Thursday, March 15, 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

by Cathryn Parry

A few years back, my mom and I decided to take a mother-daughter trip to Ireland, mainly to visit the small villages where her grandparents had emigrated from.
Tiny Car
We flew into Shannon airport and rented a golf-cart-sized car to zip around the country in.  Ireland drives on “the wrong side of the road” from us, so we had a few nail-biting moments (and later on, laughs) whenever we approached a roundabout.

The first stop was the scenic Dingle peninsula in the southwest of Ireland.  The scenery was stunning, and we felt like we were visiting “old Ireland.”


Dingle
Next we drove to County Cork and stayed for several days, mainly researching our ancestors.  This is where we visited the two country villages where my mom’s people had lived prior to leaving for Boston.  Both families left together, three generations in all, in the early 1880’s.  The innkeeper we stayed with helped us research; we discovered that likely, their landlords had paid them to emigrate during a drought year, rather than staying on and being unable to pay their rent.

Blarney Stone
While we were in County Cork, we visited Blarney Castle.  Here is what it looks like when you kiss the Blarney Stone:



Later, we toured the Waterford Factory (that was Mom’s choice), and the Cliffs of Moher (mine).  We ended the week near Bunratty Castle, with a pint of Guinness at the pub.
Cathryn and Mom in Ireland
Are you in the mood for St. Patrick’s Day this weekend?  We are!  And if you’ve ever taken a special mother-daughter trip, please share.  I’d love to hear about it.

22 comments:

marybelle said...

I have a lot of Irish in me. I get it from my Grandfather. Nothing too special planned though. Just thoughts of Grandad really.

Karina Bliss said...

Cathryn, my mother's parents were Irish and she and I did the exact trip you did, many years ago now.
Small world!

Ellen Hartman said...

Hi Cathryn,

What a wonderful trip. Loved the photos.

A big group of my relatives went to Ireland about 10 years ago for a similar trip. We rented a bus and saw the sites. So much fun. (I loved the Waterford factory...and the Guinness factory.)

We met so many interesting people and had a TON of fun.

Mary Brady said...

Cathryn, the trip sounds lovely. There be no Irish in me, but I can celebrate wi' me darlin' or maybe for him as he'll be gone all day and all evening.

Lovely photos! Thanks for the peek.

Pamela Hearon said...

Cathryn,
Top of the mornin' to ya!
I'm into genealogy in a big way. DNA tests recently linked my dad's family to Niall of the Nine Hostages--one of the High Kings of Tara:-)
My husband and I toured Ireland several years ago, visiting several of the places you mentioned. Thanks for stirring the memories!

Kaelee said...

Somewhere in my ancestors there is an Irish relative or two. I do like to have a pint of Guinness on the 17th.

I never took a trip with just my mom but my husband and I took lots of trips with my parents and his mom. Now that I'm older, I realize why my dad used to complain that my husband never stopped often enough. my old bones need to get out of the car and move before they seize up.

Cathryn Parry said...

Marybelle, I hope you enjoy the day! Thanks for reading.

Cathryn Parry said...

Karina, that's amazing! We didn't have any relatives there (that we knew of), but it sounds like you might have. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Cathryn Parry said...

Thanks, Ellen! Your trip sounds like a blast. I would have loved to have seen Ireland with my nieces/nephews and siblings, too. That's a party. :-)

Cathryn Parry said...

Mary, you can be an honorary O'Brady for the day. (And I'm sorry your darlin' will be missing it!)

Cathryn Parry said...

Pamela, very cool--you're a queen!
:-)

And we'll have to get together and talk genealogy. I have so much fun with it!

Cathryn Parry said...

Kaelee, LOL, unfortunately, that is so true. (I just got back from a 3 hour ride, and I am feeling it.)

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

linda s said...

The leprachauns are busy here on Saint Patrick's day. A quiet, watchful grandchild can sneak up on one and sneak away his magic pot of gold (loonies actually since they are immigrated leprachauns). They do have to leave on peice of gold in the magic pot so it can grow more for another day. But the wee men never hide in the same place twice.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day. Riding a gypsy caravan across Ireleand is still on my to do list.

Kristina Mathews said...

Cathryn,
That looks like a wonderful trip.
My last Mother-daughter trip was to Hawaii when I was 14. We stayed with the parents of one of her freinds. They had a small farm with chickens and a calf. The large pig farm across the street made for an interesting experience. Of course, we spent a lot of time on the beach, too.

For St. Patricks Day, I'm really looking forward to not having to be anywhere. Basketball season is over and Little League baseball doesn't officially start for another week. If that's not a good reason to grab a pint, I don't know what is!

Snookie said...

We did a mother sibling trip when my sister graduated from OSU-Corvalis. We drove to the Vancouver aquarium, then went all the way down the Pacific Coast highway to Mexico. It was a pretty interesting trip :)

Emmie said...

I used to live in a part of the country that had a very strong Irish heritage and that definitely came out on St Pat's Day! We had a pub called "Micky Burke's" that used to serve green beer. It tasted awful, but we drank it anyway!

Susan F. said...

We visited some of those same places when we went to Ireland in 2007. I loved the Waterford factory. One of my favorites was the village at Bunratty - reminded me of places like Williamsburg here at home.

Rogenna Brewer said...

My grandmother and I drove interstate once between Florida and Colorado. Got pulled over in Texas.

She tried to convince me to have my "fine" ready for the officer. I argued that a bribe was illegal. One of many, many arguments that trip.

And that trip is still one of my fondest memories of her.

Kathleen O said...

I have been a trips to Ireland, with both my grandmother and then my parents. My grandmother and I visited many of the places you visited, but we started our journey from Dublin and took a bus tour. When I went with my Mom and Dad, we toured around Donegal, where my dad is from. We stayed with my Aunt.. I have been back many times, but not for along time. They are all gone now and i am glad I had those memories....

liztalley said...

Beautiful pics and thanks for sharing your journey :)

I have Irish in me somewhere, but nothing so prominent that it was particularly noted in our family. We don't do anything special for St. Patrick's day around here...but wear green. Hope I remember to wear it, Saturday. Don't want to get pinched all day :)

Kathy Altman said...

Cathryn, thank you for sharing your lovely pics and your trip with your mom--that's so sweet! Now I'm Irish-green with envy. :-) I've always wanted to go to Europe and we *will* go one day if I have to drag my DH kicking and screaming. :-) Actually I don't think he'll kick too hard--his family is Irish and used to own Castle Donerail (sp?) in County Cork, so we at the very least must go there. Thank you for the nudge! :-) Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Cathryn Parry said...

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your comments and stories. I enjoyed reading them tremendously!:-)

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