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Tattoo #3 ~ Dublin, Ireland ~ April 2022

I don't know how or when it happened, but somewhere along the line, my thirtysomething, inkless self decided it would be cool to document my travels on my skin. Maybe each tattoo will represent the trip, maybe they'll make reference to an experience, or maybe they will just be a cool design that I thought was appropriate at the moment. Whatever they end up being, they'll end up here with a little story to go along.

Towards the end of 2021, my in-laws decided to take us all on a trip to shake off the lengthy period of time we had been cooped up inside during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. The plan was to head out right after Christmas and spend a few days luxuriating on a beach. Initially, the plan was Miami and/or the Keys, which I was super excited about. I had only spent one day in Miami Beach back in 2005, which is a story for another day, and I had never been to the Keys. I was pumped for some Cuban food and a change of scenery.

Once it was noted that a Florida winter wasn't quite the getaway everyone else had envisioned, a journey closer to the equator was needed to get the warmth everyone was seeking. My in-laws found an all-inclusive resort in Aruba that held the promise of warm days spent under the sun, and it was booked. I have to admit I was less excited than I should've been, but I was hoping for something new and Sarah and I had already done an all-inclusive down the street from this one for a friend's wedding a few years prior. Nevertheless, a free vacation is a free vacation and I wasn't complaining.

That said, you may have noticed that the title mentions Dublin and so far I've only mentioned Florida and Aruba. As our fun in the sun vacation approached, the Omicron variant reared its annoying head and we made the call to postpone. I'm a little fuzzy on the details of what happened next, but I know that Aruba was no longer happening, but the money that was spent on that trip somehow transferred to us spending a long weekend in the exceptionally luxurious Merrion Hotel in Dublin.

I was thrilled. I have always wanted to go to Ireland, and here was a free trip landing in my lap. I quickly decided this was the perfect opportunity to get back to my plan outlined in the intro paragraph: I was set on getting some sort of Irish tattoo during our short time on the Green Isle. I spent some time looking into Irish tattoos and symbols, while also perusing Instagram to get a sense of where to find a quality tattoo parlor.

Skin City Tattoo in the heart of Dublin quickly jumped out as a great place to get inked. For the tattoo itself, I landed on the Triskelion, or Triskele. This is an ancient symbol of three interlocking spirals that can symbolize infinity, the cycle of life, family, and a whole host of other things. To be honest, the symbolism doesn't mean very much to me. Apart from the visual appeal, I picked it because of my affinity for line work and the fact that the symbol is ancient - it can be found on burial mounds in Ireland dating back to 3200 BCE.

The trip itself had a bit of a rough start, as I got no sleep on the plane and, upon arrival, we found that our room wouldn't be ready for awhile. My plan of catching a few hours of sleep before getting inked was shot as we sat in the hotel lobby from 6 a.m. until almost noon, when we headed out to Skin City. After being awake for roughly 36 hours, laying down was a bit nerve-wracking. I kept nodding off and then startling awake, constantly panicking that I would jerk my arm and ruin the tattoo. Luckily, I didn't and the artist did a phenomenal job.

Luckily, upon our return to the Merrion, our room was ready and we crashed until dinner. Over the course of our trip, we wandered around Dublin, visited the Little Museum of Dublin (highly recommend), got exceptionally angry with the British (because fuck 'em, that's why), and visited Glendalough, Kilkenny, and a the little village of Hollywood. It was pretty cool being in a place where I'd be considered indigenous, and something about it felt familiar throughout the entire duration of our short trip.

Although I generally prefer visiting new places, a return trip to Ireland is high on my list. I want to see more of the country, in particular the aforementioned burial mounds. I want to visit the EPIC Museum, the museum of Irish Emigration and spend some time working with one of their genealogy experts. And I want to visit Northern Ireland to see the places from which my ancestors fled (and to visit landmarks from Derry Girls). I wonder what tattoo I'll get on that trip...


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Verb. 1) Pertaining to the behavior of being a Wittwer. 2) Doing odd things that only Wittwers would do. 3) Catchall phrase for the thoughts and actions of Patrick Wittwer.

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