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THE JOYS OF BEING A TOURIST My Favorite Trip of All Time
What’s the first thought that comes to mind when you hear the word “tourist?”You might find tourists visiting your hometown or country to be annoying. For me, and thankfully for all the people I met while on my honeymoon in Ireland, meeting tourists is a welcome and exciting possibility. Since May 7 marks National Tourism Day, I figured it would be a good time to talk about the amazing trip my wife and I took for our honeymoon. It turned out to be my favorite vacation of all time. I should start by clarifying something very important — something for which my patients jokingly scold me all the time. My wife’s name is Amanda. She is a part-time physical therapy assistant, and she works here in the office. There have been a handful of instances in which I have talked to patients about her without helping them to make the connection that she is the Amanda they’ve met during previous visits to the office. “Looking back, Amanda and I both agree that our entire trip was so astounding because of the kindness and helpfulness of the local population who encouraged us toward great scenery and cuisine.” So, Amanda, who works here at Gilbert PT, and I got married in October of 2014, and the day after the wedding, we caught a red-eye out of Baltimore to Dublin, Ireland, to kick off our 12-day adventure. Before we left,
we found this amazing bed-and-breakfast package that allowed us to stay at different participating locations all around the country through vouchers. They gave us a 200-page book filled with information about these B&B establishments, and we would flip through the photos, pick a location that looked fun, call the owners the night before, and show up with our vouchers in hand. Luckily for us, we visited during the slower season, so whenever a proprietor heard we were celebrating our honeymoon, they would move us into their best suite! We figured the only place we could stay that would top all the honeymoon suites was a castle, so …we booked a room at Clontarf Castle! One of the funniest parts of the trip actually occurred when we arrived there. Since I was in PT school leading up to this trip, Amanda took on the majority of the planning, which meant that a lot of the reservations were in her maiden name, which is Nagle. When we walked into the castle, there was a lovely sign set out front to welcome “Mr. and Mrs. Nagle.” Amanda, who was delighted at this funny mix- up, took pictures of it and still gives me a hard time about it. We rented a car to go from city to city, and while it was pretty scary driving on the wrong side of the road, it allowed us to see the varied and breathtaking scenery. In Ireland, Amanda’s wish was to see the famous Cliffs of Moher rising from the Atlantic Ocean at Hag’s Head that have been famously featured in “Wuthering Heights,”“The Princess Bride,” and “Harry Potter
and the Half-Blood Prince.” It was so beautiful that it ended up being our favorite sight throughout the whole trip. We also went to several mom and pop restaurants recommended to us by locals, all of whom treated us like we belonged and answered every question we asked. They also recommended that we avoid going to the more popular Jameson Distillery and check out the Bushmill one instead, a decision that led to another great experience I will always remember. Looking back, Amanda and I both agree that our entire trip was so astounding because of the kindness and helpfulness of the locals, who encouraged us toward great scenery and cuisine. To that end, I’d like to take National Tourism Day to thank all those who helped make that trip everything it could be all those years ago.
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