Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My First Meme

One of my favoritest bloggers posted a meme the other day. I thought, hey, a meme! I was hoping to do one of those during my 30 day blogging challenge, when I was trying out new blog tricks! Well, the 30 day challenge is over, but I'm finally getting to post my first meme.

Here's the deal. You (in this case me) post a casual around the house photo of yourself. Then follow it with pics of celebrities you've been told more than once that you look like. Bonus, if you can post the most flattering celeb comparison and the least flattering celeb comparison.

Here's me, at my desk. I took the photo with my blackberry at arms reach. Doesn't get more casual than that.

Here the first celeb comparison I get: Cate Blanchett. I actually haven't gotten this one in a while. I think it's because she hasn't been a redhead in a movie for a bit.

And the next one I get (I think more now because she has been a redhead lately), Kirsten Dunst. But really, I think my sister Sarah looks much more like her than I do.

Your turn. Post a link to your celeb comparison in the comments.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Hiking up to Howth Head.

We spent the better part of today exploring a little fishing village north of Dublin called Howth (pronounced Hout). It was really fun. There's a series of hiking trails that trace the coast and run up to a summit. There was wind, cliffs, rain, sea gulls; it was beautiful. On our way back down, we found a small cemetery with plots ranging from the 1700s to today. We also made our way over to the town's castle. You couldn't go inside because people live there. In a castle!

Then it was back into Dublin, where we hit the Bram Stoker Dracula Experience. We weren't sure what to expect, but it was fun. Part museum exhibit, part spook house, with a documentary screened at the end.

We wrapped up our time in Dublin by visiting Temple Bar. Honestly, I wasn't that impressed. It was by far the most touristy place we've been (boo). It's also basically a bar strip (boo, again). We did find an only moderately crowded pub with live music, so that was nice.
Waiting for my Guinness to settle. It takes about 3 minutes to pour one and another 2 minutes for it to settle into the foamy black and cream goodness.

All my Ireland photos are here:

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Jet-Lagged Report on Day 1 in Ireland

It's hard to believe we landed here just 14 hours ago. John and I packed so much into our first day in Ireland, but the jet lag has seriously kicked in and we are fading fast. I'm uploading some pics from today to my Flickr photostream, so you can follow along here.

Getting to the Hotel
This was adventure in its self. Note to future Ireland travelers: you cannot get out of the airport with out cash (euro cash!). Eek! I really thought we'd be able to buy shuttle passes with a credit card, but noooo. Culture shock #1.

Then we had a hellava time finding the DART station because there are NO street signs and even if there were, places don't have addresses. No seriously, no addresses. You might get a street name (which won't be labeled), but no number. Culture shock #2. Everyone is really friendly and happy to give a hand, though which is nice. But Irish people can't give directions (might have something to do with the whole no street signs and no addresses thing) and in their minds everything, even a few blocks, is "a reeeeeeally long walk."

A REAL Irish Breakfast
We got a real taste of Ireland right off the bat by sharing a "Jumbo Breakfast" at a local pub. It included tea (for me) or coffee (for John) toast, fried egg, baked beans, mushrooms, sausage (a lot like little smokies), rashers (thick cut bacon), white and black pudding (not pudding at all! more like a cross between sausage and polletta), hash browns and fried tomatoes. See why we shared? It was all good, a little strange, but good. I have to say it was definitely meat overload for me, but a fun experience just the same.

Kilmainham Gaol
This stop was awesome! We had an amazing tour guide and she packed so much Irish history into this tour of the oldest jail in Ireland.

Dublin City Hall
We saw the beautiful rotunda and looked through an exhibit on the city's history. The highlight though was when we asked to see the Council Chambers, and we got a special sneek peek. John even sat in the Mayor's chair.

Dublin Castle
We weren't even planning to go here but we were on a roll and it was on the way. We miraculously snuck in with the very last tour of the day just as it was starting. Another stellar guide took us on a tour of this "castle" (technically not a castle anymore, long story with explosions!) that served as the Irish white house when the country was under British rule. It's still used for official state business.

Random Observations
There is no smoking in indoor public places, but everyone seems to smoke. I even saw a pregnant lady smoking. Culture Shock #3

Even though technically, they are speaking English, half the time I can't understand anything they say. Culture shock #4. John is doing a bit better and caching at least 2/3rds. After checking in we literally both looked to other and said did you understand anything she said? I'll never again get frustrated with a foreigner who just nods when they really don't understand you. Sometimes, it's just easier to figure it out later.