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Published:June 7th, 2007 10:15 EST
A Little Touch of Ireland is a Lot to Have

A Little Touch of Ireland is a Lot to Have

By Carolee Kaufold

Ireland! I have been there two times. The 1st time I went with my husband Thom in December 1992. We got to the airport 2 hours before the plane was to leave JFK. The only thing was the plane never left Ireland. So we waited for it to get there.


After many hours, we arrived in Ireland. The plane first landed in Shannon, and took off for the short flight to Dublin. When we flew over the water to Shannon it was still dark. As we left for Dublin, the sun was shining. The trip took about 17 minutes and we got to look at the most physically beautiful country I have ever seen. Ireland is truly 40 shades of green. There are hills, long winding roads, small towns and castles.


Thom and I were returning to the land of our mothers. Fitzgerald and Halligan. We were about to see a country that is clean, interesting and filled with the loveliest people I have ever met. The food is wonderful, the soda is warm and the Hotels are quaint. The first two nights we stayed in Dublin. All the doors on the homes are different colors. The streets are safe. The pubs are filled with wondrous tales. One night we went to a pub just outside of Dublin called Fox's. They were having Christmas parties and we met a lot of locals there. Father Christmas was there and so were fish and chips.


When we were in Dublin, Thom went in to Trinity College to look at the Book of Knells, and the bus we were on had to move. I thought he was lost and he didn't remember the name of the hotel where staying. But in truth he was strolling all over having a good old time. I finally found him on Grafton Street, and I was never so happy to see anyone in my life.


On our way around the country, we saw the Waterford Crystal factory. It was shutting down for a while and we were the last group to see it. We saw the Rock of Cashel-- which is a church ruins on a hill overlooking the town of Cashel. We went to the Blarney Stone, the Ring of Kerry and a privately owned castle. We saw grand manors and small homes. We saw the hotel suite that Tom Cruise used during the filming of "Far and Away".


Thom had so much Guinness one night, that he slept on the bus all the next day. We were on a specially arranged trip for travel agents, and the owner of the Inn we were staying liked Thom and would not let him go to bed. We had the greatest time. The Irish people are funny and very charming. We ate in castles, in private homes, in pubs and in hotels. We were treated like long lost cousins. The Irish Tourist board took us out to dinner, and so did local folks. We were all treated with kindness and love.


The beauty of Ireland can only be matched by the beauty of the people. When I had spoken to friends that had been to Ireland before, I wasn't prepared for the welcome we received. In Ireland the weather is constant. In March the weather is the same as August, in the 60's. They call rainy days "soft days," because they only see good in things. If you ever go, be sure to take me with you! After all we are all Irish on St. Patrick's Day.  


The second time, was with a group of over 60 Long Island NY policemen  and their families.  I took them over to Ireland so they could perform with their Pipe and Drums.  We had a great time.  They wore kilts and looked so cute.  One night, at the hotel we were staying, their was a wedding party, so the cops came marching in playing on the drums and pipes.  The bride and groom were thrilled.

If I had to pick a place to just breath, it would be Ireland, The pure beauty is amazing, the locals are grand and the pace of life is just time stopping. Ireland is the place of many of our grandparents and family, you feel it on the hills and in the homes. You are, after all, their cousins from America, don't you know? The freckles on your face and the blood that runs through you tell them so.