Friday, October 30, 2009

New England in October

Center Harbor New Hampshire

We stayed at Center Harbor Inn on Lake not ask me to say that!!! This is where Keepsake Quilting and their sister stores are located. I was so overwhelmed I took no photos of this place. Shocker!!!

Food Channel and Guy Fieri went to Hart's Turkey Farm Restaurant and it was a must for me even though my Dad grumbled. It was yum yum good!!! I had the traditional turkey dinner with all the trimmings. No dessert, too full...

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dublin Part I

Bus from airport to city...My Dad (in hat)and Conny. I guess now is the time to give my views of Dublin. I hoped it would have the buildings and feel of London/Edinburgh/York, etc. I was very disappointed, seems their idea is to tear things down and build anew. Few 1700 structures survive, most are 1800's or newer. I have tried to capture the feel of Dublin in a three-part entry. My favorite area was Grafton Street and Temple Bar. Our first lunch was at a mall of sorts, Brambles eatery, my Dad had soup, Conny a ham cheese sandwich and I had a plate of 3 salads plus 2 drinks. Cost for this was E22 or $29 USD. Also if you want your sandwich toasted it costs more. Electricity is very costly so hence the cost. My Dad liked his soup but my salads were just food for energy. LOL

Behind our hotel was Moore Street Mall. This is a closed street with vendors selling fruits/vegetables and some other items. This takes place everyday.

My Dad purchased bananas and said they were the best since he had been in South America.

Our hotel...a chain throughout UK. It is a 3 star hotel...point of that is you do not get a facecloth, I had to use the corner of my hand towel. I asked it they had forgotten to place them in the room and was told only 4-5 star hotel provide those. UGH!!!

It had room coffee service-tv-hair dryer-bath and shower. Almost like home... A Irish Breakfast was served buffet style, glad it was included never would have paid E 13.95/$18 US for it.

We saw many old time butcher shoppes. I enjoyed glancing through the windows at things I would never buy like kidneys and other offal. The shoppes were well stocked and had almost anything you could think of for a meal.

Arnott's is a department store, one of the buildings that I felt had character....

Agricultural Building mosaics of farm scenes. Hope this clicks larger. On the Liffey River by O'Connell Bridge.

Just a pic

Buildings along the Liffey.

The Millennium Needle is about 400 ft tall (120m) was built to mark the Millennium. From my understanding it was not finished 2003. You hear much grumbling about the cost and how in these economic times many wish it had never been built. It is lighted at the top, but not very bright.

View of city and M Needle from my room.


View from room. Great view, but below me was a street cleaning shop. Noise all the time, even overnight as they dumped the trash. Left the tv on at night to cover the noise. They used small vehicles that they ran on the sidewalks, you had to be alert all the time as they operated constantly.

A jewelery store that all lit up at night, cute!!!

The Post Office building. Postcard stamps were E .82 or $1.06. And we complain! Good Friday was a bank holiday and so was the following Monday. The whole week after Easter is called Easter Holiday week, kids out of school and so on.

Monday, April 20, 2009

2 Days in Dublin Part III

This is the Guinness area- tour was $15.00 E or

$20 USD. We did not tour but shopped for gifts!

Matthew told me this was a must for a gift for him.

Guinness took up many blocks and different areas of the city. Maid serving a "G" weathervane. Another pub...

This is Stephen's Green mall, we used the water closet for E .20 or $.25, my Dad refused. Told him I would have paid whatever, needed one badly!

Grafton Street, many interesting up-scale shops. Really liked the closed to traffic streets for pedestrians.

Sorry got this pic twice, can not get rid of it!

O2 is a cell phone company and these ducks were

everywhere! Just thought was too cute!

Lovely lady was selling beautiful flowers on Grafton St.

We had lunch, you know where, a pub, Independence Pub. In England, every lunch had peas on the plate, here the soup of the day was Cream of Vegetable, everywhere! A bowl of soup and a pint of Smithwick's Irish Ale made a filling lunch, of course brown bread was served with everything! My Dad drank Guinness.

This pub was old old old and had stained glass windows, metal ceiling and a huge wooden bar. Small, but wonderful atmosphere!

Yes, another pub and no I did not have a pint at all of them!!!

This pub was in the Temple Bar area. Many pubs have the tobacco signs and say the sell the products, but smoking inside is taboo. This area is the nightlife spot in Dublin.

Halfpenny Bridge, that is what the charge used to be. It is a foot-bridge across the Liffey River.

If you ever saw "Nottinghill" with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant there is a bus in London many times with her on the side advertising the movie. Just had to have a shot of this!

The city is over-run with buses. I have never seen so many buses. City buses, tour buses, just plain buses. Most were double-decker, closed or open. Also street-cleaners on the sidewalks filled with people. Thought that was very strange, it seemed one was following us and when Conny went into a store, the driver of one motioned for me to come and ride with him. I declined, I guess I will always wonder what he thought when he motioned to me. Maybe I could have had a few pints with him....LOL

2 Days in Dublin Part II

My Dad and Mickey D's

There are many statues in the city...this is O'Connell street that runs to the Liffey River that splits the city! Heineken building in the background.

Panama Pub, we had supper there the first night.

Yes I had Cream of Vegetable soup...and a pint of Smithwick's.

Close to our hotel was the 1st stop for tour of Dublin. We bought the "Hop On Hop Off" pass for E15 or about $20 USD. Nothing is cheap in euro countries. My Dad wondered how "normal" people survived the costs. I agree with him.

The round trip takes 1 1/2 hr and first time around we just rode and took in the views. Second time, we hopped off and on.

Trinity College on right. Founded by Queen Elizabeth in 1592. Swift, Beckett and Wilde attended here. It houses the "Book of Kells", one of Ireland's most treasured possessions. Will let ya look that one up!

Left is the Irish Houses of Parliment, but now is the Bank of Ireland. Parliment was dissolved in 1801 when the United Kingdom was formed.

Betting places are a dime a dozen in most towns.

Before the Master's looked in one and they would take bets on who had the first birdie. Bets on almost anything!

Another pub

Christ Church Cathedral

Founded in 1030 by King Sitric, this is Dublin's oldest building. Not all is that old, has been added to over the ages.

Friday, January 30, 2009

1971 to 2003

Ex was Air Force (Colonel 30 years) and we moved around a bit. Not as much as some military families.

Rapid City SD Ellsworth AFB We were there 3 years/him 4. Loved the Black Hills but not the shopping available. The hang-out on Sunday's was K-Mart (I kid ya not). We would hike and tube on the streams. We were there for the flood(1972), that was major, luckily we were not near the flooding. I worked at the SD Fair and that was hit and quite a mess to clean up. Aunt in Denver so we made many runs to have some metropolitan experiences. My college roommate's hubby played for the Denver Broncos so we would have 50 yd line seats (free). Yes I ski!

Colorado Springs CO 7 years NORAD After SD, loved it here. Our home had a front range view of the mountains and Pikes Peak. It was amazing to watch the changes throughout the day, especially during the summer when it would snow on the mountains.

Stafford VA 3 years Close to family (200 miles), ex worked shifts in the Natl Military Command Center in the Pentagon. During mid-shifts (6nights) would take my 2 babies to PA so he could sleep. Sad thing was being 45 miles south of DC and small kids did not get to take a lot of advantage of the Nation's Capital. No cell phones then so if we had a sitter and a problem arose while we were in DC, well you can imagine, so we did not go often just the 2 of us.

Santa Clara CA.....just loved CA. So much to do and so little time. We lived behind Great America and bought a year pass ($29.95 -kids free). One night a week we would go after the crowds left, sure miss those times. With 2 MLB teams on weekends would see who had the best give-aways and go to a game ($5 tickets). Close to San Fran and the zoo so visited many times. Company come- wine country, SFO, Hearst Castle, on and on. Sad thing was only there 18 months. Also Ex's aunt lived in Palo Alto so had family close by. Loved the Nut Tree ( Vacaville CA)-Castroville (artichoke capital of the world)-Santa Cruz on and on! A friend had horses stabled near Half Moon Bay on the ocean so I would go ride with her on the hills overlooking the ocean, was amazing. Only a 5.2 quake while we were there, but we were like what was that!

Colorado Springs years. New home- view of mountains. Many of the same friends(military and civilian). I went back to school to get a degree in Travel and Tourism. The school wanted you to take 3 courses per period after a time I started taking 4 so I could finish before we were given orders, but alas I had 3 more to graduate when we had to move so there went that degree.

Montgomery AL-Maxwell AFB and the Air War College (school for Lt Colonels/Colonels plus 40-50 international students. One of the students was a Lord, who had been the pilot of the Queen of England's jet (now that was cool)!!! Sorry Donna, but I dislike AL too hot from May to Nov...never fit in even with living there 12 years. Private schools ate up our money (7-12 grade-2 kids) as local schools were horrible and scary. Saving grace was trips to Atlanta-Destin-Ft Walton Beach and of course driving distance to our timeshares (Orlando/Lake Buena Vista-Jensen Beach FL). Oh and the cockroaches grrrrrrr.

State College PA....back at the start. Still painful to talk about so maybe some day!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Starry Starry Night

Awhile back Sydney asked me about the picture I was using on my blog. Here is the story:
On the 13th of Dec, Matthew and Patricia were to come up because Matthew had to pick up a gift for her at a jewelry store near here. They both come in the door, we sit and talk for a bit, then Amanda walks in the door with a fur ball. Hopefully, I asked Amanda if they had gotten a puppy. All at once, all 3 went Merry Christmas. I hoped my hearing was wrong.
No, this thing was for me. Truthfully, I was not happy with this present. I like to travel a lot and just having the rabbit makes it hard, but I can go away for the day with no worries. A pup/dog requires more effort to leave for long. She is a cockapoo and cost them a fortune. I have not had a puppy since 1988 and then there was 4 of us in the home or more playmates to wear the puppy out. Then we get the frigid cold and ice here, hard to house-break with these weather conditions.
She is slowly growing on me, but still I wish they had not done this!!! To kennel both will be $45 a day. UGH! Vet bills and such...
Starry is a doll, and I am sure she will become part of my family in time. Just wish they had asked first!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Penn State vs Michigan State weekend

My daughter, Amanda, and her boyfriend Kyle showed up here on Thursday eve. This was after she told me they would be here, Friday. So here I was with a charted course of preparation for all to arrive Friday evening. SO I had to jump into overdrive to finish cleaning, make applesauce and cookies. Matthew and his gf, Patricia arrived around 8p on Fri. Now the weather is turning super nasty, snow, frigid temps and a 930am, Sat, meet up for the tailgate. There was no way in h*ll I was going. Give me a TV, a no-line bathroom, and whatever I want to eat during the game. After getting all four out of the house, after a 2 peeps drop-off downtown, I settled in to watch the game at 3:30. Before the game I needed to prep for the meal for Sun. I made the cranberry salad and had everything but the rice prepared for the Paula Deen's Chicken and Rice casserole.

The temps at game time (330p) were 28 with a wind chill of 14. I was worried since all had been outside since 930am and temps were about as bad then. I decided to watch the game from my bed with a heated mattress pad. Oh so cozy. Around 5p, I used the bathroom and thought that it seemed cooler, but then I was super warm and thought nothing of it. I received a call as the game ended, about 730p and the house seemed chillier. Turned up the thermostat and nada. HUH!!! Checked the circuit breaker, hit the reset, NADA. Just great!!!

What to do? I called my oil company and they said someone would call me. That someone called me but I had no record that they could find. I told them my family had used this company since at least the early 60's and on the farm there were at the max 8 oil tanks and that I had just gotten oil from them in mid-Oct to the tune of over $800. Meanwhile, I am thinking, here I have 4 guests and no heat on a night that would be in the teens. Thank goodness the guy came out, was here for 45 minutes and to fix the problem was $250, a clog in the line. Now here is the kicker, since they could not find no record of me, I had to pay cash or check. I told the guy either would be fine, just fix it. BUT the whole time he kept repeating that it could be expensive, I said so what, in the long run a plumber and busted pipes would cost more and I had frozen family coming to the house.

In the end, we had heat by 915p. I called the oil company this AM and Scott (who I deal with) said how sorry they were. He knows I am in the system, but somehow it was not showing and even though the repair guy/service tried to call him and said he was not reachable, he doubts they tried.

Guess my moral of this story is that no matter how long you deal with a company, you can be frustrated when an emergency arises and you are a NON!!! All worked out, but I do not want to think about if I had been denied.