Summer Vacation

Summer Vacation

Summer vacation always brings new adventures. This year my family and I went to Europe per my grandpa’s final request. We flew from O’Hare International Airport to Heathrow International Airport in London. We spent three days in London and 11 days in Ireland. It was a very cool experience and taught me many life lessons. We overcame some adversity throughout the trip but in the end, it was a surreal experience.

 

London a vast, bustling metropolis was undoubtedly different than my rural roots. After looking for thirty minutes, we finally found our AirB&B in Paddington, and we instantaneously drifted asleep. When my mom told I was meeting my cousins, I was ecstatic; it was a very overwhelming experience. One of my cousins, Izzy,  is even going to Tokyo to lead the English National team into the Rugby World cup. They are all very interesting people, and it was fascinating to see how growing up in England was very different than growing up in Walton. We encountered a bit of a language barrier because they had a thick accent and they felt as if we talked fast. It was very weird to see that we were alike in some ways, such as our looks,and completely different in others, such as accents. Overall, I made some new friends, who I would love to see again. A major part of traveling around London is figuring out the subway system otherwise known as “the Tube” Since we were tourists, we headed to London to sightsee and shop a bit on the way. We got on a double-decker bus and started our tour. It was very cool to see iconic architecture such as Big Ben and Tower Bridge. After three days, I got a general feel for London and I would compare it to New York. It is always lousy with people but a good city to explore.

Ireland, a country approximately the size of Ohio, has a special place in my family’s heart. My Mother’s father, John Herron, grew up in the small town of Ardara, about the size of Walton. He lived in the top of their family’s grocery store. He always wanted us to see where he and his family grew up, so once he passed we decided to go. When we made it to Ardara, we checked into our AirB&B, and in a traditional Irish fashion, visitors arrived in no more than ten minutes. Bart, a childhood friend of the Herron family, brought a traditional Irish cake and an abundance of information about our family history. My grandpa always talked about how beautiful it was to grow up in Ireland. We all saw the pictures of Slieve League and the Aran Islands, but we never knew it was going to be that breathtaking in person. While looking down and I saw crashing waves 2000 feet down and it chills my spine. After the warm welcoming and magnificent landscape, Ardara took us in like a lost dog. Without delay, we traveled to Dingle Bay and stayed on a dairy farm. When we were there, we decided to take a bike ride to see the alluring coastlines, so we stopped at a random beach which turned out to be an amazing decision. While we were resting our legs, we saw a tiny nose breach in the water, and we were delighted to find out that it was a seal. We ended our time on the beach by watching local kids play hurling with a stick and ball. 

 

The final leg of our journey took us back to Dublin where we began. Having made our circle around the country of Ireland, I can say I have a deeper appreciation of my grandpa’s upbringing.

 

 

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