Sunday, June 29, 2008

My Good Deed of the Week

So last week I had to make a stop at the mall. As I walked from my car to the entrance I passed this.

My first thought was: Seriously? Followed by: You have GOT to be kidding. I circled around to see if they had a handicap pass. I didn't want to assume, maybe someone with a disability likes hiking up into a tank that has a twenty two inch lift. Maybe it's tricked out with a lowering mechanism like the kneeling buses. And hey- many people have disabilities that you can't see, but they need the spot nonetheless. I was so willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. However, I didn't see the pass. So I took a picture thinking it would be a funny story later. Then I decided to mention it to security inside. I doubted they would really do anything, but maybe they could check it out. Good people really do need those spots. And maybe the pass could have been hidden on the dash or something. Still.
Nope. As I made my way out to my car about an hour later I saw this, and had to take another picture. I haven't been this proud in a long time.

Friday, June 13, 2008


We went to Ireland at the end of last month. We did another whirlwind-weekend trip, leaving on Friday and coming home on Monday. This is our Hotel in downtown Dublin. It is called the Fitzwilliam Townhouse. Very charming, but like most hotels in Europe, small and thin-walled. We were on the top floor with no elevator, so we had to really consider if we were going out again before we hiked up to our room.

There is a story that long ago when Ireland was under British rule, one of the queens died. They told everyone to paint their doors black for mourning, but instead everyone in Dublin painted their doors red, yellow, green etc... as a rebellion of sorts. Oooh, dangerous. Anyhow, all of the Georgian sector of Dublin still carries on this tradition of lovely colored doors. Our hotel's was blue. However, even though I've read this story in two separate books, it may have no merit. Who knows. They sure are cool looking. Below it looks as if I've pasted two shots together, but this is just how they look. There are hundreds of them.

This is one of the doors at Christ's church Cathedral. Really beautiful churches all over. It was hard to keep straight which ones where Catholic or Protestant.

Next is Dublin's Castle. Not very impressive, and mostly rebuilt in the 1500's on. We found a cooler one later in our trip.

This the main door at Trinity College. Trinity College houses the Book of Kells which is one of the oldest illustrated manuscripts in the world. It's neat, I guess. You can only see a few pages of it. However, the tour then leads you on to the coolest thing we saw there. The Long Room. An old library room that houses the college's huge collection of rare and old books.
You aren't allowed to take pictures in here. I understand, I also figure that if the Louvre will let you take shots of Monets and Rembrandts without a fuss, I could risk it here. No flash of course. I kept the camera in my purse so the shots aren't very good. But I just had to. This room is mesmerizing. We stayed in there just looking in awe for about 30 minutes. A must see if you are in Ireland.

Here is a link for a better shot:
Or here:

This is the Ha'penny bridge. Named for the toll it used to charge to cross. A half penny. It was the only pedestrian bridge for ages. It crosses the river Liffey. It is just down stream from the Guinness brewery. They claim that water from the river Liffey is what makes Guinness so magical and tasty. Being teetotaling Mormons, we'll have to take their word on that.
By the way, they no longer charge you anything to cross it.
Cool windows. Great architectural details everywhere you look.
Clayton near the river. It was oddly green, and no, they hadn't dyed it for any festivals. Not sure I would want to drink anything made with it...but hey. Whatever works.

Take a good look. Or don't. This is the Molly Malone statue on Grafton street. She is also affectionately known as "the tart with the cart". Poor Molly. Getting groped by tourists on a regular basis. (Note the polished areas?) I had to hide my eyes in shame.

We took a train up to Malahide to see the castle there. It's about a thirty minute ride up and a gorgeous ten minute walk to the castle. Here is Clayton on the path.

And lounging in front of the castle. Nearby we passed Cricket fields with actual games going on. Sometimes you just see the perfect things to make you feel like you are abroad.

Here we are with the castle in the back round. There are something like 300 castles or ruins of castles you can visit in Ireland. Being limited on time we were thrilled to see such a good looking example on our short trip.

Well, our wandering is winding down. Clayton takes the LSAT this Monday and we are back to work and drudgery. Boo hoo. Thanks for indulging us on our blog. We might have one more trip to try, but who knows. We would like to settle down soon too. So expect normal blogs in the future.

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