Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

Drooling on my pillow

I have the most bizarre dreams. This is what was in it

– My siblings
– My father
– An uncle
– A baby
– My cats
– two small dogs
– a taxi driver with a turban
– another taxi driver/tour guide
– a rental car
– a Uhaul truck
– an old house
– an odd shaped hotel
– Ireland
– a couple Illy stores
– a shower
– a monkey
– a baby elephant

We were all in Ireland. I remember wanting to take a shower really bad, so while Brother K and I started driving the rental car away from the hotel, I made him turn around back to the hotel. Meine Schwester had already gotten us a cab with the guy with the turban and was running up the meter chatting with him.

I could never figure out who the baby was. I thought it belonged to my uncle, who seemed to live in the big house with the baby and the two dogs that I kept confusing with the baby. I was keeping my two cats here and they were being chased by the dogs and the baby. And we would leave the pets and the baby to just run around the house alone.

The second taxi driver/tour guide guy brought us to an Illy store. When I was back at the house, and Dad was going to take a nap with the baby, and I was going to finally take a shower, the taxi driver/tour guide delivered a baby elephant in a Uhaul truck. So now there was an elephant in the first floor of this old house. And it was jumping up and down and the whole house shook. I could imagine it would be the same feeling if a grand piano could jump.

I finally woke after I was petting my cat Pablo, and I noticed that his back had been ripped open. It wasn’t bloody, but full of these little white fatty balls like the pads of my dog’s feet. It was disgusting and I told my sister she had to bring him to the vet for me. I was pretty sure the baby elephant had used a tusk to try to spear my cat.

Coole Swan

This was the best thing I found when I left Ireland: Coole Swan. It is a new Irish double cream with Madagascan vanilla, cocoa, and single malt whiskey.

Very smooth. Perfect for drinking while sitting on the back deck reading a book.

I was curious about the name. Upon further investigation, it seems to be inspired by Yeats’ “The Wild Swans at Coole”.

THE TREES are in their autumn beauty,
The woodland paths are dry,
Under the October twilight the water
Mirrors a still sky;
Upon the brimming water among the stones
Are nine and fifty swans.

The nineteenth Autumn has come upon me
Since I first made my count;
I saw, before I had well finished,
All suddenly mount
And scatter wheeling in great broken rings
Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,
And now my heart is sore.
All’s changed since I, hearing at twilight,
The first time on this shore,
The bell-beat of their wings above my head,
Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,
They paddle in the cold,
Companionable streams or climb the air;
Their hearts have not grown old;
Passion or conquest, wander where they will,
Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water
Mysterious, beautiful;
Among what rushes will they build,
By what lake’s edge or pool
Delight men’s eyes, when I awake some day
To find they have flown away?

Waterford Crystal & Kilkenny Castle

New photos of Day 5 are being loaded now in my gallery.

Last night, in Waterford, I went out for a walk after dinner. Just needed a break from everyone. Strolled up the street towards this new glass building that looked pretty cool. Walked around the block and ended up on a very small dirty street. Some guys whistled at me from their balcony, but I couldn’t figure out from which apartment. Not that I was going to do anything about it. Walked right past a porn shop. On past two homeless guys, a couple black guys, and later an Indian family. I’d been wondering where the poor and the people of color were all hiding. The countryside is pretty Wonder-bread white. I found the shopping square. Everything was closed thanks to the bank holiday.

Waterford was definitely a change from the countryside. Typical city. Hotel rooms were tiny and streets weren’t as clean. Made even worse by the dump truck that Meine Schwester & Sparkles said overturned while trying to turn the corner for the bridge this morning.

The Waterford Crystal factory tour was pretty cool, even if the tour guide was a bit of a bitch. She was a little nicer towards the end—maybe she had finally woken up. Of course, our tour was a bit of a pain in the ass. Stragglers, people touching stuff, veering off the grey and yellow path.

I’m not a big fan of the old Waterford designs, but they’ve hired some new artists who are doing some pretty cool minimalist stuff that I really like. I’d definitely consider getting some of their new stuff if I didn’t live in an earthquake zone. Given that, I bought myself a votive holder that is quite solid.

We moved on to Kilkenny (you killed Kenny, you bastards!) to visit another castle. This is about the time when we all began to think that maybe we had seen enough castles. We couldn’t take photos inside, which is too bad because this was the first one we’d been to where they recreated the inside, although it was Victorian era. In the early 1900’s the family sold everything at auction. They’ve only now recovered about 7% of the items sold. One interesting item was a large painting of the Butler who had been exiled. A guy from upstate NY was on the tour and recognized Butler in another painting. Turns out he had one of the paintings at home and had it returned to the castle. I didn’t find out what family in NY had the painting, but now I’m curious where it had come from. My guess was that it might have been at Heart Castle in the Thousand Islands. Other than that, I couldn’t think of another place in upstate NY that could have housed a painting so huge, or would have wanted a painting like that.

Had lunch at a cute little outdoor cafe. They actually had decent espresso drinks, which is something we haven’t found in the pubs. I’d been complaining that there were no coffee shops, so it was exciting to find one.

To the three boys—one giving me the bird, another grabbing his balls, and the third jerking off—standing in front of the Supermac’s in Athy, Ireland; I hope you enjoyed yourself. I wish I’d taken a picture—it would last longer. Hope your parents know what you do to entertain tourists.


I’ve put up the photos from Boston and Ireland days 1-4. Well, they are being loaded right now, but they should be there in an hour or two. Still behind on the travelogue itself though. Need more time in the bus.

Time for sleep!

now we drink

grrrr. i just wrote this all, but i was distracted by the doc coming back from golfing at this amazing club. he met some guy at the bar last night who took him out golfing at the club where the play the irish open. he said it was absolutely amazing. i'm definitely jealous, although i'm not nearly good enough to be playing on a course that incredible.

so i'll try to remember what i just wrote. we all know that nothing is really easy for me, right? so this story shouldn't be much of a surprise.

woke this morning at 5 am. in the lobby by 5:15. at 5:35, sparkles still wasn't here. i had to go wake him. his alarm hadn't gone off.

strike 1.

had a hard time sleeping last night. kept hearing the revving of souped up engines. this weekend is a road rally. as we started driving, the road that we were supposed to take to get to the half marathon closed a half hour earlier than it was supposed to close, and we left a half hour later than expected. we had to take a detour down these random back roads.

strike 2.

amazingly, we arrived, safe and sound, even after driving on the wrong side of the narrow roads the whole way. i only freaked out once when sparkles drove a little too close to the cliff. we managed to get on one of the first buses to the start line. then we ran. sparkles did the half marathon in an hour and thirty five minutes. i arrived an hour later. my new friend strolled in a couple minutes after i did. she and i had kept pace together for all but the first two miles and the last two miles. we did sneak in a little bit of walking occasionally. it was nice running with her except that her pace is a little faster than i normally run, so it was killing me. that and the hills.

sparkles and i walked around a little to stretch. then we dropped off some stuff in the car. that is when he told me to come around to the front driver's side to see something. i had to apologize to the couple walking by us after i exclaimed, "are you fucking kidding me?" when i saw that the tire was flat.

strike 3.

i have pictures of him unscrewing the lug nuts, but he doesn't have any of me working the jack. so now you all will think i just took photos while he did all the work. not true, not that you will believe me. once we finished the tire, we had run out of time to explore bantry. we returned the car to the airport and now i'm about to go have a beer while sparkles gets a massage.

anyone want to come with me to ireland another time to do the ring of kerry? i promise, no running!

Shannon, Ireland

We made it to Ireland. I'm exhausted. Second night without sleep.

We are hanging out in the airport drinking coffee and waiting for our tour. Here's my emergency doctor and nurse for after my run.

Boston (pre Ireland)

5 am is a little too early to arrive in Boston. The airport no longer has baggage storage after 9/11. So we started by taking the new Silver Line to South Station and ditching them there.

First stop was The Prudential Center. Wanted to go to the top for breakfast. We were told it would be open at 10.

Back on the T, we went to Fanueil Hall. Nothing really open yet, we were walking by The Black Rose and The Hong Kong, where you can get huge drinks in bowls and buy skewers of teriyaki chicken on the street at 2 am. I suddenly had a mission, and I was sure that they were open.

Mike’s Pastries in the North End. Kind of place that has no prices listed. I wanted to go because they have the best cannoli I’ve ever had. B had the chocolate mousse. The scenery was great. When we first entered, there were these two women, one mid fifties with dyed red hair replacing the bring red lipstick she’d lost while eating. The other was probably late sixties. Definitely regulars. After they left, Lemon Pie guy came. He seemed a bit slow mentally. Also a regular. Then there was the chatty delivery guy, joking with the girls behind the counter as he was leaving. Saw a guy walk by outside in a track suit that was being worn purely for fashion. Definitely an interesting place.

Back through the new parks where the old ugly 93 overpasses were. I do love the new park, but they need more trees. Strolled through Fanueil Hall again as it was just starting to wake up. Back to the T at Government Center. Took the green line back to Copley. The green line seems to have replaced the cars since the last time I was on it. Still squeaky, but definitely nicer looking.

Tried to go to the top of the Hancock Tower. Closed since 9/11. Suck. Walked down to the Christian Science Center. Thought about converting. Thought better of it. Tried to get into the Top of The Mark again. Denied. Elevator attendant had lied. New one said it wasn’t open until 11:30.

To waste time, we got massages in the massage chairs in the bankrupt Sharper Image. Everything in the store was 40-60% off, but that still didn’t bring anything into a price range I was willing to pay. Moved on to Sunglasses Hut. I’ve needed sunglasses since last fall. Now that the weather is getting nicer, it was time to find some. And time to stop screwing around with $5 pairs from Walgreens.

Picked up a pair of tortoise framed Oakleys. B taught me a new trick. If you are wearing polarized sunglasses, look at the screen of your iPhone. Rotate it on the x/y axis. At about 45˚, the screen will go black as it is also polarized, just in a position that you don’t usually view the screen.

New sunglasses in tow, and Brother Sparkles joining us, we went for lunch at the Top of The Mark. Had an expensive, but really yummy, spinach, pear, and goat cheese salad. Enjoyed the views.

It was a beautiful day in Boston, so we walked from The Pru down ????? Street to Boston Commons. Over the pond, we hopped the red line at Park Street back to South Station. There we retrieved our bags and Brother K picked us up.

Next was a tour of Brother K’s office, if you call a home theatre setup an office. Brother K works for Tech Center. They do home automation systems. Part of that is making home theaters that are easy to use and amazing to watch movies or listen to music. Of course my favorite speakers are the ones that are about $5k a piece. Hard to go back to listening to anything else after you’ve heard the difference.

Sat in the theatre watching The Matrix for a while. Actually, we might have been watching something else, but at that point, I had put the recliner back and the movie was watching me sleep. Overnight flights, then wandering around Boston all day pretty much killed me.

Time for another flight, Brother K brought us back to the airport. Meine Schwester showed up just about then, and so we did have a moment of all four of us together, just not a photo of all four at the same time.

And the trip begins

B and I are hanging at the Internet cafe (using EDGE), eating dinner,
having a drink, and waiting for our flight to Boston.

I'm not looking forward to the two overnight flights between here and
Ireland, but I'm excited about the trip!