March 2015 – Wilma and Daniel Kehoe traveled on their 20th tour to Ireland in 2014 with CIE Tours International. As this is an incredible milestone,
CIE Tours decided to thank this couple for their loyalty by offering them a complimentary tour. “The growth and success of CIE Tours comes from clients
like the Kehoes,” said Willie Montano, Vice President of Marketing for CIE Tours International. “They are wonderful ambassadors for our company and we
value clients like them who travel repeatedly and return home to share their stories with family and friends.”
Wilma and Daniel met at the State University of Albany in 1957. They were married on June 25th, 1960 and Daniel went on to become a full-time Chemistry
College Professor while Wilma stayed home with their three children. Daniel always had a fascination with Ireland, as both of his grandparents came from there.
Wilma and Daniel explored the United States while their children were young; but Daniel never stopped dreaming about one day seeing Ireland. They decided to wait
until Daniel retired to travel abroad, which is exactly what they did; this began their 14-year adventure with CIE Tours.
They stepped into an AAA Travel office in 2001 where they browsed a CIE Tours’ brochure and booked their first tour to Ireland. Each year the Kehoes
returned to AAA and consulted with travel agent, Brian Claeys, to decide what trip they were going to be taking next. “I send clients all over the
world but it seems Ireland is the place people want to visit over and over, it is the Walt Disney of Europe,” said Brian.
“When people call about Ireland,
I go straight to CIE Tours for three reasons. I am very pleased with CIE's services, my clients are always thrilled when they return, and CIE has more than
20 tours to Ireland alone.” Brian went to Scranton College and received an Associate’s degree in Travel and Tourism. He started working with AAA in December
1992 and has been with them ever since.
Wilma and Daniel Kehoe at Kylemore Lake in Connemara, on their first CIE Tours’ vacation in 2001.
When asked why they continued to book trips to Ireland with CIE Tours, the response was simple. “We enjoyed our first tour so much, we kept coming back”.
One of their favorite memories is being recognized and welcomed back by previous tour guides. They went on to express how no trip compares to their Irish
Adventure tour in 2013 when two of their sons joined them: “…it was one of our most beloved memories.”
Every year CIE Tours makes changes to existing itineraries and adds new ones, which Wilma and Daniel looked for in the brochure from year to year.
With over 20 tour options to just Ireland, they were big fans of the Irish Adventure tour as they booked it five times. They loved being able to
venture through Ireland, seeing as much as they could and looked forward to visiting the same place more than once. Wilma expressed that it did
not matter how many times she enjoyed the natural scenery of the Cliffs of Moher, sang along to the traditional Irish music at the Abbey Tavern,
or climbed to the top of Blarney Castle to kiss the “Stone of Eloquence”: each experience brought them joy and happiness.
Nothing ever stopped Wilma and Daniel from visiting Ireland. They traveled nine days after September 11th, 2001, when other passengers cancelled their tours.
Their coach was only half full so they received special attention everywhere they went. “People in Ireland were coming up to us telling us how sorry they were
and shaking our hands,” said Daniel. “They put flowers outside the American Embassy over the gates, and played God Bless America.” They experienced first-hand the
division between Northern and Southern Ireland, which was no longer visible on their last visit in 2014. In 2012 their plane lost an engine and they had to make an
emergency landing in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Yet nothing ever got in their way when making their yearly travels to Ireland. “What we like best about Ireland are the
friendly people and learning about the country,” said Wilma. “Each tour gives us a sense of culture, history, family connections, beautiful scenery, and entertainment.”
Wilma and Daniel voiced nothing but excitement and appreciation when CIE Tours expressed their gratitude by offering them a complimentary tour. “We look forward to
welcoming Wilma and Daniel Kehoe back to Ireland on their 21st CIE Tours’ journey and I am delighted that they will be celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary
on our Irish Explorer tour this summer,” stated Brian W. Stack, President of CIE Tours International. “I would like to congratulate the Kehoes on behalf of all my
colleagues on both sides of the Atlantic as well as give a special word of thanks to their AAA travel agent, Brian Claeys, who trusted CIE Tours to take care of his special clients.”
Wilma and Daniel with their sons Mike (left) and Danny (right) at Glendalough on their Irish Adventure tour in 2013.
Tour guide Pat Curran (left) presents Wilma and Daniel with a lucky mascot and a model CIE Tours coach for their 18th visit with CIE Tours in 2013.