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Sunday at the Circus by Ann Treacy
September 30, 2007, 8:27 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Sunday was our busy day this week. We went to eat at a fun pub in Booterstown – maybe halfway between Cabinteely and the city center. We had lunch with Patrick’s mom and brother Fearghal.

Then we went to the circus – Fossett’s Ireland’s National Circus. There are no animals in the circus here. It’s all people acts. (We came home in time to watch Class Act, which is like a local American Idol and one of the performers from the circus was on the TV show– that’s always fun.)

The best act was the “globe of death” – a big metal sphere about 15 feet in diameter with up to 3 motorcycles riding around. It actually was very cool.

The nice thing about the Dublin circus is that it’s actually held in a tent and it’s fairly small. It’s not 3-ring – it’s just 1 ring. So it was easy for us to see all of the acts.

After the circus we walked through a park in Blackrock, which is on the sea. The weather was great and it was a nice little break.

Our major reward when we got home – Aine fell asleep.

I forgot about 2 of the pictures – the one with me is a nod to Fair Hills Pelican dance – and the first picture is actually taken in the park across from the house. You can see our house in the background. They are in the midst of building a soccer field – which is the reason for all of the dirt. The work that goes into building a soccer field (aka football pitch) is amazing!


Saturday in Town by Ann Treacy
September 30, 2007, 8:19 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Patrick took the kids to see Surf’s Up and then we met in Dublin city center, which meant I had the morning to myself. (I should have taken a picture of my cool new boots!) We had lunch at Eddy Rockets, which the girls think is like Snuffy’s back home. They each got a milkshake, which adds to the allure.

Then we walked around downtown. Lily is invited to a slumber party so we got her present for the party. Aine had a melt down and we came home.

I took some pictures in town and pasted them below. I forgot about the picture of Patrick collecting the clothes off the line in the rain – I just thought that was too typically Irish not to include – although in fairness our weather is still amazing!!

sep 29sep 29sep 29Sep 29Sep 29

Friday Ditched the Kids by Ann Treacy
September 30, 2007, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Friday night we left the kids at home and Patrick took me to Café Balzac for dinner. It’s a very nice place – very fancy and French.

Then we stopped at the Stag’s Head, a popular bar and then we headed to Bruxelles, a heavy metal pub, which was fun. They play all heavy metal songs and there was a Welsh motorcycle gang there – which was funny to see.

Differences between American and Irish Schools by Ann Treacy
September 26, 2007, 2:42 pm
Filed under: Dublin

At home the girls go to Nativity Catholic School in St Paul, MN. At Nativity kids attend from kindergarten (age 5) to 8th grade. In Dublin, the girls go to Our Lady of Goof (Ooops) Good Counsel National Girls School in Johnstown, Dublin.

Here are the differences dictated to me by Lily & Kate.

In Ireland:
Go to school with only girls.
Study Irish (language).
About 25 kids per classroom – and 2 classrooms per class/grade.
No cafeteria (eat if your room)
Teacher assistants for students with special needs (Lily has a deaf girl in her class who get personal help)
Wear a kilt for uniform.
Everyone wears a uniform.
Teachers come into the classroom for different classes – you don’t go to their room.
No computer class
No music class – unless your teacher does it.
Gym is called PE or GAA.
No hot lunches.
Tables, not desks.
Homework everyday – except Fridays. Keep track in your homework journal.
Have to buy books individually.
Math is easier – learn a different way to add to 100.
Each classroom has 2 bathrooms (aka toilets)
Can’t bring treats on your birthday.
Don’t get to go out of uniform on your birthday.
Library is much smaller. (As small as the bathroom)
Only one water fountain in the whole school.
Bring your water bottle (or buy milk for the year)
Can’t have treats in your lunch – except Fridays.
No playground equipment.

In Minnesota:
Go to school with girls and boys.
About 22 kids per classroom and 4 classes per grade.
Many schools don’t wear uniforms (although Nativity does).
No speech and drama.
Can get hot lunches if you want.
Books are provided.

We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo by Ann Treacy
September 23, 2007, 9:05 am
Filed under: Dublin

Well it was another beautiful Saturday in Dublin so we went to the zoo. We started by taking a bus into Dublin. We had lunch at Leo Burdock’s, the best fish and chips in Dublin. Then we walked to Phoenix Park – which I have to say is quite a walk from the city center.

On the way we walked by Grafton Street, Dublin Castle, the Guinness factory, National Museum, and other cool things. The girls were tired – but were troopers. We knew we were getting close when we walked in to the park and saw the Wellington Testimonial (see picture below).

Finally we got to the Dublin Zoo.

There was actually a long line – but we finally got in and spent about 3 hours there. Our favorite animals were the baby elephant and the bats. The bats were very creepy – especially when they kind of crawled up things. The baby elephant was apparently the first baby elephant born in the Dublin; it’s name is Asha, which is Hindi for Hope.

The zoo is really nice. There are plenty of play areas. We thought it was like a mix of the Como Zoo and the “New Zoo” in Apple Valley, Minnesota. Unfortunately the price was like the New Zoo – but we did get to see a wide range of animals. I will paste some pictures below.

Saturday Night

On Saturday night Patrick and I had dinner at Bewley’s. It has been upgraded a lot since the last time I was there; it was very nice. (One time we saw Sinead O’Connor at the same Bewley’s. I think she asked us for a light.)

Then we went to the Tripod to see Reggae/Ska legend Lee Scratch Perry and had a great time.

zoozoozooZoozoozooZooZooPhoenix Park

Kate’s Day with Mom by Ann Treacy
September 23, 2007, 8:43 am
Filed under: Dublin

My mom and I had the whole day together. first we went to penneys and then we went to a toy store we didn’t find anything there. So we went to the 2 euro store and we did find something. Then we had something to eat. It started to rain so we went home on a double decker bus. I was tired. We watched TV. And then I went to bed.

Kate O’Donnell

You say lift, I say elevator by Ann Treacy
September 19, 2007, 7:22 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Tonight the girls and I are trying to create a list of words that are different in Ireland than in the US. Here it is:

Irish to US
Post – mail
Crisps – chips
Biscuits – cookies
Chips – French fries
Senior infants – kindergarten
Junior infants – preschool
mum or mam – mom
granny – grandma
colour – color
football – soccer
euro – dollar – OK a little different but…
surname – last name
track suit – sweats
first class – first grade
telly – TV
cross – mad
mad – crazy

Sunday at Powerscourt Garden by Ann Treacy
September 17, 2007, 9:31 am
Filed under: Dublin

Today we went with Patrick’s mom and brother to Powerscourt Gardens. It a beautiful estate – apparently previously owned by former princess Sarah Ferguson’s parents. They are building a new Ritz Carleton next to it – and the restaurant will be Hell’s Kitchen’s Gordon Ramsay. It opens on October 1 and I’m saving my money to have dinner there at some point.

We ran into a school friend of Kate’s while we were there. (Picture below.)

Not much more to tell – but lots of great pictures to share…


Saturday in Bray by Ann Treacy
September 16, 2007, 4:50 pm
Filed under: Bray, Uncategorized

The weather was absolutely amazing today. It was actually hot and super sunny. So we went to Bray. There is a boardwalk of sort in Bray – but really we spent most of our time walking in the sea.

We took a bus to Bray, which was about 30 minutes. We are at a horrible Chinese Restaurant. Word to the wise – don’t order house fried rice here. Then we walked through the town, which was a cute town until we got to the Esplade – the walkway near the beach. It wasn’t too busy but there were quite a few people – some wearing swimsuits. We should have brought Aine’s suit too – she was soaked before the afternoon was out. But it was so warm that it didn’t really matter.

We hung out for a long while and then to the Dart (commuter train) into the City Center to get Lily’s birthday present. It was fun except that I had no idea where the toy stores might be and Aine had a huge meltdown.

All in all though it was a very good day! 


Culture Dublin by Ann Treacy
September 16, 2007, 7:50 am
Filed under: Dublin

Last night Patrick and I went into town for Culture Dublin. There were free cultural events at 80 venues across Dublin. We had our map and a plan. I wanted to go for the free dance lessons and the Bollywood dance exhibit. Patrick wanted to go see some lecture at the Abbey Theatre.

We got into town early – 5:15. We started at the National Museum. (Clearly on Patrick’s list.) So we saw lots of Viking relics. They were pretty cool. The building was amazing. They were setting up the wine and appetizers, which started at 6:00. So we move onto the National Library and saw the Yeats exhibit. (Again, Patrick’s list.) And again we were early but the exhibit was well done – very interactive.

So then we headed to maybe see something on my list – and we ran into Kieran Folliard (owner of Kieran’s). In fact Patrick and I walked right past him, luckily he is more observant.

So we headed with Kieran to the Shelbourne Hotel Bar, which is very swanky. Luckily I was wearing my cool new boots and dress. We ended up there most of the night until I persuaded Patrick that we should see a little bit more of Culture Dublin.

There were supposed to be women in big butterfly costumes in Stephen’s Green – but we didn’t see them. It was about 9:15 and what we learned was not most of the places we tried were closing, despite the fact that they were supposed to be open until 10.

Finally we ended up touring a third rate art gallery in Temple bar and see some experimental art installments – like the one of the giant TV. It mostly looked like someone’s living room – someone with lots of teenagers.

So we headed back to meet up with Kieran and ended up at a fairly swanky pub/club called Café in Seine.

Then we took a cab home, which really wasn’t too expensive.

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