In Ireland! Day Three, Killarney Edition Part Two

Today, we got a taste of true Irish damp and fog. Fortunately we decided to take a tour bus around the Ring of Kerry (70), so that I could see the beautiful views during the drive.

Also, so that we didn’t risk panic attacks when passing tour buses on the narrow, wet, winding road. Like this:

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There was no shortage of spectacular mountain and water views as we passed by Dingle Bay (really), the Lakes of Killarney, and Gap of Dunloe along the way. (However, to avoid being totally misleading, the first two pictures below are from the Dingle Sea part of the trip and the last from a town called Sneem.)

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Our sundry stops included an Irish coffee to start the day — for PIC Sara…I’m pretty sure nothing good can come from giving me caffeine and whiskey then loading me into a packed bus. See, e.g, me in my natural caffeine and whiskey free state:

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— rainy cliff side spots, and the highest point in the Ring, where we got the obligatory picture next to the … ehrm … statue of the lady (remembering the actual names of landmarks is not my strong suit). (Update: PIC Sara informs the statue was … Mary. Whoops.)

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71. My favorite stop by far was to see a sheepdog demonstration. And not only because it was the sunniest portion of the trip. Those dogs are beautiful and amazing.

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And lest anyone think the entire day was rainy and gray, I did manage to find some spots of color by a church in Sneem.

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72. Tonight we’re off to see the Celtic Steps: An Evening of Spectacular Irish Music, Song & Dance. Then hoping for dryer weather as we head westward tomorrow!

Update: The Celtic Steps were really really good!

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In Ireland! Day Two, Killarney Edition Part One

So. In Ireland, jumper cables are called jump plates.

I’ll let you guess how I know that.

Also, the best way to NOT need jump plates is to line up three burly grizzled Irishmen to push your car out of a parking space. I guarantee that your car will start right up when you try to put it in neutral.

Experience 66. After an auspicious start to day two, PIC Sara and I made it to Killarney just fine, despite the occasional need to share narrow roads with big trucks.

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Experiences 67-68. Killarney has a booming commercial city district, but also a lovely national park a short walk from the city center — Killarney National Park and Ross Castle.

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With lots of wildlife, as well as the occasional horse drawn carriage.

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And a lovely river walk that leads to a lake.

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Where you can almost walk across some rocks without stepping in the river before it turns onto the lake. Or, in another spot, where you can almost hop from one spot of sand to the next without getting your other foot wet on the way back.

Experience 69. After the jaunt around the park, we had dinner at one Killarney pub then headed to another, Danny Mann’s, where we met local character, Jerry “DeDevil” Horan.

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Lives on a farm, works in a grocery store, proposed to each of us when the other was in the ladies.

So I guess you could say an auspicious end to the day as well.

Next up, Ring of Kerry. Hopefully we’ll get an early start, but since we’re both still fiddling around on the Internet we’ll see about that.

In Ireland! Day One, Kilkenny Edition.

I’m trying this whole posting on-the-go thing. Please excuse any typos, etc.

Experience 61. I’m in Ireland! My 1/4-homeland! The trip over was fairly uneventful, aside from being jolted awake at midnight (or 5am Irish time) for “dinner.” I’ll note that I was asleep INSIDE MY INFINITY SCARF CAVE when someone shoved me and the flight attendant tried to get me to make a meal choice. Instead I slung a stink eye in her direction, but without my glasses, I was groggy, blind, and tangled in my scarf cave, so it’s hard to say where it landed. Also, to the genius who decided that chicken curry was a good dinner option? Here’s a very special virtual stink eye just for you.

Experience 62. I drove on the left! It’s wild. (Note to the Parents Pussykat: my driving is not wild. I am driving as much like a grandma as ever.)

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Experiences 63-65

-Lunch at a pub called Matt the Millers (so far my meal choices have essentially been cream, cream, and a side of butter. ugh.).

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-A jaunt around Kilkenny Castle and Castle Park.

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Where I met sweet Fergie the Jack Russell Terrier (named after a beloved Manchester United manager or the like).

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Fergie likes to chase squirrels and cats and carry sticks.

-A climb up seven teeny tiny flights of ladder type stairs (121 steps total!) to reach the top of St. Canice’s 1,021 year old round tower (I did not pay sufficient attention when we passed the tower on the way into the cathedral. If I had I’m not sure I would have been quite so excited about the twofer tower climb/cathedral tour special. It wasn’t for the faint of heart but the 360 views were spectacular. The cathedral was also pretty spectacular.

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Now at long last I think we can safely go to bed and avoid the worst of jet lag. Off to Killarney tomorrow!

#TBT – Kulture Edition: The Dahnce. Experiences 29, 37, 41, and 58.

It’s true. Summer is almost over and I’ve yet to write up an ever-growing number of escapades experiences (how does everything seem to end up in the “shenanigans” category?).

In an attempt to reach some semblance of being current before heading off to the land of green and plenty, a/k/a the land o’ Guinness, a/k/a Ireland, my quarter-homeland (¼ Irish; ¼ Welsh; 1/36 Native American; the rest European hodge podge), I am taking advantage of Throw Back Thursday to try to catch up, even in some brief fashion. (Editor’s note: as usual, the drafting process took longer than planned. It is, however, still Thursday on the West Coast.)

To wit:

29. In April, PIC All-Star Sara and I headed to Silver Spring (fun random fact: I am apparently incapable of typing “Silver Spring” without first typing “Silvery Spring” then having to delete the “y”) to see sometime PIC Sarah (the ballerina) perform with her contemporary ballet company, Moveius. Moveius’ spring show, Outside In, featured works by a number of different choreographers, most from outside of the company (see what they did there?), whose work I’d never seen. I’d also never been to the venue, Montgomery College Cultural Arts Center, and Sara had never seen Moveius at all. A bunch of firsts, really.

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I’m so Fancy – the Art Wall. Experience 56.

A friend’s Facebook posts about 20×200 and the site’s images of hip zippy art walls inspired me to tackle the blank hallway wall that has been mocking me since I moved into my place four years ago.

An art wall! It will be fun! It will be easy! I can do it on the cheap! It will be fancy!

Using a canvas painted by my Great Grandmother Sinback as the focal point,

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I found three complementary prints from 20×200 (Art! Really pretty affordable!).

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Even when tutus are involved, Flash is the coolest super hero. Fact. Experiences 53-54.

It was only a matter of time. When tutu-gate recently sparked intense debate over, among other things, who would and would not run a race wearing a tutu, I thought to myself, “I would. I would totally wear a tutu.”

Enter LoziLu, an all-women’s mud run, and repeat partners-in-crime, Katie and Briana.

LoziLu was my seventh mud/obstacle race (two Warrior Dashes, a Rebel Race, two Down n’ Dirtys, and a Tough Mudder), but the first event that I ran in costume.

Yes, my costume involved a tutu, but not just a tutu. A tutu-wearing super hero, which is so.much.better. Obviously.

After considering the finest graphic superhero Ts that Target had to offer, I settled on Green Lantern (Katie chose Superman; Briana, the Flash). Continue reading

Run, Pussykat, Run! Experience … wait for it … 50! Fiddy! 50!

This year’s Smithsonian Folklife Festival – an annual cultural celebration during the weeks leading up to July 4th – featured China and Kenya. Along with the traditional food, music, arts, and crafts, the Kenyan exhibit offered daily fun runs with Kenyan runners.

How often do you get to run with a Kenyan Olympian? Exactly.

The festival and runs took place on the National Mall, which is conveniently located just steps from my office. Which also meant that, for a mid-morning work-day run I needed to recruit a partner-in-crime from outside my usual pool of suspects. I enthusiastically recruited co-worker and sometime running buddy, Peter. Who in turn recruited another co-worker, Greg (who runs so fast that he seems like a Kenyan to me). The three of us met on a fine sunny and hot Tuesday morning at the designated festival corner. And waited. And commented on how the festival was suspiciously empty.

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