The Paddywaggon tour was a smash hit, and one of my favorite things I have ever done. To read more about the wild adventures I had go to: http://www.paddywagontours.com/viewtour.php?id=5&&day=29&&month=11&&year=2010
This is the route that we took:
The highlight= my tour guide, Joe. He's a corporate solicitor (lawyer), going back to school to do family law. He's one of the funniest people I've ever met, and knew how to make history interesting. He's brilliant. Some Joe-isms:
"Put the lip gloss on and pucker up ladies: it's me or the stone." (He's all talk, btw...I told him I chose him, and HE DIDN'T DELIVER!)
After he asks a question and no one answers, "Yes Joe, sounds like a plan, Joe, good idea, Joe."
"I've only ever heard 3 stupid questions: When do we go to see Stonehenge, when are we getting there, and Joe, are you Irish? They don't make men slightly balding, slightly overweight, and white as a ghost, and not Irish!"
"Men wanted to be like him, women want to be with him."
"Feck" as in "those feckers fecked everything up and now IMFucked" =)
"Now you can choose to believe me or a bunch of geologists. If you ask me, a bunch of guys that look at rocks all day need to get out more."
"She was so unseemly, even the tide wouldn't take her out."
"Canadians are just Americans that didn't make the cut."
Right now I'm sitting at an Internet cafe, trying to avoid going outdoors where it's below freezing and there is snow on the ground. I have the flu. It sucks. Last day in Dublin, and I'm cooped up. Did the same thing yesterday just to recover from the tour. It didn't work. That being said, I am a little sightseed out...and the last 2 days have been about something far more significant that seeing more cathedrals and/or taking walking tours. My mom and I have had some of the best conversations in our history of being related. Years of hurt, frustration talked through. Granted, nothing is solved overnight. But the doors of the dungeon have been swung open, and our sleeves are rolled up ready to do the hard work of restoring trust. And that's the best thing I could have gotten out of this trip, and well worth every cent. Sure it's been hard. Reliving the things we have both been through and put each other through was exhausting at best. But what I told her this morning was, you know mom, everything we've been through (and believe me, the women in my family have been to hell and back--we've suffered about every type of abuse known to women) one day is going to make us so much closer than we ever would have been if our family had been perfect and our men had loved us. One step at a time...we have each other, which makes it worth it. I bow my head and praise a God who creates new life from the darkest situations, beauty from pain.