Sunday, November 29, 2009

Trying to escape from Dublin

I haven't left Dublin since the end of August when we went to Cork with relatives and I am going NUTS! Wes gets to jet off to exciting places for work, like Helsinki and Brussels, and I sit here holding down the moldy fort. Surprisingly, if you don't have a car the options for day trips out of Dublin really aren't that great. There are the DART accessible places such as Howth - been there; Malahide - done that about 4 times; Dun Laoghaire - I meet up with friends there, so not very exotic. There are some bus companies, but they really only have two options: the Hill of Tara tour (north of Dublin) and the Wicklow tour (South of Dublin). You can go to Belfast and the Giant's Causeway if you fancy getting up at 5am to meet the bus at 5:45, but well, that wasn't really what we were looking to do on a Saturday morning. I really wanted to go to the Rock of Cashel, but it would have taken us 3 hours to get there (by bus or train) and it was too expensive for a day trip. Please note that by car it's only an hour and a half from Dublin. But I digress..... So, we kicked around the Hill of Tara, but in the end opted for the Wicklow tour. Bonus is we didn't have to leave the house until 10:15am to meet the bus.

It was really frosty and cold when we left in the morning, but the sun came out and it was a lovely day. The fog rolled back in around 2:30pm and by the time we got back to Dublin it was back to being frosty and cold again.

The driver was nice enough to make an unexpected stop in Dun Laoghaire. I'm 99.9% sure Wes and the driver were the only Irish people on the bus.

On the bus!

Dublin Bay from the bus.

Sandycove Martello Tower in the distance.

Enniskerry National School. It's the oldest national school in the country.

Views of the mountains from the bus.

View of Sugarloaf Mountain from the bus.

Front of Powerscourt Estate. Santa arrived today and they blew fake snow in his honor!

Us in Powerscourt gardens.

Sugarloaf Mountain from the terrace.

Back of the estate from the garden.

Our favorite tombstone in the pet cemetery. They had lots of dogs and a few ponies in there too!

Me in the gardens.

Back of estate and gardens.

Pretty Christmas display at the Avoca shop. Christmas puddings are so
cute to look at and so gross to eat!

An unusual church in Co. Wicklow. It looks like something that should be in the midwest of the US. The driver said there is a two year wait to get married here on a Saturday. Sorry the pictures is tilted, but I took it quick as we passed on the bus. You can also see that the fog rolled back in by the end of the trip.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

Things I'm thankful for in 2009:

My wonderful husband who humors me when I yell out my Thanksgiving menu (on a daily basis) with glee.

My awesome family who is so supportive of us even though they're either across the ocean or an equally long trip to Cork. There aren't words to express how thankful I am for all of them.

My way cool pals, both old and new. I miss my friends in the US and England so much! Thank god for Facebook! Thankfully, I have met some very cool ladies in Dublin. It feels like I've known them forever and they have helped to keep me sane during this period of unemployment.

My kitty cat who also helps to keep me sane during the day. Talking to yourself would mean you're crazy, but talking to your CAT means you're....a crazy cat lady.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

If you keep doing that, your face is going to stay that way!

I was riding the Luas home yesterday and per usual it was jammers. I didn't plan my seating properly at the beginning of my trip and ended up stuck in the middle of a car. I realized this one stop before mine, causing me to have momentary public transportation stress. Normally other people get off at the same time and the crowd loosens up, but yesterday at 3pm at Four Courts, I was the sole person alighting from the train (how British do I sound there!?). Anyways, squeezing myself through the people I sounded like this, 'Sorry, sorry, excuse me, I need to get off, thanks, thanks very much'. I know this doesn't seem odd, but I pronounced the word 'much' similar to the word 'mulch' minus the 'L'. Say that to yourself a couple of times. That's an Irish accent.

When you marry someone with a different accent than you, well, you make fun of each other a lot. My latest one is the way he pronounces 'calm' and if he says the word 'tarantula' to me one more time I'm going to buy him one for Christmas. Even I laughed at the way I pronounced that one. A few weeks ago it came out that the Irish accent beats French as the world's sexiest accent. This made me laugh because if you heard some of the Dubliners around here sex would be the last thing on your mind. Our front window is on the sidewalk so we hear a lot of people talking as they walk by and this gives us a lot of material for our comedy routines. Always a staple in the routine is 'fooks sake!' and of course I end it by saying 'tanks for coming!' Then I turn the TV to 3e (pronounced tree-E) to watch another episode of Father Ted or see what fil-em is playing.

Let this be a lesson to you! If you mock the way someone talks long enough you might just end up sounding like them yourself!

Monday, November 23, 2009

RIP Green Bean Casserole

After searching high and low across this fair city and spending about 10 euro in bus fare, there is not a french fried onion to be found. Dublin has failed me once again. I haven't had a Thanksgiving without green bean casserole! But, I'll ask my parents to send me some along with our Christmas presents and I'll take make it for Christmas dinner. I made it last year for Wes' family and they seemed to like it. Truly, I don't even care if they like it...I'll eat it all myself! In the meantime I need to come up with a new vegetable casserole to have that doesn't involve sweet potatoes. Maybe broccoli....

Since I failed at the onion quest I decided I would get a few other things I need for the big day. One of those being baking soda for my cake. Well, they don't sell Arm & Hammer here (which is totally fine) and I could not for the life of me remember what they call it in the UK. It's sodium bicarbonate. I think. Now I just need to search the store to find it because it wasn't in the baking section. If they don't have it here I'm going to blow a gasket.

Then I came home and chipped ice and frost out of our freezer so I could fit in the turkey legs (they won't last until Thursday in our crap fridge) and some frozen veg. Only partially successful, so the frozen peas are currently in the fridge and we'll have some for dinner tonight.

USA - 1 Ireland - 0

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bye Bye!


Sorry to all you O fans out there, but I'm not one of them. The news this morning that she is going off the air did not bring me to tears. In fact, I was a kind of happy about it. She's not even going off the air until 2011. Did she announce it so far in advance so that we could all come to terms with it!? I do understand there will be many tears across middle America. Don't worry....I'm sure someone else out there will start a monthly magazine where they put their own picture on the cover every month!

Out of all her decades on the air, there are four shows that stick out to me.

1. I wouldn't normally count this one, but it was on just the other day and it has since scarred me for life. O was talking about how she's fallen off the wagon with her weight and she's started taking care of herself again. That's great! But then we had to watch her on an elliptical machine in a very low cut top. That wasn't great.

2. THESE ARE MY FAVORITE THINGS!!! All the screaming involved with that one. Ugh.

3. When she said that 'white people don't put paprika on their potato salad'. Seriously?? We do. I did see the episode where all the white ladies came parading down the aisle with their paprika-laden potato salad. Apology not accepted.

4. She was interviewing Beyonce and she asked her about cooking Thanksgiving dinner. Beyonce said her job was to pour ice water in the glasses because she can't cook. Hilarious! Then O said, 'people up north wouldn't understand about having ice water on the table for Thanksgiving. It's a southern thang'. Seriously?? We drink water at Thanksgiving and not only are we from above the Mason Dixon line, we're east coast! I should have written in to ask her what she thinks the Yankees drink for Thanksgiving and to remind her she lives in Chicago. I don't recall if there was an apology for this statement, but if so, apology not accepted.

Oh, and one more thing....she's the reason for Dr Phil.

Au revoir!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I joined Twitter. I need a place to release all the random thoughts that run through my brain all day long. Wes thinks I need a job.

If I had Twitter two hours ago I would have said:

1. A channel showing a movie with Eric Roberts in the opening credits begs to be turned.

2. If we have rice for dinner, I will have had rice for all three meals today. Weird.

3. I just made coffee in the I feeling okay??


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Thanksgiving preparations have begun!

I love Thanksgiving! I actually love it more than Christmas! It's all about the food, hanging out with family and friends, and watching The Sound of Music which typically airs around this time of year. There's no stress and expense of gift giving. Last year we were in the US the week before Thanksgiving and my mom made all the deliciousness even though it was a week in advance. Other years I've spent the day with American friends in England. This year we're in Dublin and it will just be Wes and I. He's taking the day off, just like a real American holiday! :)

I guess my preparations technically began when I started hoarding cans of pumpkin. I told Wes last night that I need to start getting all the bits and pieces for the meal because we all know it's not one stop shopping around here! Sadly, there's no Giant in Ireland. Further complicating matters is our dorm size refrigerator that does not keep things chilled properly, with a freezer that's already tiny even when you don't count the frost that has built up in there again. I can't really make too much stuff ahead of time, but I do plan on doing some of the chopping the day before and I'll make my dessert since it doesn't need refrigerated.

As you can imagine the biggest pain is the turkey. We have no place to store a whole turkey. Plus, with it just being the two of us I'm not interested in eating turkey for a week after. There are, surprisingly, more turkeys here at this time of the year than there were when I was in England. Most people in England have to order their turkeys from the local butcher if they want a fresh one. You can find some frozen ones, but they're not very common. I picked up this turkey breast at Marks & Spencers. If you're looking for turkey in Dublin they have a large selection of various sizes and prices - stuffed/unstuffed, turkey crown, turkey breast, fresh/frozen. I'm not a huge fan of turkey, so I'm hoping we have enough for the day and some leftover for hot turkey sandwiches the next day. I've thrown it in the freezer and I decided I would check for something fresh the day before and if I can't find anything that's appropriate we'll have this one. I may also buy a turkey leg (I've seen some at Dunnes) because Wes likes dark meat and then we'll definitely have enough for leftovers.

I'm now on the lookout for turkey stock so I can make gravy. I'm thinking this will be pretty much impossible to find. M&S sells turkey gravy, but I'd rather make my own. Worst case scenario - I'll buy chicken stock and we'll have chicken gravy on our turkey. We do not have the culinary palate to truly tell the difference!

Let's be honest though...Thanksgiving to me is all about the side dishes! The turkey is ceremonial and makes the gravy necessary for the sides. This is where the crackers in the picture in to the scene. I asked Wes if he liked the cracker salad my mom made last year. He looked confused for a minute, then once I described it to him his eyes lit up! Great. One more thing for me to make! I like cracker salad when my mom makes it, but if I'm cooking for myself I wouldn't bother. It's an ol' Sproat Family Recipe and as far as I can tell it has saltine crackers that are broken up, hard boiled eggs, celery, and bits of the turkey in it. It's served at room temperature and you pour gravy over it. I've been told these Doriano crackers are similar to saltines, so we shall see! Other must-have side dishes are: green bean casserole, corn, mashed potatoes (of course!), and stuffing. If I have room in the oven I'll roast some brussel sprouts (I tried to introduce these to my family last year and they went over like a lead balloon) and I'll also make some deviled eggs. My mom makes candied sweet potatoes which I hate, so they will not make it to the menu. For dessert I'll make a pumpkin spiced bundt cake with buttermilk icing. I pretty much only like pumpkin pie that is completely covered in Cool Whip, but alas, no Cool Whip in Ireland.

So now I've just realized this is a very rambling post about what we're going to eat on Thanksgiving. I guess you can say I'm pretty excited! Next on the list of difficult things I need to find (in addition to the turkey stock) are french fried onions for the green bean casserole.

What are some of your must-haves on Thanksgiving!??

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Honeymoon decisions

Between looking for a job and cleaning mold off our walls, I think about where the heck to go for our honeymoon. Yes, we were married in April and we still haven't gone on a honeymoon. With the cost of the wedding and my moving to Ireland we decided to hold off for when we'd have a bit more time and money. Wes wants to go to Italy. This is a GREAT idea! I'm totally on board for Italy. But what about Romania?? Or a Mediterranean cruise, we've never been on a cruise?? Or, ooo! Someplace warm and tropical!? We have considered every single country in the world and at this point, the only place vetoed is Canada. Sorry Canada. My only prerequisite is a spa. I want to hang out in a bathrobe. Wes said we could go to a spa in Kildare. I would like to go further than an hour away for our honeymoon. To further complicate matters Wes has signed up for the Boston Marathon which is April 19th. This is great since neither of us has ever been to Boston! The downside is that now 'Practical Kim' is on the scene. Yes, there is actually a practical side to me. Should we go to Boston for our honeymoon?? We could actually go to Cape Cod which would be lovely, but cold since it's April. On the plus side we would rent a car and I would be comfortable driving around. My internal conflict about spending our honeymoon in Massachusetts is 1.) I'm an east coast American who lives in Europe. Why am I going to the east coast of America for my honeymoon? and 2.) If we end up moving to America we could go to Boston any old time. It would be nice to go somewhere that we may not be able to go to again. Then we thought we could fly to say San Francisco or something and spend time in northern California, but the cost of internal US flights is ridiculous. We could just as easily (and probably more cheaply) fly from Dublin to somewhere on the Continent.


I'll go clean some mold now.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I totally stole this from Beth

Beth has been posting some commercials on her blog. For my friends and family in the US who don't get to see these commercials, I thought I would post my top three favorites. I had to do three, because I couldn't choose just one.

And Bob's your teapot! (makes me laugh every time!)

I'll never fit be able to fit into those! (Again...every time!)

This one isn't funny, I just love the music. I was even singing it in the shower this morning!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wow, you live in Ireland!? You're sooooo lucky!!!!

Me: Apologies if I smell like tea tree oil.

Them (in unison): OOoooo!!! Did you just have a massage!!!???

Me: Uh, no. I've been cleaning mold off the walls all morning.

Monday, November 2, 2009

St Stephen's Green

It finally stopped raining on Sunday, so we went for a walk around St Stephen's Green. I haven't actually been there since I moved to Dublin. One time I suggested to Wes that we go and he took me to the Stephen's Green Shopping Centre. Smart man!

Look at the size of this leaf!


Please forward all our mail to our new address in St Stephen's Green, Dublin

The sun is actually shining!