Headed to Ireland’s half light with a full heart

After a nearly six year absence, I’m visiting Ireland this month. It would take some effort, and both hands, to count the number of times I’ve traveled to the country where my father was born, yet I’m about as excited as I was on that first trip to the Emerald Isle. Back then, all flights from the U.S. stopped at Shannon and I’ll always remember the emotional response I experienced as the plane landed and I saw the gorgeous greens of the landscape. I’m not ashamed to tell you I cried.

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A couple of McMenamin lasses

Believe it or not, this visit was inspired by last year’s Roman holiday. Catching up with my “cousin”* in the lobby of her hotel, as she arrived from Dublin and I prepared to depart for home, convinced me that it has been too long since I saw my Irish family. I bought my tickets last fall and have looked forward to this trip ever since. Despite my original travel plans being canceled (thanks, Boeing!) and having to scramble for a new carrier (Aer Lingus) from an alternate airport (in a different state), I’m pretty much ready to go.

This will be the first time that I’ll be taking a little time to explore, solo, a part of Ireland that interests me – Galway town. Over the years, I’ve stayed in Connemara a couple of times and have seen the Burren, heard the traditional music and language, and indulged in the local cuisine, but this time I’m psyched to run by the water and wander the narrow city streets with my camera. While most of my time will be on the east coast with family, the few days I’ll be on the west coast are the ones that will feel the most like an escape rather than a homecoming.

 

Beyond my accommodations, the only thing I’ve booked is Airbnb baking class experience. I hope to learn how to bake Irish brown bread, which I plan to consume with copious amounts of butter, marmalade and tea. Other than that, I’m open to whatever adventures may beckon. Unless, of course, you have some recommendations?

*her dad is actually my cousin, but she’s much closer to my age than he is.

4 Comments

Filed under Europe, family, holidays, Ireland, Irish, Spring, travel, vacation

4 responses to “Headed to Ireland’s half light with a full heart

  1. Bill N

    Excited for your trip to Ireland; my daughter spent her Junior Fall semester in Dublin.
    I recently ordered a guidebook on the Wild Atlantic Way (@wildatlanticway on Twitter).
    I fantasize about spending a month ‘exploring’ the West Coast.
    I’m assuming you have been to Dingle (Waterford Crystal shop, stainglass windows in the church, killer view from the Skellig Hotel restaurant, etc.). What about the Gallarus Oratory several miles out on the peninsula – seemingly in the middle of nowhere?
    Have a wonderful time and safe travels.

    • I’ve never been to Dingle! Or the Giants’ Causeway or a bunch of other places…how lucky your daughter was to spend an entire semester exploring. I think Rick Steves does a “Wild Atlantic Way” episode. Can’t wait to share photos here from what’s bound to be an epic trip!

  2. Ah, a land of photographic opportunities – capturing images of the red-haired lawns and green-grassed ladies … wait a second…

  3. Pingback: What’s Up in the Neighborhood, April 6 2019 – Chuck The Writer

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