When Irish eyes are smiling … sure they’d steal your heart away. That’s what the lilting song says, and it’s true, especially around St. Patrick’s Day when everyone is Irish, or certainly wants to be. It’s a festive holiday that is usually celebrated with family or friends getting together to raise a glass in celebration of their zest for life.
It’s a time for me to remember a glorious trip to the “Old Sod” over a dozen years ago, when my husband, my mother, and I went to Ireland to discover the beauty of the culture and the warmth of its people. More than 50 million Americans can trace their origins to Ireland, and my connection is thanks to my mother’s side of the family who came from Donegal four generations ago. So the trip included learning about family origins and finding out the history of our ancestors.
The trip was fun and educational. Did you know some ancient Celtic settlements are older than the pyramids? Ireland is sprinkled with historic castles, monasteries, and estates which are wonderful to visit. There are breathtaking landscapes of the Dingle Peninsula, the Ring of Kerry, and the awesome Cliffs of Moher, along with a scenic patchwork of emerald fields. Kissing the Blarney Stone was certainly a highlight, but most unforgettable were the charming villages and friendly locals who break into song at the local pubs. That’s why Ireland is a great place to visit, no matter your heritage.
If you’re in the mood to enjoy a trip to Ireland via a delightful movie, Chasing Leprechauns is a Hallmark Channel original movie premiering on St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17. It stars Adrian Pasdar (Heroes, The Lying Game) and Amy Huberman (The Clinic) in a love story that contains no blarney whatsoever.
In this tale of luck and love, Pasdar stars as Michael Garrett, a New York corporate troubleshooter looking to take a vacation away from his stressful job. But Garrett’s hard-driving boss has a different sort of spring break in mind for him, sending him to a small town in Ireland to close a deal on a smelting plant construction site that legend says is inhabited by leprechauns.
Michael discovers that he needs to carefully navigate the town’s antiquated laws protecting leprechauns, and enlists the help of the town’s resident leprechaun expert, the local pub owner Sarah Cavanaugh (Huberman). To his surprise he learns that Sarah actually buys into the whole leprechaun magic and refuses to approve his building permit. So now he’s got to endear himself to the locals and convince Sarah to change her mind. Along the way Michael unexpectedly falls in love with Sarah. Can he win Sarah’s heart as well as close a deal for the smelting plant and get his boss off his back? Only the leprechauns know for sure, and you can find them at the end of the rainbow on the Emerald Isle.