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Family Reunion @ Easter in Foxford, County Mayo

Family Reunion @ Easter in Foxford, County Mayo

Jan 27th, 2008, 08:06 PM
  #1  
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Family Reunion @ Easter in Foxford, County Mayo

hi - I've gotten some wonderful advice on my upcoming famly reunion and as it gets closer I've got tons more questions. it seems the more I learn the more I don't know.

We are flying in to Shannon on 3/15 early in the morning and driving to Foxford where we will hopefully check in early at our Self-sufficiency apartment. We'll be there all week and while I've made a list of places we want to see we will have to play it by ear as we're meeting my grandmothers sister and large extended family for the first time.

We had planned to leave Foxford on Sat. March 22nd and explore the SouthWest including Dingle, the RIng of Kerry andend up at Bunratty Castle on Monday night before we fly home Tuesday morning.

I'm know starting to worry that since this is Easter weekend that this could be a problem. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to spend Easter Sunday? I realize I could stay in foxford and spend Easter with family but then that rules out seeing the SouthWest and I hate to have my husband go all the way to Ireland and not see any of the things he wants to. Also, we will be there and with family on Palm Sunday and Good Frieday. This is a very Roman Catholic family and I imagine I will end up going to church with them. Since I've never been to a church service before except as part of a wedding I'm wondering about expected dress in COunty Mayo especially on such holy day. Should my husband pack a suit? What do women wear and any suggestions on the kids (my daughter is 9 and the boys are 6 and 4) would also be greatly appreciated.

Also, suggestions for what to bring as gifts for my greataunt and cousins would be great. I have noideas at all except that I am making a scrapbook for my great-aunt but I feel like I need to bring gifts.

Thanks in advance for any help!
mom2three is offline  
Jan 28th, 2008, 12:52 AM
  #2  
 
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Its not quite as holy over here as people think. Or maybe people do not make a big deal of it if they are mass goers and many yopung people are not. No one will be offended if you have nopt been in years and No do not wear a suit. Its more casual here than in America for that sort of thing. Remember Good Friday everything will be closed so if you do go away from your family you need to be in a hotel that night as you will not get a restaurant in the night. There are some deals for hotels easter weekend. Also don't force the kids to get dressed for mass its unnecessary and probably will cause more hassle with the kids being forced to wear special clothes (I remember being forced to wear a dress as a kid to mass and hated it!)
SiobhanP is offline  
Jan 28th, 2008, 05:11 AM
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We did OUR 'Meeting The Irish Relatives For The First Time' in April of 1999. It, and Ireland, created such a TREMENDOUS impact, that we have been back every year since.

For gifts, we brought a couple of photo albums that we put together with copies of old photos of the common relation and coffee-table picture books of the area we were from (Florida). They seemed to appreciate the photo albums most of all.

Balancing visiting family and doing the 'Tourist Thing' CAN be difficult -- it took us EIGHT YEARS to finally make it up to Donegal and Northern Ireland, because of our need to spend time, each visit in West Cork. But, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Our first trip, we brought our then 81 year old 'Common Link' so that he could see where both HIS parents had been born and raised and meet his (then 5 surviving first cousins. We exchange letters and photos and a few phone calls, in advance, making the arraingments. They SEEMED to be happy to meet us ...

Imagine our suprise when we found a number of them WAITING for us, at the Shannon Airport. They had driven over two hours, just to meet and greet us, knowing full well that our itinerary wouldn't bring us to them for two more days! All the while, they kept apologizing and assurring us that it was not their wish to delay or impede us, but simply because one cousin was so eagar to meet the son of his revered, 'Auntie Sis'. Then, they guided us to our turn off and drove the two hour trip back home.

Two days later, we met them at their home and we were treated like visiting royalty for the next three days. Then, with great reluctance, we set off on a mad, 'Green Blur', whirlwind, four day tour that covered the Ring of Kerry, Killarney, the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren and Galway, before ending up in Bunratty, the night before our flight home.

Once again, the relatives drove over two hours to have dinner with us and to say good-bye. This time, there were TWO car loads full. We sat in Katherine's until WELL past 11 PM talking and laughing, before they reluctantly loaded back into their cars and began their two hour drive home. It was MAGICAL, and as I said, we have been back eight times since with plans already in place for this coming June.

I have become ENCHANTED with Ireland.

And, for the record -- these are my wife's relatives. As my screen name suggests, I have not one DROP of Irish blood running through my veins.

I would LOVE to visit Italy one day, particularly the area around Turin, where MY Grandfather came from ---

But, not if it means skipping Ireland.

Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jan 28th, 2008, 06:57 AM
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Bob you have to start your turn with looking up family in Italy...it will probably be as exciting an experience and I personally think better cuisine!
We still want you to come to us in ireland...Pints next time you visit I promise!
SiobhanP is offline  
Jan 28th, 2008, 07:04 AM
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Mom:

I recall visiting the textile mill operated and managed by Nuns, in Foxford. They were delightfully welcoming and toured us through the mill..
stu T.
tower is offline  
Jan 28th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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SiobhanP --

I agree that we need to meet, one of these trips, but I think the drink needs to be on me -- at the VERY least, to toast you and your new husband.

This years plans aren't looking too good for Dublin, though, as we are hoping to fly ex Shannon after spending 3-7 days in Westport, or there about ...

Might you be up for a wee Road trip?????

Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 12:23 AM
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Keep me posted If I am not away for work I could be in that nexk of the woods...Westport is the other half's favourite place as we have friends there. You probably have been before but its such a great little town and we have not been in ages.
SiobhanP is offline  
Jan 29th, 2008, 02:06 AM
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I've never been to nearby (Foxford) Knock Shrine for Palm Sunday, but it's likely that the Masses will be quite crowded.

I have attended Mass at Sts. Peter & Paul in Ennis and St. Muredach's in Balliná and dressed the way I do when attending Mass in Phila.

A Septuagenarian Male, I always wear a Sport Jacket, maybe because it gives me more pockets. I hope this helps your DH.

Easter Sunday is early this year so it will probably be cold and rainy, moreso on the Dingle Peninsula than inland Mayo. You'll probably be wearing a raincoat or a 'Mack,' as it's called there, to Mass.

You're cutting it pretty tight with your Dingle itinerary: trying to fit an awful lot into a short time and, as I wrote before, it will probably be rainy; so don't expect to cover much territory in a short period. If you can make it as far as Tralee on Saturday, that will be more than enough.

NEDSIRELAND is offline  
Feb 1st, 2008, 06:54 PM
  #9  
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Thank you so much for all the replies - I had internet issues this week so I haven't been online. I'm releived that it's not overly dressy so I'll pack nice clothes but not worry about it so much.

Italian_Chauffer - thanks for reminding that the photos are best and the idea of a coffee table book is a great one. I'm gpoing to pick up some NYC ones since that's where my grandmother lived when she came to America and where I grew up. What a great idea.

As a related quetion - how is the internet access in Ireland? I was thinking of buying WebKinz for the children there since they're not available in Europe as far as I know. They are these really cool stuffed animals that have a code for an entire online world and my kids love them and the kids can play games against other Webkinz over the internet. I thought it would be a fun way for the kids to stay connected to their new found cousins but don't know if most of th kids there will have easy access to the internet.

As for Dingle being a tight fit, I'm inclined to agree with you NEDSIRELAND as the more I pore over the maps the further it seems to be. Assuming we're leaving Foxford on Saturday, what would you suggest for Easter Weekend? My husband's only requests are a "real castle" and an old church. These should be easy enough to fit in so I just want to make sure the last few days are enjoyable .

Thanks again
mom2three is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 06:33 AM
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mom2three:

Ireland's Internet access is excellent, however, the phone system is one of the most expensive in Europe and many people I know are reluctant to 'splurge' on High-Speed connection.

You should verify with your relatives that THEY have a high speed link, as I doubt if any interactive gaming software would be much enjoyable at dial-up speed.

If you want to see some tremendous sites at a more relaxed pace ...
Ennis is a nice town with good services and great music that is quite convenient for touring the Burren, the Cliffs of Moher and Bunratty. There are PLENTY of castles AND old churches within easy driving range, plus it is a half hour or less to the Shannon airport.

Dingle and Killarney will still be there NEXT trip ...

(And, I'm pretty CONFIDENT that there WILL be a next trip!!)

SiobhanP :

Tentative plans are 17 - 29 June, begining in Cork (coming from AMS) and ending in Ennis for the last night after spending 3-4 days in Westport/ vicinity (probably Weds-Fri).

Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  
Feb 4th, 2008, 08:24 AM
  #11  
 
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Bob wrote: "Ireland's Internet access is excellent..."

That is, to put it mildly, an overstatement. There are many places, particularly in rural areas, where broadband is not available, or is available only at lowish speeds.
Padraig is offline  
Feb 5th, 2008, 03:30 PM
  #12  
 
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Actually, Padraig, both my comment AND yours, are equally true for the US, as well.

Bob
Itallian_Chauffer is offline  

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