When I was a kid, whenever my parents accumulated enough vacation time, the family headed to Ireland. We lived in Boston, and I’d never seen Cape Cod, New Hampshire, Florida, or any of the popular getaway destinations for other New Englanders. But I saw a ton of Ireland. Or more precisely, I saw a ton of the insides of Irish relatives’ homes.
Both of my parents were born on the Emerald Isle, so I suppose it’s natural that they’d want to visit home whenever they could, given that it wasn’t just around the corner.
As a kid, I had no problem with this, because many of our relatives had farms. You could run yourself ragged, ride around in hay carts, and get up-close-and-not-too-personal with farm animals.
Then, at twelve years old, I visited a parents’ friend’s farm, and literally had a roll in the hay with their daughter. At that age it was all very innocent, of course, as we repeatedly jumped onto the pile and laughed and laughed till about 10:30 at night. Twilight there can last up till 11:00 or so.
But as I got a little older, these attractions started to lose their luster. I was 16 the last time I visited — which is many decades ago.
I remember thinking that when I had the means, I’d explore a bit more of home. It was inspiring to hear of my classmates’ adventures in all the places I’d heard about but had never visited. I’ve largely fulfilled that wish list, and I consider myself a well-traveled New Englander.
A few years ago, Irish cousins stayed with us. We had a great time showing them around all the touristy points of interest that we enjoy. They invited us to their house in Ireland, and they promised to return the favor. I may have mentioned to them that the reason I hadn’t visited the land of my ancestors for so long was that I could never see any of the touristy stuff because of all the familial visitation obligations.
Well now, at long last, we’re going… or so I thought. My diagnosis of an inner ear disorder has caused us to cancel yet another getaway. It’s the 3rd time a health concern has scuttled travel plans this year. Due to the disorder I’m prone to dizziness and dizziness is not the best way to see Ireland before even entering a pub.
So wait a few more decades to go? Uh, uh! Thanks to the airline that refused to return our money we have a credit that’s good for 5 years. Since we don’t want to waste that money we’ll go some other time whether I’m dizzy or not. Who thinks the airlines need a comeuppance at how they treat their customers?
Anyway, I’m back to brushing up on the language. We’re still looking forward to the trip, possibly in the spring, and actually visiting some of the places I wrote about in Roswell Meets Noir. In an homage to my cousins’ visit, I set the last of that trilogy’s stories in places that my cousin’s daughter expertly researched. It should be fun to see them in real life.
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