What kind of food do they have in the pubs? When they have food, it is very simple but usually very good. Some of them have good fish, sometimes salmon or stews, often Irish stew. It depends on the size of the pub. Often, people sort of stagger out of the bar and over to the chip shop - which is across the street - where they have fish-and-chips and burgers. I like all of them. There's a nice chip shop in the middle of Kilcar. In Killybegs, there's one called Melly's Café. Dunkineely, which is just an old-fashioned little one-road town, has a really good chips place. It probably has a name, but I don't remember it. But there is only one of them.
Tell us about the places you love the most. Glencolumbkille is a really, really beautiful town, much bigger and probably more tourist-friendly. It has kind of a folk museum in it. It has beautiful beaches. There is one called the Silver Strand. You have to walk down a million steps carved into the side of the hill. When you get down there, there's an enormous horseshoe-shaped beach that is really, really beautiful. It's very simple. There's no beach club or anything like that. It's just very natural, an Atlantic beach with perfectly white sand and lots and lots of it. It is so beautiful because there is a cliff right behind you.
Then you get back in your car and keep driving? Yes. Another very nice town to drive to and look at and that is very pretty is called Ardara. It has another really spectacular beach, called Maghery Beach. I've never seen anything in the world that looks remotely like it. It's like being in the middle of the Sahara. There's so much sand you have to walk for about a mile just to get from the end of the grass to the water. There are caves on the edge of the shore that, if the tide is out, you can go into. They are really, really beautiful. Basically, it's not a big activity place. It's a place that, if you like it, what you like about it is that you can kind of read a book for three hours if you feel like it, or you can take a two-hour hike. You can go to the market and then try to figure out how to cook something that you haven't tried before. It's that kind of lifestyle.
What are the market and shops there like? They are nice, but it's not France. You can't go get a wonderful baguette and a homemade garlic salami, for example. But you'll find the food in this area of Ireland is simple. In Dublin, I think you can eat absolutely spectacular food. There's a nice shop in Donegal Town called Magee Clothing. It's a department store, which has old tweed, which is great. Studio Donegal is a really great store for wool, knitted stuff, and tweed. You can get absolutely beautiful jackets, sweaters, blankets, socks - all handmade and really, really beautiful colors. The stuff sells in fancy stores in New York, like Paul Stuart. But it comes from this tiny little factory in the town of Kilcar called Studio Donegal. That's an absolutely wonderful little shop. I would recommend it.
How did you first tell your wife about this little place in the wilds of Ireland? I think I had a picture and said, "My family has a house there. We should go there sometime." She was curious. I took her there when my mom was alive, and we all stayed at my mom's house. Luckily for me, Sarah just immediately took to Ireland. I basically just took her to those places I told you about. I think the first time we went there, we weren't married yet.
So, the first time you took Sarah there, you flew into Dublin from New York, right? Then what did you do? Then we had this four-hour trip. We would rent a car, but now I own a car there. You can rent a car and just drive up the coast from Dublin - well, you kind of cross the country. Or, what I usually do is hire a local driver from the town where we go, and he comes and picks us up. I don't know the name of the highway. You follow signs to Donegal, basically. You can't miss it. You arrive there pretty exhausted, usually, because you've left at night and now the sun is coming up in Ireland. The best thing I would recommend for someone going to Ireland from New York would be to at least spend a few nights in Dublin or wherever you land before venturing out.