Our trip to Ireland....

We just returned from our 1st ever trip to Ireland.  It was a long time coming as we’ve been planning on going for years, but this year finally was the year.  It was bittersweet, however, since our Irish Dad just passed away this past June.  He knew we had the trip planned and was very excited for us to be going, since he himself never got to travel there.

And, we felt our Dad lending his usual loving, helping hand in things the whole week.  For example…….

My sister missed her connecting flight in London, but by some miracle was able to get rebooked on another flight to Dublin, even though they told her that flight was sold out.  She was only  2 hours late in meeting me in Dublin…..thanks, Dad!

When we checked into the hotel, they had upgraded us to a Jr. Suite.  It was bigger and nicer than the 1st 4 places I lived in as a young, married person……thanks, Dad!

Her luggage was lost and the airline told her they had no record of it once she connected through Washington, DC.  All her research paperwork for our trip was in her luggage, as well as all her clothes and most importantly, her hair care products!  But, at 2 in the morning, she received a text from the airline saying her luggage had been found and was now at the front desk of our hotel….thanks, Dad!

The weather this past summer in Ireland has been a record year for rain, yet for the 6 days we were there, we only had ½ day of rain……thanks, Dad!

We easily found the church of some of our ancestors, which is still an active Catholic parish.  It was unlocked and when we walked in, there were bottles of holy water at the back of the church, as if they had been filled  and were just waiting for us to walk in and collect 2…….thanks, Dad!

One day, as we sat in our rental car at the side of the road, detoured by road construction and completely lost, a woman named Eva came walking down the road out of nowhere and guided us successfully around the road construction to the next town on our itinerary…..thanks, Dad!

Driving on the interstate in the middle of nowhere there suddenly appeared an unmanned tollbooth.  We dug through our belongings for Euro coins and came up with only $1.80.  Guess what the exact amount of money that was necessary at this tollbooth was?  You guessed it, $1.80.  Thanks, Dad!

A beautiful rainbow at the end of the day, which ended right at the edge of our hotel……thanks, Dad!

The whole country felt friendly and almost familiar to us.  Never once did we feel like strangers or outsiders.  We were welcomed everywhere we went and made several new friends.  I would urge anyone who has the least bit of Irish blood in his or her family tree to visit this country.  And even if you don’t, you should add visiting Ireland to your bucket list.

My sister and I flew from different parts of the U.S. to Ireland separately,  drove our own rental car (remember they drive on the wrong side of the road & on the wrong side of the car.  And, ok, my sister did all the driving!) planned our own itinerary, drank Hennessey, ate some pretty suspicious-looking food, picked hotels in towns we’ve never heard of and did this all on our own.  Some people think we were really brave for doing it this way………..

We’ll write about the differences of being brave today vs. being a brave Irish person way back when, in next month’s blog.   There’s NO comparison!