Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ireland Homecoming - #1 Glanduff Co Mayo Cead Mile Failte

The journey home started Mar 14th on a Aer Lingus flight from LAX. Feeling excited and a little anxious. Twelve hours later we land in Dublin. We need to clear customs and catch our plane to Shannon. We have less than two hours to get to our plane. It's not looking good. Customs is moving at a snails pace and airport personnel are not interested in hearing about making your next flight. An hour and forty five minutes later we have cleared custom and we're told we need to RUN to catch our flight and it's a good ten minute Run and they can't hold the plane. OK we bolt thru the airport with my 10 year old daughter in the lead. I'm sweating but running like OJ in a old Avis commercial. Ten minutes later still running but we see the gate and we just barely make it.

We sweat the whole forty five minutes to Shannon but it's all good, we made our flight. We arrive and now it's the next challenge. I have to drive three hours to Foxford. Normally no big thing but I'm exhausted, very little sleep, still tired from our run and I have to quickly adapt to driving on the other side of the road and drive from the other side of the car. I won't say the wrong side but not my comfort zone. I think I'm up for it but first I get lost looking for my rental car in the parking lot. Not a good sign. I find it and hey I'm in Ireland. I'm cool. So I start out of the airport and it's taking all my attention to not drive on the wrong side of the road. I'm not doing bad and then I run into my first roundabout....... Okay I got to read four signs very quickly and they are in two languages and I'm on overwhelm. My wife is trying to help but I am stressed big time and let's say we are both a little testy at this point. Fun, fun fun except if you're the driver and I'm the driver. The look on my face would have made a good YouTube video. Well I survived my first roundabout but there were many more to come. Next up was a narrow and I mean narrow road with rock walls on both sides and a bus coming in my direction going at least seventy and I got no room to move over. If I could have I would have closed my eyes and prayed but somehow the bus doesn't hit us. I've lose all sense of space and physics. I'm in Ireland.

Finally four hours later we arrive in Foxford and I'm happy to get out of the car. We greet my second cousin Sharon who made this miracle reunion possible. We meet her family. They have traveled from the UK to the reunion, also a long trip for them.My niece and her family has arrived already from New Jersey and we greet them. We later meet Sharon's dad and my first cousin and his wife. They also travelled from the UK a few days earlier to organize the event. We are all very happy to finally meet in person for the first time. Finally we decide that my niece Jennifer, my cousin Tony and my second cousin Sharon and myself will go up the hill tonight to meet my Aunt Maggie and my cousin Marie. Our spouses will stay with the six kids. I'm exhausted having not slept in twenty so hours but I'm used to long hours on a film set so I'm not going to let a little exhaustion get in my way.

We arrive on top of the hill after a fifteen minute drive. The door opens and I see my 94 year old Aunt Maggie. It's a very emotional reunion. She's crying, my niece is crying and I'm crying and we are hugging each other and all talking at the same time about the miracle that brought us back together........

To be continued.........

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