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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Home Again

We got back Sunday from a whirlwind vacation to Ireland and Barcelona, Spain.  It was a great trip, and it was wonderful to spend time with two of our kids and their significant others.  It's too bad the whole family couldn't have been there, but alas, they all now have their own lives and commitments.

As you may know, I have Irish heritage, with my known paternal family roots going back to Co. Tipperary in the early 1800s.  However, I have not found any known relatives using conventional genealogy research.  Therefore, I have resorted to DNA testing to see if I can find some ancestral roots that way.  From my y-chromosome DNA results, I discovered that I am a descendant of the progenitors of the O'Brien clan in Ireland, with roots extending back to the time of Brian Boru, who was High King of Ireland a thousand years ago.  This year, Ireland is celebrating Brian Boru's victory at the Battle of Clontarf in 1014, which freed Ireland from the Viking invaders.

Rock of Cashel, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
One stop on our journey was the Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare, which used to be Brian Boru's castle. We then spent two days celebrating Holly's friend's wonderful Irish wedding.  After the wedding, we drove to the famous Rock of Cashel.  When we got there, they were celebrating the coronation of Brian Boru as the King of the Munsters, before he became High King.  It was a happy coincidence for Jeff and me to see this reenactment of a ritual that may have happened to an ancient ancestor of ours.

 Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
After touring Dublin, Holly & Ryan, Gretchen & I flew to Barcelona for 4 nights.  What a great city that is!  We had a chance to see the famous Sagrada Familia, the unfinished basilica by the famous architect, Gaudi. We also spent many hours walking around the old city with its Gothic architecture and narrow streets.  I was pleasantly surprised that I had plenty of energy for all this walking and my bum knee didn't bother me at all!  We ate well, and the tapas were delicious.  After a wonderful holiday, we all headed for home on Sunday.

After a short night's sleep, I went into the Farber on Monday for my monthly checkup.  Everything is still fine.  My iron levels are still low but are improving gradually.  Unfortunately, I picked up a cold while in Europe, so I still had some sinus and chest congestion on Monday.  Since the Revlimid inhibits the immune system, Mary and Muriel decided that I needed to stop taking the Rev for a week and gave me an antibiotic prescription to keep me from getting a secondary infection.  I have to go back next Monday to check my numbers again, and if I'm back to normal, I will go back on the Rev.  I still need to take some immunization shots, but they postponed them until next week as well.  Other than that, all is good.

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