Archive | March, 2008

Paddy’s Day in Dublin

20 Mar

So its been a little nutty here over the past couple weeks- nothings been going on and I’ve just been waiting anxiously for this trip to Dublin. I did have my first lacrosse mixed match – with the local U15 and a few older guys the Saturday before i went to Dublin- EXCELLENT! Lots of mud and stuff!

Dublin was grand! Loved it! It being Paddy’s weekend made it that much better. My local guide wasn’t impressed by the madness but having said that, after putting up with a week of idiots for 18years I wouldn’t be that hot on it either.

I got there on the Sunday the 16th, pretty early and managed to survive the drive to Gatwick- 5am is an ugly time to be driving anywhere. Since I’m just as skint as the next 23 yr old I’ve been flying budget airlines ryanair and aer lingus. But now even the budget air lines are trying to stick it to the man (or woman) and charge you £9 or 12 euro for each bag, each leg of your trip… so me being the stingy git i am grabbed my Go-Lite rucksack… bear in mind this is not a normal back packers sack, its about half the size and the bag its self weighs about as much as a plastic grocery sack- i love it! and crammed it full of 4 days worth of clothes… day and night clothes and 2 pairs of shoes and an extra purse… don’t ask how but after a week of packing and re-packing I managed to make it work. And then the check in clerk tells me I need to be able to put my purse- a medium red coach tote (you know the ones) in to my rucksack before I board…. I just smiled and said “suuuuure” and walked off…- any NORMAL lady would appreciate the feat I had just accomplished… go figure.

So i get to Dublin in 55 minutes! i love flights like that! And upon arrive I get a text that I need to get on the 10:30am, 16a bus and get off at St Joesph’s church in terenure …. okay A. WHERE THE HELL ARE THE BUSES never mind what kind of bus (airporter?!, City?!) B. I’m in Dublin…. the second biggest city of catholics next to Rome (I’m guessing) ….. st joe’s church!? it means nothing to me, they’re probably a good 4-5 of them and is Terenure a neighborhood b/c I thought you lived in Dublin and finally C. its 10:38… I’ve just misse the bus- agggh! So I made it to the border passport checkers station and did the normal- smile give the guy my passport, SMILE AGAIN! but stupid me I’m like do you know were Terenure is? and he’s like “what?” and I show him the text and he’s like “oh TER-in-UR”…. (me and my freak’n American proununcation), but luckily he knew where it was- it like a neighborhood in Dublin. But then his like…. so your American.. and I’m like yup and then he’s like and you have a british passport and I’m thinking here we go… so 10 minutes later, I was on my way and ON MY TODD (on my own) to find the buses. So I find a Spar shop, get change, and head to the buses. Get one of the buses, end up sitting next to the cutest old irish man ever- sooo adorable wear a tweedy suit with vest and a driving cap…. so me being me I just started chatting with him and had a good 20 minute chat with him then 15 of terror trying to figure out WHERE in Terenure I needed to get of at – then realizing, some where along the line the bus driver i’d told to give me a yell when we got to Terenure had switched with another. So I immediately go up and ask for St Joesph’s church in Terenure (repeating it about 2-3 times b/c again I just couldn’t pronounce it) and he’s like ohhhh ya… we don’t stop by there and I’m like can I get dropped off semi- close to it and then he’s like honestly I don’t know where it is… and I’m thinking WELL THEN HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU DON’T GO PAST IT! GRRR but whatever- thats bus drivers for ya, they’re the same everywhere. So I get off and end up asking the first old man I see, where the church is. Well I’m not so lucky with this out because he turns out to be deaf mostly deaf… and kept saying “WHAT WHAT?” so I said thanks and went on my way- stopping at the first church I saw asked a group of middle eastern looking ladies if this was St Joesph’s church…. AND GUESS WHAT… NO ONE COULD SPEAK ENGLISH!!!!!!!!!!!! aghhhhhhhh! I swear I thought it was bad in America but good GRAVY! However, central London is way worse so I’ll count my blessings. So I finally figure out this is St Joes’, call up my friend, he shows up, we grab some grub and we’re off to our first pub and afternoon of rugby which FYI I FREAK’N LOVE! It was the Ireland high school championships- so cool! then we had a good walk home got some more grub watched a little tube got ready for my first night out…. it was just drinking with the lads the whole time… god! I should have just worn a tee shirt and called it good… but it was fun none the less. Met all of my friend’s friends, including a bunch of old guys… like 70+’rs hahaha. I think they were the best! I’ve put a picture of one of them below. Its weird because that first night seemed like it was only 2 hours but actually we were out for about 7 hours… mental! But that kind of ruined getting up at a decent hour for the rest of the weekend.
It was a good thing the parade didn’t begin till 12:30, but it started a bit late so I caught about the first half before we had to head off to the rugby- sooooo many freak’n people tho! (see picture below) Then it was off the the Gaelic Hurling (my new favorite sport) and Football, which is actually nothing like english football! Its mental! Its like a combination of basketball/rugby/soccer- I mean they can only bounce the ball 5 times but they have to be running and then they have to pass it and they can tackle- its just mental. That was really good then we met up with the the guy we were withs girlfriend and hit Temple Bar or “mental bar” as the locals call it and it was RIDICULOUS! Its a district in Dublin just crammed with bars and club. so we went to this bar Mseers Macguires- nuts! kids shaking up bottles of champagne and wine all over the crowd- people getting in beer fight- just stupid all while the security guard is just watching… but none of use were in the mood for that so we headed to another bar. Fantastic! more of a local spot and we stayed there for mot of the night, had a blast made it home- hit the chipper (fish and chips shop)- got some nosh, thank goddness we were walking so much b/c between the beer and the chips it wasn’t the HEALTHIEST OF WEEKENDS…. but anywho everyone was sooo unbelievably tired I mean seriously, up early for the parade, the drink, the sun, more of the drink, the walking, the drink. But other than that it was a busy and eventful st paddy’s.

My last day was great too! Made it to all the sites Dublin Castle, Trinity College, Tourism Center Kilmainham Goal (pronounced Kill-main-ham Jail)- it was about the coolest thing to see in Dublin, the General Post Office, where there are still bullet holes in the walls from the Easter Rising battle, the Spire. There are still some muesums and galleries I didn’t make it to but what are you going to do right? I’ll just have to go back again 😀 But it was JUST fantastic! I took loads of pictures of everything- I can’t even explain everything we saw that day- it was complete sensory overload.

So I’m back now and will be sticking around the south till the end of April and then I’m off up North to Scarborough/Leeds and hopefully Newcastle to see family and get a job at one of the hotels there in the Scarborough Leeds area. I’m so excited. Almost all of my friends are up north, so it wil be great to get to see them again. Oh! and SURFING THE NORTH SEA! thats next on the list and making it to a Newcastle Game!

The pics are in the following email

Cork Ireland

8 Mar

Saturday at 6:30am I drove to Heathrow and was off to Cork, Ireland.

CORK WAS CRAZY! One of the coolest old cities I’ve been to yet. The River Lee goes right through the City so you get these cool old bridges to walk over- all over town. Its one of the most un-touristy places I’ve been to yet! I stayed with a friend of a friend and his girlfriend- shes actually from Cork (Sinead- how irish is that!), FANTASTIC PEOPLE!I love the Irish. We went out pub hopping and ended up at a great nightclub the first night. I think the best thing about Cork was you actually saw and heard irish people. I know it sounds ridiculous but going from Central London to that totally blew my mind. London is more like NYC in the sense that its a HUGE melting pot. The only seemingly non-irish thing we did was have curry the first night there…. actually that was REAALLLY UN-IRISH. But anyways, I digress…..
The next morning was grand- no one was up till about 12:30 so we all helped make a massive “fry up”- toasted brown Irish bread, fried eggs, beans, white pudding (this oatmeal and onion mixture in a sausage casing- a Scottish thing), black pudding (YOU DON’T WANT TO KNOW!), great bacon (its sooo lean over here- hardly any fat), and regular sausage.
So after our fatty breakfast we went out to the rooftop and took some great pics, then went exploring Cork. Got away from the business-y parts and headed to the University of Cork (GORGEOUS!) and a really nice park with this crazy bridge.
We got back around 7pm, by then it was time to get all dolled up all over again and head out. HAD ANOTHER GREAT NITE!
Thankfully there were no more fights.

Next week will probably be super boring. I’m feeling a nasty headcold coming on so I’m not looking forward to that. But in 2 weeks its off to dublin for St. Paddy’s!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brighton and Eastbourne

5 Mar

the Southeast Coast

Brighton and Eastbourne are fantastic. Both very different.
Brighton has a mini Taj Mahal in the City centre and of course
the Pier and all the rides. Its a very cosmopolitan, great food, and then there
the gays! I’ve gone there a couple of time once just for a walk about
with one of the little kiddies. The next was a shopping trip and if
your looking for boutiques, crazy clothes, hats and and anything
unique this place is great. The lanes is where you want to go. The
parking is crappy and expensive, but its like that allllll over england.
Everyone is pleasant and the city is very clean and bussling even in the winter.
If your going I’d say you have to do the roller coaster over the sea.
Its this rickety old roller coaster with harsh jagged turns and
everytime it makes one of those sharp turns you think your going to tip
in to the sea and die! But its easy enough to get to by train from
london (2 hours) or driving (about the same).

taj mahal

brighton pier


Eastbourne was great- sooooo cute! If you’ve ever seen the movie Wimbeldon it looks like the main guy’s home town- just the cutest seaside town- it was really busy even though it was winter. But we did lots of bike riding and beach walking. P.S.- pebbly beaches are not that much fun to walk on… OUCH.

Both citys are the best- very granola like tendencies

I see London! I don’t wear underpants!

1 Mar

Its been a crazy couple of weeks- lots of things happening with the kiddies.
And even more things planned for next week when the children are on half-term break.
So they’re will be loads of pictures from castles and the seaside to come. I’ll also be heading to Cork, Ireland with some friends to get a little crazy and go kiss the Blarney Stone 😀 It should be a fantastic trip!

Last weekend was the big London trip- freaking fantastic! The only place I didn’t make it to was the Camden (North London) and Kensington (South-West London). But the Westminster area was my favorite- hands down! There was Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, House of Parliment, and the London Eye. I’m planning to goto London again soon and do all of the Muesums. I also made it to Buckingham palace, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, and Convent Gardens. Also seeing the Tower Bridge during at sunset was really neat- hopefully next time I’ll see it at night when it’s all lit- up. The tube (which is basically the subway system only easier to navigate once you realize its by color and not number) was interesting, we got turned around quite a few times. Also when everything opens and shut is just insane- they defanitely do not have the america work ethic of working 24/7…. things open at 12 close at 5 on the weekends…. oy vay- so if you want to shop, plan on doing it in the middle of your day. The shopping at Oxford Circus was pretty good- quite a few new and different shops but alot of the same stuff you could get in America (just at twice the price). Which is why I’m heading ot Camden and Portabello road markets next time I’m in London- so hopefully I’ll have some better shopping and muesum knowledge then.

After I got back from London I went to Brighton with Mia’s class. I absolutely LOVE BRIGHTON! Maybe even more than I love London- it has a very laid back but cosmospolitain vibe and it’s by the sea. It’s fantastic. I’m heading there on the next sunny day!

I also made it to Pooh Bridge finally, after getting lost numerous times…. oy! It’s only a 20 minute walk from the house. Ehhh it was okay- I think it would have been neater if I were 6-7 but its historical so I was there.

Hmmmmm- well its getting late and to be honest I’m pooped- I’ve started waking up and going to help muck out and grooming the horses in exchange for horse riding lessons. I absolutely love it- and its great exercise but I killer at 6 in the morning.


p.s.- the pics are coming in separate emails b/c theres LOADS!