Last week was a big one for Aaron and I, maybe too big of one Aaron and I are still exhausted from it. My brother and his wife were coming to visit us in Ireland from Arizona for ten days. My first family members to spend time with us in Dublin. We thought 10 days might be a bit long to stay in the city itself so Aaron and I planned a little sightseeing for 4 of the days.
When my parents were alive my mom insisted on a family trip every year. They were never really optional but what I called a “command performance,” if we did not plan to go we could expect to hear about it until the next one. These reunions were a family tradition going on for I would guess about 20 years. Long enough to see my family grow from 16 to 32 including nieces and nephews, sisters and brothers, spouses and significant others.
The family reunions were actually quite nice, usually lots of fun and a way for all of us to be together. I constantly found it funny when we were all together we regressed to the relationships we had with each other as kids, while when we were with each other on a one to one basis we acted like adults. Anyway this was going to be the first time my brother and I actually traveled together. I think I was a bit nervous as Aaron, my brother and his wife had really only met once before in Arizona and did not really know each other that well, but excited also at the prospect of them getting to know each other better. In hindsight it seems crazy that I was nervous. It seemed the most natural thing in the world having them stay with us and everyone got along great. It makes me wonder how I could have been so afraid to come out to my family for so many years.
My brother and his wife love traveling but have kept it mostly to the US unless it was to one of our reunions or a family wedding in Israel for a few weeks, which was a command performance. So I think coming to Ireland was a pretty big deal for them.
Of course, their trip did not start off well. As I am sure most everybody knows it has not been the best of summers to travel, bad weather, bad delays, bad airports and everyone and their mother wanting to go away after being stuck at home for so long during Covid.
They were due to arrive here on a Monday morning however their flight was canceled due to weather. My brother and his wife unlike me, who would be yelling and screaming took this in stride and found another flight that would get them in on Tuesday. Next my brother calls me and tells me his back has gone out. At this point I would have quit, but they must have really wanted to see Aaron and I because they were still coming. My brother told me that Tracy, his wife had to manage all their luggage in the airport, the checking of bags, getting their carry ons in and out of the overheads etc. Robbie, my brother said he was embarrassed by the many pairs of eyes one him as she did all the heavy lifting. I told him all the men were just jealous that he had somehow managed to get his wife to do all of the work.
When they arrived Tuesday morning my brother could barely walk and I insisted on playing Doctor making him take some valium and vicodin and go straight to bed. Tracy having a jetlag joined him. While they were sleeping I got a look at the amount of luggage they had for a 2 week vacation. Two huge suitcases, 2 carry ons and a backpack. I really had a good laugh. I can go away for a month with just a carry on. When noon rolled around I woke Tracy and told her she didn’t fly 10,000 miles to nap and to get her bum out of bed.
Tracy and I took the tram into town so I could show her the lay of the land as I was busy on Wednesday and they were already a day late getting in. I wasn’t at my best or my mouth wasn’t as I had two root canals that morning but managed to take her to a nice people watching cafe Lemon Jelly where luck had it I found some soft food. Next I walked her through the downtown area pointing out some of the sights. Unfortunately I started her off in Temple Bar a big drinking and party area for everyone (well specifically for tourists anyway) and she insisted on cocktails and then shopping for souvenirs which I detest. She was the guest though. Next it was to Grafton Street the nice shopping area, Dublin Castle and the Trinity Library a must see. It was now time to all it a day and we walked back to our place along the river which I love. I don’t know how she and Rob planned it but despite all their missteps they managed to arrive the nicest week of the summer. I think Tracy might have enjoyed a little cooler weather as she is having a few I believe menopausal problems and kept here fan out constantly to cool her off.
I am not sure if I am a better tour guide or doctor. When we got home I woke my brother made him take some more vicodin so I could take him for a walk to loosen his back up. That night I made us all a huge pitcher of Moscow Mules and we were able to relax and order dinner in. After dinner we were all feeling full and a bit drunk when Rob and Tracy found for some reason they could not send or receive or emails from Dublin. I actually think they might just travel in the US from now on with all of their luck. When it was time to turn in Rob started making a stink about the pill regiment I had him on. I told him if he told me he was worried about becoming addicted to pills one more time, I would make it easy for him and I would kill him.
On Wednesday after waking my brother and taking him for a walk again to get him moving, he and Tracy left to continue their tour of Dublin. They loved the cocktail making class at The Jameson Distillery. After the class they had a good time drinking all the cocktails they learned to make. Tracy enjoyed it more than Rob, at every bar and restaurant we went to afterwards she had at least one whiskey sour and became an expert at discerning the differences in each one. Aaron and I might have to take that class. Afterwards they went to dinner and to see some Irish Dancing, which I know nothing about. I was a little relieved to have the day to myself, to rest after my root canals and implants which I had the week before. The next day the four of us would be leaving for our adventure through part of Ireland.
Before I even start writing about our adventure I have to say Aaron deserves some sort of medal for doing all the driving and planning. He could probably give a fuck about about the medal and much prefer some sort of gift. Aaron is the only one able to drive here since they drive on the wrong side of the road as far as I am concerned. My job was to make reservations at hotels for our 3 nights away. I thought I did such a good job finding great Bed and Breakfasts until about two weeks before our departure and I discovered I made them for the wrong dates. It now being 2 months since I made the originals every place was just about booked and at least as twice as expensive. Typical for me.
Next up travelling to the west of Ireland