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Saturday, 1 January 2011

Burringham to Boston-My 2003 World Trip-Part 12-USA (Party Time and end of Trip)

Last week of my big trip
Thursday 25th September. A good night’s sleep I’m taking Callum and Erin down the park and beach while Steve and Michele go walkabout. We have a great time on the climbing frame and slides.
Callum and Erin
Then we go down to the beach and it’s sunny and though we haven’t any swimming costumes Callum manages to build a couple of paddling pools, and I end up having to take most of their wet clothes off. We had a great time.
Me and Steve are having a drink with Eamon in O’Neill’s in South Norwalk tonight. We get talking to Jim, a stage builder built like a brick outhouse and Ged a brickie from Manchester who’s an ardent Manchester United supporter. A really good night.
               Friday 26th September. Took the family out to New Haven, Hamden and the viewpoint at East Park and then shopping at Meriden. We really love these shopping malls don’t we!. The twins leave Manhattan today to spend the night at Johnny and Angela’s in Stamford
               Saturday 27th September. Anne and Michele are at Super Stop and Shop this morning.
         We take a run down to Greenwich with Steve and Callum picking out all the different trucks on the road. Steve being a lorry driver knows them all.
We call and say hello to Ann whose working, then lunch in a very nice restaurant recommended by Ann. We’re dodging torrential outbursts of rain today.
Up to Stamford where we spent the rest of the afternoon at Johnny and Angela’s.
Steve strikes up a rapport with Mikey who’s a big Celtic fan and Callum and Erin take to Melissa like a duck to water. Michele is my one daughter who’s met up with the least of her cousins, and this is her first meeting with Mikey, Johnny and Maureen. Sarah and Marie were out with them last night.
Angela and I talk about my loss of Peggy and her losing her sister in 2002,and Johnny and I talk about golf. Lots of food and drink make for a very enjoyable day.             Back at Bridgeport, Aggie, Thomas and family have called in on the way to their hotel. Tommy and Callum hit it off straight away.
Callum and Tommy

It's Party Time
 Sunday 28th September. I’ve reached the ripe old age of sixty. Thanks to all my worldwide hosts and relatives for your brilliant cards and wishes, and my family for being here with me today.
               The Party is being held in the Gaelic American club in Fairfield and I set off with Michele, Steve and the kids. I know the way I’ve been a few times now.
After driving around Fairfield for half an hour we eventually find it, somebody moved it. Luckily we’re all early anyway.
      It turned out to be a brilliant day and a bit of a clan get together. Everybody was there. Aggie’s whole family including Rosie home from Ireland. All of Bridie’s family, nice to meet up with Sheila and Mark again(I’d been their guide to the top of Cuilcagh last time I’d seen them).Johnny, Angela and family. Mary and family, including Mr Tim Quinn. Pat and Ann and of course Phil, Anne and family. As well as my immediate in-laws there were cousins of Peggy’s from other branches of the family, including Noel and Sharon and Julia Judy. Others included members of the Maguire family, many of whom I’d met back in Glangevlin and whoever else I missed.
    The  ladies had done a fantastic job with the catering and the cakes were brilliant. There were two cakes, one for my birthday and the other a welcome to the
Usa. We were really knocked out by this.

The party was soon in full swing with everybody renewing their acquaintances with those they hadn’t seen for a while. The very young children were having a great time as well playing with balloons and frolicking about across the room.
When the time came to cut the cake, with Angela leading the singing of Happy Birthday in her beautiful Glaswegian accent I was really full of emotion and made a bit of a mumbled speech thanking everyone who’d rallied round me and thanking everyone for coming.
As the party wore on and lots of pictures were being taken, we got sixteen first cousins together to pose for pictures and film. It really was a great get together and I couldn’t have asked for a more memorable party.
AnneMarie, Rosie, Chris, Sarah, Marie, Michele, Maureen, Eamon, Eileen, Johnny, Eddie, Sheila, Kathleen, Michael, Maureen, Mikey
Thanks to everyone for a brilliant day.

                     Monday 29th September.
Phil and Anne went to a funeral today. I borrowed Noels golf clubs and went off to Stamford to play at Sterling Farms with Johnny and his two boys.
We really messed up today. With my family at Westfield mall, and me being delayed on the golf course by thunderstorms plans to go up to Danbury and celebrate Phil and Anne’s anniversary were ruined. My abject apology to the whole family, and thanks to Noel for the clubs and whisky and Johnny for a great game of golf.
Tuesday 30th September.
Anne is babysitting Erin today. Michele, Steve and Callum are heading back to Manhattan for the day, they’re going up the Empire State Building. Me Sarah and Marie have a great day in New Haven looking round Yale and exploring the waterfront. We lunch at the Rusty Scupper.
Sarah and Marie New Haven
Goodbye America

Callum and Erin sad to be leaving
Wednesday 1st October. Michele, Steve and the kids are going back to England today, time for one last photo call with Phil and Anne who have been absolutely fantastic to all of us.
                       I’m running them down to Bridie’s from where Phil Fitzpatrick will be taking them to the airport. Sarah and Marie are going back to Manhattan for one night and they’re leaving from Byram as well. Phil brings them. I95 is choc-a-bloc today but we make it in time.
    I say goodbye to everyone and Phil leads me through Greenwich on to the Merritt Parkway as I head back to Boston.
    A nice run up to Boston. I really will miss this cruisin’. I’m spending the last night of my trip in the company of Aggie, Thomas and AnneMarie.
  Aggie’s making sure I’m well fed to the last with a great big beef steak. My top denture breaks in half. Luckily I’ve got my spare set and the store along the road has denture repair outfits. It’s funny now but it felt like a disaster at the time. I don’t blame Aggie’s steak. I think it was a bit of tough Kangaroo back in Australia that started the crack
                    Thursday 2nd October. I handed the car in and Tom took me to Dedham mall for some last minute shopping. A final drink with Chris at the Tahiti. Goodbye to Aggie, thanks for everything. Tom and Rosie take me to Logan International airport.
I’m on a Jumbo jet, American Airlines flight AA108 to Heathrow.

Friday 3rd October. I’m met at Heathrow by my buddy Eric .
We have breakfast at Leicester Forest services and we’re soon back in North Lincolnshire.
Will life ever be the same again?.
     Once again I’d just like to thank you all for your wonderful hospitality, the beautiful places you allowed me to see and for allowing me the trip of a lifetime.


  1. A very deeply moving introduction Jim. Brought back memories of my mums death from pancreatic cancer 20 years ago.
    Bet you were glad to be back home after that trip..!

  2. Thanks Alex,yes Pancreatic Cancer is one with very little success in beating it.
    I thought I would be pleased to be home,but a couple of weeks later was the time I headed down to Spain house hunting,my depression had come back after being on a high for nearly 5 months.
    I'm content with my life now.


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