29 September 2007

Dublin Box Lacrosse League

The 2007 Dublin Box Lacrosse League kicked off today with the draft of players.


With the second pick of the first round, Stormtrooper Team Captain Michael Kennedy chose not to pick one of the explosive yet fragile young players available in the draft, but went with wily, dependable, veteran player Chris Arnold.


Stay tuned for season updates as the Stormtroopers crush their enemies !

-Chris

28 September 2007

AlliBlog!


For those of you who havent noticed, Alli became a blogaholic whilst in Ireland, and now has her very own blog !

Allis Blog Link





also check out her website www.alliarnold.com
and
you can view her portfolios at her agents site www.art-dept.com

-chris

26 September 2007

Yes! We have no bananas...

Chris neglected to mention THEE camping highlight. We were so bowled over by Mike's amazing idea that we forgot to take pictures...what follows is a dramatic reenactment.

(this is a dramatic reenactment)

Step One: Get bananas and chocolate.

(this is a dramatic reenactment)

Step Two: Cut a strip in the banana skin, without cutting it off.

(this is a dramatic reenactment)

Step Three: Jam a couple hunks of chocolate into the banana.

(this is a dramatic reenactment)

Step Four: Cover the chocolate insertion site with the strip of skin you cut in step two.


(this is a dramatic reenactment)

Step Five: Wrap these little babies tightly in foil and pop them onto your campfire for about ten minutes (or in your oven if are dramatically reenacting THEE camping highlight.)

Step Six: Remove from oven, remove foil, peel back banana skin strip, eat with a spoon right out of the banana skin. Try to remember to take pictures of the inside of this delish creation before scarfing it down, but don't worry if you forget, I have...twice!!

23 September 2007

Camping in Wicklow

This weekend, Kelly & I went south of Dublin to County Wicklow, to go camping with friends Michael & Patrice.

County Wicklow is known as the "Garden of Ireland" because of its beautiful scenery. Only an hour south of Dublin, it feels far removed from the hustle and bustle of the city.




We found a campground just outside the small village of Rathdrum, 65km (40 miles) from our apartment in South Dublin. If you have ever seen the show 'Ballykissangel", it is filmed in the neighboring town of Avoca.

The campground was right on the Avonmore River. As you can see in the picture above, we found a beautiful spot on a bend in the river just above a waterfall (those are our tents in the background, great location !).
(click on the picture to see it larger)



We were right across the river from the Old Mill (pictured above). Most campgrounds in Ireland close for the year by September. This was the last weekend our campground was open.


The first night was very cold, but we had fire ! It was a bit tricky lighting the fire due to the windy conditions, but the wind eventually died down.

Kelly had prepared tons of food in foil packets for open fire cooking including:
Chicken & Mushrooms
Kielbasa, Onions & Peppers
Apples & Cinnamon
Zucchini, Onions & Olive Tapenade
and much, much more !


Patrice & Michael brought enough drinks for the 15 people Kelly had brought food for, but it was only the 4 of us. Needless to say, we didn't go hungry or thirsty this weekend. (Especially after Michael bought a Stuffed Turkey leg at the store !)


On Saturday, we drove about 15km to Glendalough, site of a Monastic settlement founded by Saint Kevin in the 6th century.


The Round Tower, a 33 meter tall stone tower to safeguard church valuables from those pesky Viking marauders in the 10th & 11th centuries.


The entire area around Glendalough (Glen of Two Lakes) is criss-crossed with beautiful hiking trails and amazing views of the Glen.
The trail I had hiked a few weeks ago, The Wicklow Way, also runs through Glendalough.


We walked the trails for about 2 hours and had lunch at the local burger stand. It was the perfect day trip for our camping crew.


The weather was absolutely gorgeous. It was about 65-70 degrees with clear blue skies. Warm in the sun, cool in the shade....No rain !


Chris & Kelly by the lower lake. Kelly carrying her trademark jug of water as always !


The hike up & around the lakes even brought us past a waterfall or two.

The upper lake at Glendalough. The epitome of breathtaking Irish scenery.
(click on this picture to see it larger, absolutely beautiful)

We arrived home Sunday at around 2pm...now we just have to get the campfire smell out of everything !

20 September 2007

Can you tell?

Can you tell I am dragging my feet on finishing up the "Alli Visits" blogging to keep the spirit of her visit alive? In order to prolong the fun and prevent the post-visitor depression from kicking in full steam I'm doling out the good times and the memories in small doses.

Anyhow, Alli never had a little sister so she's not familiar with the phenomenon of telling a little sister to go do something goofy and then seeing her do it!!
So even though I am older than Shirl (old enough looking to be her mother according to one cheeky fella in Paris - but thats a whole 'nother story) I fulfilled my lifelong role of little sister and did whatever she told me to....and let her take pictures. Sometimes even movies!!

Of course I am always appalled by the results on film and swear never to let it happen again, only to find myself hamming it up for the camera again and again. Here are just a few results.

At TopShop....Shirl had to see me in this one. I must admit I kind of liked it.
Shirl dressed me up as a Mary Kate Olsen look-alike. What you don't know is that I actually have the other Olsen twin in the bag.
Shirl A: "Go be a gorilla."
Chris: "No way!!"
Shirl K: "Okay!"

video

This was supposed to be a video of me crab-walking around on the grass next to the Eiffel tower, but we were laughing so hard I couldn't really pull it off.
And lest you think you've read that wrong....you didn't. I was CRAB-WALKING around the grass in PARIS. Paris, FRANCE.

(If you wanna hear the sound on these vids, you may wanna stop the music playing at the top right of the blog. Not that there's much to hear, just Shirl giving me direction and us laughing our asses off...and the oh-so-silent sound of Chris being completely mortified.)

video

Good times at the market.
Man, that thing could turn on a dime!!
(Hope this vid doesn't cause a crick in your neck.)


No complaints about any of the above though. We had each other in stitches most of the time and I just wanna say Shirl - being your little sister, your sister-in-law, your big sister or your mother is just fine with me anytime. Love ya.

p.s. Alli's started her own blog, it's adorable and marvelous, as expected. Link is at right.

19 September 2007

SilverBack



Anyone see the resemblance?

Other zoo-day highlights:

These monkeys.This lamp post.

This lady on the street. (Click to see her in all her glory.)

This rose.

This guy.
This sign.

Old ladies selling grapes out of baby prams on the street by calling out unintelligible sales pitches.
Tradedmybabyforsomeseedlessgrapes?
Yodelyourbabyforsomeseedlessgrapes?
Onyourowngrabsomeseedlessgrapes?
One Euro for a bag of seedless grapes?
....oooohh!!!

All in all....a good day. Lotsa laughs. Gorgeous weather. Beautiful and huge Phoenix Park.
That day it really was all happening at the zoo.

17 September 2007

Strange Combo

A sign that caught my fancy.

Get ready for Rugby with...wine?

16 September 2007

Powerscourt Estate

Blogger's disclaimer. This post is comprised mainly of pictures falling into the arguably boring category of vacation photos: a lot of pics, mostly of scenic crap, a little light on people and action. In my own defense, we took about 300 pictures between us so I've actually posted very few, the place we were at was indescribably beautiful, and most of the photos I chose for posting are really quite lovely and may even cross over into amazing if you click on the photos to see them in "real" size; try it on a few of them and perhaps you'll see why we took sooooo many pictures. I shall do my very best to keep the pace flowing but a blogger can only do so much when the majority of pictures are of gardens.

Alli and I braved an hour long Dublin Bus ride to the wee village of Enniskerry. We ate lunch, did a spot of shopping...
...then walked a half hour to get to Powerscourt Estate. The walk didn't really look like this the whole way, but this was the nicest bit.
The real draw at Powerscourt are the gardens. We didn't tour the mid-eighteenth century manse, though we did explore the many shops on the bottom floor. (Teehee, I may have even purchased a dress there, thanks Alli, for the girly encouragement.)

To paraphrase my guidebook: The architect of the gardens was a boozer who supervised the construction of the gardens from a wheelbarrow, armed only with a bottle of sherry. He'd bark orders, getting more and more incoherent as the day and the bottle progressed, then call a halt to work around 5pm, claiming a loss of light. Reasonable until you consider that Ireland's summer days end around 10pm.

Drunk or not, this guy was a genius. These gardens have it all: formal and informal, secret pathways, grand expanses of luscious lawn, wooded walks, walled gardens, amazing sculpture, sweeping terraces, ornamental lakes, breathtaking vistas, etcetera etcetera so on & so forth...
Plus it has this sweet, little toothless lion.

Great Sugarloaf Mountain overlooks it all.Oink!The formal gardens are right behind the mansion. Really breathtaking. Everywhere you turn something magnificent smacks you in the head.

There's a beautiful Japanese garden that feels so cool, still, intimate and peaceful you can't believe you just left the grand manor and all its formality. Winding paths, secret grottoes, stone arches, twisty waterways, little footbridges...sigh....
It's hard to pick a favorite part, but this might be it.

Or maybe it was the walled garden. Beautifully messy cottagey beds of wildflowers with pea gravel walks...
...filled with blooms and butterflies...
...with secret garden nooks and crannies...

...and loads of hydrangeas...

...plus espalier fruit trees against the garden walls.
Get a load of those pears!!A riot of chrysanthemums marked the entrance to another section.

Where grapes were grown in greenhouses...
...and the mass of roses were like nothing we had ever seen before. Alli and I were drunk with the sweet smell just standing among them. This picture shows less than a quarter of the rose bushes, each one laden with so many blooms it hardly seemed possible.

Another highlight was the pet cemetery.
So sweet. So neat. So orderly. So devoted.

"Also his wife Magic"
sigh

We climbed up this little folly, named Pepperpot Tower.

And it was from Pepperpot Tower that we spied something not marked on the map. Something we couldn't find an entranceway to. Something we had to sneak over a wall to get to. Something we crept through with giggles and trepidation. A hidden treasure...
That's right people, we broke into The Graveyard!!!

A graveyard with a creepy ruined church!!!
A graveyard with empty tombs!!!

"Where do you suppose the body went?"
It's like a bad Rob Zombie movie.

Can you understand how strange it was to see this quaint little pet cemetery juxtaposed...
...with this horror film setting?
I just wish I had a movie of Alli and I creeping around, uneasily clutching our purses, as if that's where the danger lay!! As if all the undead are after is a new shade of lip gloss.

I am so grateful for the beautiful day we had and for having Alli to share it with.

Okay folks, thanks for your patience. My holiday slid-show is over for the time being.
Now go sleep tight.

-k.