To all of our American readers out there, I hope you had a lovely 4th of July. This is the first time for both Pat and me to not be in America to celebrate Independence Day. While neither of us had severe pangs of homesickness, it did feel a bit odd to be at work instead of sitting outside in the sun eating burgers, potato salad, and homemade ice cream. (Well, I’d eat the potato salad. Pat wouldn’t touch the stuff with a ten-foot pole.) And, of course, there were no fireworks to watch in the evening.

Actually, the weather yesterday was terrible! As they say here in Ireland, it was “lashing rain.” Patrick Street is always very crowded during the day, and I had to run a few errands on my lunch break. In order to make any progress through the crowds, I had to hold my umbrella very close to my body. Every now and then a gust of wind would roll through and knock the stem of my umbrella against my glasses. It would catch me by surprise every time and elicit a few choice curse words. I probably looked like one of those crazy people on the streets who mutter and curse to themselves. I probably was one of those people.

I am one of four Americans working at the Cope Foundation. To mark Independence Day, and as an excuse to be social, the Six Pubs of Summer was planned. About 20 people from work met at Captain America’s (an American-esque restaurant) for burgers and fries. After dinner, the group proceeded to a variety of pubs (six of them, as you might imagine) throughout the evening.

Pat had planned on joining the group later in the evening, but the weather proved to be too great a deterrent. I managed to hang in there with the group for the first three pubs, but then my 36-year-old body told me I should go home and I wisely decided to listen. Typically, an Irish night on the town will run until 2:30 in the morning. And some revelers will stay out even later than that. I’m just too old for that kind of fun.

It is definitely a different experience to be in another country on such a big American holiday. I wonder if I would have felt more homesick if the weather had been less inclement. I suspect the answer is yes, but since the likelihood of having a beautiful warm summer seems slim to none here in Ireland I may never know.