Day one seemed to never end, Saturday quickly turned into Sunday, 5 and 6 December to be exact. We were up at our home in Maryland at 0500. Having packed most things a day earlier, taking the dog and cat to the kennel and having a good meal with the Fire Auxiliary prior to our departure sleep, we were in pretty good shape.
In attendance was the Presidente, Jan, Aggie, Susan, Judy, Jo Anne, Betty, Patty, Melissa, Sarah, Miss Sue, Jeff, Your scribe and Mary Agnes. A great meal was had by all.
Mary Agnes was presented a plaque for twenty-five plus years of service to the Fire Dept Auxiliary. A group of members joined together at Vinny’s La Roma Restaurante for the annual Christmas gathering. It was heard that the business has been sold, Vinny was retiring after 30 years and another restaurant exits Salisbury. After the meal, it was home we go, get a good night’s sleep and be off on our trip at wakeup.
Upon awakening on departure day I headed out to our chickens, checked on their welfare and unlatched their door to freedom for the day. Wonderful friends and neighbors would care for their welfare while we took our Ireland holiday. With the car packed, we latched the door and headed out to gather our traveling companion and host. We would be staying in his mother’s home in Kilkenny.
We would pick up our host and Concierge Ed O’Leary shortly before 0800, snap a shot of he and wife Alexis in front of their picture perfect tree and be off for the 4 1/2 hour trip to JFK Airport. Alexis would remain at home this trip to get ready for the college graduation and festivities for daughter Maddie on the 19th. Maddie will graduate from Salisbury University with a degree in Elementary Ed. & Fine Arts.
Back to the trip. Travel became a bit sluggish due to construction at the twin bridges leading from Delaware to New Jersey and the turnpike north. We changed course, went north to Pennsylvania and crossed over the Commodore Barry bridge to New Jersey, ran parallel to the turnpike and rejoined it at Exit 7. The rest of the trip was uneventful and we arrived at JFK in exactly 4 1/2 hours. Knowledge of existing roadways proved valuable for the detour.
Without precedent we obtained a parking spot directly next to the shuttle train to the terminal and were whisked quickly to our Aer Lingus gate area. This will never happen again in my lifetime I assure you. “The Luck of the Irish” was with us for the start of the trip. We can only hope the Leprechauns will stay with our coattails throughout the trip.
Ticketing and baggage check-in went smoothly, no overweight baggage here, we were within normal limits, the anticipated stress relieved. We now could travel to the TSA nightmare to gain access to the gate area. Just like a baby’s behind, this also proved a smooth transition. Gotta love those Leprechauns.
I must mention an attractive lady who I engaged in conversation, I’ve never been shy, so talk I do. She was from Dublin and had spent the last week in greater NYC shopping and attending an Art exhibit in NJ. She mentioned it was quite expensive. I mentioned we were celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary, not a gold one, but a green one.
I was questioned about the priestly looking man, dressed in black with white socks (Nerdy I might add) I explained that was Father Edmund our traveling companion and Concierge on this trip. I also explained we were staying in Kilkenny with the Mother of our Priestly companion. She thought that should things go bad during the flight he would be a comforting source.
We loaded into our seats on time and settled in. Our push from the gate was uneventful and in short time we were airborne and heading east to Ireland. Actually this is a misnomer, we were headed north to Labrador then south of Iceland and east to the Emerald Isle. The flight was actually short as the Jet Stream blew us across the Atlantic, we arrived in less than 5 hours. I got up and walked a bit, no blood clots on this writes legs.
Can you believe it was raining when we arrived?
Father Edmund, having returned home many times previously, guided us through customs and on to Budget rental car. It was 0500 Ireland time. An hour and a half later, after driving on the wrong side of the road we arrived in Kilkenny. Our hostess was awake and awaiting on us with an Irish breakfast of ham, sausage links, sausage patties. We also had a geriatric Pomeranian named Jack greet us. More about Jack later on.
I’ll take a break, take a nap, Jet Lag you know, and get back with episode two later. Sleep well my readers, that’s what I’m doing.