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Dublin Day Two: Art Galleries, shopping and walking by Ann Treacy
August 14, 2019, 1:41 pm
Filed under: Dublin

We started the day with big plans to get to several art galleries: Hugh Lane, National Gallery, Irish Modern (in the old Kilmainham Hospital). On the way to Hugh Lane, we noticed that Penney’s (cheap and cheerful clothes) was open. So we had to stop and Kate got a few things, including a much needed jacket. Then off to Hugh Lane – by way of the Garden of Remembrance. It really is a gorgeous park and it was so sunny.

At the Hugh Lane we saw my favorite stained glass art and the walking video. (When the walking video first opened there were videos all over town supporting the show. I loved it!) We also the Plundered Planet show by Mark Dion, which was thoughtful and yet beautiful. It does make a statement on the impact of people on nature. After that we got caught up shopping for shoes at the ILAC Shopping Center. If you see Aine in her new creepers, you’ll know where she got them.

Then we made a stop by the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Trinity College – mostly because it’s part of the short cut to get to the National Gallery – but they had some out there stuff that I really liked. Poor Kate – the only artist in the group – is not a fan of modern so she sat outside.

Then folks were hungry so we got some food and Marks & Spencer’s and headed to Stephen’s Green and had a little picnic outside. Picnic is always a good idea in Dublin because as much as it rains, there’s usually some sunny spots too. And it’s easier when you have someone who is vegan plus (That’s plus more restrictive.) with someone like me who doesn’t really like vegetables.

Post picnic we stopped by the History Museum to see the bog bodies (bodies preserved in the bogs for centuries) a long time favorite attraction for us. Finally we headed to the National Gallery. We saw a few things – mostly French Impressionists and Jack B. Yeats. We also saw a cool collaboration between the Gallery and a nail salon called Pop Tropical (or something like that). They did nail-based art. It was very cool, each manicure represented a different work from the Gallery.

Then the girls got tired. SO they went for a nap and I went for a walk. I walked from the Ha’Penny Bridge to the Grand Canal Docks and back. I saw a lot of street art – including the Lane of Icons in Temple Bar. I saw some kids taking swimming lessons. I walked by Google and Facebook. All in all a pleasant day!

At night we walked around. Saw some buskers. Checked out the Whitefriars Church were St Valentine is buried. (Not really, but they do have a St V relic.) We saw checked out a pub with some traditional music.

Last day in MN and Day One in Dublin: Talk about an amazing race! by Ann Treacy
August 13, 2019, 7:31 am
Filed under: Dublin, St Paul

It seems like maybe I can’t start talking about the family trip to Dublin before I mention my last day in Minnesota. I woke up early (pre 6 am) to trek to a triathlon. It was my second – it includes 500 yards swimming, 16 miles bike and a 3 mile run. I actually liked the swim and the run. I hate the biking. Since math has never been my strong point, each year I forget that biking is the largest portion of the race.

But I did the race with friends. I met friends along the way. I got to know a few people better. And now I’m done.

After that, Heather and I hosted Erik Koskinen and Al Church on our radio show. I’m big fans of each and I am so thankful that they are both easy going, super talented and were OK with the fact that I have been sharper on better days. It was a perfect distraction and a great show!

Then we left for Dublin. Honestly I’m not sure that I had an hour of (to use the term hammered into us in my open plan high school) unscheduled time before we got to the airport.

Aine, Kate and I are in Dublin for a few days. We’ll meet Lily (and her boyfriend Sean) in Belfast where we’re staying with one of my kindest friends in the world, who someone got Aine a Dr Seuss makeover last time we went to Belfast.

We are staying right on top of the Ha’Penny Bridge in the city center. Smack dab in the city center. The view is awesome. Aine has remarked at how she forgot about how the doors and everything here is just a little different. We were tired on the first day. So tired. But we got in a few walks, an Indian meal and Kate and I went for a drink. I did get to visit Mother Redcaps – a pub and market where I worked years ago. It hasn’t been open in a long time but I still love visiting.

A Day in Dublin: the Science Gallery Fail Better exhibit by Ann Treacy
March 12, 2014, 12:28 pm
Filed under: Dublin

The girls and I finally had a day in Dublin to do anything we wanted. (OK anything I wanted.) We started with the Fail Better exhibit at the Science Gallery. It was a collection of failed experiments. Here are explanations from my favorite two failed experiments…

  1. In 1965, George and Charlotte Blonsky, a married couple living in New York City, were granted US patent #3216423 for an “Apparatus for Facilitating the Birth of a Child by Centrifugal Force”. When a woman is ready to deliver her child, she lies on her back on a circular table. She is strapped down. The table is then rotated at high speed. The baby comes flying out. This is intended to “assist the under-equipped woman by creating a gentle, evenly distributed, properly directed, precision-controlled force, that acts in unison with and supplements her own efforts”.
  2. It was trumpeted as “the building with more up top”, a swollen pint glass of a tower that bulges out as it rises to pack in more offices at the lucrative higher levels—all topped with a Babylonian sky-garden. What the developer of 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London had not bargained for was, that like every Bond baddie lair, the Walkie-Talkie building would also come with its own lethal death ray. In the summer of 2013, the concave south-facing facade of the 34-storey tower was found to channel the rays of the sun into a concentrated beam down on to the street below, so hot it melted the bumper of a car, scorched shop carpets and bubbled their paintwork. One passer-by even managed to fry an egg in its heat.

After that we trekked around town visit lots of shops and checking out favorite places like George’s Market. Aine and I checked out the Maker Shop, where she got to solder a homemade flashlight and we got a few minutes with the National Gallery. The older girls got in a little shopping – or maybe just hung out at a coffee shop, we’re not really sure. But everyone had a nice break from bubble wrap and each other!

Short trips around Dublin while I plan to break all of the plates at home by Ann Treacy
March 11, 2014, 10:30 am
Filed under: Doon, Wicklow

So after the funeral we spent a lot of time packing up Patrick’s mom’s house with the Australian contingency. We threw out things like a broken crib in the attic that had to be 40 years old and bubble wrapped about 1000 plates and knick knacks. So my plan when I get home is to break all of the plates I own and we’ll be eating off paper for the rest of my days. To be fair, I’m not really one for knick knacks anyways but man bubble wrapping will curb any saver tendencies. The girls can just fight over the mostly modern art on the walls and the backlog of laptops from days gone by.

Between the packing we did get in a few walking trips and visits.

We went into town for the markets and cupcakes, we went to Howth to see the seals, we went to Dun Laoghaire to walk the pier, Aine and I walked from Bray to Greystones and finally we found ourselves in Powerscourt and Glendalough – where the terrible St Kevin pushed the beautiful Kathleen into the lake. Uncle Michael had a car – a car for us in Dublin is a very rare treat. It was fun to be able to get to places so easily.

Return to Dublin for Irish Grandma’s funeral by Ann Treacy
March 11, 2014, 9:48 am
Filed under: Dublin

Irish Grandma died quite suddenly. The good news is that Patrick and most of his brothers were home for Christmas. We got the call mid-February saying she was sick. She died February 20. The girls had never really been to a full funeral before. I hadn’t been to one in Ireland. The greatest difference is in the removal the night before the funeral. We went to the funeral home where we went to see the body in the open casket. The crowd is kept to pretty immediate family. Everyone prays a little and then they cover the casket (some of us left the room) and move the body from the funeral home to the church.

Then there was a nice service at the church and a small dinner, again for immediate family at a local restaurant. We rode up to the events in the limo – not the most comfortable place to be although the driver was very nice. (The limo was comfortable, just the idea of it was uncomfortable.)

The following day was the funeral. Patrick gave the eulogy. Kate and Aine brought up the gifts. Lily and I each did a prayer of the faithful. It was funny to see Patrick and his brothers squish into the front pew. Let’s just say they may have fit into one pew back in the day – they’re a little big for it now.

The burial was different from home too. First the coffin is pared down – not the huge not-coffin-shaped coffins we have back home. Second, it is lowered down (more by hand than machine like at home) during the burial. It seems a lot closer. The girls did a good job holding it together for the whole event.

After the burial was a very nice luncheon at a local hotel – no church lady hot dish deal. This was fancy. And after lunch the crowd shifted to the bar. We were there (with kids) until about 11 pm. It was the first time I had met any of Patrick’s family outside of his brothers and their families. I’m including the pictures from the luncheon so that the family can access them.

Back in Dublin for a few days: old friends and sunshine by Ann Treacy
March 8, 2014, 11:40 am
Filed under: Dublin

Mary and I spent the final days of her holiday in Dublin. We met up with some of my old friends. And over the next week or so I visited lots of places by myself. I’m just going to include all of the pictures here. The weather was great. It was so much fun to spend time with old friends. I got a ton of walking in, which always makes me happy.

Ladies Day in Dublin: Mini Maker Faire by Ann Treacy
August 13, 2012, 1:34 am
Filed under: Dublin

On Saturday Patrick went with his mom to London to visit his brother – so the girls and I hit the town. We went to the Science Gallery to the Mini Maker Faire. The focus is on learning how to make things – especially for kids. It sort of echoed a main theme from the TED conference – the whole idea of being able to make things, to invent, to innovate is very strong. It’s always fun to meet folks who do make things – because to me making something is so far out of my field of scope. I’m much better at writing about things getting made.

The coolest thing we learned about was a product called Sugru – it’s like play dough that hardens like plastic. So it’s amazing for fixing or improving thing. So for example you could easily attach a video camera to a helmet with Sugru.

We also saw tons of masks and crafts and musical inventions. And we learned about some of the sessions the Science Gallery has been having where interested residents can talk about, plan and implement ideas to make the city better. One idea I loved was the idea of co-cooking. Taking cooking stations to different communities to teach people how to cook healthy meals. How smart!

We also walked all over the city. Lily took loads of pictures. We ate at some fancy-ish place where Lily ordered a super foods salad. It had to be really good for you because it tasted disgusting. The truffle chips on the other hand were quite good.

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