By Aoife McGinley, J-1 intern

After being away from home for over 6 months it was finally time for some of my family members to arrive! Being a ‘Home Bird’ I found it quite difficult at the start of the season being so far away from home and getting used to the time difference of 5  hours between Ireland and the US! I had been counting down the days since mum booked her flights. The day finally came, I was working 9-5 pm in the admin office and the day was going by so slow. I couldn’t wait to get home, grab my bags, and check into the hotel early. All evening consisted of checking the status of the flight and of course it was delayed by 3 hours just to heighten the anticipation of their arrival. I headed for the airport at 12:30 am and I felt sick to the stomach, I was about to see my family after months of being apart. Swarms of people began to approach the arrivals lounge and my eyes scanned through the crowds looking for my mum. Finally I recognized her scarf. I immediately dropped everything and ran to her and the rest of my family (yes it was literally this dramatic like something from the movies). We stood hugging and crying for at least 10 minutes. I cannot describe the feeling of seeing everyone again, the first thing she said was “your dad sends his love” which made me cry even more. Dad’s terrified of flying so he definitely couldn’t have made the 12hr plane journey to West Palm.

My brother was in charge of grabbing my mum, and her two sisters luggage while the four of us stood talking and catching up. We stood outside waiting for our taxi; mum had given me the number so I could phone them when we were ready. So I phoned them and the lady said “I’m outside can you see me?”  I had a look around thinking it was a mini van I replied to her saying “Em what are you driving?” As soon as I said it my mum burst out laughing and the lady on the phone said “I’m in the limo!!” Turns out they had ordered me a limo because they weren’t with me for my 21st birthday. Inside there were birthday balloons and champagne the whole drive home I was in absolute shock. My family never fails to surprise me; I don’t realize how lucky I am. The Video below shows some of the things we got up to during the week.

Here is a video of my family’s trip in the U.S.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aARAgU_w_TM