When we returned from Ireland, we noticed Ivy covering her left eye while reading, watching shows or focusing on me while I led out in her church school class.
(I had to sneak this photo of her last week. Poorly lit photo, I know.)
We took her to the pediatrician and then to see Tim's eye doctor who suggested she get some glasses to help her farsightedness. She chose her frames (this 4 year-old knows exactly what she wants) and the moment she slipped her glasses on she smiled the biggest, toothiest smile and leaned over to my lap and whispered, "No more blur, Mama."
The Little Girls are very capable of taking care of The Goo while I step out of the room to take a shower, sort the laundry, feed the cat, get the mail, etc... I always wonder how I'll find him when I return a few minutes later. This is the latest; Goo as a girl.
The most charming village in Dublin Bay is Dalkey. Every cottage is proudly cared for, every garden lovely and every encounter friendly.
This cottage had the most welcoming poppy red door.
This home was vacant, I peeked inside. White floors, marble mantel, crown moldings, high ceilings...lovely.
This shop was the first to greet us on our walk from Kiliney, a fantastic boutique with beautifully made clothes and unique jewelry.
The moment I stepped inside this pharmacy, I felt at home. The owners and chemists were so friendly. I stayed for the better part of an hour talking to Nikki (a chemist) who was a genius with regard to skin care. She called me "Lass". I wanted to put her in my pocket and take her home with me. After I left, I tried thinking of other things I might need from the pharmacy just so I could have a more obvious reason to go back into Kerin's and have a chat with her.
My favorite hour in Ireland was when Tim, Goo and I took the DART south to the village Kiliney and walked Vico Road to Dalkey. The train ride alone was such a treat, but the frosting on the cake was stepping off the train to this view and smelling the Irish Sea.
Just outside of the station, our view to the right.
And this lovely house, our view to the left.
The most charming crumbling cottage.
And I loved the stripes on the road signs.
This is where U2 fans make their pilgrimage. Both Bono and The Edge have homes here.
Tim reading the messages left by fans.
A spectacular garden over looking the Irish Sea.
The view south through more amazing gardens.
The architecture of the homes along Vico Road plus the sea to our right, the sun on our backs and a slight breeze, made for happy smiles and lighthearted conversation.
This pup kept watch from above in his watchtower garden.
We counted 20 chimneys on this building, each had at least four pipes on top. Does that mean four fireplaces in each home? Lovely. Still makes me curious to peek at the mantels inside.
I could have done this every day we were in Ireland and been completely satisfied with our trip.
I am a devout reader of Design Sponge and so when we made arrangements to go to Ireland, I could think of no better place to start my research of Dublin than going to the DS city guides. I was impressed by the city guide written by Emily and so I checked out her blog and contacted her for more information about what we should to do on such a short trip. She saved me heaps of time and gave great tips enriching our travel and exploration all the more. On our third day in Dublin, she and I decided to meet up for coffee. We chose a time, she recommended a place and gave me a description of what she was wearing. We had a lovely chat. It was fun meeting her and putting a face and voice to a name.
One of Emily's recommendations was to take the DART (rapid transit) up to the top of Dublin bay to Howth, a charming little fishing village. Tim and I walked out of the station and found ourselves right in the middle of town. I felt like we were on a movie set that afternoon because every shop, pub, boat and sea view seemed intentional, exactly like I had imagined a quaint fishing village should look like.
Fish and Chips for the ride back to the city. I will be dreaming of these from Beshoff Bros for a long, long time.
On our second day in Ireland, we toured the Dublin Castle and the Guinness Brewery at St. John's Gate. I found the relationship between the Irish people and the Guinness institution fascinating. For example (and here comes the history teacher in me), the brewery was founded in 1759 by Arthur Guinness who was so confident in his brewing enterprise, he signed a 9,000 year lease at this location. The Guinness family were great patrons to the city of Dublin, they built housing for employees and poured money into educational institutions. Jobs at the brewery were Grandfathered down through generations; positions were proudly passed from father to son.
The Gravity Bar at the top of the Guinness Storehouse (museum) had the best views of the city, worth the ticket price whether you drink Guinness or not.
I love the charm of Mom and Pop shops like this Butcher and this bakery. I so enjoyed overhearing what the patrons were buying for their evening tea.
I love the park culture in Europe. The Irish use the term for families meandering through the park as "pram-ulating" derived from preambulating, an old word used in regard to women meeting in the park and pushing their prams (strollers).
These little darlings belonged to the Montessori School on Merrion Square. They were playing tag and jumping rope. All Dublin pre-, elementary and middle schools, public and private, require uniforms. I loved each one I saw.
We arrived in Dublin the day after the biggest rugby match in Ireland and we left the day before it's grandest holiday, St. Patrick's Day. Once we unpacked and got our bearings on a map, we set out to make the most of our 6 day vacation by exploring as much of the Dublin Bay as possible. Our first order of business? Explore our neighborhood
by discovering the local market (buy some Goo food) and pharmacy (examine european beauty products).
If you've ever been to Europe or any foreign country for that matter, you know what fun it is to look at the packaging on food items
and local flavors.
I always gravitate to the baking isle, then look at the chippies and finally the candy isle.
Then we walked to the city center
and through the gorgeous Georgian neighborhoods, past all the painted doors and ornate iron fences.