I just retired from work at the end of the year. Time is something I have now. All my adult life I have dreamed of visiting Ireland and winning a trip to the Emerald Isle would be a great way to celebrate this entry into my new phase of life.
My maiden name is O’Brien and my last name is now O’Neill (I married a nice Irish boy.) I grew up in a home with the pictures of the Pope, the Infant of Prague, and John F Kennedy on the wall. Twelve years of Catholic school, Mass every Sunday, and knowing St Paddy’s Day was a very important Holiday contributed to great pride in my heritage. Every year I enjoy the Chicago St Paddy’s Day Parade and watching the Chicago River turn green. I own every “Kiss me I’m Irish” t-shirt, sweatshirt, and hat that that has ever been made. I wear a Celtic watch quite often and adorn my ears with Celtic Knot earrings when appropriate. My friends get bored of my never-ending reminders that I’m Irish. I would very much appreciate a chance to visit the home of my ancestors and to breathe in and inhale the beauty of Ireland.
I’ve always been fascinated by Ireland and its culture. I read Irish literature, listen to Irish music, and, of course, laugh at Irish jokes. Celtic Thunder and Celtic Women concerts have provided me with wonderful entertainment. Maeve Binchy and her tales of Irish Family life in and around Dublin are favorite books. I dream of spending late afternoons in an Irish pub and finishing off a good meal with real Irish coffee as I often do when we go out for dinner here, though I’m sure it’s much more enjoyable in Ireland. Visiting Dublin touring Irish castles, and kissing the Blarney Stone are all things I would also love to do. The lush Irish countryside has a particular lure for me too. Green is of course, my favorite color.
A trip like this would mean the world to my husband and me. We don’t travel often together but I know he would also enjoy a trip to Ireland. He’s from a typically large Irish family and also experienced the Irish Catholic way of life. Our family get- togethers are filled with a lot of laughter and much talk of renting an Irish castle and vacationing as a family. (way too many people in my opinion) He’s a huge history buff and he has always talked about the history of Ireland and how it has affected our American way of life here in the USA. We would both enjoy the charm and the mix of old and modern culture.
My dad would be particularly happy for me if I won a trip to Ireland. Carlisle Cornelius O’Brien, aka OB was Irish through and through. His blue eyes would twinkle and he’d grin from ear to hear if he knew his daughter, Mary Ellyn was going to Ireland. I’m pretty sure he will look down from heaven and also enjoy the trip with Joe and me. No doubt he’d even drink a pint or two with us.
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