The Grass (or the Sweater) is Always Greener Away from Home

Somehow when we travel, everything seems brighter, landscapes more spectacular, and foliage greener.

St. Patrick’s Day is the “greenest” day of the year, so in honor of the day, here are some green images from our travels…

EC frm the Mound (2)

“The Mound” and Castle Rock in Edinburgh


Ferns on the Big Island of Hawai’i

jurassic park setKualoa Ranch on Oahu, where Jurassic Park was filmed

lilies-willowWater Lilies and a willow tree at the Summer Palace in Beijing

P1060260 (2)One of the lovely paths on the Air Line Trail in Connecticut, close to home

P1050546 (2)And just to show how wrong we can be, my own driveway!

Of course, being of half Scottish descent. my ancestors who spent time living in Ireland spent their time in Northern Ireland as Ulstermen, or more pointedly, Orangemen.

When I was a kid, and everyone wore green on St. Paddy’s Day, my grandmother tried to make we wear orange (although Orangemen do have their own day, July 12th – we always went to that parade!), or at least made sure I wasn’t dressed in green.

But at school, you got spanked if you didn’t wear green, so I used to sneak my Girl Scout sweater into my bag, and put it on as soon as I got to school. I didn’t get the significance of the Irish TriColor – Green for the Gaelic Irish (now predominantly Catholic), Orange for the followers of William of Orange (now predominantly Protestant), and white for the hope of peace between them. 165 years after it was designed, that hope is still there, but not a reality.

Irish Flag

Here’s hoping that will change in our lifetime. In the meantime, at least in the US, on March 17th, everybody embraces the celebration of the Gaelic Irish heritage, and we all party like leprechauns. (After all, I’m as Gaelic as the next Scot – or least half as Gaelic!)

Erin go Bragh!


This post is in response to a weekly Travel Theme challenge by Ailsa of WheresMyBackpack, on the subject: Green (for St. Patrick’s Day).  To see other bloggers’ responses and get more info on her challenge, click here.  

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27 Responses to The Grass (or the Sweater) is Always Greener Away from Home

  1. aj vosse says:

    Party like leprechauns? I though the sullen little blighters are only into mischief!! 😉


  2. adinparadise says:

    Beautiful green pics, Your driveway is lovely. 🙂 How confusing to be half Scottish and half Irish. 🙂


  3. Madhu says:

    A beautiful selection of greens. Particularly love the Summer Palace shot! Our flag has the same colours you know, (different orientation though with horizontal stripes and a blue Ashoka wheel in the centre)!


    • Thanks, Madhu! Flags are so interesting. I remember explaining to my young friends that green isn’t the only color on the Irish flag, and I still remember when I first realized hat the Union Jack contains both St. Andrew’s cross and the cross of St. George! 😉


  4. dadirri7 says:

    thanks for telling me about the flag, if only that hope became a reality … luckily for me my irish ancestor was sent to NSW as a convict long ago … not as green here but more chance of surviving at that time 🙂


  5. What a lovely post and great photos too! 🙂


  6. Nice post, and lovely pictures!


  7. So true about how we think…Great photos and very enjoyable post!


  8. sharechair says:

    I enjoyed this post! I have a similar … kind of … story from my childhood. My first name (Kathleen) paired with my very Irish maiden name always made me a celebrity on St Patrick’s day in grammar school. BUT we were protestant, and so, not understanding anything, I shunned the green and wore orange, trying to act like I knew what I was doing. Later, as an adult, tracing my family history I learned my Irish grandfather was indeed Catholic (he died long before I was born), but it was my father who had stepped away from the Catholic church and went the protestant road when he married my mother. Silly child, me!


  9. Pat says:

    This is a great post. Thanks for making this history of “the troubles” personal. Beautiful photography from other parts of the world.


    • Thanks, Pat! We really did go to the Orangemen’s Day parade near Philly when we were kids. It’s such a shame that Ireland is split by political and religious differences – it is so beautiful!


      • Pat says:

        I think it was about 5-6 years ago that I went to Ireland with some students and we were able to travel to Northern Ireland. They were just beginning to learn about tourism. I have some great photos of murals on buildings that I might post.


        • That would be great! We took a holiday to Bangor when I was about 10 – it was so much fun – and we weren’t far from where my great-grandfather was born!


          • Pat says:

            Wow, that is great. I know that half of my ancestors came from Great Britain but I have no idea where, and my husband’s father was Canadian so that is a good clue that they came from that area also.


            • If your ancestors come from anywhere on the British Islas you may enjoy poking around on I found my grandparents’ birth certificates, my great-grandparents’ marriage license, and more. Because of the Dublin fire, some Irish records are lost, but parish and landowner records are still available!


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