Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Jim & Laura's Anniversary

 It has been six years now since we made our way back to the fair land of Ireland for a second celebration of the marriage of my daughter Laura to her husband, Jim Demaria. For my recently acquired in-laws, this trip would be the first back to Ireland for Jim's mother since she left to come to America, and would be her husband's trip ever to her homeland.
The entire trip was in fact inspired by the fact that I had been invited by a friend and former boss, Michael McGeady, to his family reunion in Letterkenny near Mt Errigal, in the northern end of the island. 

The entire trip was an adventure, as this weekend (for those of you who remember that far back) was the weekend of the great Northeaster blackout. As a consequence, we who were flying out of Cleveland thru Newark, and my daughter and son-in-law, who were leaving out of Kennedy, both found ourselves trapped at our respective departing airports and unable to depart. (And let me tell you, the sound of your daughter sitting in a dark airport, crying on the wedding dress that she is carrying is enough to bring down the strongest man.)

Losing a precious day on a short trip, all eventually made it over the ocean, and while the kids were beginning their preparations, we were celebrating the glories of the McGeady clan in typical Irish fashion (no, not drinking tea ... that's English). Surviving the festivities (and in my case, barely avoiding being raffled off to an unmarried female McGeady), we made our way down the west coast of the island. Briefly stopping in Cong the home of Ashford Castle and the area where John Ford movie "The Quiet Man" starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was filmed, we made it to Lisdoonvarna and Ballilaken Castle barely in time for the rehearsal dinner.

The following day dawned clear and bright clear and the departure to Newtowne Castle for the ceremony was right on time. The ceremony of course was beautiful, Father Joe did an amazing job (more amazing than we realized at the time, but that's a tale for another day), and the incredible shot that you see above was itself worth all of the craziness involved with the trip. 

Irish tradition determines that the journey to the reception must begin with a stop at the pub (big surprise, huh?), which we duly did. (The amusing scramble to produce enough euros to cover the tab was made only more ridiculous by discovering that they took Visa.)

The reception was amazing as well, and since we had booked all of the rooms in the hotel at Ballilaken Castle, they turned the place (and the pub) over to us for the evening. And when the weary bartenders finally decided that they had had enough, they turned the keys to the pub over to me with instructions to keep track of the drinks, lock up when we were finished, and leave the keys at the podium near the front door.

While this is not the anniversary that this wonderful couple celebrates (at least to my knowledge) it is certainly an event that I will remember all of my days. Congratulations kids, you have done well indeed and are truly blessed to have each other. And perhaps one day we will all get to return, this time taking young Maggie with us to introduce her to that magical place of your "other anniversary", the Emerald Isle.


Roland Hansen said...

Ah, but a little froth will do ye.
Enjoy. I send my regards to you and to all.

Roland Hansen said...

And --- A Very Happy Anniversary to Laura and Jim!!!

Hooda Thunkit (Dave Zawodny) said...


Dittos what Amigo Roland said.

(And, I hope you are feeling better yourself.)


Tim Higgins said...

Thanks for all of the kind thoughts for the kids and myself. I had written this weeks ago and only noticed it today myself.

My own recovery appears to be proceeding at a glacial pace well suited to my current ability to operate. I continue to look forward to regaining a more normal schedule.