Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Back to America...Part 1

We're back!  12 days, 3 countries, tons of memories and lessons that will not be forgotten.  I have so much information that I don't know how to organize it all into words.  I also don't know how to put it all down without putting my audience to sleep!  So I decided I would decided to break it up into a few posts.  I know you are busy people getting ready for the holidays.  Holidays?  Will I ever pull it off this year?!??

Let's just start with the weekend before we left on our grand trip.  Friday night was the girls' school silent auction.  Appetizers, drinks and fun with friends, all for a good cause.  Saturday morning came too soon with the realization of the million tasks at hand to prepare for our trip overseas.  Early afternoon we set out on a snowy journey to my hometown for the celebration and baptism of my newest nephew, Xavier.  It was quite a journey in the snow but we made it to the special event.  The drive took an hour longer but we made it.  It was worth it and sweet baby Xavier is growing so fast, I could eat him up.  

Then we jumped in the car to meet Steve's aunt and uncle to drop off Miss Gabby.  I handed over our sweet girl and wept like I was handing her over for life.  This would be the longest I had ever been separated from our sweet baby girl.  I knew that she was being cared for by people she loved but I also, deep down in my heart worried about freak accidents and my dear daughter being our only immediate family member left alive wondering why her Mommy left her behind.  I half jokingly told my sister, "If anything happens to us, please hire someone to finish our completely gutted, 1st floor bathroom or Gabby won't make much money on the house.  Awkward, morbid joke, I know.
November 20, 2011 
Leaving on a Jet Plane: (Mpls-NYC)
No matter how organized I tried to be, it was a crazy busy morning,  I love the oblivion of a 5 year old. Tess innocently asked me, "Mommy, will you come out and play in the snow with me?"  Right, after I finish watching this movie.  Ha.  The girls did well, we finished tying up our loose ends and we were off to the airport, thanks to Mike and Auntie Vicki.  

Upon arriving at the airport my Dad informed me that he didn't bring anything to read on the 9 hour plane rides.  I joked kind of to him, "Please don't try to talk to me because I have 7 years worth of books/activities that I brought along and they are calling my name!  Our first leg to NYC was great, the girls were great, happy and excited and I was overjoyed to be done packing, sitting down and relaxing.  Exactly the time I was dreaming of.  

NYC to Dublin:
Our trip across the big blue sea was uneventful.  We were fed a meal that some people complained about but I found it to be exquisite because someone prepared it for me, brought it too me and then cleaned up after me.  Glorious.  Then I popped my hearing aid battery out and tried to avoid eye contact with anyone that might need help from me.  (Good Mom.)  We all slept and arrived in Dublin excited to be there.  
Dublin, Ireland:
We arrived and we were greeted by the whole reason for our trip, the lovely bride an groom, Kelly and David.  They brought us to their beautiful place and then the Americans were looking a little rough so some of the crew took a nap and some got organized.  After a quick rest we went to a beautiful park by their house and then went to the city center for some sightseeing.  What a beautiful city!

 In the evening we worked on wedding details with the help of our friends Guinness and Bailey's.  After all  we were in Ireland and we also wanted to spend time with them too.

November 22, 2011
We woke up and took a tour bus around Dublin and saw as many sights as we could take in.

In the afternoon I was able to enjoy some bridesmaids activities with the bride and group.  This is where the magic happened.  The Ritz, this is where the magic happened.  I wish I had my camera with, it was glorious.  Have you ever had a manicure or pedicure at the Ritz?  You should, everyone should.  It was amazing.  I was laying on a soft, warming semi reclining bed, with cucumbers on my eyes and soft music playing in the background, glorious.  After this little bit of heaven was over, we were moved to the "Serenity Room" where we relaxed and I read my book.

Before I die, I will return to this place.

That evening we worked on project wedding with the bride and groom, family and our friends from Ireland, Guinness and Bailey's. We all had a great time.  It was so much fun to be part of some of the details despite our long distance.  I only wish we could have helped them throughout more of the process in the last year.

November 23, 2011 Northern Ireland:
We were off to Northern Ireland for the big event.  We rented a fancy minivan for the journey and Steve found that it cornered like it was on rails.  He did well driving on the left side and navigating the fast, narrow, winding roads.  The countryside was gorgeous and unforgettable.  We stopped at a cute pub in a small town and enjoyed a little lunch.  Then we continued on to this gorgeous place, Lough Erne
 This was our view from our cottage.

That evening we arrived at the Castle for the rehearsal and a lovely dinner to follow.  The dining room in the castle was magnificent and made my heart warm.  The room was filled with excitement for the day to come. After the dinner was over everyone left except the bridesmaids and their husbands (minus Steve) and the bride.  That night I slept in a castle with the bride!  Maybe we should just call it a nap, there wasn't much time to sleep!

I enjoyed this time with Kelly and felt privileged to have it.  Ahh.  Now I must continue to be a Mom in America.  Stay tuned for the next entry....the wedding!!!!!!  Have a great day!  Love, Gina


Naomi said...

Looks amazing so far! What an awesome adventure! Can't wait to read more!

Sarah said...

I want more!!!! Can't wait to see the rest of your pictures and hear about your trip!

Maura said...

so exciting! can't wait for the next installment :) forget about decking the halls, keep blogging... miss you!

Stacey said...

What an amazing experience to share with your girls. Loved reading about it in true Gina fashion, love the pics, can't wait to see and hear more.

And I started reading that book last week. What do you think? I have cried multiple times and am learning a lot. Finding myself saying little prayers of thanks throughout the day now. :-)


SarahT said...

I love hearing about your journey, especially about how angelic your girls are! What troopers. I love that book, too!