A Welcome Home with Designer Toast

Georgie, Peter, Jox, and Joan enjoying a crisp fall day in their Dublin home.

It’s not often you get the chance to visit other people’s home when you’re traveling the world.

In Ireland, I can recall being in the home of Elish and Con O’Hanlon in 2003 and, more recently, in the home of Glen’s friends Carol and Connor O’Malley (who run a B&B but treated us like family on our September 2012 visit).  I can’t remember visiting anyone else’s home here yet.

Joan’s beautiful entryway.

So today was a rare treat!  I had the pleasure of brunching with architect Joan Cahalin at her favorite cafe in the outskirts of Dublin and then visiting her family’s beautiful home.  I didn’t expect I’d be able to share photos of this visit, but the family didn’t seem to mind at all when I asked if I could take some photos for the blog.

Joan is currently studying business management at University College Dublin and she also has degrees in architecture, philosophy and linguistics (if I remember correctly). Her husband, Peter Twamley, is also an architect.

Their daughter, Georgie, is studying fashion design at the National College of Art and Design (NCAD). Georgie is a remarkably bright young woman who is full of insight into sociology and culture.  As I did every summer when I was in college, Georgie spent the warm months working on the staff of a summer camp in the USA. We’ve had many experiences in common, yet she seems so much wiser about the world than I was at 20. And she’s got a good sense of her many options for the future.

You can view the photo gallery to see Georgie’s method for making grilled cheese sandwiches using a regular toaster.

I really enjoyed discussing Dublin planning with Georgie, her two architect parents, and her younger brother, Jox who is in high school. He’s at the point in his studies where students spend a year learning subjects, in six-week blocks, that they haven’t covered before. In between these blocks, they have three periods where they are required to work in internship positions. With a bit of help from his mom, Jox found an internship at LinkedIn. It sounds like he has a truly outstanding mentor at LinkedIn.

The internship requirement seems like an great idea.  Many of my friends waited until after they earned college degrees to have the type of experience Jox is getting in high school. And unfortunately, so many of my friends discovered, after graduating, that they didn’t actually like the line of work they’d trained for in college!

After discussing Saturday’s edition of the Irish Times, Joan and Georgie and I jumped into the car. They dropped me at the apartment on their way to visit Joan’s mom in what was left of our daylight hours.

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