Day 1- Travel Day/Arrival to Ireland!

We made it!! Like I said, it was going to be a long journey, and it was. But all in all, everything went smoothly.

*We started out by taking a 10:20 bus on Friday, March 11, from Madison to Chicago O’Hare. Ivan’s sister drove us to the bus stop.

The bus was packed!! Turns out it was the start of UW Madison’s spring break, and the bus was full of students heading off on spring breaks. We actually got the last 4 seats on the bus. For a brief moment I was panicking that we weren’t going to make it on, but we did.

Our seats were all scattered apart, but a nice lady switched so Ethan and I could sit next to each other. After the hectic days of work/packing/getting ready, it felt good to finally relax into my bus seat. Finally on our way!

*The bus made great time and dropped us off at the airport door. We met up with my parents, who were going to be on the same flight!

Airport was really busy, too.

*Check in line and security lines were both pretty long, but no big deal. We had plenty of time. It’s always kind of a pain lugging jackets and carryons around the airport, but it comes with the territory…

*Plane was on time and by 4:05 or so (didn’t check the clock), we were off.

Aer Lingus shamrock over Chicago

*Kids mostly watched movies and I read a bunch. 🙂 I wanted the boys to try to sleep, but given the timing, I knew it wasn’t too likely. I mean, it was only 4 pm!

*After dinner I dozed a while and I think Asher did sleep. Ethan said he never slept at all. I don’t think Ivan did either.

*The flight was about 6 1/2 hours. It was funny though, because after dinner, they brought around breakfast only a few hours later. (With the time change, our flight was scheduled to arrive at 5 am in Ireland.) I wasn’t even hungry at all when “breakfast” came around (it was like, 10:30 pm my time….and we had just had dinner!) but I did have some tea.

Tracking our flight… almost to Ireland

*Everyone was happy to get off the plane. The kids were craning their necks to look out at Dublin (all dark, anyway..) from the sky.

Sleepy eyes… I’m not a fan of the whole overnight flight thing. But again, comes with the territory…

*Officially in Ireland! Got our bags and out to wait for a taxi.

*We took a taxi about 20 minutes to the train station for yet another leg of travel.

Train station

*We had some time to kill before our 7:30 am train. Got some tea and muffins and sat rather sleepily in a cold train station for a while. 😁

Me about to board the train 🙂

*Kids on the train

Asher updating his travel journal

*Family pic on the train

Ivan getting bored on the 3 hour train ride 😆

*After changing trains once, we arrived at our stop (Westport). My sister and family met us to pick us up! It was very exciting!!!! The kids were jumping and squealing. I have some very cute reunion pics, but I won’t post them all here.

*The boys were hanging in there on very little sleep (Asher did sleep some on the plane, and Ethan fell asleep on the train for a very short while (but at least something).

*Right out of the car, my nieces excitedly showed the boys all around- their bedrooms, upstairs, and then, the chicken coops! We most definitely do NOT have chicken coops at our house, so this was pretty fun.

*My sister lives in a rural area with beautiful views… it was awesome to just let everyone check out the property and the very pretty views.

The guest room/our room view
Tea/coffee on the patio- weather was pretty nice, for Ireland standards… ha.

* After tea and coffee, my Dad and sister and Ivan went off to another town to pick up our rental car for the week. (Too many of us to fit in my sister’s vehicle.)

The rest of us (me, my sister, Mom and all the kids) went for a long walk down their lane to the bay. Gorgeous views all along!!!

The fresh air was good to keep us all awake… we were going on many hours with not much sleep.

*Love this pic of me and the boys!

*When they got back, my parents, sister, Ivan and I went into the nearby town for a quick pint at the pub before dinner.

Great table in front of the fireplace 🙂

Cheers to the beginning of our trip!

*Back at the house, we had homemade pizza and cheese bread for dinner!

My sister had bought cake and blew up balloons for Ivan’s birthday, and my nieces sang him happy birthday in Irish.

The boys were getting pretty sleepy, but they made it to almost 9:00 before crashing! Everyone slept REALLY well that night. 🙂

It was a great first day! It felt soooo long- kind of 2 days in 1. I feel like the boys already got a nice taste of Ireland just on the train ride and our walk, and we’re just getting started. 🙂

*Disclaimer- trying to write this very quickly on my phone, so please excuse any errors and/or subpar writing!!

9 thoughts on “Day 1- Travel Day/Arrival to Ireland!”

  1. Thanks for checking in. I loved reading this. Your boys are obviously very good travellers. I cringe at the thought of taking my kids on such a journey. Even my ten year old would be a nightmare on so little sleep.


    1. Haha… I hear you!! I think even a few years ago it would have been much more difficult than it was now. The boys really did great, thankfully, but the lack of sleep/time change is tough even for adults!


  2. It’s so wonderful to vicariously travel through your posts!
    I find that the travelling, the getting from A to B, is it’s own special part of any trip and I appreciate your Zen “take it all in” attitude about it. (I’m definitely the “journey is as memorable as the destination.” type traveller.) That jet lag haze when I don’t know whether to give in to sleep to power through to align with the right time zone… can I say I almost miss that? I hope you all have a lovely time!


    1. Thank you! Yes- I try really hard to be a “look on the bright side” traveler. Sometimes I read reviews online or trip reports from people who seem to just nitpick every little thing… I never understand that! Just make the best of it and enjoy. It’s all an “experience”. 🙂


  3. I’m so glad you made it safely! Enjoy the time and the pictures are great. I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland, so am definitely experiencing this vicariously.


  4. 6.5 hrs flight? that’s so short! looks like a great start. I’m super happy for you to be able to travel for your parents and visit your sister. The best of its kind. looking forward to more pictures and adventures.


    1. Hahaha I’m sure for you that is a short flight!! The flight itself wasn’t so bad, but when you add on the 3 hour bus ride plus 3 hour train ride on both sides, it was still a very long day!!!! (Plus as you know, the time change thing is tough).


  5. I am glad that things went smoothly all in all! 4pm is an odd time for an overnight flight as there is no chance of sleeping when you leave so early in the afternoon/evening! It helps that you can run on adrenaline on that first day. The boys handled it super well but they are at good ages for that – or at least not the worst ages! And I am sure the excitement of seeing their cousins and being in a new country helped. It looks so beautiful and green there!

    I would be curious to hear how your sister ended up in Ireland! I imagine she is married to an Irish man? Kind of funny/interesting that both of you married men that grew up in a different country!!


    1. Nope, he’s not Irish!! He’s actually from Minnesota! My sister studied abroad in Ireland in college and really liked it, and then later she and her husband honeymooned here as well. Later when he graduated with his phd and was looking for a professor job, he found one in Ireland (and academia is a tough field to find work in, period) that was a perfect fit, so he took it and they moved here! They like the lifestyle here and other things as well, so they were both on board and have been here for many years now… over 10, I think?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s