Archive for April, 2011

Fishing in the Bay..

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Tampa
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Sunday was awesome.. we took the boat out in the Bay!

Richard caught several mackerel and catfish… but, his pride and joy was this 19″ trout.

Brisbee and Oscar seemed to have a good time too… That is, once Oscar got over his motion sickness.  They both attempted to eat the fish that Richard pulled into the boat, and had a great time barking at the other boats in the Bay.  They spent time alternating between lying out in the sun and passing out in the shade.

The highlight of the day for me was the manatee that came right up to the boat!

Overall, it was a great day!!

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Ireland & England Pics..

Posted: April 19, 2011 in Europe
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March 28

We finally made it to Ireland!!  It certainly was a long time coming… booked the tickets in January, and been planning ever since.  I couldn’t believe when last Thursday finally rolled around… one more work day and our trip is here!

Our first night was spent recuperating from the journey… three hours from Tampa to Newark, a two hour layover, and 6.5 hours from Newark to Dublin.  Looking back, it has been eleven years since I was here last.  I was 16, and the sights and sounds and smells have only every slightly changed.  I walked down the stairs on our first morning here, and immediately was transported back to a time when all of my cousins were around.  There were so many of us that a caravan had been rented for sleeping arrangements.  We took turns every night between all the boys and all the girls.  I recall being scared out of our wits with tricks and jokes being played on us… and getting into trouble for not being in bed.  I remember taking horseback riding lessons, walking through cow pastures, destroying the farmer’s bales of hay, we had a great time.

Yesterday, we met up with Merita, Miriam and Niamh, in Dublin, in Temple Bar.  We must have been there hours.. there was drink, food, and live music.  The first show was two guys who played the traditional Irish music, which was very good.  The second guy played a lot of the older songs I recognize, and I requested Brown Eyed Girl, one of my favorites!

After dinner, Niamph was hankering for a night out (she has four kids, under the age of 10, at home) and so she brought me along to a disco-bar called Mantra.  It was much better than any of the night clubs at home, and there was a good variety of people around.  The highlight was a group of rugby guys that had just been promoted in their standings and were a bit of laugh to watch.  I think we only came home at 3:00am, and I certainly appreciated being able to sleep in this morning!

Today was exciting, we went to the fortune teller!  I had never been before and was excited to see how all this works.  The other parts of the family have been before, but I thought it might be more bad news than good news… I am not sure I want to know all that will be going on in the future… but it was actually very interesting and pretty neat.  I will always keep a mental note of what she shared to see how things will work out in the coming months and years.

Mom is in bed now for a nap, and I thinking I might need one myself.  I am not sure what the plans are for the rest of the week.. we fly to England on Thursday and will be there through Sunday.  I am excited to see my cousins there, the last time they were in Florida was for our wedding, was a bit rushed and so it will be nice to actually have conversation and such.

April 4

Well, the trip is complete.  I sit in the Newark airport now, waiting on my flight to Bangor for a meeting in the morning.  I can’t believe ten days passed so quickly, and how much traveling we did in such a short period of time.  We flew to England last Thursday, March 31, and took a train to the village of Littleport in Ely to visit family and I had my first experience in an Indian restaurant.  The food was pretty good, and I think we might try a restaurant in Tampa to see if it is the same.  I was quite impressed with the taste, and was happy to have tried it.  I don’t think Mom was quite as impressed, but it was still fun. My aunt and uncle, two of their friends, three cousins, two of their boyfriends, and myself and Mom made for a fun evening.  We stayed up until 2:00am talking and catching up.  I almost didn’t make it for my haircut on Friday morning!  However, I did… and Eve did an awesome job.  A cut and color was just what I needed, and I am still getting used to having 8 inches less than before..

We went to a second cousins’ wedding on Saturday night… it was good fun.  She had an Elvis impersonator who also did some of the Rat Pack, quite the experience!  We stayed up late again, but it was well worth it.  I met my Moms’ Aunt (my grandmother’s sister) and her daughter, a cousin and his family, as well as many others.  It was neat to see how far the family extends and hear stories from “back in the day.”

We arrived back in Dublin on Sunday afternoon and met another of my Mom’s cousins, Tom, at Clontarf Castle.  There was a wall hanging of what the Castle looked like year’s ago, and it was neat to see the kinds of changes they had made to it, to make it into a hotel over the last few years.

The last two days have been full of bus, train and plane rides to make it back to the States.  Although it is always nice to come home, I definitely had a great time.  I can’t wait to start planning next year’s trip!