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Presidents of the United States by Ann Treacy
April 27, 2008, 10:15 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Last night Patrick and I went to go to the Presidents of the United States at the Tripod. It was a great show!! Our timing was perfect. We got our drinks and the band started 5 minutes later. We scored a place to stand and dance right up close to the band – on one side.

I took a bunch of videos. I started with my favorite, which isn’t even a Presidents song. I’ve added all of the videos. Sorry I don’t have any complete songs but since I know I can only upload a minute or so, that’s all I tape.

One fun extra – someone got up on stage and asked his girlfriend to marry him. She said yes.

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Dublin Dance Festival by Ann Treacy
April 27, 2008, 9:59 am
Filed under: Dublin

Poor Kate has been sick all week. Lily, Aine and I left Kate at home to recover on Saturday and we went into see Block Party, a show in the Dublin Dance Festival.

In typical Dublin fashion the show was relocated at the last minute – so we hiked to the Grand Canal Square to learn that we needed to go to George’s Dock. We caught the last 10 minutes of their first show. We had to sit behind the drummers – but that was OK. It was fun to watch the drummers.

After the show we talked about whether we should stay to see the show again (it was only about 30-40 minutes long) or go have lunch. Aine made the decision. She really wanted to stay.

The dance was fun. First it met my new rule for dance, where the dancers must all appear to be fitter and younger than I am. (A rule created after a not-so-great dance experience.) They jumped around very aerobically around huge blocks. They also worked with the blocks to create various shapes. The dancers had a lot of energy and were actually dancers who could move well and while there was a playful chaos to the dance it was clearly choreographed. The drumming was great too.

The very fun thing is that I knew one of the dancers. Well had met him before anyways – and I thought he was one of the better dancers. Also this kind of renewed my interest in dance and the girls really enjoyed it too.

After the dance we headed out to lunch and shopping. I won’t pretend that I got any bargains – but I did get some clothes!


Krapp’s Last Tape by Ann Treacy
April 27, 2008, 9:38 am
Filed under: Dublin

Friday night Patrick and I went to see Krapp’s Last Tape at the James Joyce Center. The Center is of O’Connell Street in an area we rarely visit at night – so that was fun.

Krapp’s Last Tape is a play by Samuel Beckett, who is kind of a favorite of mine. He does short, theatre of the absurd type shows. In this show, an older guy is listening to tapes he has made 30 years earlier talking about his life and loves gone by. During the show the actor uses an old tape player – forward, rewinding to get to the bits he wants to hear.

The actor was excellent. He looked the part, his timing was perfect, and his facial expressions were great. And then coup of coups for anyone who has seen this show – the tape machine broke. It was kind of like Godot jumping on stage and saying “I’m here! You can quit waiting.” I think Beckett would have loved it and the actor handled it in character.

The theater was very small – a room actually. So the audience all had to leave the room so that they could fix the technical difficulties and then we returned for the end of the show. The show was sold out – and everyone returned after the snafu.

Patrick got a picture of the stage and me at the James Joyce Center.

St Columcille’s Hospital by Ann Treacy
April 25, 2008, 5:29 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Earlier this week we brought Aine to the hospital – to St Columcille’s Hospital. She is fine – in fact her big head injury doesn’t seem to bug her at all. Despite the fact that the glue holding her head togehter is glumpy and stiff.

Sadly, her hospital made the news today:

Dr Kieran Geraghty has called for urgent intervention at St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown, following the death of 16 people with hospital-acquired infections at the south Dublin hospital over a seven-month period in 2007. (Read the whole article.)

So we’re keeping an extra eye on her and holding off on all other ailments and injuries until we go home!


Hospital Adventure by Ann Treacy
April 23, 2008, 2:44 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Yesterday we had two girls home with the flu. But it wasn’t either of them that got to have the unscheduled tour of the Emergency room. It was Aine. (Shocker!) She was standing on the kitchen chair when apparently it flipped backwards and she smacked her head off the floor.

She cried for a few minutes and bled all over the $25 shirt I bought her in Kilkenny when she threw up on us – but she rebounded pretty well. I wasn’t afraid of a concussion but I did worry that she needed stitches. So, we took the bus to the hospital. They looked at her head. And I have to say that once they really looked at it I could see that she really had cracked her head open. It was very gross in a cool sort of way. In the gross theme I will say that I could have poked my finger into her head and touched her brain – if I had wanted.

Luckily they were able to glue her head together, which again was kind of gross/cool. She didn’t cry or fuss at the hospital, which was pretty impressive. We stopped for an ice cream on the way home – luckily the bus stop is near a convenience store.

I asked Aine to talk about her adventure on the video below – but as you’ll see she preferred to talk about her life here in Cork. (Not sure where that came from.)

Gulliver’s Travels by Ann Treacy
April 21, 2008, 10:44 am
Filed under: Dublin

Gulliver’s Travels is the book selected for the One City One Book program in Dublin this year. So this weekend we have been celebrating Gulliver’s Travels.

One Friday night Patrick and I went to see Eamon Morrissey do a performance on Gulliver’s Travels and Jonathan Swift. It was great. I forgot how very funny Gulliver’s Travels is.

I described just one scene from the show to the girls the next day and they are both looking forward to reading the book now. Here’s the quickest, cleanest take I can give. Gulliver travels to lots of lands. He starts with Lilliput, the land of the little people. He is a giant, they capture him, but eventually release him on his own recognizance. So he tries to help around town by doing many tall people deeds.

Well, he was out one night and there was a fire in the castle. He was sad to see that the castle might be destroyed. So he decided to step in. Unfortunately it was a big fire. Water saw too far away to fetch and the fire was too big for him to just spit it out. Fortunately he had been drinking and had a very full stomach. SO I won’t finish it but I’ll leave it to your imagination to figure out how he put out the fire. I will add that I was not surprised to hear that although the castle was indeed saved, the queen did not want to move back into it after the incident.

(Another terrifically gross work by Swift – A Modest Proposal. I made Patrick read it to the girls – they thought it was very gross.)

After the performance Patrick and I went to a tapas bar for yummy appetizers. Eventually I dragged us to Bruxelles – the pub with the best music (not live) in the city and we stayed there too long but had fun.

On Saturday we were back to our travels for Gulliver’s Travels. We went into George’s Dock to see the giant sand sculptures of Gulliver. They were great. You can see them in the pictures below.

After the Gulliver exhibit, we walked down the docks to the port, a walk I had never done before. Along the way we took a few pictures or statues (famine memorial and eternal flame), I took a picture of everyone across the Liffey from where U2 will be building a huge hotel. I think that will be a fun picture after they have renovated this area, which is already starting. I also took a picture of U2’s recording studio while we were on the U2 trail.

The girls were great walkers! (Well except for Aine who was in the stroller.) We ended up popping into the Pearse Street Library, where they had another Gulliver exhibit.

They also have Nelson’s head. There used to be a controversial, large, granite pillar topped by a statue of Horatio, Lord Nelson, located in the centre of O’Connell Street in Dublin. It was destroyed by a bomb in 1966. (You can learn all about it on Wikipeida.)

Nelson’s Pillar was replaced by the Spire in 2003.

Wednesday is for Castles by Ann Treacy
April 14, 2008, 8:03 pm
Filed under: Cashel, Cork

On Wednesday we headed straight to Blarney Castle. Anita and Darla wanted to kiss the Blarney Stone – having been up there before I knew there was no way in heck I’d be doing a backbend off the top of a castle for a key photo op.

Blarney is beautiful. The Castle seems huge – partially because it is huge but also because the walls on the highest side lean in a bit, which apparently gives the impression of being even taller than it is.

We started with the dungeon entrance in the back. The dungeon was super creepy! I went into about the first 3-4 chambers – to use a term loosely. To get into the next chamber I would have had to wiggle like a snake into the next section. It was more like a wormhole entrance into the building. I had flashes of how creepy it must have been to be locked in there as I crawled around.

Next we shot up to the top of the castle. The stairs are windy, slippery, rickety (if you can call stone steps rickety) and narrow and lead up to a roofless top. The rooms along the way are dismay, if you picture actually living in one. They’re kind of cool if you know you’ll never be locked in and stuck to let your hair grow long to escape.

The girls did a great job kissing the Blarney stone. Then we climbed down. We walked around the estate, which was really nice and saw the Blarney House, which is the much more modern version of the castle.

Then we headed to Castle Number Two – the Rock of Cashel, another very cool castle! (Normally one castle a day would be enough for me but it was genuinely fun to see these two.) From a distance, it is like a huge castle in the sky.

There was a brief video on castles, which we watched and again I actually liked. It was interesting to learn that the statues that are kind of bleak looking (blank faces, very limited detail) were created during and soon after the Black Plague. So the bleakness mirrored the mood of the times.

After Cashel we headed back home. That turned out to me a good idea as I woke up super super sick (and sad) on Thursday.

Tuesday Road Trip to Cork by Ann Treacy
April 14, 2008, 5:14 pm
Filed under: Cork, Dingle, Galway

Woke up in Galway on Tuesday. The hotel was directly across the street from the Spanish Arch. We took some pictures but what really struck me was the number of men drinking cider by the arch at 10:00 in the morning. I’m pretty sure they would have remarked at our beauty even if they hadn’t been drinking, but it was just something I noted. Actually I noticed quite a few morning drinkers in Galway. I can’t say that I felt like they were all on vacation. And I felt like we were in a lively but not at all risqué neighborhood.

We walked around Galway a little bit. I really liked the city. I had been there before but didn’t remember much. We took a few pictures as you can see below.

Mostly we drove on Tuesday. We covered a ton of ground. We went from Galway down to Dingle. We had lunch in Dingle. We didn’t see the dolphin, sadly. (Rumor has it you can swim with Fungi the dolphin in the Dingle Bay.)

Dingle was nice – but as we headed down to Cork we drove past Inch, which has a beautiful vista. I actually took picture without people in Inch. It was amazing.

Then we headed to Cork. It was interesting to see the different terrain from the day before. The area towards Cork seems so vast in the same way that the Iron Range in Minnesota seems vast to me. Also the natural borders suddenly changed from stone walls to bushes.

The drive into Cork was hellacious. We actually had directions but it didn’t matter much. We saw a Jury’s – got there easily only to find it was the wrong one. Back into the car we ran into a billion one way streets – none of them going the way wanted to go. It took us 40 minutes to get into the hotel and Cork just isn’t that big. We got into the hotel too late for dinner. The garage was full. The Internet wasn’t working. And they didn’t have any decent lager in the pub!

But we got some Chinese take away. I found an Ethernet cord. And the cider was good. So, all’s well that ends well.

Monday Road Trip to Galway by Ann Treacy
April 9, 2008, 8:51 pm
Filed under: Clare, Galway

Monday Anita, Darla and I set off for Galway. Well, really we set off for the Cliffs of Moher – which are pretty much directly west of Dublin on the other side of the country.

We stopped at Conghlan Castle on the way – really just to take pictures.

Next we stopped by Yeats’ Tower in Gort. WB Yeats was a Nobel Prize winning poet, whose works include The Tower.

We stopped to take a picture of the “natural borders” that Darla loves. Today the natural borders were stone fences between properties.

What’s nice is that the Cliffs are about 5 miles away from Lehinch, where we’ll be staying with my family in May. I think it was about 3.5 hour trip. We stopped in Ennis for lunch – but I’m factoring that in. (I know at least 2 readers want that much info on getting to Lehinch.)

The Cliffs of Moher really are amazing. Picture a coastline and now picture it up 214 meters. You can see the Aran Islands and the Twelve Pins (rolling mountains) of Connemara. The weather was perfect although we could see a bad storm blowing in, which of course we ignored until it hit us. Thankfully we were ready to leave when the hail hit. (Proving that God loves us best.)

After the Cliffs we drove through the Burren to get to Galway. It “is a karst landscape, which is “a landscape shaped by the dissolution of a layer or layers of soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite.” So in other words, the Burren rocks.

We stopped on the way to Galway on Galway Bay. Maybe the town was Oranmore; maybe not. The waves were washing water unto the bridge and we saw our favorite sign of the trip, pictures below.

After doing so well with driving and directions we had a horrible time finding the hotel when we got into Galway. Luckily we had my friend Kevin to help us – twice. Then we were happy to have Kevin show us the nightlife of Galway. We had a wonderful Indian meal and visited a couple of pubs. They were all pretty lively. One had a band playing and one had a session going on.

The pubs were actually much nicer than many of the pubs I’ve visited in Dublin – in that they were cozy and had fireplaces, which I love.

Finally we took a picture of Lynch Castle for our cousins in Chicago.

I really enjoyed Galway. I recognized almost nothing from when I visited 15 years ago – but the nightlife still seemed good and there’s an artistic feel to the city.

Sunday in South Dublin by Ann Treacy
April 9, 2008, 8:16 am
Filed under: Dublin

Sunday we took advantage of the car and climbed up Killiney Hill in Dalkey. Killiney Hill is not very big but it overlooks the sea and Wicklow, which are both beautiful. The Dalkey area is also beautiful. We stopped for lunch at a place called Nosh.

After lunch we headed to Bray and climbed a little bit up Bray Head. It was beautiful but super windy.

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