To make the most of one’s travelling, I think planning is a must! I learned this lesson the hard way last year on our family’s Mediterranean cruise. While I absolutely loved seeing the Coliseum, Vatican City and the Amalfi Coast, we definitely would have had a better experience in Barcelona, Marseille and Mallorca with a little more planning.
The Mediterranean cruise was also my first trip to Europe and I was exhausted after my flight from the west coast of the US to Barcelona. All I wanted to do was sleep the day we arrived and the next day. It turned out to be okay on the cruise since we had a day at sea, but I didn’t think it would work on my Ireland tour. Perhaps, my husband and I should go to Ireland a few days earlier and get acclimated before the tour started? We could rent a car and see a part of Ireland that we wouldn’t see on the tour. What would interest him and yet give me a tiny morsel of reward in my never ending genealogical quest? So, it was decided we would fly into Dublin, rent a car and he would drive the car with a stick shift on the wrong side of the road to County Cork. There we could go visit the town of Cobh, where my great grandmother Bridget and my great grandfather Edward left Ireland for their new life in the US. Okay, now I am getting even more excited about this trip.
So, six months prior to my departure for Ireland, I purchased the book “Ireland for Dummies” by Liz Albertson. I am partial to those “Dummies” book series – they always give you the basics and build from there. I not only read the book (almost cover to cover) but I also highlighted passages and put tab markers on various pages throughout the book. I wanted to have access to this information before and during my trip.
Why stop with reading a guide book? What else would give me a taste of the Irish culture? Perhaps, watching some movies based in Ireland might do the trick. If nothing else, I would admire the Irish scenery. First, I watched the movie “Leap Year”, starring Amy Adams. It was very cute! I was hoping those same calamities wouldn’t happen to me when I got to Ireland. I followed that movie with another fun one – “Waking Ned Devine”, which was about winning the lottery and what happens to a small Irish village.
I have typed my family history for the Sherlock side and the Chambers side (I might need it on the trip), finished packing my bags with 8 hours to spare (that has never happened before) and actually got about 5 ½ hours of sleep the night before our departure date. It is now 4:30am and my in-laws are giving us a ride to the airport. Let my Irish adventure begin …