Part 1 here.
I just have to tell you all about the driver we had during our trip to Ireland for my sister’s wedding, both because I can’t recommend his company highly enough — so if you’re ever in Ireland, you *must* hire him! — and because of the Sancta Nomina connection!
First off, because I’m not twenty and single but rather forty and traveling with a baby and my oldest as well and wanting to make things as easy and convenient as possible for myself, I booked a car service from Shannon Airport to Cork City when we were first making our plans. I don’t remember how I found Easy Transfer, but its clean web site appealed to me and its prices didn’t seem crazy. My booking was for four of us (me, my two boys — one of whom needed a car seat — and our dear friend, who is also the baby’s godfather, who was also the priest saying the wedding!) for the hour-and-a-half drive from Shannon to Cork.
But then the Boeing tragedies happened and my flight got re-routed, as well as those of my parents and sisters (who were supposed to fly into Cork itself), and now we were all flying into Dublin Airport, which was double the driving distance away from Cork and, according to my preliminary research, more than double the cost to hire a car service. I looked into bus and train, which were both cheaper, but I’ll admit I was having quite the freak out about traveling abroad with a baby, especially regarding his sleep schedule, and the thought of getting on and off a bus — with the waiting, and would it be on schedule, and would there be enough seats or would we have to wait for the next bus, and all our luggage — either to take the bus to Cork or take the bus to the train station and then get off the bus and on a train (all of which made me feel faint with despair — I know, I’m a big baby), all after having been on a 6+ hour flight — and I’ve never been a super great traveler jet-lag-wise — I just couldn’t. I didn’t know how we would manage a car service for eight people and all our luggage and still have money left to live, but I was determined to do so.
In the midst of this, I went back to Easy Transfer’s site to find their email address so I could cancel my plans, and discovered that they also had a service from Dublin Airport! So I emailed them and explained the situation and they said, “Of course” — of course they can pick eight people up at Dublin Airport and transport us all to Cork, and of course they can pick me/sons/priest up on Sunday morning and bring us back to Dublin, and of course they can pick up my parents and sisters on Tuesday and bring them back to Dublin, and this is what it would cost, which was cheaper than anything else I’d found, and I said YES PLEASE AND THANK YOU SO MUCH and so we were booked. And I’m telling you the absolute truth that every time I emailed, no matter what time of day or day of the week, I had a response within a half hour. I raved about it to my parents and husband more than once — I have no memory of ever having such great customer service anywhere else in my whole life!
When we arrived in Dublin, our driver, Radek, was there with my name on a sign, just like he promised. Karolina was the other driver — she drove a minivan for seven, and Radek’s car took four, so there was even enough room to add in another friend who unexpectedly landed at Dublin the same time we did. From the first moment, Radek and Karolina were lovely — friendly and personable — and the answer was “of course” to everything. Of course there’s room for your friend, of course it’s no problem that this is all taking longer than expected. My parents and sisters reported that the minivan was wonderful; I rode in the car, which was immaculate, and there was an immaculate car seat waiting for the baby, and several bottles of complimentary water. I was SO THIRSTY after the flight (I was so desperate for the baby to sleep during as much of the flight as possible that I didn’t want to drink anything so I wouldn’t have to get up and go to the bathroom) that I would have given my right arm for a bottle of water, so when I saw the bottles in there I about died of happiness. “Are these for us?” I asked Radek, and he said, “Of course!”
“Of course” was also the answer to “Do you take credit card?” and “I didn’t get a chance to change money, you don’t accept dollars, do you?” — every single detail seemed tailored to make the customer’s experience as easy and convenient as possible.
We chatted for a bit during the drive — I discovered Radek is from Poland, and that Easy Transfer is his company — and then we all quickly fell asleep, which he didn’t seem to mind either. It was all so lovely and easy and exactly what we (I) needed.
That would have been nice enough, but then when Radek picked us up from the hotel on Sunday to drive us back to Dublin, he told us more about himself — including his RELIC OF PADRE PIO that he always carries with him and his ST. CHRISTOPHER MEDAL in the car and the ROSARY he keeps in his pocket and actually prays! He talked about our beloved St. John Paul the Great, and the Church in Poland, and his beautiful family (his wife helps him run the business, and I got to see pictures of his three children), and how he’d gone to Mass the night before because he wouldn’t be able to that day (Sunday) — I was SO delighted to discover these things! THEN he said to me, “My wife looked you up” — I’d paid the deposit with my PayPal which has my Sancta Nomina email — and that was why he felt comfortable to tell me about these beautiful faith-y things! I’m SO THRILLED! God works in such amazing ways!
So the next time you’re planning a trip to Ireland, I hope you’ll hire Easy Transfer, and tell Radek that I sent you!! (You don’t have to take my word for it either — it’s got all 5-star reviews on Trip Advisor!)
My book, Catholic Baby Names for Girls and Boys: Over 250 Ways to Honor Our Lady (Marian Press, 2018), is available to order from ShopMercy.org and Amazon — perfect for the expectant parents, name enthusiasts, and lovers of Our Lady in your life!