Wes' marathon goal has been to come in under 3 hours and hallelujah he finally did it! The Dublin Marathon was yesterday and he finished with a time of 2:58:05. Such an awesome time!!! He was taking a bit of a chance since he just did the marathon in Germany less than a month ago, but he figured since it was local he had to give it a shot. The conditions were perfect for him, which means it wasn't too hot. In fact, it was really freakin' cold. So cold that I needed my Steeler's hat. Who knew I'd be such a hit with the runners! I got one, 'Go Steelers!', a few people gave me the thumbs up, I got a lot of smiles, and one guy tried to give me a high five but he ran by too fast. I should point out that I was at mile 3, so people were still pretty chipper. Even my, 'Not much further now!' didn't get a negative response.
Things are different at mile 26. I yelled, 'You can do it! Great job! Well done! Looking great! Nearly there!' about a million times and I think I'm lucky I didn't get the finger. Well, that would be my response if I was cramped up and struggling and someone yelled, 'Don't give up, you're nearly there!' That's probably why I'm not cut out to run a marathon. Good thing I enjoy cheering and clapping!
Here's a picture of Wes at mile 26. I knew when I saw him he was going to get an awesome time, so I yelled, 'Go Wes! You're killing it!' You can get away with saying such things when you're an American.
I struggled with this one. There's not a lot of photo-worthy orange in my life. I don't even have an orange in my fruit bowl! All I have is this almost-completely-burned orange candle that sits on our mantle. It smells lovely and spicy!
This lovely lady was born on 10/10/10 and I had the pleasure of meeting her today! When I was leaving she was sucking her thumb and it was completely adorable. Sinead was looking A-M-A-Z-I-N-G (hello, pre-pregnancy weight). I think that should be illegal. Oh, and if anyone's looking for John you'll find him wrapped around Grace's tiny pinky finger. He is one proud papa!!!
A few weeks ago we took my friends' baby out for a walk in his stroller (buggy, pram, whatever). No big deal, right?? Well, we were walking in a residential area and when we got to the corner, we discovered we were stranded. There was no cross walk across this very busy street. Wait, look over there! If we can manage to get across to a different corner we'll have a cross walk. But, in order to get there we're just going to have to take our chances crossing this slightly less busy street, because there's no cross walk there either. Follow me? At an intersection where two streets cross like this + there was one cross walk. This is actually a very common occurrence in this neighborhood because we had to run that buggy across the street more than once!
When we were in Cork the other weekend for a wedding we were crossing the street near the bus station. There was a cross walk that took you to this little island in the middle of the street, but there was no cross walk to get you off that island and to the other side of the street. You just had to run across. Safe, right??
It's been a while since we've had soup from Panera Bread, so we don't know if it's an exact replica, but regardless this soup was delicious! And it may have even converted my husband to the idea of eating soup for dinner!
I know with this one everyone is expecting a picture of my beloved cat, but surprise! I decided to mix it up this week. The whale is one of my favorite pictures from our trip to Germany last week. The cat is my sister's very photogenic cat, Max. Such a refreshing change from my diva! Max has beautiful blue/green eyes.
Yes, I posted the whale picture last week, but I edited it using Picnik. Oh, and the picture of my sister's cat is a total cheat (we're not in the same country*), but I used Picnik to edit this one too.
*I DID take the picture of my sister's cat, it was just not this past week!
I had a dream last night that I saw Justin Bie.ber's naughty parts while perusing a Christian book store. It was all totally horrifying and I'm not proud of it.
My cat hasn't been doing too much in the poo category this week. She hasn't gone for a few days, so I told her this morning that she needs to go poo or she's going to have to go to the vet. She immediately headed back to the litter box and went for a poo. That's right, she understands Human.
I know that being a checkout person for Tesco isn't the job of the century, but would it kill them to take a little pride in their work and be slightly interested in the customers they're serving? Trust me, I'm no more interested in shopping there than they are of serving me, but since it's the only store in Dublin that sells the brand of cat litter we use, we have to go there. The checkout people at the store in Jervis are the pits. They could take a lesson from the M&S employees right up stairs. I walk out of that place feeling like I made new friends.
Pretty sure the application process for a US federal job is set up to weed out those who don't have the moxy to complete the application itself. I will conquer you!!!
Oh yeah! I almost forgot this one.....
Pringles has come out with a special holiday line of crisps. One of the flavors? Pigs in a blanket. No, I don't want to eat a potato chip that tastes like a sausage wrapped in bacon. W.T.F. Blech.
The best thing about being a running widow of a husband who runs marathons is the travel. It's like my own little reward at the end of the 6 months of training he does for it! This was my first time visiting Germany and I really enjoyed it. The country likes beer, pretzels, and sausages. Sounds like my kind of place! Here are some observations and photos from the trip:
The Rhein River with a view of the Dom, the tallest building in Köln.
My first meal when we arrived was bockwurst, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. This is my food heaven.
The city is incredibly dog-friendly. There were dogs everywhere, including trains, shops and cafes. The best part is that people actually clean up after their dogs. After dodging dog poo on a daily basis, this was a refreshing sight.
The architecture - yeah, I had forgotten that there was this little thing called WWII that happened not to long ago. Köln was pretty much obliterated during the war, and we all know that post-war architecture isn't the most eye-catching. There was still an Old Town section of town and that looked like this:
But, most of the city was a mixture of pre- and post-war buildings, like this:
The Germans were VERY friendly. I didn't speak a lick of German, but people weren't rude about this at all. One example was the guy who started talking to me on the tram about the marathon. I said that I didn't speak German and he just switched to English and kept talking. When we got off the tram he pointed me in the direction I needed to go. Then, I was watching the marathon and this woman started talking to me. Again, I had to tell her I didn't speak German and she switched to English and we chatted until her son ran by. It was really nice, especially when you feel a little bad about not being able to speak the local language. I left Germany thinking the people were incredibly friendly as well as language geniuses.
Speaking of language, it is possible to watch 2 hours of the German version of X-Factor and be completely entertained. It's probably better because you don't have to hear the judges banging on after each contestent, when all you really care about is if they're going to throw an X up there or not.
The shopping there was fantastic!!! Girls wear sensible shoes and they throw on jackets when it's cold. I didn't see a pair of jeggings the entire weekend and I'd say you'd be hard pressed to find a pair of 6-in heels. It was so refreshing to see feminine clothes that don't make you look like a whore.
Probably the biggest thing that made us laugh were the crosswalks. People did not cross the street until the green man made an appearance. There would not be a car for miles and they would stand there waiting and waiting. They must thing the Irish are totally barbaric considering we rarely even cross at the crosswalk.
They like to put funny things on the tops (and sides) of their buildings:
The Germans are a very sporty people. Not only was there a marathon run that day, they also had a half marathon, an in-line skating marathon, and these crazy scooter-type things marathon:
Here comes Wes! He's the one checking his watch.
Two suggestions were made to me of things we shouldn't miss while in Köln: ride the cable car across the river and go to the El-De Museum. We did both and they were great, but perhaps the best time to admit that you're terrified isn't when you're in a cable car headed up into the sky. The views were amazing, but we were happy to get into the station!
The EL DE House is the former headquarters of the Gestapo in Köln. I wasn't allowed to take pictures inside, but it was fascinating. We spent about 3 hours there. The basement was a small prison that they used to detain people prior to questioning. The rest of the building is a museum about the rise of the Nazi party in the city. There was an audio tour in English, but unfortunately the captions on the photos were all in German. Regardless, it was well worth a visit.
Did you know that the Dom is home to the remains of three wise men?? Neither did I! They live here:
You can help the Dom replace some of their broken stained glass windows by donating enough money to have a window made with your family name on it. This one is my favorite. It's was actually purchased by the owner of a popular music and video shop called, you guessed it, Saturn.
Curious about what our hotel looked like?? There were little hotels all over the carpet.
And because this post isn't long enough, here are a few more of my favorites from the weekend:
Sorry for the silence! We were in Cologne, Germany last weekend and we're off to a wedding tomorrow. I've been busy! I promise I'll be back next week with posts about Germany and at least one tasty recipe.
Oh, and the super duper thing that happened this week was we received our approval for our I-130, which is the first step for US immigration! I can finally stop checking the mailbox 3 times a day!