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Chicago & Millennium Park by Ann Treacy
July 12, 2010, 3:40 am
Filed under: Chicago

We’re in Chicago. Woo hoo! So on Tuesday we headed out to Millennium Park, one of our favorite places in Chicago. We started with a tour of the Taste of Chicago. We had ribs, cookies, popcorn, hotdogs, homemade potato chips, dumplings, tacos and more. We saw a hotdog eating contest at the Man Vs Food booth. We watched some Cajun cooking at the chef’s table. It was fun.

Then we went over the BP Bridge to the Park. We saw an orchestra – well, to be fair, we heard an orchestra, we didn’t really see them. Then we went to the bean and finally the water portion. The kids were a little miffed that they weren’t wearing their swim suits but they got over it and didn’t get too wet.

Eventually, despite the pig-out earlier in the day, we got hungry and walked up to Greek Town. We had a very fun dinner, including flaming cheese – two rounds of it! The restaurants in Greek Town are maybe the best places to bring a family in the world. It started with free kiddie cocktails, moving onto lots of flaming food, more bread than anyone should be allowed and ending with the super quick service.

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Last Party by Ann Treacy
July 12, 2010, 3:26 am
Filed under: Dublin

Our last night in Dublin the girls met their friends at Cabinteely Park (the big park near the house). It was fun to see everyone, but sad. The girls have made some good friends were sad about leaving them.

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Boat on the Canal by Ann Treacy
July 12, 2010, 3:18 am
Filed under: Dublin

On our last day in Dublin we had lunch on a boat (La Peniche) on the Grand Canal. The day was absolutely perfect – super sunny, not too hot, but warm. There were 10 of us, our gang, Shay and Rochelle, Mikey, Irish Grandma and Fearghal. We all ate upstairs in the sunshine.

They don’t usually cruise down the canal on Sunday, but we got lucky and they made an exception. It was so much fun to see how the boat moves through the various locks and dams. It’s a system of getting through one door, closing it until the canal fills with water, then going out the other door where the canal seems to run higher. (I know high doesn’t make much sense but that’s what it seems like.) Also we got to cruise under very low bridges. I think even Aine could touch the top/bottom of the bridge as we went under.

The food was gorgeous! I had duck pâté and sea bass. (In other words fancy food.)

Then we had some excitement towards the end of the meal. We were docked. There was another family on the boat. They had two girls about age 8. They were running around the boat and one of them fell in. Luckily her sister screamed. I started to run down the stairs but Shay jumped off the boat unto the land and was able to reach her in the water.

The water wasn’t super deep. She appeared to be able to stand or swim well enough but it was scary. I suspect the greatest real danger would be that she would get crushed between the boat and the dock. Also the captain said it was lucky that it hadn’t happened at we went through the locks since the water there would have been too deep to do anything. Since everything turned out OK it just added to the excitement of the day.

Killiney Hill by Ann Treacy
July 12, 2010, 3:11 am
Filed under: Dublin

While many of the O’Donnell’s were in town we hiked up Killiney Hill and down to Killiney beach…

Week of Theatre by Ann Treacy
July 12, 2010, 3:10 am
Filed under: Dublin

We were busy in our last week in Dublin. Patrick and I went to see two plays. First – Bookworms; it’s the story of a book club that invites the husbands to join one month. I loved it. It was very funny. It’s kind of how you would imagine a book club with boys – well if your book club actually discussed the books. In fairness, the book discussion happened off the stage, which is kind of what happens in my book club. It’s also a look at post-Celtic Tiger Ireland.

The second show we saw was more closely and obviously a commentary on post-Celtic Tiger Ireland. It was called Outsiders and was more of a monologue by David McWilliams. He’s an economist. And not to kill the ending but my favorite parts were when he talked about the economy of the good room. The idea being that everyone in Ireland grew up with a good room – the room that was way too good for family but where you had to sit when old relatives, priests or other important people came to visit. (In fairness, I think it exists in the US too but more in a grandma’s house.) Well the problem was that idea of the good room or keeping up appearances led the diplomats in Ireland to keep a façade of being able to afford the good times for longer than they really were.

He throws out a solution of encouraging Irish creativity and entrepreneurial spirit and relying on the Irish diaspora living all over the world to promote Ireland and Irish businesses.

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