Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Ireland

My son Nick, who is stationed in Afghanistan, was getting two weeks leave, soooooo.... the entire Delaney clan decided to meet him in Ireland. My sister and I have been planning this trip for the past several months, arranging house leasing, airfares for 16, rental cars, yadda yadda. Well, on July 5th, it all fell into place as we all descended upon JFK for our departure for Ireland, to meet with my son. The party included my Mom, along with my family, my sister's family and my brother's family.

We stayed outside Galway in the town of Athenry, in a delightful home that had enough bedrooms and bathrooms to hold our family. It was complete with a pool room, that the boys loved, and a tennis court. We couldn't find the tennis rackets, but the kids did manage to make up a new game of Irish handball that will soon be sweeping the nation.

The weather was rainy, unseasonably rainy, but it never deterred us from venturing around the Isle. We spent much time in Galway, as it was hosting its annual Arts Festival. We visited the Cliffs of Moher, the Ring of Kerry, Dublin, Killarney, Cork, the Blarney Castle, Sligo, Connemara and the Aran Islands.

Some of the group, enjoying an afternoon pint......At The Quay, in Galway......Nick and Bevin.....
Blarney Castle...Cliffs of Moher....Tower at Athenry.....This was my first time visiting the Aran Islands and it was truly spectacular. Most of our group travelled around Inis Mohr on bicycles, however, I, along with my sister and my mother, took the less strenuous trip in the back of a buggy.
Nick and Kirstin.....Pete and Oriana.....Emma, Oriana, KyleAnn and Bevin.....Bevin, befriending a local dog...Mom, Dee and I, travelling in style....Hubby, and sons at St. James' Gate Brewery....Nick and Pete at Durty Nelly's....

Sunday, the 15th, would have been my parent's 57th wedding anniversary. We surprised Mom by taking her to Knock, where we visited the shrine and attended mass. Our Lady of Knock was my Dad's favorite Irish song. That day had my Mom shedding a few tears, remembering my Dad but sharing this day with her children and grandchildren.....

The family at dinner, the night before Nick returned to Afghanistan....Emma and Bevin giving the "Pete" thumbs up......

We created memories that will last a lifetime. And hopefully, will keep up Nick's morale for the remainder of his tour, until he returns home next May. Please, keep him, and the other young men and women that serve our county, in your thoughts and prayers.

4 comments:

Mean Mama said...

This collection of family photos is outstanding for the JOY it shows in all your faces!

While traveling with my extended family is more akin to herding cats, you seemed to have managed it with smiles on all faces!

Jessi said...

wow - your family all has really great names! :)

Best wishes for your son!

FugueStateKnits said...

Anyone can see what a close-knit family you have! Your son is lucky to be taking that with him into battle. My prayers are with him and all his fellow soldiers - and that they come home soon, safe and well!
All the best,
Joan G in ellicott city, merlin.

Dorene said...

Fugue...
Thank you for your very kind thoughts. It is heartwarming to know that others care.