I'm in the US for a few weeks so that means a lot of jetlag, visiting, eating, and going to Target. Doesn't leave much time for the blog! If something interesting comes up, I'll let you know. In the meantime, ponder the deliciousness of Pretzel M&Ms.
Wes had a work conference in Athlone, so I was lucky enough to tag along. Athlone is smack dab in the center of Ireland, between Dublin and Galway. It sits on the River Shannon and is in the lakes area of Ireland. The hotel we stayed in sat right on Lough Ree and the day we arrived was beautiful. The train journey wasn't so bad since the sun was shining and everything was a golden color. Unfortunately, there weren't really any walks on our side of the lake, but I did take a short one (like one mile total) and got some pictures.
There is a US celebrity in Ireland right now doing some filming. Come to find out, this person actually studied at one of the universities here. On a whim, it was suggested contacting this person to find out if he'd be willing to do a short spot about Irish universities. The international office at the university was contacted to see if they know how to get a hold of this person. Their response:
'No, but I do know the priest in the village and he would know how to contact him.'
Suze aka The Vegemite Wife tagged me for this cool quiz. Since she's cool and the quiz is cool, I'll be cool and do it!
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Paste these rules on your blog post.
3. Respond to the following prompts (in bold).
4. Add a prompt of your own and answer it.
5. Tag a few other bloggers at the bottom of the post.
6. Leave "Tagged You" notices on their blog/Facebook.
7. Let the person who tagged you know when you've written the post.
1) The best investment you ever made:
My house. I bought it almost 8 years ago and have been renting it since I've been out of the country. It's a total pain in the ass, but it was a good investment!
2) If you could’ve written any book, directed any movie, and composed any song, which three would you pick:
Book: Bridget Jones' Diary - We had similar dating experiences!
Movie: The Sound of Music - I know all the words, songs, dances...you name it. I could definitely direct it.
Song: Movin' Right Along by the Muppets
Movin' right along in search of good times and good news,
With good friends you can't lose,
This could become a habit!
Opportunity knocks once let's reach out and grab it (yeah!),
Together we'll nab it,
We'll hitchhike, bus or yellow cab it!
Movin' right along.
Footloose and fancy-free.
Getting there is half the fun; come share it with me.
Moving right along (doog-a-doon doog-a-doon).
We'll learn to share the load.
We don't need a map to keep this show on the road.
3) Weirdest quirk:
I sleep with my arms above my head. The only other people I know who do this are babies. It also means I knock my husband in the head a lot.
4) One wish immediately granted:
Guaranteed financial stability for the rest of my life. I don't have to win a bazillion dollars, just never have to worry about money ever.
5) Most expensive hobby:
Travel. Hands down.
6) An inexhaustible gift-card at which store:
Well, it's not technically a store (although I'm sure they sell products), but a spa.
7) In another lifetime, you’d be:
On Facebook less.
8) The most famous/interesting member of your family tree:
My great-grandfather was the oldest surviving WWI veteran in his county. He lived to be 98.
9) What would you say to your teenage self?
Stop getting perms!
This is the one I've added:
10) What surprises you most about your life today?
That I'm living in Ireland. It wasn't some lifelong dream I had to live overseas and it all came about quite quickly.
Okay, I didn't take a picture of serene. I thought about trying to take a picture yesterday, but 60 mph winds and practically getting blown off the Ha'Penny Bridge didn't feel very serene.
Things haven't been very exciting around here lately. It's all wake up, breakfast, TV, gym, groceries, lunch, TV, dinner, TV, sleep, rinse, repeat. Don't be jealous.
Let me think....exciting things....exciting things....oh! Last weekend we went to see 'The Town' with Ben Affleck and Jon Hamm. Hello, Ben Affleck's abs!!! Plus, I totally forgot that my TV-boyfriend, Jon Hamm, was in the movie, so I gasped and grabbed Wes' arm in excitement. This got me a 'Whaddaya like!' It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon. I have to say though, I wasn't keen on the female lead. Anytime she said something serious I had the feeling she was about to bust out laughing and could only assume they had to edit her laughing out of the movie. It made me feel uncomfortable.
Let's see, what else....I saw a well-dressed, attractive, young woman blow a snot rocket while at the LUAS stop today. Seriously. It was totally disgusting.
In less disgusting news, my diet/exercise regime are going very well! I'm on target to lose one stone (14 lbs) by Thanksgiving. Honestly, I've lost most of it in the month that I've been on the diet. They also bumped me up to the 'advanced workout' at the gym about 2 weeks ago. I'm terrified of gaining it all back with a month in the US (hello, Thanksgiving!), but the good thing is that Cur.ves does a travel pass that allows me to use one near my parent's house.
And in even better news, things are bumping along with the visa process for Wes. He had his medical appointment last week. They said it would take about a week to get the results that they would then post to the Embassy. I have no idea how long it will take to hear from them at this point. The next step will be his interview!
So, that's the boring news from here. I leave for the US in 10 days and I can't wait! I'm get to see my friends and family, I'm getting my hair done, I get to drive, and I'll be there for Thanksgiving! Yahoo!
'Canned Pumpkin Ireland' is the second most popular search phrase that diverts people to my blog. I understand the importance of this search! Now, I can't comment on the whole of Ireland, but I can confirm that Fallon & Byrne in Dublin has quite a bit of Libby's canned pumpkin. Unfortunately, they are out of Kraft Mac & Cheese, but that's neither here nor there. Other places I would check for pumpkin puree are Fresh Market (I've found it here in the past) and Donnybrook Fair (they have a decent selection of American goods). Of course you can order it online, but that really takes the fun out of the search, no?
To bad the theme wasn't really 'fail' or I would be the winner! The themes were 'Halloween' and 'Silence'. Here are my excuses:
1. Halloween - Well, I really have no (good) excuse for this one. Halloween actually started in Ireland 2,000 years ago as a Celtic festival. They had huge sacred bonfires where they offered up sacrifices to the Celtic deities and dressed up in animal skins and skulls (thanks, History.com). Sadly, no trick or treating. They still have bonfires (but offer up pieces of furniture and the occasional car as sacrifice) and they definitely dress up (more princess than dead animal), and of course now there's trick or treating! Oh yeah, my excuse about the lack of picture - we have no children, I hate to dress up, we live in an apartment building so no trick or treaters, and I blanked on even getting a pumpkin to carve.
2. Silence - I live in Dublin city center. Nothing is ever silent here.
I will still leave you with a picture. I had a bad day last Friday and my husband surprised me with these cute little sweetheart roses:
Next week's theme is 'Serene'. I'm not promising anything!
I could not for the life of me figure what or who 'PB' is and why everyone loves it/him/her. I would just tell myself it must be 'peanut butter' and give each person a mental high five. I *heart* peanut butter too! Yesterday I saw a girl wearing a pretty hideous jacket with these same patches all over it. I was thisclose to asking her what 'PB' is, but I couldn't get up the nerve. Would she ask me how old I am?? Offer to take me back to the nursing home where I belong?? Put me back inside my old skool fashion closet?? Well, today I saw another girl with the same exact jacket. Then she got off the LUAS and I saw on the back: 'Paul's Boutique'. *insert fist pump here* I felt like I was just given all the answers to the important questions in the universe! Funny enough, about an hour later I saw another person with 'Paul's Boutique' on her clothing. It's like the stars aligned for me to finally be in the know. Seriously, this has been annoying me for months. I would ask people who wouldn't mock me for my lack of fashion knowledge what 'PB' stands for and no one could tell me.
But today! TODAY!
Of course I have to look this joint up on the web and it seems to be a UK shop. Clearly Paul knows the ropes when it comes free advertising via logo placement. I'm very anti-logo wearing, so one click onto his site** and I'm completely put off. Plus, the stuff is hideous (at least to my old, fashion-backward eyes). That bag up there? 60 GBP (sorry, I'm too lazy to copy and paste the pound sign). That's about 55 GBP more than I'd like to spend on it.
So yeah, now I know (FINALLY!) what 'PB' stands for and I'm a bit disappointed. I think I'm going to go back to believing it's 'peanut butter' because let's be honest, my *heart* is warmed by a nice schmear.