Mikey celebrated his 70th Birthday this year. Its a milestone and I thought it deserved a gift that was something to remember. So I asked Ratchlet if she and T.A. and M-t-G would be interested in going with her dad to Ireland. (As you all know, I. DO. NOT. FLY, EVER! so I never even considered going with them. Besides, I don't have even a little bit of Irish in my family.) My darling daughter actually thought it was a great idea too. She and T.A. had been to Ireland nearly 20 years ago, and was, therefore, at least a bit familiar with the country. She graciously offered to make the arrangements and put together an itinerary that would take them to a variety of historical and ethnic sites and towns in Ireland.
When we told Mikey about the gift he was really excited and happy. His paternal grandparents both came from the same town in Ireland to the U.S. where they met. So Mikey had always felt the family connection to Ireland and the idea of actually spending time exploring Dublin and some of the countryside and small towns was perfect.
Ratchlet and her dad talked several times about what he would like to see and visit in Ireland. They decided that they would go first to London because Maddie-the-Great is enamored of all things British, and she has wanted to go to London for some time. (A lot of her interest was generated through British TV shows, like Dr. Who, and the recent Sherlock Holmes series among other things.)
After spending four days in London, they would fly to Dublin and spend an additional six days in Ireland. At they end of their time there, they would fly back to the U.S. from Dublin.
Well, anyone who wishes, can pat me on the back for a great idea!!!
The four of them left Austin on July 10 and returned on July 23. From what I understand they had a great time. In London they saw Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, the British Museum home of the Magna Carta), Westminster Cathedral, and several other famous sites. London was absolutely amazing just as they had expected....but, at least for the Big Guy, Ireland was the best. They went to Trinity College to see the Book of Kels , visited several castles, explored Dublin, and went to the town where his grandparents were from. Mikey loved everything about it....he loved the history, the people, the country, the weather. In fact he didn't really want to come home. Mikey loved Ireland!! I think he would go right back if he could.
I have been told that Mike, Ratchlet, and T.A. all took photographs of the trip. So far I have seen exactly two photos! I'm sure I'll see more of them when T.A. downloads his photos (I hope).
When Mikey came home he talked about the things they saw, the places they went, the food they ate, the things they just didn't have time to see. All things considered however, when Mikey started telling me about the trip, he was the perfect embodiment of "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling".
So glad you had a great trip, Big Guy!! Happy Birthday!!!!