After spending most of yesterday traveling by tram, bus, plane, and then car, Gary and I arrived in Keene last night. As a fitting end to our Irish adventure, we stopped for dinner at The Stage Restaurant & Cafe, one of several local establishments that serve Guinness, for a couple pints and a couple hamburgers. By way of response to the oft-asked question of whether American-pulled pints taste as good as Irish ones, they don’t: Gary noted a metallic sharpness to last night’s pint, and I lamented that American Guinness sports a flimsy, frothy head in leiu of the thick, dreamy cream you’ll find atop a Dublin pint.

But semi-disappointing pints notwithstanding, it’s always good to be home. As much as I love the quintessential comfort of Irish pub food and drink, nobody on either side of the Atlantic makes a bacon blue-cheeseburger to match The Stage, and no bed anywhere is as comfortable as mine. Last night was devoted to unpacking, this morning to laundry, and tonight to preparations for the face-to-face and online classes that start next week. They say there’s no rest for the wicked, so for me at least it’s back to Guinness as usual.

    Many thanks to Annette for graciously hosting Gary and me during our Irish adventure. If any of my New York City readers are looking to do a NYC/Dublin house-swap in early October, let me know since Annette is setting her sights on an autumnal Stateside outing.