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Fair Hills Waterslide by Ann Treacy
August 19, 2009, 8:16 pm
Filed under: Detroit Lakes

A golf course, a sheet of plastic, a ton of water. That’s all I’m going to say…

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Butterfly Migration by Ann Treacy
August 19, 2009, 7:53 pm
Filed under: Detroit Lakes

So apparently Detroit Lakes is on butterfly migration path to Mexico! And they all stop at Fair Hills. The place isn’t exactly inundated but it’s fun to see the monarchs and as you can see we saw at least one good branch-load of butterflies is a fir tree, which kind of surprised me. I thought they’d like a softer looking tree.

fh_butterfly



Fair Hills – woo hoo! by Ann Treacy
August 19, 2009, 5:13 pm
Filed under: Detroit Lakes

We’re in Fair Hills Resort this week. It’s up in Detroit Lakes. It’s like a Minnesota-flavored Dirty Dancing resort. There are loads of kids’ activities – and some adult stuff too. There’s a talent show and a show (Hootenanny) that features staff talent. There are 3 meals a day. The chef can make pancakes in any shape!

These were our activities from the first full day:

  • 7 am – I walk with Barb, who leads about 20 people on a 1 hour walk around Big Pelican Lake. A boat picks us up in time for breakfast. Lily joined me. We saw an eagle
  • 8:00 – breakfast
  • Morning: It rained so the best activity was swimming. All of us swam for about 90 minutes in the pool and hot tub. It rained steadily the whole time – but it really was perfect for swimming!
  • 11:00: Zumba – a new aerobics-dance exercise class, which the big girls and I loved!
  • Noon – lunch
  • 1:00: golf lesson for me, Kate & Lily
  • 2:30: Aine got to ride a horse and play on the playground with other 4-8 year olds. Lily and Kate went for the water games – and they both jumped off the high dock-thing. Kate did not love it. I watched her on the high dock thinking about jumping – other kids trying to convince her, her thinking, getting close to the edge and backing off, but eventually she jumped
  • 6:00: dinner
  • 7:30: Ice cream social and volleyball game
  • 10:00 everyone is asleep!

So that’s kind of a typical day. Rather than catalog every day like that I thought I’d just post highlight posts for the rest of the week – short but sweet. Maybe with some videos.



music & movie in the park by Ann Treacy
August 16, 2009, 3:16 am
Filed under: St Paul

We’ve been easing back into life in St Paul. The girls have been seeing friends. I’ve been meeting with clients. Patrick is still writing.

We’ve been trying to keep an eye on what’s happening in our own home ground. Tuesday night we took a drive down to Stillwater – about 45 minutes away from St Paul on the St Croix River right across from Wisconsin.

Stillwater is a great town at nearly anytime – but Tuesday was special since they had a band playing, movie in the park planned and a farmers’ market happening. We didn’t stay long enough for the movie – but we enjoyed the music, food and walk along the river.

On Wednesday they had music and movie in the park at Groveland – our local park. So we could walk down. Enjoy hotdogs for dinner. The girls gulped down tons of free root beer. There were different carnival games and Kate took advantage of the free massages – several times.

Kate and Lily each had a friend over. We all stayed to see Madagascar in the park. It was a fun night!



Irish Fair 2009 by Ann Treacy
August 16, 2009, 3:15 am
Filed under: St Paul

So we came home just in time for the Irish Fair – on purpose. Patrick’s on the board of the Irish Fair and didn’t want to miss it.

Friday night we went to see the Dropkick Murphy’s. They were fun. They played more traditional songs than I had hoped – but that made sense given the crowd. I made it up to the front/side of the stage for a few songs.

I was very impressed with the security and the crowd surfers. The surfers were all eventually dumped on the “other side” of the security fence – but really not very close to the stage. The security folks just herded them away from the stage and back out to the crowd. It was a good way to handle it. The dancers didn’t mind, it wasn’t much hassle for security and kept everyone having a good time.

During the Fair we had the great fortune of entertaining Ruan O’Donnell (no relation) from University of Limmerick. Ruan gave two talks: one of Robert Emmet, Irish Patriot and one on the IRA from 1948-1968. Ruan was very interesting. He had talked to a whole host of people for his research and it was fun to hear the stories. With any luck we’ll see Ruan again in Ireland – or maybe he’ll come to visit us again in Minnesota.

The weather at the Fair was touch and go. The ground was like a bog – and regular readers will know that we know what a bog is like! Saturday night they had to close early for a tornado warning. Sunday the weather was beautiful.

We saw a cute play for kids, we played games, we watched bands and singers, we walked along the Mississippi, we saw lots of Irish dancers, we had a great time.

A weekend full of festival was a great way to break back into Minnesota.



Final Days & the Horse Show by Ann Treacy
August 15, 2009, 10:50 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Our final days in Dublin were kind of a blur. The girls and I moved from Monkstown to Irish Grandma’s on Tuesday. Partially we moved because Kate had woken up with hives 2 days in a row and I thought the cats might be the culprits. Partially we moved because I wanted a full day to clean the sheets and make the beds before we left the house to the owners.

There were several nice things about moving back to Cabinteely – including the fact that Lily was able to invite her friends to meet her at the local park, which is a really great park. So one the of the last nights we played in the park and I got to talk to the moms.

The next day we moved into a hotel by the airport. Our flight was early and Cabinteely is really the other side of Dublin so since we were already packed up it was just easier to stay there.

It was a day where we could have used a car. The girls and I went to Monkstown to pick up Patrick and the luggage. Patrick realized he forgot out Minnesota keys in Minnesota. So we took all of our luggage to the airport hotel. Then he went back to Cabinteely to get the keys then we met him in town. That round around took 5 hours.

So while Patrick ran around – the girls and I went to the Horse Show. The Horse Show is kind of a big deal. It’ was fun – it’s like a mini-State Fair. We got to see horse jumping contests, a Punch & Judy puppet show (great for Aine, stinks for me) crafts, horse products, and food.

Then we went into town for our last day. We had a drink (hot chocolate/diet coke) at Bewley’s. We waited, waited for Patrick. But when we met him we took the girls to our favorite French restaurant. They all tried snails, terrine, pate and each liked at least one.

We took a bus to the airport hotel. Saw a big fire – finally got to sleep and left the next day.



Glasnevin Botanic Garden & Cemetery by Ann Treacy
August 15, 2009, 10:40 pm
Filed under: Dublin

Our last Sunday in Dublin we wanted to do something different so we headed to North Dublin – to the National Botanic Gardens in Glasnevin. First – they’re huge. It’s amazing to me that you find these great gems in the heart of Dublin – but you do.

First we had a nice lunch at a restaurant (the Washerwoman) in a building from the 1700’s. Clearly the host a lot of family events – but they had room for us (a sign of the economic times) and we had a nice lunch.

We were able to walk from there to the Gardens. So we were cheerfully walking, looking around. There was a derelict house on the road, boarded and broken windows. Otherwise the neighborhood seemed nice. So the girls and I were looking at it and we all spied an old woman looking out at us. Picture the old woman/witch who gave the apple to Snow White – that is exactly what this woman looked like. Super creepy – made even creepier by the fact that we were all busted looking at her!

Anyways, we had visited Belfast Botanic Gardens a few days before – but Dublin Garden could eat Belfast for lunch! There are some greenhouses – and we’ll be re-visiting them in the winter. Nothing better than a hot humid conservatory in January!

Oh quick fancy us story – the conservatory at the house where we stayed was built by the same person who designed the conservatory at Glasnevin.

We saw a huge heron in a tree. That was fun. The rose garden was beautiful. The girls got to run around, climb trees and take pictures.

So after our pleasant day Patrick had to creep it up with a visit to the Glasnevin Cemetery. Glasnevin is best known as the burial place of Daniel O’Connell – the Liberator, responsible for Catholic emancipation in 1829, which gave Catholics the right to vote, join the professions and own property. (Description as dictated by Patrick.)

His tomb is *huge*. You can see the big round tower in the picture. I wish I could have captured the whole picture better. The tomb consists of a big tomb topped off with the round tower and a moat-like walkway that leads to 42 crypts. You can walk down into the moat-type area to see into O’Connell’s tomb and the crypts. In fact one of the crypt doors was open. And we saw the same old lady looking out! Not really – but the crypt was open and we saw coffins. Cool but creepy.

Another fancy us story – the house where we stayed is owned by a decedent of Daniel O’Connell.




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