Archive for June, 2011

Portishead in Utrecht!!

Posted in SLAINTE! on June 16, 2011 by robdc

Part of the original plan for this trip was to leave Ireland for a bit and meet up with Kerry who had been in Copenhagen. We met in Amsterdam as planned and had a quick bite to eat then I was reminded of a brief moment in Miami right before leaving where they had mentioned a concert going on near Amsterdam while we would be here, I didn’t think much of it until we got here and Kerry presented us with tickets to Portishead! The venue was pretty damn nice and the crowd was as expected, quite varied.


Since Portishead isn’t exactly stuff you rock out to, I was curious as to how the crowd would act, the best description I could give is stoic, rhythmic, thorough enjoyment. The lead singer honestly looked like she started crying during a couple of the more intense songs and Jesus was her performance moving.


Then, after a stellar performance they came out for an encore at the end of which she jumped down into the crowd and made a b-line for us, the guy next to me grabbed her and jumped up and down then when he put her down right in front of me, I snapped a picture then froze, I wanted to say “great show” or something but ,sadly, nothing came out. In a moment where I can only assume her supreme 6th sense for knowing people’s inner feelings jumped into action she leaned in and tickled my belly like the Pillsbury dough boy, I was flattered.


We took some time to let the whole experience sink in on the train ride home, for such an assortment of beautiful and admittedly depressing music the show left us all feeling extremely excited and happy, odd…


The full moon also made for a nice backdrop to the ride home.


That’s it for day 1 in Holland, time to call it a night.




Quick run over to Inistioge

Posted in SLAINTE! on June 14, 2011 by robdc

This is a quick one just to get down a couple of pics and some info on where we went today. We headed out to some more gardens in Woodstock.



Then we headed into the town of Woodstock for a couple of pints, quite the view.



Not much time today so that’s about it for now, should have more from Dublin tomorrow.



Now that’s how you throw a party!

Posted in SLAINTE! on June 13, 2011 by robdc

This was the day I had been waiting for, as much as I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent here in Ireland, this was the the set of events that had most been anticipated. For some reason, which has yet to be made clear to me, everyone split up today. The ladies all went to lunch at a posh hotel, big Noel and Fintan headed to god knows where and John and Mickey scooped me up for a meal and a couple of drinks at Johnnie Fox’s, the highest pub in Ireland according to them. After lunch we went for a drive through the Dublin mountains, I got a shot or two of the scenery and the view overlooking the capital.


Then we got to Liz’s in Enniscorthy and it was time to get serious. We were here to celebrate Annette’s birthday and celebrate we did. The beginning of the evening went as most family gatherings should, lots of light hearted joking and finger foods. Good times.


Fast forward a couple of hours and now you’re looking at some seriously good times. I wish I could put into words the feeling that this group inspires, I have no idea how to explain it, although I’ve only known them for a couple of days combined with the last trip and this one, once you put a few collective drinks in the group they have a rare ability of making you feel like you are a not too distant cousin and this is home. By virtue of being here and having a smile on your face you are welcome and privy to all the fun that is swirling all around you. The following are a selection of pictures spanning from about 10pm to somewhere around 6am, in one order or another but most just to show the mood of the evening.


From left to right: Keara, Little Noel, John, Liz and half of Mickey then Liz, Chris, Annette (the birthday girl) and myself.




Although this is very much how the last night I spent at Liz and big Noel’s went a couple of years ago, I’m still amazed at how everyone here has the supreme capacity to make you feel at home. I can’t thank everyone enough for making this the grand night that it was, I can’t wait for the next one. Happy b-day Annette!



Waterford, all three sheets rolled out

Posted in SLAINTE! on June 11, 2011 by robdc

It speaks volumes to my traveling acumen that I’ve been through Waterford several times and have yet to visit the crystal factory. Today I made sure to remedy that situation. Annette and Fintan dropped me off outside the factory and I headed in, right away I noticed one glaring fact: I was the youngest visitor by at least half a century. I had anticipated something along these lines, but not at this severity. Regardless I headed into the tour and I’m pretty happy about it. The process, although reasonably straight forward, was very entertaining to see first hand.

First these guys get the glass out of the oven (So hot that it has to stay on 24/7 otherwise it would take 2 weeks to get back to its operating temperature) and blow it into shape by hand.


Then this guy marks it.


Then these guys cut it.

Waterford4  Waterford5

Where necessary these guys arrange and do the specifics for one off orders like this Viking ship.


Finally this guy does all the engraving.


The stuff they had laying around was pretty impressive too, considering it was all made by hand by the few guys in the room. The Factory had been reduced in size greatly recently which pretty much assures that these few men are the best that the craft has to offer.


After the factory I met up with the group again and we headed to the only flyover pub in Ireland, Mead’s under the bridge. We had a few drinks and I managed to get a candid shot of Fintan who has somehow remained out of my lenses line of fire so far.



Then we went for a drive through the coast, apparently Keara’s parents bought a house here a while ago and sold it straight away, I’ll have to have a talk with her dad about this decision.


While we were in the pub I saw this on the wall, I gotta see if I can find one for the bar back home. Waterford16

Alright, time to turn in, more later.



We’re up to here with castles, got ‘em laying about the place

Posted in SLAINTE! on June 10, 2011 by robdc

It’s with a heavy heart that we leave Killimor, we say goodbye to the fantastic hosts, the free roaming dogs and the other farm life and head back to Waterford.

On our way back we did stop at a few attractions, first of which was a very scenic lake which gave Keara and I a chance to practice acting like fools, something we do rarely and with great discretion…


With that out of the way we had an unexpectedly delicious lunch at a pub along the road and proceeded to the Rock of Cashel. This was a fortification used to defend rich people from the armies of other rich people until it was appropriated by the government and given to the church since they need lots of fortified places to show how peaceful God is, then it was abandoned and now it’s a place where tourists pay money to take snazzy pictures. Queue a whole bunch of creepy ruin pictures:





Of course being in such a pious place didn’t stop us from the usual poses and jumping around on things:

IMG_1273_tonemapped IMG_1290_tonemapped

In all it was a great day of travel, we wound up back outside of Waterford to have dinner and a few drinks, settle in and call it a day. Tomorrow we head into Waterford proper to take in the sights, can’t wait.

As is common at the end of a long day in Ireland, the whiskey weighs heavy so it’s time to call it a night.

Till tomorrow,


Look at the heads on ‘em!

Posted in SLAINTE! on June 9, 2011 by robdc

I love how the first thing you see in the morning has a way of influencing the rest of your day. This is my view as I arise at Anita and Greg’s place in Killimor:


Yes the skies have been a bit cloudy most of the day, actually, if I’m being honest the weather has been completely insane. We went from sunny skies to rain back to sun then a flash hail storm on our way in yesterday but believe me I’m not complaining. I feel an odd kinship to this place, everyone treats you like family, you couldn’t ask for a better backdrop for your travels and not a soul will ever look at you twice for ordering a rum with your breakfast… Heaven.

Today we headed into Galway, I was excited about this destination for a few reasons, I’ve known it was one of the larger city centers in the west of Ireland and it came with a recommendation from Zane Lamprey of three sheets fame. The city did not disappoint as there were plenty of street performers and the bay made for some very nice views.



As you can see the street art is lively here, which is refreshing. We then took in a bit of pub hopping, starting with the Kings Head and ending at the Quays.



That second picture is of Keara with two of our beyond gracious hosts, Anita and Anette.

The day ended with dinner at Maggy May’s which was absolutely delicious, we then retreated to Anita and Greg’s for night caps and to serve as entertainment for the dogs. If every day were half as entertaining and full of kind-hearted jests as today, my entire life would be a vacation, I can’t thank everyone enough. Tonight I sleep with a smile.



Been doin’ a bit ‘a goin’

Posted in SLAINTE! on June 8, 2011 by robdc

Today we woke up and had a phenomenal breakfast, obviously a staple of life in these parts, then we got on the road. We stopped for lunch along some castle which had it’s very own “Durty Nelly’s” pub, then hit the road again to meet more of Keara’s extensive and insanely nice family.  Along the way we came across a town where Keara’s roots are really deeply lain. Beyond the ancient cemetery with Deely plots leading back to 1621, there were still cousins of Keara’s living in the area who we visited and were kind enough to look through old family records with us and serve us a few beers.

Here’s a couple of shots of the cemetery:



When we got to Anita and Greg’s place I was taken aback, it’s a proper farm, 120 or so cows, a dozen or so dogs running around and one of them had just had a litter which led Keara to lose her mind.


This is just a quick one for today but I’ll be back with more soon.



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