Confeissions of a Bus Trip

Last weekend our Irish Dance school took our annual bus trip to Feis at the Falls and a site seeing tour of Niagara Falls, New York. I must confess I’ve never been on a bus trip before with the school before and had no intention of going this year. That all changed however when our director came up to me the Sunday morning after the Queen City feis, told me the paperwork on the trip started going out, slapped me on the back and said “Co-Chair” with a laugh and walked away. I guess I was going. The planning leading up to the trip was stressful but in the end it was a fun, un-eventful weekend – except for the church ladies who were absolutely hell-bent on getting to 5:30 mass even at the expense of one of our families. Jesus Christ! Really? Sorry we’ve never made arrangements for mass on a bus trip – although it couldn’t hurt… for thought!

We started our day at 7:30 when the bus pulled away and headed to Murphy Orchards in Burt, NY.  There we were greeted by Carol Murphy and treated to a tour of orchards, petting zoo, the barn which was part of the underground railroad and a homemade out-door lunch under a canopy near the barn. The weather was gorgeous making it perfect that evening’s pool/pizza party and a great start to the weekend.

Feis at the Falls is a tough competition.  You have the good schools from New York and Canada (as well as other areas) and it certainly raises the bar. Many of the dancers from our school came away with medals so it was a good day! Personally I got to meet my editor Denise Keane-Gillette from Irish Dance Magazine and Terry Gilland (my article on his and Phillip Owens’ new school Gilleoghan Academy appear in the September issue of IDM) plus I got to spend quality time with my friend Sandy Oswald so it was a good feis. Oh yeah – my daughter’s team got 1st place and she walked away with a 3rd in her Hornpipe and a 4th in her Treble Jig – the 1st place in Slip Jig is still eluding her. Next time for sure! The feis is held at the Niagara convention center and while it’s a nice facility it was CROWDED!!! I was very glad we got there early and got a camping spot because a half hour later it would have been impossible! There other major negative about Feis at the Falls was there was only 1 concession and the lines were long and service was slow. Not sure how that could be remedied though.

Sunday was spent riding the Maid of the Mist (what trip to Niagara Falls is complete without that?), visiting the Niagara Aquarium and Old Fort Niagara. Next year’s trip will be to Washington DC for the Nation’s Capitol Feis. As crazy as it seems we’ve begun making plans already! I wonder what churches are nearby? Til next time – Slainte!



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