My life is to make everything around me beautiful.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Hiding in plain sight?!

Most of you who know me know of my passion for storing in plain sight. If not, then read further down my blog and other pages also. Remember the little basket I put all my sealers, grout, Mod Podge, etc. in? Well, another thought came to me today: cover it with a beautiful scarf. I've had this scarf for about 5 years and was wondering what to do with it. Here it is.......covering up the cans of yuck!!

Ireland #2

Continuing with the Ireland vacation...........

We were doing a car tour of Ireland - not one of those tourist guide things, which I do not like. We like the freedom of driving on our own and just catching the "local flavor." We left San Francisco, went to New York and then to London and then to Shannon to start the trip. WE arrived in Shannon; our luggage went to Austria! One of those glitches, huh. Now usually when we traveled I had a backpack with the essentials: bathing suit, extra underwear, sandals and suntan oil. Not this time. I was in heels, skirt, sweater, pantihose (!) and raincoat. The next day at the hotel Jack said to me, "I've been in the same socks for 36 hours." I said to him, "Don't even talk to me until you've been in the same pantihose for 36 hours!!" He was silenced. Finally the suitcases arrived and all was well. We had tried to purchase underwear the day we got there and found out we had no luggage yet, but all the stores were closed on Sunday. That was actually kind of nice.

We went to several places in Ireland but were not allowed to go into Northern Ireland with a rental car. That was fine. Castles everywhere! Lovely people. In Blarney we gave the man at the castle a t-shirt with San Francisco on the front that we had special made to take as gifts for people we met. He was so appreciative that he invited us for drinks at the local pub after his work. I went into some of the shops in Blarney and gave some of the people working there t-shirts also. Later they came into the pub and gave me a beautiful Belleek vase. How kind of them. We noticed that the pubs were very quiet. None of them had loud music playing at all. Just very quiet. A couple of times we would see men come out of the pubs "falling down drunk" and then we'd see some teenagers come along and assist them home. Very gently. Not one of them seemed to take advantage of them. This happened a couple of times. Those Irish are hard drinkers!!

Waterford was a grand place. We watched them blowing the glass and for the life of me cannot figure out how they didn't blow out their lungs! It was astounding. If a glass wasn't just perfect, it got smashed immediately. Broken glass all over the place. I didn't need any glasses or stemware as I have oodles so I just purchased one glass as a momento. This was 20 years ago and that one glass cost me $27.00. I still have it. Waterford store is "candy for the eye"; it just sparkles everywhere.

But my favorite memory of that trip and my last entry is of one night spent on the sea near Waterford. We found the food of Ireland absolutely delicious - especially the potato soup. (One quirk we found in Dublin was that they eat pizza with a knife and fork. They probably thought we were heathens when we picked it up and ate with our fingers! And they have MacDonalds there that tastes just like it does here in the U.S., except the ketchup was a bit different.)

It was late for dinner - about 9:30 pm - raining heavily so we found a little tiny restaurant with a fireplace and on a cobblestone street. There was only one other table occupied. The maitre d' was the hostess/waiter/busperson and, we suspected, the cook also. Absolutely fabulous food. Very quiet and romantic. Then we went for a walk along the sea coast in the rain and watched the waves. Then we returned to the thatched cottage for the night. It was one of the most romantic nights of my life. Just out of a story book: lashing wind, crashing waves on the seashore, rain, fireplace, good food, cobblestone streets, old cottages and shops, my hubby, almost vacant restaurant, being catered to by the "staff" and loving the whole experience. Wonderful.

Then we flew home and 3 months later I grabbed my daughter and granddaughter and we were off to Puerto Vallarta for a week to soak up some sun!!