This semester Allison is participating in a study abroad program in Dublin, Ireland, that is offered through Rutgers University.  She is taking classes in her major, Art History, and in History/Politics.  Allie left for Ireland from Newark, NJ, on January 3 and will return to the States on May 31.  During Nancyís spring break we traveled to Dublin to visit her and see the homeland of my motherís ancestors.

There is a precedent for an overseas family trip of this kind.  In November 1996 Nancy, Allie, and I visited Kristi in London, where she was participating in a study abroad program in Dance at Roehampton Institute.  All of us had a great time on our London trip.  Although Kristi could not be with us this time in Dublin, Nancy and I had high expectations for another enjoyable visit abroad with one of our children.  By the time mid-April rolled around, it was hard to believe that we would soon be journeying across the Atlantic once more.

Itís often said that anticipation is half the fun of taking a trip, especially to a place youíve never been before.  I donít know if I completely agree with that, but Nancy and I certainly looked forward to our Irish holiday.  We had much to learn.  How was our youngest daughter faring by herself in a faraway country?  Is Ireland really as green and beautiful as everyone says?  Does it rain all the time there?  Are the Irish a friendly people, especially toward Americans?  Is it possible to sort out Irelandís complex history?   We wanted to know all of this and much, much more.

During our trip to Ireland I kept a journal of our activities.  As I look over the narrative that follows, I realize just how much Iíve left out.  Many places we visited or adventures/misadventures we had while there are relegated to little more than a paragraph, when it would take pages of description to really do them justice.  Weíd like to think that all of our memories will last a lifetime, but the truth is we will too soon forget many of the details of our trip without a written log like this.  Hopefully, our families and friends will enjoy the daily accounts that follow.  In defense of this narrativeís shortcomings, Nancy and I didnít go to Ireland in the roles of detached clinical observers.  We went to Ireland to have fun with our daughter and to experience firsthand as much Irish culture as we could jam into one short week.  I believe we succeeded in fulfilling both of our goals.  Donít take my word for it, though.  Read this account, look at our pictures, and judge for yourself.

Finally thanks to Nancy for bringing this narrative to life in a Web site that we can proudly share with everyone.  She has a real talent for this kind of presentation.  Both of us enjoyed shaping this site into something we think captures the essence of our trip.  Welcome to Ireland 2000!

Ireland 2000 opening page
City Center map

Created by Nancy and Dave Badertscher
May 7, 2000