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Showing posts from March, 2009

Drawing for the Roseville String Ensemble

Orinda5 and I went to high school together, where in addition to being on the yearbook staff (and tormenting the newspaper staff), we were also in the orchestra together. Yes, we were Orch Dorks.

While I have not touched my violin since my highschool days, Orinda5 continues to play her viola. She was far more talented than I was. I pretty much stayed in orchestra that last year so I could eat lunch with my friends.

Orinda5 now plays with the Roseville String Ensemble, and she writes, I think quite movingly, about how important this group is to her and also why she is so glad she is still playing (how can you not be touched when she talks about her son?).

Well, the economy is kind of bad (what?!), and the ensemble finds themselves in a funding pickle. That is where you all come in!

She is having a drawing with some fabulous prizes to bring awareness to their financial need! You can make a donation if you wish, but the drawing is free. When I saw the Malabrigo, I swooned.

So, please he…

Whiskey and Wool

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That is about the extent of my souvenir purchases while in Ireland.

The whiskey is from the old Jameson distillery in Middleton, County Cork, Ireland. It's aged 12 years and can only be purchased at the distillery. I plan to share this with family as I make the rounds sharing the pictures from my trip.

The yarn is Aran Wool from the Kerry Woolen Mills. Each skein has 200g, and I believe the color is called "Blue Fleck". I bought this at Spin a Yarn in Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland. Here is what they had to say about it on their website: "traditional bainín spun in Kerry’s very own woollen mills, which have been in production in the same place and in the same family for over 300 years. How’s that for continuity? When you buy a skein of Kerry Woollen Mills yarn, run it through your fingers, cast on for that special project, you’re playing your part in history."

Remember when I said Vinnie taught us a song about a prison ship? Actually, the prison ship was …

Back to the States - Monday

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Finally! Some Irish weather.This is what it looked like when we got back to Minnesota. Rain, wind, and cool. Exactly what I had expected in Ireland. Mind you, I'm not complaining. I think we were all pleasantly surprised by the weather in Ireland.
The trip back was uneventful. Continental is a pretty nice airline. We got lots of food on the flight, and I watched Singin' in the Rain, Australia, and an episode of House on the flight over the ocean. We flew in to Newark where going through customs was a breeze and then sat around in the absolutely awful Newark airport waiting to leave.We had to go through security again on the way to our gate, and wow...that TSA agent was thorough.

To Me: Do you have any lipstick, lip gloss, anything metal in your pocket? What's that? What's that in your pocket?! What is that?
Me: It's a chapstick, It's all plastic.

To Erin: What's that?!? What is that in your pocket?
Erin: It's a used kleenex.

To David: What&…

Our Last Day in Ireland – Sunday

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We started the day off with a traditional Irish breakfast. I'd been looking forward to this all week! We started off with cereal for most of us, but Noreen made porridge with strawberries and cream for Amit and Lea.
Next up was toast, bangers, rashers, black pudding, tomato, mushrooms, and egg. The mushrooms were so good. I'll, have to e-mail Noreen and ask her how she prepared them.
The consensus was that people wanted to go shopping, we we headed back to the Ring of Kerry to check out Killarney, and to drive to the tip so we could see the Skelling Islands. We wandered around Adare on the way. Nothing was open, but it sure is a cute town...with thatched roof cottages...a GIANT ice cream cones.
Again, we got so lucky with the weather. Look at that sunshine over Dingle Bay!We drove over to Valencia Island, where it turned out there were a lot of sheep...and a nice trail up to a point where there was a nice view of the Skelling Islands.There was also a geocache up there…

On the Road Again – Saturday in Ireland

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Our time in Ireland is quickly coming to an end. We all woke up bleary-eyed after the raucous evening at the pub. It was time to leave Gerrykennedy Cottage.
We had some time to kill, so we headed in to Nenagh to visit the internet cafe one more time and to have lunch.
This is the church in Nenagh. It was cloudy that morning, but then it cleared up.
Then it was off to Dooneen Lodge near Limerick for the last two nights.
Noreen greeted us when we arrived and she could not have been nicer. She brought each of us an Irish Coffee (yay!) and then most of us headed off for a much needed nap. I stayed up and got some more knitting done on the rpm socks (I am working on the gusset now).
After a rest, we drove to Limerick for dinner. We ate at Bella Italia, an Italian restaurant and it was very good. David and I shared a delicious capese salad and some pasta that had “streaky bacon”. I'm not sure what that means, but it was good.
Today was a big day for Ireland. Ireland played Wales in …

Whiskey, Guinness, The Star Spangled Banner, and Garrison Keillior - Just Another Friday Night at the Pub

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After lazing about most of the afternoon at the cottage, we headed over to Larkin's Pub for one last night in Garrykennedy. I figured we'd have a couple pints, listen to the live music, and be back at the cottage for a good rest before we had to leave the next day. I think we all thought that. Little did we know.
There was a stag party going on that night. About a dozen guys in matching red t-shirts that had come to Gerrykennedy via Lough Derg. Their boats were in the marina. I've never seen men go the matching shirt route, but okay. One guy spent quite a bit of time chatting with us. Ivan (well, his name was Vinnie, but I kept calling him Ivan). Ivan was a Garrison Keillor fan and had also seen Fargo several times it seemed, from how well he could recite whole scenes. I thought this was odd...I know Fargo is well known in Minnesota, but I didn't realize it would make such an impression on someone from Ireland. Ivan was quite friendly, and I was excited …

Our Last Day at the Cottage - Friday in Ireland

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It was another lazy day for us in Ireland. We decided to skip the Aran Islands because the travel time would have been too great and instead stayed around County Tipperary. I dried some clothes on the line in the backyard.
We drove around Lough Derg again, this time heading up to the mountains. One stop was the Millenium Cross, where David and I found our first international geocache. As you can see, it was another sunny day in Ireland. We headed to Ballino/Killaloe for lunch which we enjoyed outside next to the River Shannon. Then we headed back to the cottage for a lazy, lazy afternoon.

A Real Woman Drinks a Real Pint – Thursday in Ireland

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The title of my blog comes from the “ladies pint”, which is a half-pint of beer. When the rest of the gang came back from Kinsale, we headed to Larkin's for food and Guinness, and there was some conversation with our waitress about the “ladies pint”. My comment was that a real woman drinks a real pint. Cheers!

It sounds like the gang had a great time in Kinsale and enjoyed their lunch at Fishy Fishy. From what I heard, I would recommend eating there if you happen to find yourself in Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland.
David and I thoroughly enjoyed our day of doing nothing, although we did quite a bit.
After lazing about for most of the morning, we wandered about the town, which doesn't take too long. We checked out the Marina (you can see Lough Derg in the background)... the remains of Castle ... and then headed down the forest walk, which had nice views of the lake. The flowers are in bloom in Ireland. We headed back to the cottage for some lunch, and then drove around Lough D…

Sheep, Yarn, and Some Good Irish Stew – Wednesday in Ireland

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Another sunny day in Ireland! We have been so lucky with the weather. It's been warm (between 10 – 15 Celsius), sunny, usually with just a hint of a breeze.

Our first stop of the day was Kenmare, a cute little town ( like all Irish towns) on the Ring of Kerry.
We passed many sheep on the way there. Fields with large flocks of sheep...sort of like seeing cows in Wisconsin, only sheep in Ireland. Baaaa! The first thing I saw in Kenmare was a yarn shop! Yay! That would have to wait until after lunch. Lunch was an amazing Irish Beef and Guinness stew. David's bangers and mash were even better. We wandered around Kenmare a bit, bought some olives and honey at the market... saw this little river...and then headed around the ring a bit to Smeen. In Smeen, we had the best Fish and Chips in Ireland. Yum! Then we headed north towards Killarney National Park. We saw not one, not two, but three sheep wandering on the side of the road.
The views were beautiful along the way. If you think…