MORRISTOWN, N.J., Sept. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Like few other lands, Ireland calls its sons and daughters back to itself, exerting a pull that can be felt across the miles and the years. It's been said that everyone has a little bit of Irish in them. For those who truly can trace their ancestry to the Emerald Isle, they feel that pull and answer the call, like the Gramling family recently did.
Originally from Hazlet, New Jersey, the Gramlings planned a 60th birthday celebration for Kathleen, the oldest sibling. Twelve family members spanning three generations met at New York's JFK International Airport, coming from New Jersey, Florida, Virginia, and Texas. Their sense of adventure was piqued, and their hopes high. And to host this part-vacation, part-family-reunion? CIE International Tours, the premiere purveyor of escorted motorcoach tours of Ireland, as well as of England, Scotland, and Wales.
Gramling family member Christine Carroll — who claims credit for recommending CIE Tours for this family journey — couldn't wait for her extended family to experience what she had during her many visits to Ireland. "I feel like it's my second home. Every time I cross the pond, I find more beauty, whether it's in the people I meet or the roads I travel." Having been on a CIE Tour's vacation in the past, she knew the company would be the ideal host, and she was right.
"I can't praise the company enough! You truly know the meaning of good customer service," she says, speaking fondly of the group's knowledgeable tour director and bus driver.
Their CIE Tours' itinerary didn't disappoint. The Gramlings felt at home among the Irish; their own Gaelic spirits stirred; and a fresh sense of their heritage renewed. From their starting point in Dublin, they enjoyed visits to Clonmacnoise, a monastic site near Galway; took a Killary Harbour cruise; saw the stunning Cliffs of Moher; and toured Muckross House in Killarney National Park. They traveled around the Ring of Kerry and visited the Skellig Experience museum in County Kerry. And every Gramling relative was sure to kiss the famous Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle! In County Wexford, they got to see a replica of the Dunbrody, a ship once packed with emigrants fleeing the Great Famine. As with all CIE Tours programs, all attractions and shows are included in the price.
Like the Gramlings, Americans interested in exploring their Irish roots can visit the old sod as part of a year-long extravaganza called "The Gathering: Ireland 2013." And for Ms. Carroll, she sums up her Irish experience with, "My motto is 'Go home to Ireland and fall in love again.' I leave a piece of my heart behind on every trip."
The Gathering taps into a yearning in ways generations of the Irish-Americans and those wishing to visit the Emerald Isle will find irresistible. Events like National Heritage Week, the Dublin Theatre Festival and parades and festivals paying homage to Ireland's patron saint, St. Patrick, offer excitement and wonder for everyone. For information, contact 1-800- 243-8687 or www.cietours.com/gathering.
About CIE Tours International
For more than 80 years, CIE Tours International of Morristown, NJ, has set the standard for fully escorted motorcoach tours of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. This renowned tour operator delivers unsurpassed experiences and value for both packaged vacations and custom independent travel, combining the best of each destination with expert professional tour guides who bring each itinerary to life. All CIE Tours' travel programs are protected by the company's $550+ Advantage, a no-fee benefit guaranteeing that travelers are never charged for special features considered optional extras with other tour companies. For additional information, please contact 1-800-243-8687 or visit www.cietours.com.
SOURCE CIE Tours International