Our Christmas Letter

Studly Doright and I were too lazy to send out our annual Christmas letter this year (and the year before, and the year before that), but after receiving the twelfth such letter from various friends and family members I began feeling guilty. Without such a missive how will anyone know what an absolutely awesome year Studly and I had? Fortunately I have this forum, so with just a bit of exaggeration, here is our offering:

“Doright Year in Review”

Dear Friends,

It’s that time of year again when we regale all of you with our adventures great and small, but let’s face it, the Dorights only have great adventures. All others are swept under the rug.

In January we moaned about temperatures dropping into the 50’s. My tan faded and Studly had to wear long pants to play golf. It was devastating.

February brought more of the same, but Valentine’s Day broke up the monotony. Studly made it special by purchasing a 10-karat diamond necklace for me to wear to the grocery store. It pairs well with the mink he bought me for Christmas last year.

In March the temperatures began creeping into the tolerable zone. I spent a great deal of time at our beach house while Studly made a killing on the stock market and switched to shorts on the golf course. He shot a 69 on his home course and recorded two holes in one. The PGA contacted him about joining the senior tour, but he declined, saying it wouldn’t be fair to all the other golfers. What a mensch!

April and May were memorable for their showers and flowers. I entered the annual garden show with an orchid I discovered on my last trip to South America. The National Society of Horticulturalists have named it the Nana Glorious in my honor. My entry took first, second, and third place honors at the event.

We spent June, July, and August abroad. While Studly golfed in Scotland and Ireland, I explored quaint mountain villages throughout Europe and discovered yet another rare flower. Being the generous soul that I am, I pointed it out to a local woman who will go on to win multiple accolades for her contribution to botanical studies. Studly isn’t the only mensch in our family.

September was quiet as we recovered from our travels. Studly worked a bit, as his sharp mind and quick wit are in great demand. I was approached with a multi-million dollar deal to publish my memoirs. I just laughed and said, “Darlings, I haven’t even begun living yet!”

In October I traveled to visit our five precocious grandchildren. Fortunately they all take after me and will be outrageously successful.

November brought us together with most of Studly’s family. We celebrated his 60th birthday with a small concert. Sting said it was the best event he ever performed at, and asked if he could join us for Christmas this year.

So here we sit, Sting, Studly, and I, sipping spiced rum around a massive Christmas tree in the grand salon of our cabin in the Rockies. Sting keeps wanting to sing, but Studly says, “Enough, man. Let’s enjoy a Silent Night.”

We hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Irish Beer Retrospective 

If you're new to my blog you might've missed some of my greatest moments in Ireland. Studly Doright and I embarked on an eight day trip to the Emerald Isle with a group of golfing friends, and I became enamored of the beer. Yes, while Studly was sinking putts, I was downing pints.

I kicked off the beer tour quite by accident. We'd landed in Shannon around 8 a.m. their time. After going through customs and collecting our luggage we met up with members of our group and met our driver, Paul. We had a bit of a drive to our hotel in Killarney, but still arrived before our hotel had rooms ready. 

As Paul drove us through his home town of Killarney he pointed out several pubs where we might wile away the hours before checking into the hotel. One pub was very near the Malton Hotel, so several of us left our luggage with the concierge and walked a couple of blocks in search of a pint. 

Of course I had to have a Guinness and when the barkeep offered to take my picture I proudly held up my glass for posterity's sake. Some women are born to greatness, others have greatness thrust upon them, and then there's me.

On day two of our trip I asked about local brews, and as it happened the pub we stopped at after touring Muckross House had a local pilsner from Killarney Brewing Company. One of the ladies I was with suggested that we take a photo of me and this lovely beer, and someone (maybe me) suggested I go for a different beer a day. I eagerly accepted the challenge.

My day three beer was a Murphy's, and I have developed a genuine affection for this beer. It's got a sweetness to it that Guinness doesn't have, and while it isn't carried in any of my local grocery stores like Guinness is, I have found it at World Market in Tallahassee. I cheered when I came across it, startling a rather conservative looking gentleman in the world beers section!

Day four's featured beer was a Smithwick's (pronounced "Smittick's," which confused me for a minute or two). Smithwick's is another thoroughly enjoyable ale. I believe it's a match for Guinness, with Murphy's being my favorite of the dark beers. I have yet to locate Smithwick's in the states. Perhaps another trip to Ireland is in order?

On our last day in Killarney, Studly Doright and I had dinner at the pub in our hotel, and I sampled a Crean's lager, brewed in Dingle. I enjoyed my Crean's. It had a clean, crisp taste and paired well with my order of fish and chips.  


A Black and Tan combo was in order for my sixth day. That's a half Guinness and half Smithwick's for all you novices (that was me ten minutes before I ordered one). The Black and Tan combo is in my Guinness glass, while a Smithwick's drinker let me borrow his glass for demonstration purposes. Superb mixing of flavors in this drink, but unless I can get my hands on Smithwick's I will have to wait to enjoy it again. 


On the seventh day I did not rest. Nope, instead I had a White Gypsy beer, brewed in Tipperary. It was pleasant. I liked it even more when I learned that the company uses only malt and hops grown near Tipperary, and their logo might be my favorite. I felt as dainty as a 5'8" tall, 164 lb., pint swilling woman could possibly feel.


Day eight brought the only beer I wasn't crazy about, or maybe I was just tired of beer. Naw, that can't be it. This Hop House 13 Lager just missed the mark. It wasn't awful, just left me wishing I'd had a Murphy's!


Finally, I made it to the last day of our trip, finishing with an O'Hara's IPA. We'd stopped for lunch near the Burren's, that wild, forlorn area dotted with limestone outcroppings and ancient relics. It seemed fitting to hoist a pint in tribute to our adventure. And because I wanted one.


So what's next? I need to find another niche to explore. Scotch in Scotland? Wine in France? Rum in Barbados? Tequila in… nope. Someone else has to taste test tequila. Of course until I replenish the funds in my bank account I'll most likely be reduced to sampling the burgers in Tallahassee.

Peace, and drink responsibly, people!

Fungie, the Dolphin of Dingle 

“The Dingle Dolphin — or Fungie, the name given to him by the fishermen — is a fully grown, possibly middle aged, male bottlenose, Tursiops Truncatus. He weighs in at around one-quarter ton (500 lbs.) and measures in the region of four metres (13 feet).”

We didn’t see Fungie, but we posed for pictures on a statue of the dolphin whilst visiting the town of Dingle, County Kerry. That surely counts for something!

Visit https://www.dingle-peninsula.ie/home/fungie-the-dingle-dolphin.html for additional information on Fungie. Better yet, visit the Dingle Peninsula!

An Uncommon Memorial

When we toured the Ring of Kerry in County Kerry, Ireland, our bus driver pointed out a lovely church and told us it was the only Catholic Church in all of Ireland to bear the name of a person who was neither Saint, nor deity. 


This church in Cahersiveen, was named with special papal permission, after the statesman Daniel O’Connell, a lay person, who worked for Catholic emancipation in Ireland in the 17th and 18th century.


According to Wikipedia, “Daniel O’Connell (Irish: Dónall Ó Conaill; 6 August 1775 – 15 May 1847), often referred to as The Liberator[1] or The Emancipator,[2] was an Irish political leader in the first half of the 19th century. He campaigned for Catholic emancipation—including the right for Catholics to sit in the Westminster Parliament, denied for over 100 years—and repeal of the Act of Union which combined Great Britain and Ireland.”

Unfortunately, we only were able to drive by the church without going inside. More and more I’m realizing how much I need to return to Ireland. It’s almost as if I only purchased postcards without savoring the experience. 

Peace, people. 

Snapshot #198

Four years ago when our group of intrepid golfers and their spouses visited Scotland several of us became enamored of a dessert called Sticky Toffee Pudding. I remember enjoying it after almost every meal, then promptly forgetting about it once we were back stateside.

To our delight, sticky toffee pudding was served at many restaurants in Ireland, and I quickly renewed my acquaintance with this fabulous food. I thought I’d left it far behind after our vacation, but while shopping at Whole Foods in Tallahassee today, I came across a surprise in the beer aisle.

I’m calling this picture, “I Haven’t Tried This Brew, but Some Flavors Shouldn’t be Found in Ale Form.” If any of you have tried this ale and lived to tell about it, let me know.

Snapshot #197

We encountered some friendly motorcyclists when our coach driver stopped to allow us to take photos on the Dingle Peninsula. These gentlemen were from England. I’ll call this, “Watch for Motorcycles.” I’m sure my motorcycling friends will know what bikes the guys were riding.

Ross Castle, County Kerry, Ireland

No visit to County Kerry would have been complete without a trip to Ross Castle. Had we had more time we might’ve taken a boat tour of the waterways around the castle, but instead we walked the grounds. There’s nothing like a castle to stir one’s imagination. I almost expected a dragon to come roaring across the water to find a perch on the stone crenellations. 

The lovely Marsha!

Notice the slots meant for shooting arrows.