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Thursday at Beaufield Mews by Ann Treacy
May 30, 2008, 7:57 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Thursday night we went for a nice dinner at a place called the Beaufield Mews. It’s not far from the house in Stillorgan, which is an area I usually associate with the bowling alley, not nice dinners but this restaurant was like a place in the country.

There was an art gallery upstairs. We saw one painting that cost €10,000. There was also a big garden in the back – in fact we saw a fox in the garden.

The food was good and the waiter was a character. We had a very nice night.

Kinky Friedman at Whelan’s in Dublin by Ann Treacy
May 23, 2008, 11:25 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

On Wednesday I went into town with Mom and Dad. We successfully drove into town and found parking and we got back in time to pick up the girls from school. We walked around Grafton Street and Trinity College so that was fun. We had a light lunch at Beweley’s Café – but really we scoped the ground for our night out.

We actually took the Luas (train) from Mom and Dad’s place in Sandyford into town. The Luas is super slick – I wish that we lived near it. It only took 20 minutes to get into town at 7:00! We had a really nice dinner and il Primo. It’s a funky place off Harcourt Street with really good risotto and chocolate cake. Then it was a quick walk to Whelan’s to see Kinky Friedman and the Jewboys. He is a singer, writer and former candidate for Texas Governor. His slogan was – how hard can it be?

It was a fun concert. We were lucky in that we got seats – in the balcony but seats nonetheless. Most people had to stand. The best line of the night was about John McCain – who “is old enough to hide his own Easter eggs”. I mostly knew Kinky from his profile on 60 Minutes years ago – but his stories were funny and the music was good! It was just dumb luck that I happened to see that he was playing.

Then we took the Luas home with the Manchester United fans, who were celebrating the big win in the Champions League game. They were rowdy but friendly. We were nearly nicked by the ticket police on the train. I had purchased the wrong tickets for us. I bought return tickets to and from the third zone – what we needed was return tickets from zone one to three. Luckily I caught this before we got on the train home. So we got tickets for zone one to two to match our zone three and the ticket police did get on the Luas to check. I haven’t been on the Luas before but I have to think that ticket collectors are rare. They only inspect periodically – and they caught quite a few people without tickets, including a very funny Man Utd supporter who had been sitting with us.

Tuesday in Dalkey by Ann Treacy
May 23, 2008, 10:22 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

On Tuesday Aine and I went to Dalkey with Grandma and Grandpa. It was fun to drive down the Vico Road (coast road) to see the amazing views and the super fancy houses. We had a nice lunch at a pub called IN. Soup for Aine was only €1.50. No food is ever that cheap here.

After Dalkey we picked up the big girls from school and headed for the park.

Tuesday night Patrick and I met up with our neigbors from home (Therese & Jack) and their friends (Mary & Rusty) for dinner and drinks in town. It was great to see friends from home and hear the news.

Doon – home to the Treacys by Ann Treacy
May 23, 2008, 9:56 am
Filed under: Doon

On Monday we drove home to Dublin. On the way we stopped in Doon – between Limerick and Tipperary. Grandpa Treacy’s grandpa came from Doon. We tracked down a grave in the cemetery for the Treacys. We walked through the town – there were a couple of pubs, a Treacy Butcher, a few shops and a stoplight.

We stopped for lunch in Thurles. And we arrived very tired in Dublin!

Moher Hill Farm by Ann Treacy
May 23, 2008, 9:40 am
Filed under: Clare

Sunday was our final full day in Lahinch. It was a little rainy and kind of cold – so we pretty much ruled out a day at the beach, which was very OK with us. Patrick took the bus back to Dublin on Saturday to get some work done and the beach would have been tricky without him.

We decide to visit Moher Hill Farm. It’s about 5-7 miles from where we were staying. There were a bunch of animals, most of which the kids could feed. There were ponies, sheep, llamas, goats, rabbits, chickens, roosters, a peacock, and more. Aine was pretty much jumping over the fences to feed the animals. While I can’t believe I got a picture of Kate feeding the animal she dared to feed.

There was also a bouncy house, play area inside and out, and a go kart track. So the kids had a great time playing. We were the only non-nationals at the farm, so while it may not make many of the guidebooks, it’s a fun place for kids.

Sunday night we had a nice dinner at the Atlantic Hotel.

Saturday in Galway by Ann Treacy
May 18, 2008, 11:47 am
Filed under: Clare, Galway

On Saturday we took off for Galway and the Early Music Festival. It was about a two hour drive, which surprised us since in was only 10 miles. Not quite – but nearly. The roads around Galway Bay and the Burren were crazy. I’ve included a picture of us on Corkscrew Hill overlooking Galway Bay. If Kate looks a little green, it’s not your computer screen – she was.

We thought we were late – but thanks to my keen sense of direction in Galway (Anita and Darla would have been impressed with how well I remembered it!) we were there on time for the kid’s play about Noah. Well, my keen sense and the fact that nothing starts on time in Ireland. The play was in the King’s Head Pub, it was free, and we really enjoyed it. Aine and I scored some seats with our new best friend stranger in the front.

The show was very cute – and includes a remark of Summer Night that you can watch below.

After the play, we saw s demonstration of early music (recorders and bagpipes) and some dancing. Aine was quick to jump up and partake. The rest of us were active viewers. The music demonstration was in the Galway Museum. We didn’t see much of it – but we liked what we saw. They have a fun interactive kiosk where you can take a picture of yourself to get added to their digital montage. Also they had a beautiful display of glass balls like water drops hanging from the ceiling.

After the museum we took a walk in the medieval part of the city. We had pizza for lunch in Fat Freddie’s. Patrick duped me into sharing a potato pizza with him – thankfully Aine took pity on me and gave me some of her pizza. Patrick can be evil.

Galway is a great city for walking. The people-watching was great. Lots of people were celebrating with beer – even before noon, which was something I remembered from my trip with Anita and Darla. (That is, I remember observing this – not joining in.) We walked through the market and to Eyre Square and eventually headed back to Lahinch.

We took a longer, yet quicker route home, which included a stop in Coole Pak, near Gort (in honor of WB Yeats). The we got home and enjoyed a mean game of Cluedo while we relaxed.







Friday Lahinch Aquarium and Pool by Ann Treacy
May 18, 2008, 11:10 am
Filed under: Clare

The aquarium and pool are under one roof – though we didn’t get to actually swim with the fishes. The aquarium was pretty cool. My favorites were the camouflage fish- I have a video of them.

The ugliest fish was the baby conger eel. The fact that they are hanging out in the North Atlantic is enough to keep me out of the deep. We also saw some baby lobsters. They were tiny – about the size of a quarter – and they are slow to slow. At about two and a half years, they were still small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. The staff members were feeding them with a tweezers. Lobsters live to be about 50 or 60.

We were there during the feeding and that was fun to see too. We were the only ones there for the feeding but the guy feeding the fish gave us a nice explanation about the fish and what they eat. Apparently they only eat twice a week.

After the aquarium tour we went into the swimming pool.

Friday night we had a nice dinner at the Liscannor Hotel – which is halfway between our place and the Cliffs of Moher. Grandma and Grandpa are staying at the hotel in about a week when they come back to go golfing.




Hanging in Lahinch by Ann Treacy
May 17, 2008, 9:36 pm
Filed under: Clare

On Thursday we took it easy. Lily learned how to play Gin, and has now clocked in about 100 hours of Gin with Grandma or Grandpa. We have played a ton of Clue (aka Cluedo). I think everyone has won at least one game – except me. The big girls have played a lot of tetherball in the back. We’ve been keeping an eagle eye on the cows that live around the yard. And Grandpa knows every shortcut in West Clare.

We went to the beach on Thursday – unfortunately the beach had moved. I guess that happens with the ocean. Fortunately, it didn’t move far. But we had to take quite a hike and climb down giant rocks with our gear to get to the beach.

The water was freezing! But Patrick and the girls spent a lot of time in the water jumping into the waves. Aine and I made a world class sandcastle and we buried Kate in the sand. It was a very relaxing day!

Inis Mor by Ann Treacy
May 15, 2008, 8:11 am
Filed under: Clare, Galway

On Wednesday, we went to the Aran Island – well we boated past the first two and landed at the largest – Inis Mor. We left from Doolin on a very turbulent boat ride. I felt like we were on Deadliest Catch. (I have become a faithful Deadliest Catch watcher here – partially because I don’t always love Irish TV.) The waves got half of the passengers soaked. I think we were all relived to reach the shore.

Once off the boat we found a bus tour of the island. Here’s a quick scoop on the Island. It’s off the west coast. It’s politically in County Galway. It’s a Gaeltacht area, which means people speak Irish. They speak English too – but they seem to speak Irish to each other. Patrick impressed us all by ordering his lunch in Irish.

The island is 9 miles long and 2 miles wide – but I suspect that’s 2 miles at the widest parts. There are about 300 houses and 760 people on the island.

Our tour started with Dun Aengus – “the most spectacular semi circular Celtic stone fort in Europe”. It was super cool. The fort is built on top of the cliff. It’s all built by stone. The road to the fort is built by stone and the big fort is too. It’s 3200 years old. It’s about a half a mile up to the fort – and an amazing view once you get there. It was interesting to think about how people ended up on the Island and what got them to pick such a scary place to build a fort. Well, clearly the scary feature also made it hard for enemies to sneak up on you – but it’s hard to imagine being more afraid of enemies than a huge drop off.

Then we got back on the bus. We drove around the island. We saw cows, a baby donkey, seals from really far away. We also saw people living their day to day life. It’s a far cry from Dublin and I was so glad that we got a chance to visit. The weather could not have been better. I’ve always wanted to visit the Aran Islands.

On the way off the island we visited some roosters that I had spied from the bus. I have to say – roosters are surprisingly beautiful. Their colors are vivid.

Then we got on the boat home and the sailing couldn’t have been smoother. It was like night and day – and a very pleasant surprise.

And the biggest bonus of all – we saw puffins from the boat. Grandpa spied them first. They were flying very close to the water. The others on the boat thought we were crazy making such a fuss about their puffins, but it was cool.

We had a nice dinner in Doolin at Gus O’Connor’s Pub. I don’t know if we were starving or if it was the best fish and chips in Ireland – but it was good. O’Connor’s is a big place to see traditional music – unfortunately we were there at 6:00 and the music starts at 9:00.

Then we had a very scary experience on the way back to Lahinch. We were driving around a very curvy part of the road and a motorcycle popped past us in the other direction. Then we saw a motorcycle pop past us behind him half in our lane. Then we saw a motorcycle not pass us. Thankfully, Dad had stopped the motorcyclist drive right in front of us into a hedge of brambles and nettles. The motorcycle flipped over and the driver flipped over the hedge. We thought he was done for. We were hopping out of the car when the driver climbed back onto the road. He was not a young guy. Thankfully, he was dressed from head to toe in leather – but we could not believe he walked away. He was so lucky that Dad stopped.

Doolin, Burren, Beach by Ann Treacy
May 15, 2008, 8:10 am
Filed under: Clare

On Tuesday we went to Doolin. We had a great time. We just walked on the rocks on the shore. It was so sunny and no nice. Patrick and the girls chased the waves. But it was Grandpa who caught a wave – he got soaked and I was so sad not to have the video camera going. The terrain was so different. We must have been climbing over limestone layers. We watched Aine pretty carefully – as it was a little dangerous but it was worth it.

Grandma, Aine and I focused on the life in the big puddles on the shore. We saw lots of shells, tiny fish and a tiny crab. It is a whole other world. It would be great to snorkel or otherwise take a look at the sea life.

The Burren was very cool too. So much of Ireland would pass as Wisconsin – but not West Clare. We climbed around the limestone here too – just no water. We were going to take a ling drive through the Burren but in the end we just got a glimpse and decided that we needed to go home – to eat and not drive.

Once we got home we ate lunch and headed to the beach. The beach was beautiful. Patrick and the big girls went pretty far into the water, which I thought was amazing since the water in the North Atlantic is absolutely freezing! Aine and I enjoyed building a sand castle and hanging out in the shallow water. We really enjoyed it. Once big plus of the beach in Ireland – no one is tanner than we are!

At night we played Clue. Grandma won but only because she guessed what Aine told her to guess.

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