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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.



Aunt Eda in Ennis by Ann Treacy
July 19, 2009, 9:37 pm
Filed under: Clare

On Monday we all took the train to see Patrick’s Aunt Sister Eda. She lives in Ennis, County Clare. We started out by taking the DART (train) into town, changing to the LUAS (another metro train) to the Irish Train at Connelly Station. We took that train to Limerick, another train to Limerick Station and finally on to Ennis. The good new is that my mobile broadband worked the whole time so at least I was able to work.

We met up with Patrick’s aunt at a hotel for lunch. We had a nice lunch. The kids were pretty good. After lunch we went back to the convent where the kids could run around for a while. Then it was back on the trains to do the whole routine in reverse. All in all we were gone about 13 hours.



Blackrock & Dun Laoghaire by Ann Treacy
July 19, 2009, 9:24 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Sunday was a pretty relaxed day. The O’Donnell sons and one daughter in law went with their mom to a fancy restaurant in Wicklow. Julie and I brought the girls and their cousins Aidan and Rochelle to Blackrock and Dun Laoghaire.

We walked from our place to Blackrock Market. Blackrock is a fun market with lots of toys, clothes, art and other. I got a dress and boot for 11 euros. OK I probably wouldn’t have bought the boots for more than 5 euros, but I know I’ll wear them.

After Blackrock we took the train to Dun Laoghaire. The regatta was still going on so it was hopping and we saw tons of sailboats, which is fun. We went to Café Mao, our favorite Chinese restaurant in Dublin. It’s very kid-friendly so I think it was a nice change for everyone. Then we walked down to the People’s Park.

The weather was very much what we’ve learned to expect here. Sunny one minute pouring rain the next. The kids were troopers with all of the walking but it’s a pretty part of Dublin.



Temple Bar Circus Festival by Ann Treacy
July 12, 2009, 11:20 am
Filed under: Dublin

This weekend was the Temple Bar Circus Festival. We went yesterday. (Woo hoo!) But forgot the camera. (Boo!) We started out the day with lunch in Dun Laoghaire. It was a nice lunch but between nice lunches and staying with the people who own the house where we are house sitting – it was a lunch too far for the kids. I was going to hog tie Aine by the end of it. She has really perfected her burping, which makes her a less than desirable dinner guest for most of us.

After lunch we headed into town. The Festival was great. The Temple Bar Culture Council sponsored various street acts to perform throughout the day. Between yesterday and today we saw about 5 acts. My favorites were the jugglers today – although our front row seats might have edged them into first place over the guy who balanced on a very tall pole. (I’ve included some pictures of my fave act since I had the camera today.) The acts that we saw were juggler/acrobat types. We saw a lot of men in neon leotards – I’m thinking not everyone can say that about their weekend.

The other nice thing about today is that we had a leisurely lunch at the Meeting House market. The girls and I had fried dumplings, a skewer of prawns and chocolate crepes. Very easy, very tasty! We missed the Meeting House Market while we were home.

Back to yesterday – we watched the circus performers until 7:00 or so. The weather was grey but dry and pretty nice. We started to head home with a shortcut through Trinity College. We ran into a very casual game of cricket. Our Australian cousin is a big cricket fan and player. In fact all of this activity while The Ashes (big cricket tourney) have been on over the last week has probably all but killed him. We decide to watch some of the game even before we saw that there was a pub with a beautiful patio on the other side of the field.

So the end of my stressful Friday was a fun pint learning all about cricket from someone who really loves the game. I feel as if I could watch and understand a game now – though Julie (mom of the athlete) warns me that cricket is not a quick game.

The end of my not-stressful Saturday is much wetter. It started raining at 4:15 and has not stopped; it’s now 10:00. They had predicted rain all day so we consider ourselves lucky to have had it start so late in the day.



Dun Laoghaire Regatta by Ann Treacy
July 11, 2009, 9:58 am
Filed under: Dun Laoghaire

This weekend is the Dun f us (O’Donnell’s from Cabinteely, Minnesota, Florida and Canberra) headed out to Dun Laoghaire. We walked down the pier – which I always love doing. It wasn’t sunny but it was pretty clear and fairly warm. You could easily see Howth in the background. We could see a ton of sailboats and our timing was perfect – they were all sort of heading out for a 3:00 start. Well that’s what we thought. We hung around at the end of the pier for about 20 minutes – and it was getting a little cold.

I thought a regatta was a race – but there never really was a start. At one point a navy-looking ship set off and we thought that would mean a grand beginning but not really.

But that was OK. It was a great walk, a nice day and we went for a nice Italian meal after seeing the boats.




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