2 Wonderful Years

2 Wonderful Years

Today is our second wedding anniversary and the journey we embarked on then has gone from strength to strength. I am a wear my heart on my sleeve guy and I don’t care what some people think, I am married to my best friend and I will gladly tell the world daily!

So 2 years ago on this day Atlanta treated us to a lovely warm sunny day for our wedding day, well today its giving us wet grey weather, just like Ireland. As we got ready for the wedding we had a few nights of celebrating with friends and family from out of and in town so its a bit fitting that today on our anniversary my Mam and son are both crossing the Atlantic to spend Christmas with us.

It will be my Mams first visit to see me in the USA and I am looking forward to seeing her, its been a year since we last seen each other. My Mam couldn’t come over for the wedding 2 years ago as she was looking after my Dad who was in a nursing home at the time. After my Dad passed away I never thought my Mam would travel over here so it was a lovely surprise in April when she told us she had renewed her passport and would love to come see us. Full planning mode was turned on and with Robert also expressing that he would rather come for Christmas we had a plan quite quickly, they could travel together!

And so on our second wedding anniversary instead of a lovely romantic evening with my beautiful wife, we will be collecting my Mam and son from Atlanta airport at 9pm, sorry honey but I promise I will make it up to you.

The blog posts are becoming fewer and fewer but I will try keep it going. But it will change direction once again as I become more settled into life here in Atlanta. The last 2 years have been a glorious time and I couldn’t be happier. We have traveled , we have wined and dined, we have become closer as a couple, our journey is about to embark on one of lives great gifts and we are madly in love.

I will sign off by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Year, Happy Hanukkah or whatever phrase you want to use, just be happy, be nice and kind and everything else will fall into place. Enjoy the season and be safe.

Nollaig Shona agus Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh

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Happy Christmas from Dublin 

Happy Christmas from Dublin 

I am back home with family for Christmas and it has been a wonderful week, catching up with friends, a 3 day trip to Rome, having a few Irish beers and showing Leanne around Dublin at Christmas. 

Later today all the family, my Mam, brother and sister and their spouse and children will gather in my Mams for Christmas dinner and a family celebration and some remembrance too. 

But I want to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year

Happy Holidays? Sorry it’s Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Happy Holidays? Sorry it’s Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

If the words Happy or Merry Christmas offends you well I am very sorry for you as you probably need lighten up a little. As an Irishman living in the USA I am hearing Happy Holidays everywhere I go and it’s funny as a lot of workers get one day off, Christmas day, and that’s not much of a holiday. So call it what it is, Christmas. Or even Happy One Day Off work. Can just see Hallmark making the cards already. And I know people call it happy holidays for different reasons but it’s up there with Y’all and awesome as phrases I won’t be using for a while yet. 

Anyway, I am posting today to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year as this day week I fly to Ireland with my beautiful wife to spend Christmas with my family and friends back home. There is a saying ‘home is where the heart is’ and there is no doubt mine is here with Leanne in the USA, but there will always be a part of it back in Ireland. 

So be kind, be nice and be safe. Have a lovely Christmas and holiday and don’t eat or drink to much, well that last bit is a bit tongue in cheek. 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I will be back in early 2017 posting on the blog. 

Culchie day in Dublin! 

Culchie day in Dublin! 

What are you on about I can hear people in the USA say, what is a ‘culchie’? So let’s get what a Culchie is out of the way first. Anyone from outside Dublin is a Culchie, someone from ‘down the country’. As usual Wikipedia gives a quick overview view so if you want to read about the origins of the word etc just click on the link A Culchie according to Wikipedia

So the next question, why are they coming to Dublin. Well back when I was younger, December 8th was a holy day, a day off school, so parents would pack the kids into the car, onto the train and head to Dublin to visit the big shops, do Christmas shopping and see Santa. This was in a time before there were any malls in Ireland and most of the big department stores where only in Dublin. Nowadays it doesn’t happen as much due to most reasonable size towns having some sort of a shopping centre. 

As children we would be brought into Dublin city center to see Santa, go to Switzers to see the Christmas window decorations, a kinda Harrods in Dublin but no where near as exclusive, and into a grill cafe to have dinner which consisted of chips (french fries) and a burger. I started bringing my own son to see the lights on Grafton St when he was young and it was something we done every year till last year. Hopefully we will get to see them this year together. 

Writing this post was prompted by me telling Leanne that today was Culchie day in Dublin and explaining to her what I meant. And that me thinking about a few things that you are liable to hear in Dublin. Had a quick Google search and it came up with a few suggestions but here is one Dublin Phrases


 

Some random thoughts of an Irish Ex-Pat living in the USA

Some random thoughts of an Irish Ex-Pat living in the USA

So 13 months ago I stepped onto an Aer Lingus plane and headed to Orlando on my way to my new life here in Atlanta. What brought me to make that trip came from a conversation with my now wife 18 months previous. So here I am, 49, married to the most wonderful woman, working away, enjoying life and immensely happy. 

But, and seldom there are times there is a but, I have missed my family and friends back home, missed going for a pint and talking about the latest football match, miss sharing things regularly with my son, seeing my Mam on a near daily basis, having some good fun with my workmates in Dublin Airport. These are just a few things I miss but the biggest thing over the last year was my Dad’s funeral in July.  The decision not to travel home wasn’t taken lightly and it wasn’t easy to make but I know it was the right one at that particular time. 

Being an Ex-Pat living away from home comes with some distinct advantages and some other distinct disadvantages. Missing family and friends as well as family events, like funerals are hard. Learning to fit into a new society, new friends and just general life in my new country was hard at the beginning but it gets easier with time if you allow yourself embrace the new life. Getting a decent cup of tea is near impossible but it can be overcome, again by embracing a new way. And no I don’t mean coffee, but a new blend of tea even though I do love the fact I still have 450 tea bags from Ireland left. Some of the advantages are that people are genuinely interested in what life in Ireland is like, so I do get to talk about Ireland a good bit. Of course I have to remember not to talk to fast or no one will understand me. 

The flip side to missing family and friends back home and missing out on family occasions in Ireland, is that now I have a whole other extended family and circle of friends and I have been able to attend family weddings and some funerals too. Not quite 4 weddings and a funeral but more like 2 weddings and 6 funerals. 

And so onto something I am really looking forward to. On December 16th we will fly to Dublin to spend Christmas with my family. I will actually miss my American family and friends as they have taken me into their hearts and group and made me very welcome. But I will see my Mam, sister, brother and son as well as friends over our 2 week visit. I left looking forward to a whole new life with Leanne, some nervous anticipation about how that life would shape up, well let me tell you, it has worked out fantastically well.

In 13 months I have experienced 2 Thanksgiving holidays, various other USA holidays, spent Memorial Day in Florida, spent a week in Michigan, a weekend in Pittsburgh, a couple of weekends in Blue Ridge, Georgia, a few days in Charleston, a day visit to Savannah to go to the place where myself and Leanne met, drove from Atlanta to Detroit, the longest drive I have ever done in my life, seen Broadway shows in the Fox Theater, fireworks for July 4th, a US Presidential election and so many other wonderful things. 

Over the last 2 and a half years I have shared my life and experiences on social media a lot, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and this blog. I hope people enjoy the posts and I do hope to keep it up into 2017. 

Life is good and I am going to take this opportunity to wish everyone a good Christmas and a safe 2017. I will try post before I head to Ireland and when I am there but otherwise it will be January before I get to post again.