Friday, February 22, 2013

My Big Fat Irish Vacation Day 10: Home Again

Wouldn't you know it? Departure Day dawned bright and clear. Which is undoubtedly a Very Good Thing when you're going to spend the day flying across a rather large chunk of the Atlantic Ocean, but all that was was on my mind was how I really wouldn't have minded taking off in the rain if we could have had those last few hours in Dublin. Because while we had seen a lot and done a lot, it was sinking in how much we hadn't done and hadn't seen. Ireland is a small island, but it isn't that small, and all the places missed were running through my mind. Donagal, Dungarvan, Wicklow, Waterford, Kerry - the place names run like a song.

Playing the bodhrain in Dublin
 Dublin Airport continued to amaze. Clean, fairly easy to find our way around in - and we were actually able to get a half way decent breakfast. And the customs agents were pleasant and managed to not make us feel like livestock. All of which was good because not only was I not thrilled about my vacation ending, I'm never happy to be in a airport. I don't enjoy being in a metal tube with several hundred other people and thrown through the air at a few hundred miles an hour.

 At least I knew what to expect now with Aer Lingus, and could look forward to another episode of Top Gear. It was the US end of things I was dreading, and rightfully so - for all the talk of international customs, the US security was much more unpleasant, and JFK was dirty, noisy, and we weren't on the ground 10 minutes before I saw a fist fight. Yep, welcome home, girl. The US flight that was miserable - nothing like being crammed in like an unwilling sardine with a bunch over-excited folk bound for Disney. Though in all fairness, the kids were fine. The parents, on the other hand....

Connemara Road
So where does that leave me? Wanting to go back. Often and badly. I literally dream about Ireland. And while much of it is beautiful and fascinating, what I really fell in love with were the people I met. I know full well that folk are pretty much the same everywhere you go, good uns and bad uns, fair and foul, but I was charmed by the people I met.
St Patrick's Cathedral at Rock of Cashel

So what now? Well, we're saving our pennies, planning for another trip, hopefully set up better now that we've gotten our feet wet. Tom sent off all the birth certificates, wedding certificates, and all the rest on Saint Patricks Day - it seemed appropriate - and is now officially an "Irish citizen of Foreign Birth By Right of Descent." So retiring to Ireland is still an option. And if I get my own mother's birth registered, I also have that prerogative - it doesn't do to forget I have my own ties in County Clare (t'is great Whalen country! as I was often told) and Dublin.

So with that, I'll end the Ireland saga with a favorite version of a favorite song. And while it was sung by Mary Black when they signed the Easter Accord in 1998, this is our favorite version.

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