Graveyardin’

Before we get to the good stuff (the graveyards and family history), a bit of Cork:

To be honest, Cork City was not our favorite. Perhaps, we were just missing Wales, but it wasn’t the most charming. We walked around a bit and then found a pub to watch the World Cup. Not to sound snooty, but it is interesting how different  restaurant service is in Ireland compared to America. For one thing, it’s a bit of a struggle to get a drink of water in Ireland. In America, the minute you sit down at a restaurant they throw down glasses of water and menus. Then throughout the meal you can barely take a sip without your cup being replenished. For some reason Ireland hates and despises water. You’re lucky to get a glass of water after you order, and forget about refills. Ok enough ranting, but isn’t it peculiar that they could neglect such a basic human need?IMG_8323IMG_8325IMG_8321{We waited an hour and a half for this meal. It was worth it; and we learned some patience.}
IMG_8322Finally, it was time to head to Fermoy, where the reunion is held. 
IMG_8326 After dropping our bags off at The Grand Hotel, we walked over to the park to eat sandwiches and nap under the trees. IMG_8328While Anna, mom and dad stayed at the hotel, Katie, Sarah and I spent the night at our cousin Sinead’s house. (The term “cousin” will be used very loosely from here on out, cause who really knows the difference between “third cousin” and “second cousin once removed.”) The hotel may serve a full Irish breakfast every morning, but Sinead’s house came with three cute Irish kids (complete with Irish accents, mind you). 
IMG_8333The oldest one, Robyn, got right down to teaching her ignorant American cousins how hurling is played. “This is a ball, and this is the stick.” IMG_8334 IMG_8342Then Oran showed off the cows that graze right behind the fence of their backyard.
IMG_8345{Irish kids and Irish cows}IMG_8347 IMG_8349IMG_8351 IMG_8352Robyn squeezed through a gap in the fence and teased the cows. Thankfully, they have thick skin and there was no stampede.IMG_8355On Saturday, you had two options for the days activities: Zip lining or grave yardin’. Obviously, ever cautious, we chose graveyardin’. 

IMG_8364Graveyardin’ means that you drive around to various graveyards and try your hardest to understand whose distant relative’s gravestone you are looking at.

IMG_8356{Some of us were more enthusiastic than others; Dad almost jumped the fence.}IMG_8358 IMG_8361One of the Irish cousins had made a sheet individualized for each person to trace back their heritage. There still might have been some confusion.IMG_8365{I can guarantee you that Anna has no idea what he’s talking about.}IMG_8367Even so, graveyardin’ is fun!IMG_8374{Especially when, after two graveyards, you get to stop at a cousin’s house for tea and scones! Scones taste best after a proper graveyard visit.}IMG_8378A bit more hurling practice and then back to the graveyards!IMG_8387 IMG_8389Katie brought her urban attitude to this quaint grave yard. IMG_8390{I brought the ‘tude as well} IMG_8391 {Just kidding} 

IMG_8398{Graveyardin’ can get tiring} IMG_8402More dissection of family lineage and debating old family theories. (Anna sneaks away.}

IMG_8403IMG_8405 IMG_8406IMG_8404{No matter how much you enjoy tombstones and family history, there’s only so much graveyardin’ a person can take.}

IMG_8422

Finally, supper time! A cousin had the whole gang over for dinner in her backyard. It’s funny how America is supposed to be the land of plenty and then you go to Ireland and realize that everyone has gorgeous houses with sprawling backyards and rolling green hills (ok, maybe not everyone). Meanwhile, in New York City families squeeze into a one bedroom, 6 floor walk-up. And the kids sleep in closets converted into a sleeping nook. IMG_8413

The kids made everyone loom bands:
IMG_8414 IMG_8416 IMG_8417IMG_8420The left overs were fed to the chickens- the perfect compost. IMG_8418Again, this is their backyard. It really makes you wonder why everyone doesn’t pack up and jump the pond. Supposed it’s just too hard to give up on New York City- and our unlimited refills of water.

This entry was published on July 15, 2014 at 12:45 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

6 thoughts on “Graveyardin’

  1. John T. Williams on said:

    I recommend you send this to pat Bartley or to fermoy reunion website.

  2. Goodness, that countryside is gorrrrrgeous. As is that spread of scones!

  3. Dan Jordan on said:

    Jake, if you want water on your next trip, be sure to tell the waiter that you’re dirty – not thirsty. He just didn’t understand. Also, you and your 3rd cousins share the same great-great-grandparents. You and your 2nd cousins share the same great-grandparents. Your 2nd cousins-once-removed are the children of your 2nd cousins. See, it’s as clear as how to get water in an Irish restaurant. It looks like you had a great time. I hope we can get together so I can get more detail.
    Dan

  4. Your opening comments reminded me of an Irish song: Water is the strong stuff / it carries whales and ships / but water is the wrong stuff / don’t let it get past your lips / it rots your boots, it wets your suits, puts aches in all your bones / dilute the stuff with whiskey — aye, or leave it well alone! Your trip sounds wonderful. Love your blog.

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