Saturday, October 1, 2011

A million welcomes as our family arrives in Dublin

We made it. We have arrived in Ireland with all five kids, our luggage and our sense of humor still in tact.  We have heard repeatedly, "Wow, you sure have your hands full now, don't ye?" from numerous well-meaning onlookers, who can't help but be surprised and mildly alarmed as we take up the sidewalks with our strollers and strolling tykes.  

It's been a bit of a blur so far given that the jet lag has yet to lift and the whole experience seems a bit surreal.  Did we really just take an overnight flight to Ireland with five kids six and under?  Have we really arrived in Dublin?  Are all these smiling, friendly faces and offers to help really directed toward us?  How could we possibly be so lucky?

I have to say, it's true what they say about the Irish... we have been greeted with "Cead Mile Fialte", a million welcomes. It started on the AerLingus flight, where instead of gasping with horror at the notion of tending to five tots on the overnight journey, they embraced our family with a warm welcome before we even left JFK.

"What's your name love?  Can I get you another pillow my dear?  Ah, and look at the eyelashes on this one!  Would you like another juice love?  How about you Mum?  Surely you can use a glass of wine... you've earned it!"  And so on and so forth.  They oohed and aahed and fussed over the lot of us the whole way over, making that overnight flight a true delight... or, as delightful as possible given the sheer exhaustion of it all!

The warm welcomes continued as we connected with both family and friends.  We are truly grateful to be here, touched by our million welcomes and owe special thanks to the total stranger who offered to give us his umbrella yesterday as the rain poured down.  Thank you Ireland for the warm welcome and adventures that await!

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