Thursday, April 2, 1998

Joe's Day One - Arrival to Shannon

So the day finally came. Though it was 3 years after the initial suggestion, and not the original 2 as planned, and we were without Katie, it was still about to happen. The return of Reidys back to Ireland.

The travel started by waking very early for flight to New York but with a stop in Seattle. I remember being very anxious. During this time I was preparing to take the F.E. exam, or what is also known as the E.I.T. It is an exam engineering students of all disciplines take soon after graduating. And here I was, jetting off to Ireland just a few weeks prior to the test.

During the flight to New York from Seattle, I had a chance to really study hard and it was a great way to pass the time on this long flight. When I got to New York it seemed foreign, most likely because I was in the international terminal, a terminal I would get to know VERY well, almost too well, in later journeys to Ireland (particularly, the hard concrete floor). For dinner had a great deli sandwich, the type of sandwich NY is known for - extremely thin sliced deli meat piled high. It was so good and left a memorable impression on me. While waiting for the flight to go to Shannon, I was able to pass more time by studying. I was looking forward to connecting with Ed, but he was nowhere to be seen. Then they start boarding the plane and still no sign of Ed. I thought was tavelling to Ireland by myself for small section of time, until Ed shows up right at the last minute.

The flight over to Shannon was on Aer Lingus and I was so impressed - good quality seats and everything seemed so high tech. Ed and I had plenty of good laughs in anticipation of this big trip, but it was a long, long flight.

After landing and waiting for the baggage, I was hoping to sneak out and have a smoke. I asked one of the security guards if that would be feasible. In an irish lilt, his immediate response was one that you wouldn't typically hear in the states: "Oh no, it's a bit like hell. Once you get in, you can't get out".

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