Love and Travel: A Cruise Web Client Writes a Memoir
“She’s just a wonderful person,” Gloria said. “I always enjoy helping her plan her vacations.”
Quinn, who is a grandmother of seven boys, had always traveled, but there was one extra special trip in 1998 when she met the love of her life, Noel. Recently divorced, Annie was visiting Ireland with some friends when Noel, who was a widower living in Cork, overheard their conversation about the Blarney Stone and jumped in to provide some local insight.
After handwritten letters back and forth, visits and countless hours on international phone calls, Annie and Noel were married in 2002.
Just as the two were about to embark on a Panama Canal cruise, Noel was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Their international love story is all chronicled in her book, A Moment in Connemara, an Irish Love Story, along with Noel’s brave journey and final years.
“We were very lucky,” Annie said. “Upon diagnosis on March 14, 2008, he was given only two months to live. He lived another 14 months, until April 24, 2009, and we valued and enjoyed all the moments we had together alone, with family and with friends. Although we didn’t get to take Noel’s dream vacation of cruising the Panama Canal, which Gloria had booked for April 2008. We did have wonderful memories and moments of that year and Noel was well enough to return to Ireland, one last time, for a Hooley (an Irish party) in Ballycotton, in which over 140 people attended, our family, American friends, Irish family and Irish friends.”
“There is nothing like Ireland,” Annie explains. “The scenery is so unbelievably beautiful with all the wonderful shades of green in the grass, trees and bushes.”
Her book also chronicles their Alaskan cruise that Gloria helped to plan. Annie describes an Alaskan cruise as something everyone needs to experience. In her personal note to Gloria, Annie autographed the book saying. “Thank you for planning one of our ‘favorite ever adventures,’ our cruise to Alaska!”
While Annie and Noel didn’t have decades and decades together, Annie chooses to look on the brighter side of things, because she knows that’s what Noel would have done. “We did more in nine years than most people do in a lifetime,” Annie said.
Some time after Noel’s passing, Annie decided to take a memoir class at her local library. Her daily and weekly writings added up and all of a sudden she had a 150-page manuscript. After urging and encouragement from her fellow students and her teacher, Annie turned her story into a book for all to read. The book, which is now on Amazon.com, is a blessing, according to Annie.
“The more people who know about Noel, the better,” Annie adds.
Since Noel’s passing, Annie has not lost her traveling spirit. She’s done a big cruise with her entire family and she’s taken a river cruise through Europe.
She cherishes her time and has adopted the line “enjoy the moments” as her personal motto. Gloria explained that throughout Noel’s treatment Annie would send out email updates and she would always end those emails with that saying, because Annie said life really is all about those special moments we carry in our hearts.
Annie Quinn’s memoir, A Moment in Connemara, an Irish Love Story, is available for purchase on Amazon.com, and perfectly demonstrates the significance travel has in our lives. You can also get an autographed copy directly from Annie from her site, which is still under construction: www.ballycottonpress.com.
How has travel played an important role in your life?