Before I got married, my friend Shosh told me that three things would go wrong at my wedding. I should just expect them, mark each one off as it occurred, and be in total acceptance. Three minor things were a little off on my wedding day, but nothing major, and knowing I was going to accept whatever happened, put me in a much better state of mind to enjoy one of the fastest days of my life. So when the flight to Ireland was delayed by two hours, I couldn’t help but say to myself (and our tour rep) “well, there’s one….”

Jim and I were already scheduled on the LexExpress shuttle service to the airport arriving at 3 pm, about 90 minutes earlier than we needed anyway, and an additional two hours on top of that afforded us the opportunity to eat and have 2 painfully overpriced Heinekens (spell check?). The beer took a slight edge off the anxiety, as did candid conversation and some food….finally…, but it was the girls getting to the terminal that began to allay my fears.

As soon a they started trickling in, some solo, some with parents and other family in tow, a increasing sense of calm bubbled up to the surface. I had someone to look after and things to do. I weighed luggage, bragged appropriately about the diminutive size of my own, and took iPad photos of passports. I reassured parents that we would take good care of their child. I reminded them to go potty before we went through security. I became Mama Duck. And my ducklings got in line (for the most part).

One of my ducklings got searched more heavily than the rest. I joked with her that it was racial profiling. I said it loud enough for TSA to hear. But seriously. 15 white people and 1 black person in our group and she gets picked? Coincidence?!?

On my last smoke break before security, I met our pilot, John, and we finished our cigs together. He asked about our group and trip and where we were going and for how long. I asked him why the flight was delayed 2 hours, and flinched visibly at “mechanical problem” answer. He reassured me that everything was fine or the plane wouldn’t have left Dublin at all.

Speaking of his reply to my query, Irish people should be the only ones allowed to say the names of their cities. There was a marked difference between how John said Dublin and how I said it. In my mind, Leigh and I are running through the Robert Pattensen bit saying words to get an American accent, like “sidewalk” “candy”, using hard vowel sounds like I’m from Joliet ( ….the only place where package and sausage rhyme!) At any rate, I hope to learn to affect such a reverent lilt as John’s while we are here.

I slept a little on the plane. The benedryl helped, and what I think was a dramamine…or possibly sudafed. I bought walgreens knock off Dramamine and Walmart knock off Sudafed. To save space, I have both (and other assorted white pills) in the same bottle. If I had to do it over again, I would still pack one bottle, but I would buy the name brand for easier identification.

Time back at home is 2:16. I feel like I do when I am up a bit too late and the kids come into our room and wake me up just a bit too early. I also feel like I’ve been in a movie theatre forever. I quite possibly have movie theatre ass for life. We only have about 300 miles to go before we touch down in the Emerald Isle. It is still a little surreal.

We will be getting on a bus soon, doing some sights (and possibly cutting or rearranging some due to the flight delay), and then at 14:00, we will see the Titantic museum. I’m going to try not to snatch a snooze on the first bench I see. *yawn*

Need more coffee. Need a smoke. Need to go immerse myself in some culture.

John the pilot just gave EIU students a shoutout at the end of his pre landing speech. 🙂