Dublin Trip Review

Friday, August 24, 2018

August 9 – Dublin City Tour & Guinness Storehouse and Brewery Tour 
We started our day in Iceland and a 2 hour flight later we were in Dublin. Another 30 minute bus ride and we were finally at our hotel. Thankfully we were able to check in immediately and dump our bags in our room and out the door. Rule #1 of international travel is to keep going even if you are exhausted! We walked to McDonald’s for a quick lunch and on to a Hop On Hop Off tour. These tours are like most of the HOHO tours. The guide had interesting jokes and some history. We stopped at Guinness Storehouse and Brewery Tour. Thanks to our Dublin Pass, we walked right in…the line was crazy long. Yay Dublin Pass! The tour was interesting, we learned a few things about beer and ended up at the top floor Gravity Bar for our free beer (or soda). I went for soda, Eric had the beer.

After that we finished the hop on hop off tour and had a quick dinner before crashing for the night.

August 10 – College, Cathedrals, Vikings and a Castle
We slept in a bit and went to Starbucks for breakfast. Our first order of the day was packet pick up at the Expo at Trinity College. Trinity was a very cool campus. We walked through the campus The Expo wasn’t really an expo like we are used to but it was quick to pick up our stuff for the race. I bought new backpack…just want I need, another bag. But it is so cool, haha. We dumped our stuff and did more touring. We started at the St. Patrick's Cathedral, then to Christ Church Cathedral, Dublina (Viking Exhibit) and Dublin Castle.  We eat lunch at a local pub. I had a flat iron steak, it was delicious. The potatoes were very oniony, yikes! We swing by the Ha Penny Bridge o our way back to our hotel. Another fun filled day      

August 11 – Rock of Cashel, Cork City & Kissing the Blarney Stone
We had an early morning wake up call for our first bus tour of the trip. We had a great tour guide/bus driver. It was a long drive to the first stop at Rock of Cashel. It was an interesting stop but we could get inside.  We had a quick lunch in Cork before the boarding the bus for the highlight of the tour, Blarney Castle. The day was cloudy the whole day but really didn’t rain until we got Blarney Castle. We immediately stood in line for the climb to the top of the castle so we can kiss the Stone. It was a very tight spiral staircase. Shirley and Betty, our new friends from California, were in front of us. They were so cute. They were in the upper 70s and had some issues climbing the steps. We finally get to the top and it starts pouring. Yep, we kissed the stone in the pouring rain. Ick!  I didn’t actually kiss it, I just acted like I did.  After we climbed down we walked around the grounds before boarding the bus back to Dublin. Another long ride. We didn’t get back until 8:30. We stopped at Ray’s Pizza, a local place for a thin crust pizza…a pre-race tradition.

August 12 – Running Hills, Eating in Church and Stephen's Green Park
Another early morning wake up call for our half marathon. I had a few bathroom issues but thankfully I got it resolved before the race (the port-a-potties didn’t have toilet paper!). I went into the medic tent for some tissue…thank God they had a big roll of tissue!  I started near the back like always. The start was very slow like normal for Rock n Roll races. This race had mega hills. It sucked and my time was terrible but I didn’t care, I had fun.  After finishing, getting a ton of food from the volunteers, a new finisher long sleeve shirt we waited an hour for a tram to our hotel. We met a nice couple from Philly. They actually invited us to stay with them when we come out to run Philly. We aren’t but that was cool. We took quick showers and ventured to The Church for a late lunch. Eric had Irish Stew and I had the roast beef dinner. We had a nice conversation with the people sitting next to us. They were from Austria.  We went from there to Stephen’s Green Park to check out the beautiful green space of the city.

August 13 – More Castles and Cliffs
The last bus tour of our trip was way longer than the first. We had a driver and tour guide for this trip. I can see why because the roads were crazy narrow. Our trip didn’t start out great…our bus driver backed into a car. That was at least a 30 minute delay. We stopped at a Castle, went to see some baby cliffs and the best thing of the entire trip, the Cliffs of Moher. They were amazing. I would say these are a must see and if I had to chose between that and the Blarney stone, the Cliffs win hands down. We had another late return to our hotel. I quickly packed our bags and went to bed…another early morning wake up call to catch our flight.

Ireland was amazing!


15 Years of Wedded Bliss

Thursday, August 23, 2018

2003 Death Valley

2004 Washington DC

2005

2006 Maine

2007 Arches National Park, Utah

2008 Lake Michigan

2009 Lake Michigan

2010 Great Smokey Mountain NP

2011 Chicago

2012

2013 Texas

2014 Greenland

2015

2016 Saguaro National Park, Arizona

2017 New York City

2018 Target Field









Kissing the Blarney Stone

Foul Ball, Rain Delays and Wins!

Sunday, August 5, 2018

It was a week of baseball!

We started the week watching the Twins playing the Cleveland Indians. I exchanged some of our seats for nicer seats down by the Twins dugout to celebrate Eric's 40th Birthday. I really don't remember much from the game until the top of the 8th inning. A bullet...foul ball came our way. I had a brief second to think about what I was going to do. I thought maybe I could catch it but at the last minute realized it would probably break my hand so I throw my arm up so it wouldn't take off my head. It hit me on my elbow and upper arm. It burned like a son of gun but it wasn't too bad. Some kid got the damn ball! The guest services people were constantly by me, asking if I as ok. And then the Medics showed up an gave me an ice pack. I had to sign a form and that was about it. Eric got a picture of me after the incident.

Fast forward to Friday night, the next game in our package. It was against the Royals. Prior to the game we went for a swim in Lake Nokomis to cool down from the late summer day. My bruise from Monday night was in full color.

During the first couple of innings the scary clouds started to roll in. It was so cool to watch:

Well it didn't take long before the downpour started. Just before the rain I saw a Facebook post from one of Eric's friend's wife, Jana, that she was also there with one of their kids, Adam. We made a bee line to their section to catch them in the rain delay. We found them!  We spent the rest of the night with them.

The rain delay lasted an hour and half. The four of us went to our seats as our ticket partners went home. It was an upgrade for Jana and Adam! They played a couple more innings before rain delay #2 happened. Ugh! This one was an hour. By this time, the stadium was mostly cleared out. They actually kicked us out of the upper deck and told us to sit where we wanted to in the lower deck. Adam picked the first base line with the hope of catching a foul ball.  We didn't succeed. We did, however, get on TV:


The game resumed at midnight, way past my bedtime. We stuck it out until the top of the 8th inning. It was almost 1 am. We gave Jana and Adam a ride to their car in Bloomington since the light rail was running a very reduce schedule that late. We didn't want them waiting 30 minutes for a ride.

Our last game was this afternoon. Again it was against the Royals. Not much exciting happened at this game. haha.

The best part is the Twins won all 3 games we attended this week!!!! GO Twins!