After three months preparation and two days travelling, two weeks in quarantine, time to sort out jet-lag & look around, here I am with family.
It’s a good sized town in south Tipperary called Clonmel. My family have been in this town since bloody Cromwell I would say, and I would be scared to think how many relations I have in the town. But let me tell you about the journey to get here!
Our trip was in three parts, there was the furniture, then the animals (two dogs & two Cats), then the wife & myself. The furniture while stressful was actually the least problematic of the three. They came on the day planned and packed the stuff and left.
The Animals were much more involved, as there are things that need to be done on a specific time line to please the country you are heading to, and of course different countries have different rules.
We used a Pet-Relocation team and it was a must, I couldn’t dream of doing this again ( I am not), without the help I got from them. Of course coordinating with vets during a Pandemic made things just that more interesting.
Because my dogs are Pugs that have to Fly with certain airlines that will accommodate them, the answer is Lufthansa, who specialised in the travel of animals, good to know! They even have a hotel in Frankfurt that allows the pets to have a comfort stop during the trip. Flights leaving the United States were subject to change at any time due to the Pandemic and the dogs flight was changed so they ended up taking two days to get to Ireland. Which is exactly what happened to my wife and myself!
Once the Pets were on there way we planned to leave our apartment of fifteen years and head to a Hotel to rest and Fly out the next morning. Of course that was the plan, not what happened!
First we were flying to Shannon which was a bit closer to my Town, the airline changed it to Dublin instead, well Ireland is not too big and it’s a couple of hours drive, and I was leaving my LA home so being homeless I agreed to fly to Dublin.
Next Surprise was the flight time was changed, it went from 7am to 11pm the night before, so now I am on the red-eye, oh joy!
Remember the flights were changed by the airlines and I was also moving home so I just went with the flow, we still went to the hotel near the airport to freshen up before the night flight to JFK.
The airline was Jet Blue, I cannot say enough how bad it was!
What I discovered as I was seated and looking around was jet blue charge more for different areas of Coach, yes different areas of coach!
So there were parts of coach that were empty, and there was this area just above the wing where everyone who had not paid the extra was piled together, social distancing was non existent. I was upset and my wife was crying. This was during a pandemic the hight of ignorance and greed. If the airline had some sense of decency just charge one price for coach and try some social distancing. This is why America is the Virus central of the planet. The flight staff were giving me BS when I asked about the seats that were empty, one of the stewards said I could place the charge for the seat and the one in charge said they couldn’t do it on board and should have been done online. As I complained we were allowed to move a few seats back to have our own three seats to calm us down. It was nice but not the way it should be, so I don’t recommend Jet Blue to fly with.
Once in JFK we stayed in a hotel TWA which is next to the airport, it’s cute as it’s a throwback to the 1970’s. We had a 12 hour wait until the flight to Ireland so a rest was needed and because of the virus nothing comfortable was open in the Airport.
After a rest and a Hotdog which was ok but didn’t impress, probably due to the location I bought it from. We headed to the gate for the flight to Dublin.
I cannot state enough the difference between Jet Blue and Aer Lingus, the Flight was organised for social distance and the flight staff were very professional in stark contrast to the previous flight. It was a great way to finally find our way to Dublin very early in the morning. We in fact arrived an hour early. Had to wait twenty minutes to pick up the rental car and headed to the M50 south out of Dublin. Two hours later we arrived in Clonmel ready to Quarantine for two weeks.
Next Post will be about assimilation into the community, specifically recycling and rubbish collection!