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International Bog Day by Ann Treacy
July 29, 2009, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Kildare

To celebrate International Bog day, the girls and I went to the Bog of Allen with Irish Grandma and Uncle Fearghal. First props to Irish Grandma and Fearghal for being up for a trip to a bog. Not just everyone would be so easy going.

We started our trip with a very un-bog-like meal in Clane. We found an amazing restaurant called Zest Café. I had pâté, lobster ravioli and crème brulée. It was very good. Clane was on the way to the Bog of Allen; both are in County Kildare. It’s a pretty area – it looks more like Minnesota than a lot of Ireland. There aren’t many mountains, so sea but lots of good farming land – and a big ‘ol bog.

We went to the Nature Center just as it was closing – but we got to learn a little bit about bogs. Then we snuck into the back garden where we got to see Venus Fly Traps and Cobra Lilies. I’m not super sure about the connection to the blog – but Lily did a ton of research on both last year while looking for a “pet” that I might approve. She knew exactly how each would try its prey.

We got a little locked in the back garden. A new mystery for me is how Irish Grandma got over the fence – once again proving how easy going she is. (And I can’t believe no one was ready with the camera to chronicle the mystery!)

Finally on the way home we stopped in to trek – maybe plunge is a better word – into the bog. It was fun – but mucky. Kate was the first to get stuck. Then Aine really got stuck. I pulled her out and she lost a shoe. I was about to get angry when my own shoe gave way and I ended up with a black sock. I forgot how mucky bogs could be. I think we all left with a new appreciation of bog bodies. I pointed out that if they found us under the bog in a century at least they’d know that we had eaten well.

I think Fearghal had the best line of the day when he said, “Girls this is probably the most Irish thing you’ve ever done.” (Fearghal gets extra props for not saying anything about muddy shoes and feet in his clean car!)

Kings of Concrete by Ann Treacy
July 29, 2009, 11:03 pm
Filed under: Dublin, Uncategorized

We met Irish Grandma, Caroline & Rochelle for lunch. It was great to see Caroline and Rochelle one last time before they go. Then we picked up Ailbhe – well really she got dropped off and we went to the King of Concrete – a hip hop, break-dancing, skateboarding, graffiti

Some of what they do is amazing. I loved the dancing and some of the graffiti. Of course I like the graffiti that looks like things more than just the tags. Lily took some video of the dancing. (I’m working on getting that video up – will add if I get it working.) I am going to try to upload it (on top of all of the U2.) The girls got to make T-shirts, which was fun. Everything happened behind Christchurch, which is very near to where I used to live. I’ve always liked that part of the city so it was fun.

Just when that was winding down we got a text from Sheila. We met up at Captain America with her. Pat, Alex, Daniel, Maxine and her daughter Tiger Lily. (Maxine used to live in St Paul.) We had a fun dinner. The girls and I ended up getting home on the train about 10:00. They had their midnight feast and went to bed fairly early – for a sleepover night.

U2 Croke Park July 24, 2009 by Ann Treacy
July 26, 2009, 9:40 pm
Filed under: Dublin

So did I mention that we went to U2? We got our tickets here. A bunch went on last minute sale. They weren’t on the pitch/floor but they were good. We were on the first tier (row 20 or so) on the side. The show was amazing!! They always do an amazing job of new and old songs. The stage and the lighting and everything was very cool.

As we approached the stadium we saw a rainbow. It had rained all day but not one drop during the show and we could see the sun set as we watched the show.

It seems as if everyone in Dublin is going to one of the three shows – but no one we knew was going to the first night with us. In fact the population of Dublin is about 500,000 (that’s just Dublin, not greater Dublin) and with 3 shows 240,000 people will see U2. That being said – much of the crowd is not from Dublin. Tons of people just flew in for the show. Funny enough we ran into Joe Dowling and his wife while we were there. So that was kind of fun.

I took some video and pictures. One thing I have to mention about Croke Park, where we saw them, it’s an outdoor sports arena. It holds 80,000 people. It’s plopped right in the middle of a neighborhood. So while the show ended at 11:00 – we couldn’t really get anywhere for a while. The streets were just wall to wall people.

(or you can see them all here: http://tinyurl.com/lq67ho)

Dun Laoghaire with Aine by Ann Treacy
July 26, 2009, 10:46 am
Filed under: Dun Laoghaire

On Tuesday night Aine got to have a sleepover with the big girls – but she got dropped off early the next morning. So I got to spend the day with Aine. Mostly we hung around Dun Laoghaire. We walked to the end of the East Pier. We didn’t see anything too exciting but it was fun. It never rained on us, which was a plus. We went to McDonald’s – which was a concession of sorts. We stopped in to see my friend Karina at Hughes & Hughes. I had plans to meet her later that night, which was fun. We visited the gallery at the Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council building.

We ended our day by meeting Patrick in the library.

We took 2 pictures especially for Grandma – one without a hat, one by a boat called Puffin!

Shopping in Dublin by Ann Treacy
July 26, 2009, 10:36 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

One day last week we met up with Sheila, Alex and Daniel, friends from home. We had talked about going to Howth or other activities but really it was a pretty crappy and rainy day. So we went shopping. I bought a ton – including Doc Martens. You’ll all be glad to hear I have retired the old pair after 10+ years of service. We ended the day at Captain America’s. I don’t think I had been there in 20 years.


We love the sea! by Ann Treacy
July 26, 2009, 10:26 am
Filed under: Dublin

We had Ailbhe and Cait for a sleepover this week. (Then their family had all 3 of our girls to stay, which is just one reason we love them.) Back to the sleepover. We walked to Blackrock to have a late dinner at Eddy Rockets. We walked most of the way by the sea. I have to admit it’s just beautiful. One of the best things is living so close now we get to track whether the tide is in or out. (We live about 5 minutes from the sea.) Being from the Great Plains we weren’t so up on what it meant for the tide to be in or out. It’s a huge difference. When the tide is out there can be hundreds of yards of beach. When the tide is in there’s none.

The morning of the sleepover we went swimming at Sea Point – which again is near to us, maybe a 10 minute walk. The water is cold and the tide was in – but the girls actually got into the water. Aine and I collected shells. There was a wave incident reminiscent of Grandpa at Lahinch last year – but not as good. I wasn’t paying attention and the waves kind of went from 0 to 60 in no time and I got pretty wet on a rebound off the walk.

I tend to walk near the sea most mornings. I walk from Monkstown down the West Pier of Dun Laoghaire. One morning I saw a dolphin – or maybe a porpoise, but definitely not a seal. It was pretty far out but I saw the dorsal fin. Another morning I saw a lobster boat pulling up lobster pots. I am a huge fan of Deadliest Catch so I’d like to pretend that this was a death defying view – but mostly it was a calm day and the guy was picking out as much trash as lobster (or maybe even crab) from the nets.

Rochelle’s Birthday by Ann Treacy
July 25, 2009, 10:26 pm
Filed under: Dublin

On Saturday we celebrated Rochelle’s (cousin from Florida) birthday. There were 15 people at Irish Grandma’s house since both sets of Rochelle’s grandparents live in Ireland.

We spent most of the day around the house. The Australian cousins went back home in the evening.

Saturday night Irish Grandma babysat and Patrick and I went to our favorite French restaurant ( L’Gueuleton) and had an amzing meal!

The house in Monkstown by Ann Treacy
July 21, 2009, 6:16 pm
Filed under: Dublin

So starting about a week ago, we have been house sitting a beautiful house in Monkstown.

We’re still in South Dublin – but we’re much closer to town and very near the DART – and the coast. The DART (Dublin Area Rapid Transit) is a train that goes further south (to Bray and beyond), into the city center and north to Howth and Malahide. The station is less than a 10 minute walk from the house.

It’s a 10 minute walk to Dun Laoghaire and maybe 0 minute walk to Blackrock. Every morning I have been walking to Dun Laoghaire and down the West Pier. On the foggy days we can hear the fog horm from the house. There’s a beach (Sea Point) about 15 minutes away. I’m using the term beach loosely here – but you could definitely swim there.

There’s a castle in Monkstown. There are two big churches – across the street from each other. There are a few shops, restaurants and a pub in the area. (In fact we saw a band at the pub on Saturday night.)

The houses are very nice – including this one. It’s a pre-Victorian house; built around 1830.

There’s a beautiful back garden with flowers, vegetables and fruit, which we can pick and eat if we want. There are 3 floors. Mostly we stay on the ground floor. The house has about a billion books; Patrick has already found a few gems for his PhD. There’s a marble bust in the dining room of the owner’s ancestor.

If you have ever lived in or visited a bedsit, that is what our room is like. In fact the whole house is like a bedsit put back into its original form. I live in mortal fear that someone will break something big while we’re here.

Bray Fun Fair in the Rain by Ann Treacy
July 21, 2009, 5:20 pm
Filed under: Bray

We went to the Bray Fun Fair in the rain. It rained pretty much all day. We walked along the strand in the rain. We met up with our cousins in the rain. We played on bumper cars in the rain. We went bowling.

Bowling is not as cheap in Ireland as it is at home.

We topped it off with an actually pretty good dinner at a pub on the strand – maybe it was called Katie Gallagher’s.

Malahide Playground by Ann Treacy
July 21, 2009, 5:12 pm
Filed under: Dublin

On Wednesday we headed out to Malahide with Julie, Kilian and Aidan (from Australia). Malahide is on the DART. It’s sort of the opposite end of the DART from us. It’s not on the bay – but out north of the city.

Malahide has a castle – but more than that for most of our concern, Malahide has an amazing playground on the castle grounds. The girls thought it was better than the Cabinteely Park! The whole grounds around the castle are pretty amazing. And the weather was perfect – almost too hot and sunny.

We took a quick glance at the castle and even had lunch there. (I will admit that we miss places like Bruegger’s and Chipotle for lunch!)

We walked into Malahide a bit. It’s a suburban area (or urban village as Patrick likes to say). It seems very nice and pretty upper end.

After Malahide we stopped into town for a while – by then it was raining. Unfortunately it was almost 5:00 and most things were shutting up for the night – but we did get to walk around Dublin Castle.

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