History was the theme of our Ireland trip. Did I mention I love history? Especially Kennedy history.
I’m not entirely sure how much influence I had on the planning of our touring activities with Mom and Dad Schaeffer, but I’d like to think Brian and I had at least 75% input as we worked on the trip itinerary. One viewing of The Quiet Man and some around-the-kitchen table sessions with three bottles of wine formulated some necessary to-do’s about two weeks prior to departure. Casual planning at its finest.
It’s hard to pick a favorite history lesson because there was so much badass stuff to go around: the Titanic museum in Cobh, intricate and beautiful castles, insane Guinness family-owned homes, charming century-old landscaping and cobblestone streets. And Muldoon. (Seriously, someone bring that stuff to America. You’ll thank me.) But there was something I really wanted to do beyond that.
I knew of a famous trip that took President Kennedy to the homestead of his Irish ancestors in June 1963. It so happened this site was on our route around the coast of southeastern Ireland. That homestead is now a museum and preserved memorial of the visit to the birthplace of John F. Kennedy’s great-grandfather, Patrick Kennedy (the namesake of the baby they lost just a few months later). The family still farms there today.
After our walking tour of Waterford the first day in our we hopped into our four-door Citroen, our trusty van/car/go-kart, and headed to the homestead in Dunganstown in County Wexford. Below are my photos of the museum and property…seeing the genuine notes and memorabilia was a humbling experience.
These Sláinte Series photos aren’t the best of the trip, but it was one of my favorite activities. Those who know me probably find my Kennedy obsession a bit strange, but it was evident that the Irish are equally fascinated with the Kennedy family – they were everywhere. And me? I loved it all.