Ireland joins a couple and families together |

Ireland joins a couple and families together

by Sarah Hauck
The view our the bay window of the breakfast room at the Bed and Breakfast we stayed in the first night in Sligo, Ireland.
Special to The R-C |

Many people dream of traveling overseas in their lifetime.

I was fortunate enough to visit Ireland in August for my brother’s wedding.

It may seem like a lot of trouble for a wedding, but after all of the extensive travel plans and many, many months of planning, the wedding was nothing short of a fairytale for my brother and my new sister-in-law.

My sister-in-law’s family has a strong Irish background with both her mom and dad being of Irish-German descent.

We spent five days in Ireland, one of which was my birthday.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but after leaving Dublin airport and making the three-hour trek to our bed and breakfast, I had to keep reminding myself we were in a foreign country.

Ireland is very much like the mountainous and hilly Valley that we all call home, with the exception of the drastic color difference.

Ireland is green.

There is no other way to describe it; just green.

Oh, and the cows are gigantic.

Coming from an agricultural area in Kansas cows were not a strange sight to me, however, the size of Ireland’s cows, were.

Our first night in Ireland we were welcomed to the coastal town of Youngal.

The house sat on a hill with an unobstructed view of the ocean.

The first morning happened to be my birthday. I was treated to my first plate of grilled tomatoes, poached eggs and Irish soda bread; all Irish breakfast staples.

The view of the ocean from the huge picture window in the dining room served as a pretty incredible backdrop to sip my tea (coffee was available but not very palatable anywhere) and celebrate another year of life.

Happy birthday to, me.

We spent the day at the Jameson Whiskey Distillery in Dublin. The men in my life enjoy a good glass of Jameson so it was like visiting a mecca for them.

I was named a Certified Whiskey Taster, along with men and women from Turkey and France. Just days before my brother was also named a Certified Whiskey Taster. My parents are so proud.

The group we traveled with was small and consisted of all family.

This was an amazing opportunity for me to spend time with family members that I don’t get to see but every six months because of distance.

The Irish are a much more laid back, slow-paced people.

It was definitely an openly accepted change from our American ways.

They were all eager to share their heritage or a story as you waited for pint at a pub or for a tour to start.

The history seemed to ooze from not only the Irish countryside, but even in the bustling, modern streets of Dublin.

We spent two days in Dublin. We did the touristy things like the Guinness factory.

I also became a master Guinness pourer and taster.

I really racked up the alcohol certifications on the trip.

The greatest part of the entire trip was being able to spend it with my family, new and old.

We ate, we drank, and drank a lot, and tried to immerse ourselves in the Irish culture as much as possible.

Ireland was the perfect mix of a foreign culture and similarities for the trip to be enjoyed to its fullest without a language barrier or potential cultural blunder by us Americans.

Sitting in pubs every night listening to the live folk music, and sharing stories and laughs as the two families blended, uninterrupted by rigorous schedules, was the best part of the entire trip.

Ireland allowed the families who are splintered across the U.S. to come together for a few days to celebrate my brother and his new wife, in a once and a lifetime experience.

My brother, I feel, married his best friend in a castle sanctuary in a beautiful Irish wedding two days before the trip came to an end.

Castles are abundant in Ireland. They are built to withstand virtually anything and are seeping with history and as the backdrop of my brother’s marriage, I hope their marriage can provide them with a foundation of resilience, beauty and a history all their own.

My trip to Ireland was nothing short of fantastic.

Sarah Hauck is a writer for The Record-Courier. Reach her at