Age 46

Bill and Minda go to Ireland!

You're the 1 person to wander in here.

Ireland! Could it be true? Were Minda and I truly sitting in an AerLingus jet some 30,000 feet over the North Atlantic?

I was trying to believe, but it was too much to take in all at once. I had no idea if I would be able to find any of my Irish cousins, but I was simply thrilled to be going there!

A lifelong dream was about to come true, and I was actually going to stand on the land my grandmother had left over 80 years before. Being a devoutly pessimistic optomist, I resolutely refused to believe it was really true until, many hours later, we were finally sitting in Durty Nellies Pub.

Minda looked across the table at me in the dim light, with the delicious incense of a peat fire filling the air and the dark taste of draft Guinness on our tongues, and just said "Well?"

I hesitated, took another sip, then replied "Ok, ok . . . I believe it!" Minda is still laughing at me for that!

Here's some pics from that memorable voyage.

This is the house in County Cavan that my grandmother Mary Agnes Lynch grew up in. It had belonged to her own grandmother, who's name was Calby. Interesting story here: seems there was a mispelling on her baptismal certificate well over 150 years ago, and to this day the Lynch family members who still live in this house are called locally the "Clabby Lynch's"

Cousin Charlie Lynch, a wonderful leprechaun of a gentleman. He pours Powers Whiskey for his visitors, but won't touch a drop himself. Says all he'll drink is the water from this ancient spring near his house, supposedly dating back to before Christianity to the Druids. I'm sure there must be some magic still in it.

Tunnyduff Parish, outside Bailieboro, Co. Cavan, looking from in front of the "Clabby" house. My grandmother walked this road to attend the church and school there a century ago. Gave me chills to stand there and think about this.

The O'Sullivans - My wonderful cousin Kitty with her solid husband Tom, and their terrific kids Liam and Bernadette. Simply marvelous folks, people I'm proud to call family.

Minda and I had traveled a long way from Woodstock, NY. What's the saying - "No matter where ya go . . . There ya are!" This pub is in the lovely village of Inishteoge. You might have seen this village if you've seen the movie "Circle of Friends", it was filmed here.

This is what the traveler awakens to in just about every bed and breakfast in Ireland. Traditional plate filled with one or two eggs, bangers(pork sausage), Irish bacon, black and white pudding(a sliced disk each of light and dark blood sausage) and a fried tomato. Slices of soda bread and fresh country butter to wipe up the yolk and a pot of tea to wash it all down. You can almost hear the arteries hardening, but it's just so GOOD!

So? Ready to see more?