That’s right. I’m in Ireland. No baseball here. Sorry to disappoint. Why Ireland? Because my girlfriend Jona recently discovered that she has family here, and they’ve paid our way to come visit. It’s a long story, one that I won’t get into here (in part because it’s kind of personal), so I’ll just say that a few weeks ago Jona got an unexpected phone call from a distant aunt in Ireland and learned that she has two half-brothers and a half-sister from her late father’s second marriage. (Crazy, no?) So we’re here, staying with the aunt (Joan) and her husband (Seamus…pronounced “SHAY-muss”) approximately seven miles from the heart of Dublin. This is first time I’ve been to Ireland; Jona was here once before, a few decades ago, and doesn’t remember much.

That’s the background.

As for the trip itself, we flew out of Newark Airport at 7pm on Monday, December 22nd. Because of the time change–five hours later in Ireland–it was 7am the next morning when we landed. Joan and Seamus picked us up at the airport and drove us back to their place. Jona and I had a quick bite, then took a four-hour nap, then hung around the house, and finally headed out with Joan. It was 4pm, and it was already starting to get dark when I took the following photo of the house from across the street:


We got on a double-decker bus, rode into Dublin, and started walking:


Joan dropped us off at Trinity College where Jona met her uncle William for the first time ever. (William and her father were brothers.) He took us to Bewley’s Cafe–a spot where Jona’s father used to hang out–and filled her in some of the family’s history, including the fact that her father had another son…with an Indian woman…which meant Jona has a THIRD half-brother!

William then took us to The Dawson Lounge (which bills itself as “Possibly the smallest pub in the world”) and walked us past the mayor’s house…


…and dropped us off in a bustling shopping district. Jona and I wandered into shops and malls…


…and then met up with her first cousin Shane (Joan’s son) whom she’d only met twice before. Shane treated us to drinks at another well-known pub called Kehoe’s. Here I am with Jona out in front:


Then we took a taxi home. It’s now 1:30am here. Jona just learned she has a fourth half-brother (named Jonah!) who was put up for adoption as a baby and is now believed to be living in America. (I just learned the Yankees got Teixiera. Ugh!) We’re exhausted, mentally and physically, and we have a big day tomorrow, although I’m not yet sure what it consists of. Our whole trip is gonna be less than a week. I’ll try to blog again tomorrow…


  1. sportzfreeka

    Zack, you’re so lucky you’re in Ireland! I went there last spring with my marching band for the St. Patricks day parade and it was amazing! You HAVE to try this drink called Club Orange while you are there it is the best orange soda in the world and can only be found in Ireland. Also, you need to go to the coast and see the cliffs, they’re really a sight to see. Have fun!

  2. jacoby1993

    that’s awesome you’re in Ireland.

    I just checked out the yankee’s website , and UGH , i really wished the Red Sox got Tex, but of course, the Yanks were going to buy every high-profile player out there just to show everyone that they’re going to be in First place again, not 4th place in the AL East. I tihnk they were ashamed , I personally think the Yanks should learn that even buying players like AJ and CC for redicious amount of money isn’t going to amp up their team. I’ll bet 5 bucks that AJ and CC will be out most of the season due to injures. And Tex? Pffft, lord knows what’s going to happen to him!

    Gin in Nova Scotia (BTW, I’m 1/4 Irish :D)

  3. goisles

    this is puck :
    the 25 cent tix are in the bleachers, and the yankees spend the most money because they MAKE the most money. there was a guy on the radio saying how ridiculus it was spend so much money, but then said well ill still pay for a 10 dollar beer! i mean c’mon. the yanks are in the biggest market, make the most off advertising, own their own tv network worth around 3 billion dollars, sell the most mercahndise have the higgest tv ratings, so stop complaining. as the rays showed last year, you can win on a small payroll, so its not that unfair a playing field, and i remember last year on fox joe buck noted how when the yankees are doing good, ticket sales tv ratings merchandise all increase because of it. tons of people go to see otherwise sucky teams when the yanks are in town, so baseball makes more money when the yanks are good. also they’re saying to the fans who are paying outrageous ticket prices that the money they spend on tickets will be put into the team, and not into our pockets like the twins owner does with the luxury tax money he gets. he doesnt spend it to improve his team, which is what the money is intened for, but keeps it for himself.

    and really weird with all the half-siblings. what was her reaction? was she like okay or did she like spray her drink all over the place like they do in the movies? i’d be kinda creeped out if i found out i had 4 half brothers.

    oh and i got a game puck at todays game, and a stick blade, but the isles dropped their tenth in a row.

  4. 333greystreet

    Looks like being a ballhawk at Yankees stadium in 2009 will be quite a challenge with the appeal of a new ballpark and these big signings. I’m sure you’ll still be able to manage 4-7 balls a game though. They had a graphic on SportsCenter illustrating the odds of the Yankees winning the World Series as being 8:1 before these signings and now 2:1 after.



    wassup no leigh yet.have a Guinness zack and lucky charms .st patrick day is mar 17,youre early…….do the 40.000 mile club join it.

  6. zackhample

    Thanks for the tips. Club Orange…I’ll look for that. But I’m not sure I’ll get to see the cliffs. I hear they’re on the west coast, and I’m in Dublin on the east coast, so it’s about a three-hour drive. I don’t know. We’ll see…

    One-quarter Irish? Very cool. No telling what’s going to happen to the Yanks’ big guns.

    You’re in trouble.

    No drink spraying, but it IS a hell of a lot for her to be taking in. She’s handled it all amazingly well, although she’s not sure how much more new information she can deal with. Congrats on he game puck and stick blade.

    Not much, but there HAS been some baseball talk around the house, believe it or not. I might blog about that tomorrow.

    Ugh. That’s all I have to say about that.

    I’m worried about Leigh. Seriously. You have to find out what’s going on.

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