It’s a Great Day for a Celebration (Part 1 of 2)

3 October 2015, Saturday
Overslept! We intended to be at breakfast by 7:30, but that’s when we woke up. Obviously we needed it. I’d been awake at 3am again, lying on the floor in an Egoscue static back position, waiting for my muscles to relax—part of it the change of time zones, part of it the hard bed.

So it was good to finally sleep.

Then we had breakfast with the golfers, and drove back into Dublin (again!) to the courier company that was holding the visa. Saturday morning and the place was deserted. I hung out in the parking lot, photographing the fall foliage and suchlike, and then I turned around—and there he was. We hugged, tiredly, in the parking lot. “I never thought—when we started this process a year ago—that it would come down to a warehouse in an industrial park in north Dublin,” Gerry said.

And then I took a picture. 🙂

We got it! (Yeah, his eyes are closed. I seem to have a knack for catching Gerry in a blink.)

We got it! (Yeah, his eyes are closed. I seem to have a knack for catching Gerry in a blink.)

Taking a moment to breathe.

Taking a moment to breathe. He has his passport back.

It was a neat little piece of serendipity, though. We’d been prepared to wait “seven to ten business days” for this thing. And yet here it was, just three days later, and on the very day we were celebrating the emigration this visa made possible. Well played, Uncle Sam, well played.

When we got back to the hotel in the midmorning, we discovered our party was already listed on the lobby marquee.

It’s our party and we’ll mug if we want to.

It’s our party and we’ll mug if we want to.

So we wandered downstairs to see what else was happening.

They’d already decorated the foyer. This table was where I put out our emigration “scrapbook”—the photos and other material we had to collect to prove to U.S. Immigration that we had a for-real relationship.

They’d already decorated the foyer. This table was where I put out our emigration “scrapbook”—the photos and other material we had to collect to prove to U.S. Immigration that we had a for-real relationship.

And in we went. Tables were set, menus were out. No chocolates yet (to prevent theft!). But it all looked very good.

But this is what the chocolates looked like … later.

And this is what the chocolates looked like … later.

The tables were named, yes.

The tables were named, yes. Click twice to zoom in, if you’d like.

The author blurb was in a folder on the table. Everything was lovely.

The author blurb was in a folder on the table. Everything was lovely.

At the Irish wedding dinners I’ve been to, seating charts were created for each table—and instead of numbering them, the tables were named. After superheroes, at one party; famous scientists at another; and after the myriad colors of blue at another. Naturally, I’d wanted to follow suit. And it was Gerry who’d suggested naming them after Irish authors. I tweaked it to forward-thinking Irish authors, writers who were unafraid to stand out, to speak truth to power.

We ended up with six tables:

Anne Enright

Seamus Heaney

Fergal Keane

Nuala O’Faolain

Colm Tóibín

William Butler Yeats

I wrote up a blurb and a quote for each one, with recommended titles, all works with which I was familiar. And the party staff took it and ran with it. 🙂

When we left the dining room we walked through the bar to see where our party would begin, and ran into my friends Laura and Conor. I tried to take a photo. Ha.

When Selfies Go Wrong.

When Selfies Go Wrong.

Back in the room Gerry and I had some quiet time, napping and relaxing in anticipation of a long night of merriment. You’ll read about that in Part 2.

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2 thoughts on “It’s a Great Day for a Celebration (Part 1 of 2)

  1. Pingback: Party Time! (Part 2 of 2) | Wanderlustful

  2. Pingback: An Early Christmas Present from Uncle Sam | Wanderlustful

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