Last Tuesday Annie and I flew into Dublin to visit Annie’s Irish Grandad. Dad always makes us feel so welcome and his home is a home away from home for all the family. The sun shone and and Annie and I spent the warm days catching up with Dad and making the most of some quality father daughter time. Annie saved some of her biggest beaming smiles for when her Grandad entered the room. We spent one afternoon with my Nana and Grandad. Annie is the youngest great grandchild out of around fifteen and still counting. Nana and Grandad are amazing and Annie and I enjoyed our time with them. Grandad is very funny and Nana keeps us on our toes as she races around. They are both in their 90’s but with more energy then I have. I do so hope I have inherited their genes. I find their energy and zest for life inspiring.
Matt, Felix, Jay and Pi joined us Friday evening after a good flight but awful car rental experience. It can be safely said Hertz are not a family friendly firm as they kept Matt and three children waiting for hours at 11 o’clock at night whilst they mucked about with ridiculous bureaucracy, surprise fees, unwanted but insisted upon special insurance and then they lost the car. Poor Matt and kids were made to wander around a freezing car park searching for an illusive car that turned out to not be there after all. Eventually two hours later then it should have been, Matt got behind the wheel of the car to make the journey to Dad’s house. Poor darlings were all wiped. We have lodged a complaint with Hertz but as yet have heard nothing. Neither have they refunded the massive deposit. So quick to take money but not so quick to give it back.
Saturday dawned, the day of my cousin James’s wedding to the lovely Una. Everyone dressed in their finest attire. Jay looked especially smart in his new white suit and off we drove to Carlingford. When I was little, driving up north in Ireland took hours. The roads were often one lane weaving between villages and towns. Now a days with the new motorway, journey times are substantially lower.
The wedding ceremony was held in a pretty little church in Cooley.The bride looked gorgeous and James looked so proud when he saw her walking down the aisle towards him. Long services aren’t much fun with tired grumbley children, but we all survived. Annie sang along with the choir. I had brought some snacks to keep the children occupied. Knowing Jay inhaled his food I requested that the granola bars be eaten slowly to help prolong the silence eating brings. I hadn’t bargained on the melting yoghurt Pi managed to coat herself with, turning a clean presentable seven year old into a crusty urchin. I don’t know how she managed but it looked like she was foaming at the mouth. Rabid in church is not a good look. Felix decided that it was a good day to start being a proper teenager and worked on perfecting his ‘ it’s all sooo unfair and you don’t understand, listen, care (delete as appropriate). Luckily Derick aunty Val’s partner was on hand to chat to him about sciency things and restore Felix to the normal, happy, smiley Felix we know and love.
The reception was held at the Ballymascanlon hotel in Carlingford. The food was delicious, the view was stunning, the speeches were funny and not too long and it was fantastic catching up with family. We are very lucky to come from such a warm friendly family who enjoying being together and having fun. Family gatherings are one of my favourite things. I love being spending time, chatting and hearing all the news. It doesn’t happen often enough, but weddings are a great excuse to get everyone together.
After a morning dip in the pool and a a hearty hotel breakfast it was time to get back in the car and head south again. We took time out to visit a dolmen and sit on the beach but all too soon it was bedtime and then 5am, time to get our flight home back to normal life. We had a wonderful time and thanks to all the lovely people who made our stay so special.