I finally had my quintessential Irish pub moment today: a windy, misty Sunday in Dingle. Dawn and Charlotte went back to the B&B in hopes that Charlotte would nap there, which left me and Lily on our own down in Dingle. The two of us discussed what we wanted to do, and started with the aquarium (Lily’s choice), with the understanding that the afternoon would end at the pub, which was daddy’s choice.
The aquarium was outstanding. My favorite part was the Touch Pool, where four species of sting rays were featured. I never thought of petting a sting ray, and was surprised at how lovely these creatures are. They really enjoy being pet, too. Three or four of them would come to the surface, stick their faces out of the water, and beg for a stroke.
Then we went to Dick Mack’s, a former haberdashery from 1899. There were no sounds coming from inside, and I wasn’t quite sure if I should open the door but I did, and it felt like a wax museum inside. On one half, there was the haberdashery with dusty shoes and old boxes stacked on shelves – and on the other half, a small bar. On either side of the bar were two small areas called snugs, which resembled confessionals. An old man was sitting frozen in one of them, and gestured for Lily to come.
Lily sat with the old man in the snug and I greeted the old man behind the bar. He came to life like a mechanical figure as he poured my Guinness and explained the history of snugs. I put my iPhone on the bar and recorded this, and other clips of dialog featuring a middle-aged Irish couple vacationing in Dingle and learning to speak Irish, a couple of Americans from Boston trying to trace their family name, the 83 year-old Ned Sullivan in the snug with Lily and I, and the owner, Oliver McDonald, grandson of the original owner, Dick Mack.