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Malone Family Visits Ireland Over Summer

Provided By: Marty Malone

Daja Dansby, Staff Writer

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Breathing in the crisp, cold, Irish air, one by one,  members of the Malone family, stepped up and pressed their lips to the cold exterior of the Blarney Stone, which promised them the gift of eloquence.

Teachers Marty and Cindy Malone, his parents and their two children took a 26-day trip to the northern and southern parts of Ireland from June 15 to July 12.

“It’s been on my bucket list forever,” he said. “My father’s Irish and I wanted to be able to go while he is still alive.”

Cindy said that when traveling, her family purposefully stays away from “tourist-y things,” something Marty’s father did not do in his two previous trips to Ireland.

“It was all brand-new stuff to him,” he said. “Afterwards he realized he got a lot out of the trip too.”

Cindy is also of Irish decent.

“I needed to see (the people of my heritage)” she said. “It’s important to at least once in your life see the place from where you came.”

Whenever they travel, the Malone family looks for a mixture of tourist attractions and local life.

“We like to see what it would be like if you actually lived there,” Cindy said. “You learn more lessons about a culture doing that.”

The family rented a house and interacted with locals during their time there.

“There are no real big cities,” Cindy said. “The towns are really small and everybody knows everybody.”

While there, Marty was able to practice driving on their roads.

“(It) was scary,” he said. “The roads are tough to drive on, (but) once you get used to it, it’s not that bad.”

While in Northern Ireland, the family spent time around sea cliffs, mountains and other natural phenomena.

“I really enjoy that euphoria you get from hiking and being in nature,” Cindy said.

The family also visited the Blarney Stone, one of the most visited attractions.

“It was fun,” Cindy said. “It happens so fast so you kind of get lightheaded.”

Ireland holds numerous natural attractions and recycling policies.

“It’s a natural, untouched beauty,” Cindy said. “They try really hard to keep it clean.”

Marty said he likes the Irish’s attitudes about life.

“They take anything that comes at them and they laugh it off,” he said.

Marty’s decision to organize the trip was influenced by hearing stories from his parents during the holidays.

“It’s a time for us to talk about relatives (that have) passed and celebrate it for our family,” he said.

The family incorporates aspects of the Irish culture into their lives at home as well.

“We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day every year,” Marty said. “We have a big family feast with Irish food and listen to Irish music.”

Before the trip, the family wanted to learn more about their culture.

“There’s something about ancestry that you just want to tap into,” Marty said. “You want to hear the history and meet the people and eat the food. You want to experience a little bit of where your culture came from.”

The Malone’s have taken vacations like this with their kids since 2009.

“They learned more in that month than you can in an entire year of a classroom,” Marty said.

He said he can’t wait to go back.

“We’re back home and we have all these wonderful memories and pictures that (we) can reflect back on,” he said. “It was a great trip. I would go back in a heartbeat.”

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Malone Family Visits Ireland Over Summer