We flew from Toronto to Amsterdam, and then on to Cork on the southern coast of Ireland. It took me days to get everything organized, and I still felt like I had a million things to do as we were leaving to get to the airport. How on earth did the Mister's ancestors ever manage to get themselves on one of those coffin ships to flee the famine? I had entire Excel spreadsheets to make sure I covered everything before I left.
Our flight itself was fairly uneventful. Overnight flights to Europe are usually pretty quiet; they serve a round of drinks, they feed you dinner and then turn out all the lights and everyone goes to sleep. Except for the two young men who were sitting in front of us; they talked for 7 hours straight. And although they weren't whooping it up or being excessively loud, an airplane is a fairly contained space, and the Mister and I were privvy to their conversation for the entire flight. And they were not talking about nuclear physics or world peace. It was like flying to Amsterdam with Beavis and Butthead.
The guy in front of me put his seat back as soon as he was allowed, that made it impossible for me to see the tv screen in front of me (it was too close and I couldn't focus, because I'm old.) or hold a magazine up because there was no room. (Let me interject her to say that I think there should be a special place in hell for airplane interior designers. Either put a few more inches between the seats or don't allow the seats to recline.Or give me a golf club to knock some sense into the person in front of me.) I finally, and might I say very politely, asked them to shut the hell up. They sheepishly aquiesced, but not without giving me a bit of a look that said "jeesh, old lady". You know, what Beavis? If you don't let me sleep and you don't let me read, my only entertainment is to bitch at you.
We landed in Amsterdam and then headed straight to Starbucks because Mrs. Loudshoes - 1 night's sleep (/units of caffeine) = misery and heartache for all concerned. After a grande latte with 8 sugars, all was right with the world.
On to flight #2, to Cork, which is only an hour or so and there was nobody annoying on that flight. We land in Ireland, land of my birth, to a big, beautiful new airport in Cork city. Because it is a little, almost local flight, almost everyone on it is from Europe, and they go into the "EU Passport" line, and the other 7 of us go into the "Non-EU Passport" line. We get through customs and immigration faster than any airport I've ever been in. The Immigration man stamps the Mister and both Thing 1 and Thing 2's passports with one stamp and then mine with another..."welcome home" he greets me! "How come mom got a different stamp than we did" asked Thing 2. "Because she's allowed to stay", said the Mister.
We drove for 2 hours to the west, to Kerry, where my father grew up and my parents lived when they got married, before they came to Canada. To this little house, which my grandparents built in the 30s.
Nothing has changed in that house in my memory; it still looks and smells exactly the same. (Except it does have a phone and a shower now. Welcome to the 21st century!)
Here is the Mister, at one of my very favorite places in the whole world. I just love this beach.
We went to bed around 6 pm that night and slept for 14 hours. I'm not even making that up. (Thanks, Butthead!)