The Next Great Vacation

In work avoidance mode… So much to do that I can’t decide what to do first. So, I think I’ll blog. Heh, it’s lunchtime anyway.

I bought plane tickets for Ireland a few weeks ago. Mel, her sister Teri and I are going at the end of April for 10 days. Mel and Teri are beside themselves with excitement. They’re on the phone with each other about 4 times a week, counting down the days. Each has cleaned out the neighborhood library, checking out every available book on Ireland. They’re Irish you see… Automatically prone to bouts of obsessive national pride and countless pints of Guiness.

I have been working on their family genealogy and have two comfirmed branches branches from Ireland, with the most recent immigrating sometime between 1857 and 1870. I have been trying to pin down this ggg-grandfather’s exact birth location but have not been successful thus far. If I could, it would be nice to try to visit that place.

Teri lives in central PA and last weekend we convened at Mel’s mom’s house in western PA for an Irish meal and vacation planning session. The meal was incredible — Irish lamb stew and colcannon. Scotch eggs for appetizers, and some wild concoction for dessert. It was an orange custard served in the hollowed out orange skin. Something about winter sun in the name. Different but delicious.

Thus far, trip plans include 2 days in Dublin including the national museum and a Guiness brewery visit. Then drive north, stopping at Newgrange on the way to the Antrim Coast. Once north, visit Giants Causeway and a few other local attractions including Bushmills Irish whiskey distillery. The following day, drive west to see Beltany stone circle. (We will actually be there on Beltane eve/May day.) We’ll stay in that area for a night and the next day meander south to the western coast of Ireland near Galway.

We’ve already booked this cottage on the west coast for a week and have a number of day trips planned for the area including hiking in the Burren, a ferry to the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher, a visit to Galway city, etc. Oh, and did I mention numerous pub crawls? This is gonna be fun!

Since I’m the seasoned left-side-of-the-road-driver, a good map reader and planner, and NOT Irish, I’ve made it my job to make sure Mel and Teri have the time of their lives. I’ve told them to decide where they want go and what they want to see and I’ll do my best to make sure they get there. I didn’t even make them pay me… but I sure wish I could get a job doing tour guide work instead of my regular grind.

::sigh:: Only 84 days to go!


  1. I learned to drive in Japan, so I’m all set for any European driving adventure! I’m so jealous… are you going to let us take over your blog again like we did when you went to Germany? 🙂

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