Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Driving on the Wrong-side of the Road

If driving on the wrong side of the road wasn't bad enough. The car was a standard & being a passenger was probably worse than driving. This is the car in the lot at the rental place. Weird!

Tom in the driver's seat...aka...the passenger seat for those of us who drive on the "right" side!!!
Me in the passenger seat. Trying to read a map & reminding Tom...stay to the left! That became my favorite words everytime we got in the car. To the Left! To the left! Even pulling out of a parking lot was backwards!
If driving & riding on the wrong side weren't bad enough...we had no idea how fast 100km/h was! haha Good thing the speed odometer was in both! The road signs, if there were any, were also down low & were on the left sides of the road. They also had round-a-bouts which took us several to finally get used to. We quoted Chevy Chase in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation several times...Look kids Big Ben! You really had to be there.
This was the view on oncoming traffic on a state road. These were nice, they had shoulders & were really wide compared to what you'll see next.

This was a house. I took this picture from the passenger's seat as we were driving through a small village. The local roads were extremely narrow & definately scarry!

This was oncoming traffic from the passenger's seat again in a small village! It looks like they were going to hit us because it certainly felt like it!
This was the rock wall beside the roads. This again from the passenger's seat. There were times that the grass on the side of the road touched the mirror. That's how narrow the roads were.
Now imagine the bus coming at you on the right with the rock wall on the left & you're sitting in the wrong passenger seat & the wrong driver's seat shifting gears with the wrong hand! Needless to say we were some kind of tense when we would get out of the car! It was fun though because we survived!!!!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Dublin & Kilmainham Gaol

Once we arrived in Dublin, we hired a taxi to take us to our hotel. He had a very thick accent & was difficult to understand but he was quite entertaining. He gave us some tidbits of great info, dropped us off & then we set out to explore. Keep in mind, we were extremely exhausted having change several time zones & not gotten much sleep but we were ready to go. Our hotel was directly across the street from Kilmainham Gaol, a former prison now museum . Kilmainham Gaol played an important part in Irish History, as many leaders of Irish rebellions were imprisoned and some executed in the prison by the British and latterly in 1923 by the Irish Free State. This prison held men, women, & children. Our tour guide was very interesting and very passionate about his Irish history which made the tour wonderful. Whenever we're together, remind me to tell you the story of Clay in the prison. He was so funny! But much too long to share on here. After touring the prison we walked to a park & sat in the green, green grass & watched the people.

Entrance to the Kilmainham Hospital

Site of executions
Inside the prison
Stairs in the inner courtyard

This was inside the prison. The guide mentioned that this has been used in many movies.
View from our hotel room. We loved the beautiful old buildings.The restaurant where we ate was called the Patriot. As we were eating, I looked out the window & was was flying proudly outside it...but an American Flag. You can see our hotel diagonally across the street & the entrance to the Kilmainham Hospital as well. The goal was across the street to the left. You can see the traffic....on the WRONG side of the road!! Will share about that later.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Train from London to Holyhead

We took a train from London to Holyhead to catch a ferry to Ireland. The countryside was beautiful. We had a nice train ride. We've taken a train before from Jersey to DC but never in another country. I was sick with some type of cold so I actually slept on the train & for those of you who know know I was sick to sleep anywhere sitting up.

Beautiful country side. I'm not sure what the yellow flowers were but they were everywhere & they gave such a contrast to the green. There were castles alongside the cliffs too. The homes in the countryside were beautiful, but too many to share here.

A lighthouse on England's coast. The view of England from the sea aboard the ferry.

This was the ferry we took to Ireland. It was actually like a cruise ship.

This was the lighthouse we saw on the Irish coast. The trip over to Ireland was really foggy & cold so we couldn't view very much. This was a view of Ireland from the ferry.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


On May 19 we arrived in London, England, we were totally exhausted but excited. We made it through customs & set out to find our hotel. We stayed at the Waldorf Hilton. It was really nice & they were very accommodating to us. Little did we know that after we landed & purchased our train tickets with our credit card that the bank would cancel our card because it was used in another country, but when we tried to eat later, we sort of figured it out. We did get all of that squared away but it was a pain, but we are thankful that our bank watches for situations like this! I'll share a few photos & maybe have time to share some more of London soon! I haven't blogged in so long, I've almost forgotten how! This is just photos of our first day in London. I will share more of the train ride & country side later! Enjoy!

The boys & me in London outside our hotel.

Tower Bridge, often mistaken for London Bridge.
The Eye!
We really wanted to ride this, but there just wasn't enough time before we left for Ireland!
Guess we'll have to go back & visit London one day!
Houses of Parliament
Double Decker Bus
An entrance to Buckingham Palace
Big Ben with the Houses of Parliament from Westminster Bridge

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Fenway Park

On May 18 we flew into Boston on our way to Ireland. We had a few hours to kill so Tom's friend, Sarah, picked us up at the airport & we toured Fenway Park. Now to many of you that may not be interesting or fun, but our boys loved it. We are a baseball family, we make no excuses about it, & we are glad to have a common interest that we all enjoy. So we were all in heaven....or at least the Bostonians would say so! Here are a few shots of our day!Clay acting goofy...putting his hand in the HUGE glove!
Chandler & Clay in front of the pennant wall!A Red Sox Emblem on the fence!
If you look closely, you can see a baseball imprint of a baseball that was hit off the Green Monster!!! Really cool!
A pic of all of us at Fenway Park! Go Red Sox!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Baby Blue Jays

Before we got the pool ready for the summer, we had drained it & it had debris in the bottom. A huge storm blew through & blew some baby blue jays, who's parents I feed with popcorn & bread crumbs, out of their nest. This little fellow jumped around until he found himself in the bottom of the pool & couldn't get out. We watched the mom & dad swooping down into the pool to try to get him to fly out but to no avail. We propped a long board into the pool hoping he would figure out to climb out. We left for church that night & decided to check on him when we got back. He still was in the pool. Tom got a big piece of hard plastic & shewed him on it & we got him out without touching him & put him on the deck. He began jumping around & hid under some monkey grass until morning. I guess he made it because we never found blue jay feathers in the backyard!
Here he was enjoying freedom from the pool!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Backyard Entertainment

I try to be kind to the backyard animals so I generally will throw the stale bread or chips out to the birds & squirrels. This day was popcorn. Gotta love this little guy!
Isn't he cute the way he is holding the popcorn?