Archive for September, 2011
In case you haven’t noticed, John snuck in a post the other day. But he wanted to keep it on the DL so he made a separate tab. Look for “John’s posts” on the top of the home page. Now I have outed him.
Our latest Ireland adventure involved bog snorkelling, which is exactly what it sounds like. Someone got an idea a few years ago to start this competition as a way to promote tourism in County Meath. Now we had the 3rd annual Irish Bog Snorkeling Championships. It sounded utterly pointless and ridiculous. So of course, I convinced John that we had to go and he had to participate. Not a hard sell. We packed the kids into the car the next Saturday and headed inland towards Meath. The bog itself was really more of a trench, but why quibble? There was a bouncy house for the kids, beer for the adults and grilled hamburgers for all. Who wouldn’t like that?
Each person swims individually with their efforts being timed and then compared to other in their group. The groups were men, women and youth. John was set to swim about 12th out of all the men scheduled. He was the only one to not swim in a wetsuit. After his turn he was in the lead! And he stayed there until the bitter end, only to be usurped by the German bog snorkelling champ and last year’s Irish 1st and 2nd place. For about a week after, he kept lamenting that if he had known he was a contender, he would’ve put more effort into it. He had just not wanted to make a fool of himself. So, now we are in training for next year! While I was stoked when he was winning, I was glad that the last few people knocked him out of place. It was already 5:30, with an hour ride back to Dublin and the “awards ceremony” wasn’t until 9pm that night at some Meath pub.( I don’t have any pics of John actually in the bog, as I was totally focused on filming the video, which I will upload here.) On the way home, we saw the most amazing, brilliant rainbow. When we pulled over to really gape at it, as second, lighter rainbow appeared and made a double rainbow.
Another weekend, we decided to head to Glendalough (pronounced Glen-da-lock). It’s a picturesque area in the mountains that has some famous ruins. When we left Dublin, it was raining. But if you let rain in Ireland keep you home, you’ll never leave the house. So we pressed on. By the time we got there, it was torrential, with no signs of stopping. After waiting a bit, we drove off the main drag and ate our picnic lunch in the car. We parked in front of a much smaller set of ruins. After eating, the kids decided to get out and tromp around, rain be damned. John got a picture of Sophie that should be submitted to the tourism board, “come visit our ruins!”. Ha!
Headed away we noticed a dirt road that no one without a 4-wheeled drive would attempt. So, we headed down it. It was good and bumpy and great fun until the road literally ended into a hiking path. So, we headed back. But happy to have an adventure even in the rain and certainly one we wouldn’t have had sitting at home on the Ikea couch.
One of my Friends, who will remain nameless, makes an excellent home brewed hard cider. He will remain nameless as I wouldn’t want him to get into any trouble since that would cause my cider supply to dry up. In order to contribute to the production and flow of cider I volunteered the services of my minions to pick apples, and my truck to haul them back to Dublin. Their family has a beautiful house out in the Wicklow mountains where you can see the sea in between two of the valleys and the hillsides are out of a magazine. All together, it was a brilliant Irish day, a “soft day”, as they call it here. It really just means a day where it constantly pisses rain/mist. Needless to say, my kids loved it! Everyone got wet, and John was barefoot within about 10 minutes. Lincoln and my friend’s son Michael got on great. Michael is ~16 and didn’t start talking until he was 3. According to his dad he hasn’t shut up since. A perfect match for the Lincolnator. They competed for air time for about an hour, but I think Linc won in the end. I’m not sure how many of Lincoln’s apples made it into the baskets as he was more interested in throwing them all over the place. Every apple he picked up was a “bad apple” which needed to be tossed. I think the only bad apple was the one tossing all the GOOD apples into the bushes. John and Sophie meanwhile were hard at work picking and throwing apples and dodging wasps. All in all, it was a great day to be out in the rain. I think we picked enough apples for about 200 liters of cider. Here’s to hoping I see some of that and finish the internal processing portion of the hard cider lifecycle!
Some Upcoming Posts – Bog Snorkeling, Off-roading, and other Irish Diversions!