Wednesday, 27 March 2013

To Galway We Go

The adventures of Joanne and Dearbhla continue... 

This time, back to Galway for a sporting St. Patrick's Day weekend.
Dearbh picked me up after work Friday of last week, we stocked up on goodies and drove straight to Galway, both a bit wrecked after an early start, and a long day of work. 

We checked into our hotel, then headed straight out to the city for dinner and a good catch up.

Look how good she is to perfect breakfast:

Apart from the fine dining at the hotel (see above), we watched the snooker, did lots of eating out, went exploring and of course shopping. There are pretty much no pictures at the event, mainly because I have such a fear my camera will click or flash in the middle of a frame and I'd be escorted out of the building. No thanks. No picture is worth that.

We drove around in a convertible.
First time she took the hood down in her new car and it was 4C outside!
Here she is. (You couldn't see me because I was under two hoods.)
Embarrassingly, we were spotted and later asked if we were 'the girls in the convertible.'

A bit of shopping

One of my favorite stores, Born, is in Galway city (don't think there's any left in Dublin) so I took advantage of that, while Dearbhla took full advantage of her perfect shop.

If Dearbhla could be a shop, she'd be this one.

St. Patrick's Day Fun...
Galway City is a messy fun place to be on Paddy's Day.  From midday, you can see the young people (yes, I am that old, I am referring to 18/19/20 year olds as young people) outside the pubs already well into their 17th March celebrations. Not exactly a pretty sight, but it's only, ehhh, once a year.

Besides that, the city of Galway is so full of atmosphere.

Pre-final champagne reception

Hope everyone had a nice St. Patrick's Day weekend!

Have a good week!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

82. Help Someone Achieve Their Dream

82. Help Someone Achieve Their Dream

I was able to cross this off my 100 Things List last week. It's such a nice feeling to be able to help someone you love for nothing in return.

Happy to say I made someone else really happy!

Best of the best of the best of luck!!!

"Dream no small dreams for they have no power to move the hearts of men"
                                                                      Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

My Weekend in Holland {Short but Sweet}

Two weeks ago, I flew over to visit my Dutch family in Utrecht. It was just the weekend I needed - movie nights, good food, hockey matches, shopping and no work!

It was my first time ever in Driebergen, so I had everyone driven mad with my 'touristy' questions.


I couldn't be in Holland and not come back with a Tulip photo

I thought Ireland was mad for bikes... NOTHING compared to Holland. It looks like there are more bikes around than cars. (I'm glad I don't have to drive over there... and so would the cyclists be)

One of the things I was most excited about was watching Noor play her hockey match on Sunday.
Having been so involved in sport (tennis) growing up, I was SO proud to watch Noor playing her hockey match at such a high level. I found myself wondering how fast does time pass - that little girl I knew out there so grown up, so talented. 

Lunch [before the match]

At the match with Elise...freezing! (I'm longing for the post that I won't have to write how cold I was...bring on summer!)

They won!!!
Homework Time

It doesn't matter where you are from, and how old you are... no one likes homework!

Roos is also preparing to take herself and her beautiful voice to take part in The Voice (Kids) so good luck little one!!! All the way to the top!!!

Picture time at the end of a lovely weekend. Thank you for being such wonderful people and being my extended family!

Vacaciones en Argentina!

It's always so exciting to visit new places in the world, and for an Irish person, visiting Argentina is pretty darn exciting. Growing up, you  feel like it is the other side of the world, that anywhere in South America could take 5 days to get to, and if you do make it, you may not survive it!! If you do manage to go(and survive) it will be a once in a lifetime opportunity. How wrong can this concept be - in every way!!! For me, I hope this will be the first of many trips to Argentina, and who knows when they will be, but I hope in the not so distant future.

Every time I travel, I realize more and more that the world is getting smaller. Airlines are always creating new routes, there are always new competitors therefore lowering the costs of travel, and speed/routes are becoming more direct day by day.
With more people traveling for work/study, you meet people from all over the world, and if you're lucky, you get to learn about their way of life, way of thinking, their cultures and traditions.
The purpose of my trip was for one of my best friends weddings, where people came from USA, Venezuela as well as from different parts of Argentina.
The world IS getting smaller, and we have to take advantage of that!

Reunited after 3 years!

Belu, my very own travel agent, put these together for me so I was ready for my new adventure

Discovering Buenos Aires (by open-top bus!)

For some reason, a lot of graffiti

And more...

Two of the places I wanted to get off on the bus tour were San Telmo and La Boca - both of which I was warned of the dangers before dismounting the safety of the bus.
Not knowing what I was getting myself into, myself and Ricardo (my camera!) began the exploration of the streets of San Telmo. I watched the bus drive off and began wandering into the small streets, trying desperately to remember the way back to the bus stop while also thinking of a quick getaway if I should be surrounded! (My imagination was running away from me the further I went away from the main road!)

It was such a cute place, full of antique shops, small cafes and some nice (slightly hippy) clothes shops. I wandered in and out of them with my camera bag across my body and my can of coke in the other hand.
The pictures above of the graffiti were taken there and that's pretty much all I got, mostly because each time I took my camera out, people looked at me like I had 14 heads. (For some reason, I didn't see any other tourist there at that time.)

The next place I dismounted the bus was at La Boca (Caminito).
After ignorning the warnings, similar to those about San Telmo, I began exploring the colorful little run-down city. There were people dancing, and loud music playing from the little restaurants that lined the streets.

So colorful

More graffiti...this time, pretty cool

Cafes lined the streets

We celebrated Belu and her cousin Diego's birthday

Breakfast brunch

 I met some of the nicest people on this trip. Belu's family and friends were the most welcoming, warm people and I loved every minute of it. With weddings and birthdays going on, the house was 'Grand Central Station' and it seemed like no one slept for an entire week in preparation for the big day!

The Civil Ceremony celebrations - Click to have a look!

Of course there was the BIG DAY!! -Click to have a look!

Irish are known to be fanatical about their cups of tea. Well, Argentina's obsession is definitely DULCE DE LECHE!!! It is in EVERYTHING! Almost every sweet I saw in the stores had dulce de leche inside it, the fridge was stocked, not only with 1, but at least 3 different types of dulce de leche! Of course the abundance of alfajores (yummmmm) -with dulce de leche! It's a miracle I didn't gain 20 kilos in those 10 days.

I also found my new love.... Lagrimas!

Warm milk with a tiny bit of coffee. The only problem : the glass is too small!

I had the most amazing time on this trip and I can't wait to come back again!
Thank you to everyone who made it so special.

Happy Sunday to all!!!