Tuesday, December 19, 2006
Monday, December 18, 2006
We took an hour and half train to
There are about 145,000 inhabitants. It is a small city. We wandered around the narrow streets through the shops and markets. You wonder how the kids can handle all the window shopping? It is called pretzels, crepes, cinnamon apples, hotdogs, ice cream (they have Redbull ice cream. We have not told Jay. Their headquarters are here) hot chocolate, strudels, and so much more. My other mistake was thinking that we were going to visit the Neuschwanstein castle from
Jay and the boys went on a Saltmine tour while the girls went on the Sound of Music tour. The Saltmine tour was great. The SoM tour was good but I thought it could have been presented more interestingly. We did get to see some beautiful areas of the Austrian Alps. One of the most breathtaking was the Mondsee. There were great shops with gorgeous sweaters and cardigans. And tempting traditional Austrian clothing for Victoria and Noah but so expensive.
We took another relaxing 3 hour train ride into
Breanna, Cameron, Grant and I took the Imperial tour of the Schonbrunn palace. It was very impressive but the whole European royal genealogy is confusing me. It is too bad we were not here in the spring as the gardens would have been beautiful.
We are now feeling the cold here in
Our Bavaria trip comes to and end as we head home to
Thursday, December 14, 2006
This hasn't been my favorite Christmas market except for the location on the Marienplatz surrounded by an amazing gothic City Hall. They have some great stores although we didn't do much shopping since we are travelling light taking the trains. We didn't make it to the Deutsches Museum and we will try to get over to the Nymphenburg Palace before we leave for Salzburg tomorrow. We didn't plan our time very efficiently here in Munich.
I had my first roasted chestnut but not on an open fire. And let's just say however festive it may be, it was my first and last. We had a delicious meal at Der Tannenbaum. Good Japanese soup at Shoya.
Blogger is still coming up in German. I just did spell check and it told me nearly all of my words are spelled wrong.
"Auf Wiederschauen!" except this one.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
a box of Lucky Charms or your favorite cereal
a package of marshmellows
a box of Dots or your favorite candy
or something you don't think you could live with out from the good ol' USA
will be winners of one of our great prizes. Here is the address and good luck to both of you:)
Huntington, Outfarm Lane
Dublin 15 IRE
Until I came to Germany. Here, they know how to celebrate Christmas. I mean, this is a place where Kris Kringle and St Nicholas are two different people that both deliver gifts on different days. The atmosphere is built around good, aromatic food, chocolate, festive music, chocolate, decorations, trees, music, I could go on and on.
We arrived in Frankfurt, Germany to cold weather with snow flurries. We stayed at the Couryard Frankfurt Messe. It was the right price but it was about 10 minutes from the city center and just not a good location if one was staying longer. We had lunch at the hotel and set off to the Zeilgalerie (mall) to pick up a few hats and some gloves since we will spending quite a bit of time outside. Just outside the mall we experienced our first Christmas market. Jay, feeling under the weather stayed at the hotel with the two younger ones. We walked along the stalls eating chocolate covered fruit kabobs. Strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, grapes, mandarin oranges, pineapple, bananas. Milk, dark and white chocolate. Roasted nuts of every kind. Gingerbread, cookies and cakes. Delicious chocolate covered creamy, marshmallows. Sweets everywhere. Sipped on hot chocolate and hot punch. Every kind of Christmas ornament and decoration you could imagine, or couldn't. We finally left after a couple of hours and called it a day.
This morning we slept in with our chocolate hangover. We headed over to the train station and caught a train to Munich at 11:00am. We made a two hour stop in Nurnberg, Germany the most famous Christkindlemarkt. We left our luggage in the train station and headed over where our first stop was lunch. Mini sausages on crusty bread. Tasty. And then desert. And more desert. The Frankfurt market was on a square but here it is on streets lined by shops. My purchase here will be a wooden nativity and lighted wooden Christmas scene. The weather is cold but not bitter. The only thing missing so far is snow. After taking the two hour train to Nurnberg, we trained one more hour into Munich. Train travel here is great. Quiet, smooth and fast. We are staying at the Acanthus hotel and will be here for three days. The kids are definitely enjoying this trip. I wonder why....
I still haven't posted my Spain photos due to technical difficulites. I am hoping to get them resovled soon so I can also post these amazing photos from Germany. Happy Holidays and Happy Birthday Brianna!
By the way, the strangest thing, I logged into Blogger in English but I am having to compose it with German tabs and buttons everywhere. This might get posted :)
Sunday, November 26, 2006
We had fun eating familiar foods, shopping at stores with way too much stuff and not having to watch football games in the middle of the night. We left clothes just so we could bring back important staples, like, Lucky Charms (shouldn't they have this in Ireland of all places?!?). That my friends will be Christmas breakfast. We are now spending our last 6 hours on American soil in the Atlanta airport with our layover before our 8 hour flight to Dublin. I hope you all had wonderful Thanksgiving.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Thursday after picking up the car and touring the factory we headed to our first way point, Hamburg Germany. This was strictly a trip to pick up the car so we didn’t do any sight seeing but covered a lot of area. It took longer to get there than appears on the map which seems to be the case all over Europe. We drove down the coast of Sweden and since it gets dark, pitch black, at 4:30 we missed seeing any part of Denmark in the day light. We took a short ferry across to Germany and arrived into Hamburg at about 10pm. We awoke the next morning thinking we had an easy 4 hours to Amsterdam. It was slow going (which included a stop at IKEA) we arrived in the port at Rotterdam at 7pm. Here we boarded an overnight 12 hour ferry to Hull, England.
We disembarked at about 8am and headed across to the other side of England to take a ferry into Dublin. This we thought would be our longest day was infact our shortest. The total drive time without stops would be only about 4 hours but with our obligatory stops to Costco and a shopping mall near Manchester (with no Thanksgiving to appreciate, Christmas shopping is in full force) We arrived at 5pm to take the hour and a half crossing to Dublin and were home by 7:30pm.
Phew and here we go again on the 11th to Spain. And I thought life would be less busy here in Europe....
Sunday, October 29, 2006
Upon finding out that we are living in Ireland for a year from the US, the most consistent question we are asked is "Is it much different here?" This question is being asked in a way that I sense they are hoping (or maybe not) that it isn't all that different from America. Which seems to contradict the "that's too American" theme they have adopted to try to avoid to becoming too much like us.
At first, I answered that it wasn't much different at all. The language is the same (that is not exactly true) and basically we are the same in that we go to work, school, have families, passionate about football (albeit two totally different sports), etc... you know the day to day living. Well that is still true, but the difference I have found, is somehow that day to day living seems a wee bit harder.
Let's start with one of my least favorite things to do in the States that has become absolute agony here in Ireland: grocery shopping. There are only two grocery stores that I can even consider going to. Now it doesn't even bother me that since they charge for bags that I have to remember to take my own. I actually like that idea and even more than that I love (except when I don't have any money with me except a credit card I am cursing the whole set up) is that you have to put a 1eruo coin in the trolley (grocery cart) to get it out and when you return it and attach the chain you get your money back. Which alleviates one of my pet peeves, lazy people who leave grocery carts haphazardly in the parking lots.
But neither of these things actually has to do with choosing the items. A simple recipe of chocolate chip cookies somehow becomes frustrating when I can only find chocolate chips in a bag the size of M&M's for about $5. And how about some warm cornbread on cool autumn night-no not if it calls for creamed corn. And some pretzel sticks for some spooky tarantula cookies. No. And when I do finally find a familiar item I have been looking for it is in a spot I would have never looked in a serving the size of Gerber baby food. Example: cottage cheese. And then of course, let's not forget it won't even taste the same. Based on many of the sizes of things they are still of the mind set to go to the grocery store every day.
I expected that there wouldn't be 5 different brands of the same item, I just didn't expect that there wouldn't be very many items. So I find myself purchasing the same things over and over, week after week. (Cilantro, forget it) Oh and ice cream? It isn't even totally frozen that by the time you reach the check out it is already melting out of the side. A simple plain potato chip? A treasure hunt through all the onion, vinegar and cheddar chips. Not easy. I can't even begin to tell you how expensive it is. And grapes: a luxury. I think we might splurge and have some with Christmas dinner. The advantage of being here is you can choose from all the breads (but only buy what you can eat in about three days as it molds quickly), cheeses and liquor you can imagine. And pushing a grocery cart through the mall and across the street to the library car park where they have trolley returns is an interesting experience.
Next, trying to find materials for the kids school projects. Painful. Finding a Thomas Hardy classic for bookclub? After a week of looking at the library and the only two small bookstores in the area, it must have been fate that Borders opened on Saturday offering the book for a mere 3euro. (Nevermind that I found out today we will be in Spain for the bookclub meeting)
I think that most of this discontent has to do with the awful road planning and traffic that we encounter to almost everywhere, but alas that is another blog.
Friday, October 20, 2006
We then headed towards Grasmere, England where we are staying at the Best Western Red Lion Inn. It is a very small village of less than a thousand people. It is quiet, relaxing and serene. This is also where William Woodsworth lived and wrote most of his poetry. It is also the home of Beatrix Potter from the Peter Rabbit tales. The drive into this Lakes region was breathtaking with the green rolling hills divided by short stone walls and the mountains in the background. We had spent all day in the car so it was nice to be here in this quaint village and walk along the narrow streets, go to the park and relax. This area is very busy in the summer and very quiet right now. The hills and mountains cater to walkers/hikers and climbers of all abilites. We spent this morning at the park and the shops. We are headed out to one of the easier hikes this afternoon. Tomorrow we are going to stop in a slightly larger town of Windermere, take in some shopping and head down to Liverpool.
One of the highlights of our trip is there: Costco. 4 of us are flying home while Jay and two kids will take the ferry back with the van full of things we just can't get in Ireland.
As always the trip was great but we are ready to get back home and start planning the next. The countryside here and in Scotland were beautiful and I can't wait to get home and post some photos.
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
The One o'clock gun which fires everyday at suprisingly one o'clock. The origin of this tradition lies in the days when sailing ships in the Firth of Forth were able to check and reset their chronometers in the days before accurate timepieces were available. Now it is just a way for tourist to set their watches. And finally the Prisoner of War cells and memorabilia. We ate lunch and the kids went to a couple of children activities so we were there for about 3 hours.
We left and walked along the Royal Mile which is full of shops. Along the Royal Mile is a fun and free Museum of Childhood just full of old toys from different eras. We then walked back to the apartment and the boys went to the cinema to see Barnyard. So we were able to see most of what I had planned but we will hasten back and see much more of the country.
Tomorrow we leave early and head to Northern England with a stop at the border to see Hadrian's wall. Refresh your memory so you know what we are talking about :) http://www.hadrians-wall.org/
Tuesday, October 17, 2006
I had planned to take the kids to a puppet show but I didn't know if we would make it in time. It was in the same direction of the Flight museum so we headed towards the Brunton theater in East Lothian. We arrived about 10 minutes late and all decide to go in except for Jay and Cameron who pick us up an hour later. The puppet show was called " The Man Who Planted Trees" from Jean Giono's tale about a French shepherd who transforms a desolate region by planting hundreds of thousands of trees. It was probably too much dialogue for the kids but enough humor and fun from the talking dog that kept them awake, except for Breanna. I liked it and the story of how the tale came about is interesting http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Man_Who_Planted_Trees
We then headed for our final adventure of the day the National Museum of Flight also in East Lothian. Here the main attraction is Scotland's Concorde supersonic jet. It has a very thorough tour of the jet along with a short movie. It also includes a couple of hangars with civil and military aircraft. It was a nice museum in the middle of farmland. We headed back to the apartment and will spend the rest of the evening relaxing. Tomorrow's itinerary includes the Edinburgh castle, the Royal Mile, shopping, possibly the Holyrood Palace and Butterfly world. Goodnight
We arrive to Stirling at about 4 pm giving us a couple of hours to tour the Castle. While it isn't the best castle that I have visited the grounds that surround it and the views are magical. I will put the pictures under the map section. These grounds are where the famous battles of William Wallce and Robert the Bruce took place. We leave Stirling for Edinburgh which took a little, well a lot longer to get to our apartment because I didn't have the address. We arrive at 9:30 and Jay, Grant and I leave to go get a few groceries. We are so starved for good shopping we couldn't wait to get here and find the ASDA superstore. This is Walmart in the UK. It was nice to have selections and it is a wee less expensive. So after getting home at about 11 pm we very tired and look forward to sleeping in.
Friday, September 29, 2006
I know you are waiting to hear that the kids are hating it, are home sick and want to come home. But thankfully I haven't heard any of that. Well I do know they are looking forward to going home but I don't hear any nagging or complaints. I have been concerned because there just isn't many opportunities for the kids to make friends while they are here. They don't go to the public school, we don't have kids in the neighborhood, they aren't involved in any sporting events here, yet when I questioned them about it they weren't too concerned. They have been playing very well with each other. I am sure it also helps that we have so much time available that we cater to them and try to keep them entertained. We take many bike rides, walks, play tennis and only half the time is it in the rain. We try to spend as much time as possible outside away from the television, computer and the gameboys.
After being here for two months, I am starting to form some opinions about life in Ireland. First, the people, as you may have heard, are very friendly and cheerful. They are ready to strike up a conversation anywhere and often when you are in queue (in a line at the grocery store, food court at the mall, bank) anywhere. I often find it hard to give an intelligent response as some of the accents are very hard to understand.
Food: expensive Infact the overall cost of living is very high compared to life in Utah. But grocery shopping is very costly. And I have to do a lot of planning since nearly all the meals must be prepared. Not a lot of easy or tasty prepackaged meals. The kids already miss some staples: Kraft macaroni and cheese, Wendy's junior bacon cheeseburger, and hotdogs to name a few. So I wouldn't recommend Ireland for the food (grocery or restaurant ) or the shopping.
Jay does not need to worry about me spending money on clothes here. I have yet to find a decent store for children's clothing or a great shoe store. We have found the closest thing to a Walmart. It is called Argos. You look through a catalog and write down the corresponding number. You can even check the inventory on an item. You then take your list to a cashier, who after paying, sends you over to a counter to pick up your items where they have been brought up from the warehouse space behind the counter.
Our church building is close about 10 minutes away. There are about 50-70 people in attendance. Cameron will be ordained a deacon in two weeks and there is one other deacon. He attended mutual for the first time last week and loved it. Everyone was so welcoming and nice. The ward is requesting our records and I am sure Jay and I will be asked to speak soon. We have already heard the bishopric or members of the bishopric speak twice. Jay and I go out weekly with the missionaries on balanced splits. Many of the people the missionaries teach are non-nationals. Last week they had a baptism for a woman from Africa. Jay and I took a two day trip down to Waterford (located on the southern coast) last week. We left after church and arrived in our Ramada hotel at about 6:30pm. When we stepped off the elevator,and the hotel room directly in front of us said "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Visitors Welcome" I stood there shocked and couldn't believe that a meeting was held in a hotel room. Jay said when he served in Ireland they would hold church in their flat and would have loved to have a hotel to meet in. When I talked to the missionaries here in Dublin, they said the members in Waterford had been looking for a better place to meet as the hotel they were meeting in before wasn't so nice. One Sunday we will take the kids down and attend their branch. General Conference is on between 5-7pm and 9-11pm at the stake center but I have decided to just watch it at home on the internet. We couldn't get a decent connection for the Chiefs game a couple of weeks ago but Conference comes in flawlessly. Hmm...
Jay is gone this week back to Utah and good food. I don't have any problems driving now I just have no idea where I am going:) but that is improving. Well just thought I'd give a brief update. My next post will probably be from Scotland in a couple of weeks.
Tuesday, September 19, 2006
We arrived at 9am and set out immediately to find the American team. They had teed off early and the first group, which included Tiger Woods, were on the 9th hole. Cameron held his ticket and Grant's for Tiger Woods to sign. When Tiger walked by going to the 13th hole he grabbed both of them but only signed Grant's. Needless to say, Cameron was very disappointed. He spent the next few holes trying to get an autograph, to no avail. His final chance was when they were leaving the 18th hole to go into the club house. He got into great position and while he still wasn't able to get Tiger's autograph, he was able to get Phil Mickelson, Chris DiMarco, and Chad Campbell.
It was about 5 hours of walking, or stalking Tiger Woods, that it only allows you to watch a shot here and there. It also didn't allow us to get many photos of the other golfers. Infact we weren't even sure Phil Mickelson was there since he was only wearing a white shirt and the other US golfers had on brown sweater vest. But we had a good time and we all agreed we would rather go to a practice round than the regular tournament as the players are probably more relaxed and you can see much more of the game on television. They expect about 20,000 people at the practice rounds and twice as many on each day of the tournament.
So a good time was had by all and I have posted some pictures on the website. We really didn't get around much, most of them are of Tiger.
Friday, September 15, 2006
We have changed our traveling plans a bit. My Italy trip wasn't falling into place so I have moved that to next Spring. We then thought about going over to London but after being in Paris, I need a break from a big city. So we are doing a road trip at the beginning of October. We will take a car ferry over to Holyhead and drive 3 hours to Windermere, a town in the English Lakes region in northern England. We will spend a few days there and drive another three hours to Edinburgh, Scotland. We will spend a few days there and then head for Belfast in Northern Ireland. Jay wants to attend church there to reunite with some members he knew from his mission. Then head back down to Dublin. A much more relaxed trip without all the demanding tourist and historical spots.
We finally got satellite television and the kids were thrilled to get a North American sports channel. So we have recorded about 17 hours of Major League baseball since most of the games are on in the middle of the night here. However Grant is very disappointed that he hasn't seen a Royals game. I think we get some of the NFL games but Jay has that covered just in case with Yahoo on the internet who now airs all the games.
Well, we are still waiting for our first visitors. We made sure we got a place with plenty of room for you. So send us your dates and we can pencil you in or meet you somewhere on this continent.
I might add that the vehicle we got is left hand drive (which is the opposite of everyone here) and it has made it so much easier for me to drive. It is a bit inconvenient for parking and toll booths so we just have to make sure we have someone in the passenger seat for that.
I started posting photos of France under my photo section but the map page is now up and I put additional photos there. I enjoy reading the posts on the guest book and feel free to comment on the blogs. I am going to start having the kids blog on Sundays. That should be interesting. You will get the real facts there. Take Care,
Monday, September 11, 2006
Jay picked up our van that we are leasing in Paris and we headed up to Normandy. We stopped in Giverny, which is home to Monet's house and gardens. It was great stop. The gardens, ponds and bridges were beautiful. We continued on to Bayeux, which was the small, quaint and quiet town we would be staying in while we drove to the World War II sites. It was a very nice change from the noise and busy-ness of Paris. We stayed at the Hotel d'Argouges which we would definitely recommend. We ate dinner and called it a night as we were finally going to wake up early. I struggled with deciding whether to hire a guide to take us around and finally decided against it. I think if it were only the older two boys with us we would have done a half day tour but with the two little ones it was good to be on our own schedule. I won't go into detail but I will say that the kids found all the sites interesting. They are just sponges and are so eager to learn and it doesn't hurt that they are boys immersed in war, guns, army vehicles, etc... although I won't go into detail here about each place you can read that in my book once it's published :) but we started out at the Arromanches, a museum dedicated to the artificial harbor. We then drove to Coleville Sur Mer, the American cemetery overlooking Omaha beach, amazing. We headed up to Pont du Hoc and the Saint-Laurent-Sur-Mer museum. There were a few other places we had wanted to go, but I could see we could soon be pushing the limits for the little ones. So on a whim we decided to drive down to Mont St Michel a beautiful monastery which began construction in 1020. It was about an hour and half drive. I had wanted to go but didn't think we would have time. And even though it was too cold to walk around (as we didn't think to bring jackets) and the shops were closed, the sunset and the lights at night are breathtaking and we were there during the high tide. (If you don't know about this place you must go read about it. It is fascinating and the most popular tourist destination in France) Now I must say at this point in our trip, Jay's camera battery and mine had died so we were left with the kids cameras for the rest of the trip but I am sure they did it justice. ( I haven't actually downloaded them yet). This is definitely a place we would love to go back and tour.
We woke up the next morning and went to see the Bayeux tapestry. It is a 1000 year old tapestry depicting the story of William the conqueror defeating Harold at the Battle of Hastings. Grant and Victoria lost interest, but for the rest of us it was an excellent history lesson. On our way back to Paris, I had wanted to stop in Caen to see a peace museum that I had read was a must see but I had not done much research on. It was to be a quick stop and on to Paris. However as we entered and looked through the brochure, it read "What to see if you only have a half of a day..." Half of a day? We had only planned on a quick 30 minutes. So we did go for about an hour and a half but certainly did not do it justice.
We arrived back in Paris and the next day Jay drove back with Cameron and Victoria to Dublin. They drove 2 1/2 hours north and boarded a train through the Euro tunnel to England. They spent the night in Birmingham. The next morning they drove to Liverpool and got some much needed provisions from Costco. They took a ferry from Holyhead to Dublin which takes about an hour and a half. Meanwhile, the rest of us stayed a couple of more days in Paris. I had tried to change my Ryanair tickets to come home a little early but I will spare you those irritating details. Our trip was great but maybe a couple of days too long. Nine days would have been perfect.
So we are home again in Ireland getting ready to start school on Wednesday and by the end of the week I am sure I will be ready to plan our next adventure.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Wow, the day just flies by. We woke up and headed out about 11am. Victoria wasn't feeling well so Jay stayed in with her. He wasn't too disappointed about staying behind since he had already seen Paris in a day.
We started out at the Army Museum which was full of old war relics from many countries. Lots of body armour and horse armour which were beautifully decorated. Many guns, swords, shields and other weaponry that had intricate art on them. The kids really enjoyed this museum and especially the gift store. We then headed to the Dome church where Napoleon's tomb lies. The casket itself is made of 5 layers using different materials. Since it was so close we stopped at the Rodin museum to check out the Thinker statue. We ate lunch at a small cafe across the street but were a little disappointed compared to the food we've eaten so far.
We took our first ride on the Metro (Paris subway system) and is the only way to get around. We were on our way to the Orangerie museum that houses many of Monet's art. I read the kids "Linnea in Monet's Garden" and that alone has peaked their interest in seeing his work and going to his house in Giverny. But when we arrived there was a line so we decided to spend time in the Jardin de Tuileries. A park with a carousel, playground, trampolines and ponies amongst other things. We had ice cream and crepes and spent about an hour.
At this point is was about 6pm so we headed back to the apartment to meet up with Jay. He and Victoria had been out on the double decker tour bus and has found the Champ de Elysees. A street full of shops and tourist traps and French is the second most spoken language on that street. It is busy and loud and Jay and the kids found Planet Hollywood. After the delicious French brasseries that we had been finding in the nooks and crannies it paled in comparison and was very expensive.
Tomorrow we are going to try the Orangerie again, take in a couple more parks and take it easy.
Friday, September 01, 2006
After getting settled we were hungry but most restaurants do not open until about 8:30pm. So we did the better thing and stopped by a pastry shop and bought baguettes, salads, pastries, drinks and headed to the grass under the Eiffel tower and enjoyed a very yummy picnic. Later we walked across the street for pizza and then more pastries and called it a night.
This morning we didn't wake up very early and headed out to the Latin Quarter. We didn't get to all the things we planned as we left late and of course, walked A LOT. We browsed Pont Neuf. We then went to the Notre Dame cathedral where we waited in line about 15 minutes. We bought a 4 day museum pass for the adults as the children get in free to almost everything. It is very impressive, huge and beautiful. I couldn't wait to take the kids to the top of the towers. The spiral stairway up is steep, narrow, and fully enclosed. Grant was nervous from the beginning. We reached the bells and he had had enough. The view was great from there but the height, enclosed stairways and the ringing of the bells made him a nervous wreck. Poor thing. I took him back down with Brianna and Noah while Jay, Cameron and Victoria headed to the top.
We then went to the Saint Chapelle to see the amazing stained glass windows. Our next stop was to be the Conciergerie to see Marie Antoinette's cell but we needed a bit of a rest. So we jumped on the Bateaux Vedettes du Pont-Neuf for a one hour boat tour of Paris along the Seine river. It was relaxing but a bit hard to follow the guide speaking English with a thick French accent. But it renewed us enough to walk back to the apartment. The Conciergerie will have to wait. I had originally wanted to walk to the Latin Quarter and take the metro back. I will plan the mass transit better in the future.
So our first full day in Paris did not disappoint. The weather in the upper 70,s, very small crowds, a city full of beautiful architecture and greenery. Now, I have no idea what Jay is going to blog but he said today he could already write a book on how to see Paris in a day. I hope you enjoy the pictures. It is 9:10 pm and we are off to the Eiffel tower maybe will try walking that tonight, well, maybe not Grant.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
An interesting story yesterday. The postman came by (keep in mind that this house has been here for 14 years) and was trying to figure out the name of our street. He asked if we were spelling the street name as one word or two. When I told him, I had only just moved in but was spelling it as one, he informed me that as soon as he could find two more people on the street to agree to that it would stand. Huh? I think the real problem was the 10 boxes Charlie sent me had a about 4 spelling variations of my address. :) However traveling around Dublin it doesn't take long to figure out they don't really like to put up street signs anywhere.
We take our first trip in about a week and the kids are taking crash courses in the French Revolution, art, architecture and World War II. If you have been to Paris and have some advice to share, email or post it on the guest book page. I will be uploading some photos this weekend.
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
It has taken us a little longer than anticipated to find housing. We were staying in a hotel about an hour from the city and it was taking it’s toll (literally and figuratively as it was about 4 euro each time we went in or out) So after a little over a week, and we could see that we wouldn’t be moving into our house anytime soon, we relocated to a hotel in the town we will be renting. Our plan is to move in Tuesday or Wednesday. It is a suburb of Dublin called Castleknock. So despite the cramped space and limited things to do the kids have been fantastic. Well how could they complain they have watched more television and played more on the computer than we would ever allowed at home.
There are enough familiar things (i.e. McDonald’s) that I think the kids are adjusting well. And just enough differences to make it an adventure. Including driving on the left hand side of the road. Which I have only attempted twice for about a mile each time. I am pretty sure at this point we will only need one vehicle as I will be relying heavily on mass transit. And it isn’t so much the left side that is the problem but the congested roundabouts and the VERY narrow roads.
The food hasn’t been a huge transition as Pizza Hut, McDonalds, Burger King and TGIFriday’s pretty much taste the same wherever you are. I cannot wait for a home cooked meal and it will be a long time before we eat out again. I will tell you they rely HEAVILY on mayonnaise. You will find it everywhere. And in the strangest places, such as, on their nachos. Some things I just stay clear of even though they are creatively named: black pudding. I’m sure it might be good, no I’m not sure. But it is part of the traditional Irish breakfast.
Well I am sure I am forgetting many things but here is a start. Our first trip is planned for Paris and Normandy the first part of September and we are looking forward to that as well as school starting. For us it is September 12 J I will write again as soon as we are settled in our house. I look forward to hearing from many of you!