street of Dublin we found a solid bit of Irish magic. From the street we caught a few faint notes of Irish music, and a steady thrum of lively laughter. It was impossible to resist the pull — and so in we went.

The air was thick with the rich melody of Irish folk music. When the hired talent wasn’t entertaining us, then the group of ladies celebrating a 68th birthday were quick to fill the lull. They sang unaccompanied by music, and moved from song to song without skipping a beat. They seemed to have an endless store of ditties to pull from — songs about young and passionate love, fleeting and lost love, and advice to young maids to avoid the tedium of an older man’s affections.

At one point I turned to my mother and said “this is something I just can’t capture on my camera.” The hundreds of pictues I had taken along our journey were a desperate attempt to capture a small fraction of the beauty I encountered, but this was a moment impossible to freeze. Taking a snapshot of the musician wouldn’t preserve his melody. Recording the ruckus of the crowd wouldn’t have resulted in remotely conveying the feeling of absolute giddyness that resulted from sheer proximity to their joy.

Tonight I had a similar moment. Spending Cinco de Mayo in the Mexican town which paid witness to the famous battle, I had high expectations for a local celebration. I quickly came to find that this is a holiday which is paid little mind in Mexico. This is mainly because contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo was not a turning point in a revolucion, but in fact was the date of a singular defeat by the Mexican against the French. This victory however was short-lived, as the Mexicans all celebrated too enthusiastically and were then quickly overtaken by the French within a few short days following the initial victory.

It wasn’t a terrible day by any means, but certainly fell short of what I had envisioned (mainly tequila, tacos, and Mexican music.) Reluctantly Trey and I ventured out this evening to grab dinner. We had both gotten into our current reading material and were half of the mindset to skip dinner altogether. Some universal force set us on our way — and thank goodness for that.

We strolled through our neighborhood to a local French restaurant, Le Route de Los Vinos. Ironic given the history of the battle. Business was thriving so we knew it was a safe bet. We were shown to our table and were a little skeptical of the logistics of dining on a coffee table, but were won over by the deep, comfy armchairs. With a glass of red wine in my hand, and the smooth serenade of the saxophone in the background, I couldn’t imagine a more perfect way to spend an evening. It was another one of those moments which is without compare — where you are completely at ease, and literally your soul is soothed by the combination of fantastic food and incredible music.

Just goes to prove that despite all your pre-conceptions or attempts at planning, life’s perfect moments are often unorchestrated — and chance is a beautiful thing.

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