Eireann go Brach!
Vacations for me have been pretty plain so far. Myrtle Beach, grandma’s house, Millersburg, all those holidays were pretty normal. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy traveling to grandma’s house for some family fun, but my life was missing one really amazing trip. Then my parents hit me with the best idea for a vacation that I have ever heard! Two summers ago, my family and I went on a ten day trip to IRELAND!! We bought the tickets and left on June 5th right after I made my confirmation. The trip was six and a half hours on a plane transversing the Atlantic Ocean. As we were descending, I looked out my window to view the mind blowing scenery. Green grass grew as far as the eye could see. Cows, sheep, and chickens grazed right by the airport. The land from the plane looked like a patchwork quilt divided by fences. Then we landed.
After we got our bags, we found a cab. The steering wheel was on the passenger’s side. Also adding to the driving situation, all vehicles were driven on the left side of the road. Finally, after the nerve racking driving, we arrived at my mother’s aunt’s house. Imagine a traditional Irish cottage, white with a brown roof, a fence from the street that has the word Progue on a little sign attached to it, and a blue open door to anyone who wants to enter. It was a beautiful sight. I remember it like it was yesterday. Madeline, my mom’s aunt, greeted us with open arms at the gate. Madeline and her husband, Noel, live in the city of Limerick. Within walking distance, was the residence of their daughter Madeline, and granddaughter, Nollaig .We went into Madeline’s kitchen where I first met Nollaig. She is my 3rd cousin. She and I spent the day touring Limerick but she asked me questions about America. Let me take a minute and explain to you how I am related to these people. My grandpa, God rest his soul, had four sisters and one brother. One of his sisters is Madeline, Nollaig’s grandmother. Our next stop on our trip was to the O’Sullivan bar, owned by my 2nd cousin Desi O’Sullivan. We went that day with Nollaig, checked out the pub, met Desi and his family, and then went shopping. After a couple of days in Limerick, we traveled by train to the city of Cork in order to visit my 2nd cousin Liam.
When we arrived in Cork, Liam drove us to his house. Liam’s home is more modern then Madeline’s house. His home looked like a typical American structure without a garage. My favorite feature of Liam’s house was his sun room that was completely made of glass and led to the small cozy backyard that was surrounded by a fence with plants growing on it. We went with Liam to the Blarney Castle and kissed the Blarney Stone. Afterwards, we did some shopping at a big shop called Blarney Woolen Mills. We left Liam and his son, Nessan, the next day. We were very thankful to him for being a great tour guide and a great host.
When we returned to Limerick, there was still more family for me to meet. My family and I went to visit Margie and her son, Steffan. Margie’s mother was our hostess Madeline. Additional family members joined the festivities. After we had a great time at Margie’s, we were off to meet the Arnolds’ the next day. At first we sat down with Betty and Bridget, her daughter. Betty is John’s wife and my grandfather’s sister-in-law. After a nice and quiet dinner with Betty the chaos began. Betty’s grandchildren all came in at once and the oldest grandchild is sixteen, so all the kids were very young and full of energy. After we left the Arnold’s house I was exhausted, and ready for a nice relaxing trip to Kilkey.
As our trip was coming to an end my relatives shared their favorite vacation destinations. It was just my luck, that Desi and his family got a van and actually took us to Kilkey. They wanted us to experience some sights that we could not miss! The ocean was so big and blue that the boys couldn’t help but jump in. We got to climb on rocks and walk to see all the houses lined up and beautifully decorated. If someone asked me today what my favorite part of the trip was I really couldn’t give them a straight answer. I loved it all, from the sight seeing to meeting all my family for the first time. It was an unbelievable and an unforgettable trip that I will keep in my heart for the rest of my life. I can’t wait to go back for my graduation in three years and see all my family again!
That’s No Blarney!
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