31 December 2008

Western Ireland

These are pictures Ziggy took during their recent trip out West.

28 December 2008

Ziggy & Cindy visit Dublin !

Tampa friends Ziggy & Cindy popped in for a visit this week. They were in country for a week long driving tour of Ireland, as you do. They stayed with us for two nights so we could show them Dublin....and we did !

First stop my standard starting point for guests, Bruxelles, for a big Irish breakfast and a creamy pint of Guinness....yum

Christmas week in Dublin, they got a full dose of crowded downtown including Grafton Street.

We did all the pub crawling that you would expect. Ziggy brought his camera and took a lot of pictures. That meant Cindy and I were in a lot of pictures, so we decided that we should always look like we're having a good time, laughing and such.

Here we are laughing at the Temple Bar

and the Jameson's Distillery

Near St Stephens Green

in Cafe' au Seine

laughing outside J. Grogans

at the Brazen Head

and in Cobblestone's

We even popped in to the Dawson Lounge, the smallest pub in Dublin.

We got to see live music at a few places which is always great.

Unfortunately Kelly was ill during their visit, but we all still had a great time.

Stay tuned, I downloaded Ziggy's amazing pictures from their trip out West and will post some soon.

27 December 2008

Who are you & what have you done with my wife !

It would appear the Irishification of my wife is complete. Not as bad as turning to the Dark Side, but it still snuck up on me.

Now, I admit although I don't have an Irish accent, I do occasionally turn a phrase the way the Irish do. Kelly works in an Irish office, so is completely immersed in Irishness and Irish speak all day. The chickens finally came home to roost yesterday evening.

Kelly: I want some sweets.
Chris: Theres some chocolate in the kitchen
Kelly: No, I want something chewy like Wine Gums
Chris: Excuse me ?
Kelly: What?
Chris: What did you say ?
Kelly: I want something chewy like Wine Gums....do you think the shoppe is still open this late on St Stephens Day? probably not.
Chris: What the fuck is a Wine Gum ?
Kelly: You know, we've had them before...they have wine names on them and are gummy candies.
Chris: Did you say Shoppe ?
Kelly: You know what I'm talking about
Chris: Gummy bears ?
Kelly: Like Gummy bears, they are Wine Gums...you see them everywhere, they are next to the till at every shoppe.
Chris: Good Christmas woman, did you just say "till at the shoppe" ? You mean the Gummy Wines are next to the register at the store ?

Wine gums (or winegums) are chewy, firm sweets similar to gumdrops, except they are not sugar-coated. They are manufactured from animal gelatin, mixed with sweeteners, flavourings and colourings. They are extremely popular in Ireland and the United Kingdom, as well as in Commonwealth nations such as Canada, New Zealand, Malta and South Africa, and other northern and middle European countries. Popular brands include Bassett's (or Maynards in Canada, the UK and Ireland).

26 December 2008

Happy Christmas

This year Kelly & I are both sick for Christmas.....yuck

On Christmas Day we sat around, checking email, listening to Christmas music and hydrating...doesnt that sound fun !

Around 3pm I made the Christmas Chicken and we watched "Its a wonderful life"

We cancelled our cable months ago and now watch all our shows/movies for free through the internet, you can see our laptop plugged into our TV below...cool huh?

Even though we are sick, it was a very Merry Christmas indeed. We had time to think about all our Christmas memories together (17 years worth!) and our childhood Christmas memories.

At 3am Ken & Megan called to wish us Merry Christmas (yes 3am !) and to let us know that they are making a baby Megaken !

(Jesse&Kristina, Fred&Ann, Megan&Ken, Monica&Brett, and us)
That means the ol' Needlepoint gang all have kids now...except us of course.
Must have been something in the water.

I had a quick look through some of our pictures and found some of different Christmases mainly over the last 6 years or so.

Papa Jack and Beanie

Charlie & Helen

Maggie & Michael

Obi-Wan Kenobi & Qui-Gon Jinn

Mr & Mrs Arnold

Grandpa with his two great-grandaughters
Brian Spock, Chris McCoy and Alli RedPants circa 1977

The Arnold/Maddock clan....2002 ?

Aunt Jackie and Dad

Aunt Jackie & giant dolls for the girls

I love the picture below.

Secret hug for Grandpa from lil' Alli

Maryann & Bobby


A couch full of kids

Friends & Relatives....celebrating the holidays

It was two years ago that Mom was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. We all spent the holidays at the University of Florida where Mom had surgery a few days before Christmas. The surgery went well and Mom toughed it out through the recovery like a champ. Thanks to those people at UF, we all get to spend Christmas with Mom for many years to come.

Thats the best Christmas present ever.

Raising 10 kids was certainly challenging, but I imagine at Christmastime it was absolutely crazy ! Kelly's parents not only did it, but did it well. We remember them especially at this time of year.

Merry Christmas Emmet & Rita.

She took the time to wrap every present carefully with special paper and decorations so it truly looked like a magical gift. She made you feel special everytime she talked to you.

Noone loves you like your grandmother.

Merry Christmas Grandma.

Merry Christmas from Ireland