Location: Dublin, Ireland
I arived in Dublin on the 30th of March, a day late but safe and sound. I didn't really have much time in Dublin, I got to my hotel at about 5pm and left at about 11 the next day. I wandered the street a little and hit the hay. Unfortunately, I had a bit of jetlag while I was in Ireland, but everything went pretty well.
I left Dublin on the Tuesday, and headed through Kilkenny (stopping at Kilkenny Castle) to Waterford. I was going to head to the crystal factory, but it went into liquidation a couple of months earlier, so that plan went out the window. I had a look around Waterford which was really pretty, and checked out Waterford Castle and a few other sights (castles are a recurring theme of Ireland...).
On Wednesday, I left Waterford and headed for Midleton where I did a tour of the Jameson's Irish Whiskey factory. I am now a certified Whiskey Taster! :) I went down to Cobh next, which was the last port of call for the Titanic. I loved Cobh - it was a really cute little town, with an enormous Cathedral on the hill. I drove through Cork next, but didn't spend too much time here. From Cork, I drove to Blarney, where I looked around Blarney Castle and the grounds surrounding it, and kissed the Blarney Stone (of course)! I drove to Killarney which is where I stayed for Wednesday night.
On Thursday, I drove from Killarney to the Dingle Penisula which was really pretty. There were some great views around here, though the roads were a little windy and narrow. I went through Castlemaine - the birthplace of the Wild Colonial Boy! I stopped in Adare on Mum's recommendation, and loved this town too. It is pretty small, with thatched cottages and castles and churches - just like I imagined Ireland to be like! I also went through Limerick, but was a little wary to stay long because it's known affectionately as "Stab City"... So I drove on to Ennis where I stayed Thursday night.
On Friday, I drove to the Cliffs of Moher which were amazing! I spent a while here, it was the only rainy day which meant the views probably weren't as fantastic as on a clear day, but there were very few people around which suited me. I drove through the rest of the "Burren" on Friday, stopping at various caves and castles and the Pounabrone Tomb, too. I stayed Friday night in Galway.
On Saturday, I made my way back to Dublin via Birr where I visited Birr Castle. I went to the Clonmacnoise and past Leap Castle which is supposedly one of the most haunted castles in Europe. I stayed close by to the airport on Saturday night for an early-ish flight to London on Sunday.
So that was Ireland! I loved almost all of Ireland - Dublin was a little bit too big for a Hobart girl like me, and I got lost driving there for hours on end, but I loved all the smaller towns, and driving between places was really easy and well signed.
More later from London!
Location: Heathrow, UK
It's been another delay between posts, but as I am trying to kill a little time at Heathrow before I fly out to Dublin, I thought I should catch up on my stories...
I tried my hand at skiing one weekend, and failed quite dismally. Christine, Xavier, Leith and I went up to Whistler for a day on 7 March. We caught a pretty early bus up there, and hired skis/snowboards (skis for me). I'd never skiied before, so Christine taught me the basics of stopping and turning. I didn't quite grasp the stopping, but decided to hit a proper ski run regardless. On my way down, I realised that I was out of control, and had to plant my butt in the snow to avoid careering all the way down the mountain, taking out people and wildlife on my way. After that, I rode a lot of gondolas for the day from place to place... Still it was a fun day, and as Whistler is where some of the 2010 Winter Olympics will be held, it's nice to have been there.
I hired a car one weekend and drove to the outer suburbs of Vancouver with Jenny and Robyn. I think I did pretty well to only get one angry shake of the fist when I failed to keep right unless overtaking, and probably only one honk of the horn. Not a bad effort for my first time driving on the wrong side of the road and in another country. :)
Jenny, Christine and I went to the Lady Gaga concert one Wednesday night which was a bit of fun. Leith, Christine, Xavier and I went to a second ice hockey game a couple of weeks ago where the Canucks managed a win after a less-than-convincing start which was good. We also went to our favourite Irish pub for St Patricks Day with Jenny, Robyn, Adam and Sarah.
The weekend before my last week of work (20-22 March) Christine, Xavier, Jenny, Adam and I all went to Las Vegas for a couple of nights. We arrived on Friday night to about 28 degrees which was more than welcome after the high temperatures of 10 weve been experiencing in Vancouver. While in Vegas, we tried our hand at Roulette where I won $35 after betting $1 on number 12, Christine wasnt so fortunate and decided to quit when she was down $60 before it got worse. We also hit the slot machines (Icame out $10.40 ahead on these just chipping away to eventually send the casinos broke). On Saturday night we went to a Cirque de Soleil show. Christine, Xavier, Adam and I went to the Stratosphere lookout tower which had amazing views of Las Vegas. There are also a few rides on the top of the tower (110 stories up in the air) which Christine and I tried out. It was no Disneyland, but was fun all the same.
Sadly, our dodge ball days are now over. We managed to win 2 games in the season (against the same team doesnt say too much for their skills) before we made it to the playoffs. In the first round of the playoffs we were up against a team that thrashed us a few weeks earlier. Not sure if it was the vast improvement in our dodging skills or the drinks that we had before the game, but we managed to win and make it through to the semi-finals. The high of our win was brought down by the fact that Jenny landed awkwardly after a pretty spectacular dodge-and-throw combination and fractured her ankle. The semi-final and the grand final were played the following week. We faced-off against the number 1 team in the semis and although they were far better than us, we put up an awesome fight, and managed to lose by only 2 points!!
So, now it's off to Ireland for 7 nights (would have been 8 if I hadn't missed my flight on 28 March...) where I am going to hire a car and travel from Dublin in a loop back to Dublin to check out the sights.
I'll post photos when I can, but this computer doesn't seem to have the capabilities... Can't complain too much when it's free internet at Heathrow though, can I?
Bye! Love Fee
Location: Vancouver, Canada
So its been a while since my last post! Ive been working lots (more than I would have liked
) and checking out the nightlife in Vancouver on weekends. :) In fact, Jenny and I managed to scam a free lift in a stretch hummer/limo thing one night which was very fun!
A few weekends ago Christine, Jenny, Adam, Xavier, Sarah and I went bike riding in Stanley Park. We hired tandem bikes and took the track around the sea-wall past a few totem poles, beaches, bridges, and an Inukshuk. I got a bit of a sore butt from the seat, but it was an easy ride with a few good photo ops.
We went to a friend from work, Sarahs parents house for a superbowl party on 1 February. There was an Australian playing for the Arizona Cardinals (Ben Graham) and it was the first time an Australian had ever been in the super bowl. So, as you would expect, we were all barracking for Arizona. Unfortunately they lost but it was a close game in the last 10 minutes apparently one of the better super bowls of the last few years.
Aside from that, things have been pretty quiet
- Christines birthday was on 10 February so we went out for dinner at a restaurant in the city The Keg. Aside from Adam having an entire glass of red wine spilled down his back, it was a very good night.
- The Tasmanian Mafia has had a total of 2 wins for the season, and play offs start this week. Keep your fingers crossed on Wednesday night (my time) that we make it through to the grand final!
- Dance classes finished up on Monday night, so I can officially now dance like a Pussy Cat Doll! We learnt a short dance to the Pussy Cat Doll song Whatcha Think About That and Lady Gagas Just Dance.
I have 4 weeks left of work, and 3 full weekends left in Vancouver. In the coming weekends, I plan to head to Whistler where Im going to try my hand at skiing, Im going to check out Victoria/Vancouver Island and a few of us have booked to go to Vegas on 20-22 March. Im heading to another Canucks game on Tuesday night with Christine, Leith and Xavier. The Canucks have picked up their form, so hopefully well see a win. Im also heading to the Lady Gaga concert in a couple of weeks.
With a few more exciting weekends coming up, Ill hopefully have some more exciting posts to match!
Hope youre all well, love Fee xoxo
Location: Disneyland - Anaheim, USA
Last weekend (23 25 January), Christine, Xavier, Leith and I hit Disneyland in California for a weekend of adventure and excitement at the Happiest Place on Earth! It was a very tiring weekend, but heaps of fun. We flew out from Vancouver on Friday night and arrived at our hotel (just across the road from Disneyland) at about 2 in the morning, and got back to Vancouver on Sunday night around 11pm.
We went to Disneyland Park on Saturday from about 8 in the morning til 10 that night. We rode on pretty much all the rides, but my favourites were Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, Autopia and an interactive Toy Story ride. We bumped in to Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse in Mickeys Toon Town, and Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in Critter Country. We also went to a 3D show (Honey I Shrunk the Audience) which was a bit of fun. We stuck around for a water and fireworks show that night which was good too.
On Sunday we went to California Adventure Park for the day. Most of the rides there were a bit more adventurous which is perfect for thrill-seekers such as myself! My favourite rides at this park were California Screamin (a big roller coaster), the Tower of Terror (set in a broken-down elevator) and the Maliboomer which was similar to the Giant Drop in Dreamworld, but it also shoots up really fast. We also went to a musical stage performance of Aladdin which was really good. Unfortunately the Grizzly River Run (a white water rafting sort of ride) was out of action, because I think that would have been a lot of fun!
Souvenirs and stuff at the on-site shops were pretty reasonably priced, but I didnt come away with much more than a Mickey Mouse coffee mug.
Unfortunately Canada doesnt recognise Australia Day as a public holiday, and I was forced to work on the 26th of January. Nevertheless, a group of about 8 of us went to Mooses Down Under pub in the city that night for dinner. I got a steak sandwich with the lot (though I had to pay extra for beetroot!) and we danced to some familiar classic Aussie rock. The pub was packed with hundreds of Aussies but the night was cut a little short due to having to work the next day. All the same, it was a great night to celebrate Australia Day with other Australians.
Unfortunately, the Tasmania Mafia is still yet to notch up a win. The good news is that all teams make the play-offs, so well just have to hope we peak at the right end of the season! I got named MVP in last Wednesdays game for a number of handy catches that I took, so I was riding on a high anyway!
Super bowl is on this weekend, so Im heading to a super bowl party with a few people from work.
Hope youre all well!
xoxo love from Fee
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Last week and the weekend just gone were pretty busy! We had dodgeball again on Wednesday which was fun, but highly unsuccessful. We were off to a flying start, winning the first game, and suspecting that our first dodgeball win was upon us. Unfortunately our opposition (Hot Shot in the Face) won the next 11 games, putting us on the back foot. We won one more game for the night and the all in challenge but it wasn't quite enough and we went down about 20-3 (I stopped counting and I think the judge did too).
Thursday I had dance class again. We added a few steps to the first few combinations, so my dance routine is taking shape nicely! It won't be long before I'm dancing in film clips with K-Fed, I'm sure.
Friday night was pretty quiet. I went out for dinner with Christine (also from the Hobart office), 3 of our new work friends from the Cape Town office and a guy from Vancouver.
On Saturday, Christine and I went to a Donald Trump Institute seminar to teach us how to get rich. We picked up a few handy hints about investing in Real Estate and Tax Liens so we should be rich before we know it! Saturday afternoon I went in another curling bonspiel. This was mainly with work people and friends of work people, so was a bit of fun. My good form carried over to this week (2010 Winter Olympics here I come!) though the Sweeping Beauties as we were known lost the Pool B final in a nail biting fifth end.
Today I went to Cypress Mountain to check out the Snow Tubing (along with half of Vancouver). We caught a bus up the mountain and the views on the way up were sensational. The entire city of Vancouver has been covered in a really heavy fog for a week or so (it's so bad I sometimes can't see the building across the road) but the attractions at Cypress were well above the fog level. The city looked pretty cool with just the high-rises poking out of the fog and it was a really warm, sunny, clear day up the top of the mountain. The snow tubing was pretty fun, they let you go down with a bunch of people which is good because the tubes go faster, but the line ups were really long and quite slow, so that was a shame.
Back to work tomorrow, which will be good to help me recover from my busy weekend and prepare myself for Disneyland next weekend!
Location: Vancouver, Canada
This week has been a jam-packed week in Vancouver!
On Sunday, I went for a wander around the city, and stopped in at BC Place Stadium which plays host to the Canadian Football League team and will be where the 2010 Winter Olympics Opening and Closing ceremonies will be held. There is a sports Hall of Fame museum that I had a wander around, but as it's a British Columbia Hall of Fame, I didn't really know too many people that featured.
On Monday night, Christine and I started a dance class at a little dance studio that's about 3 blocks from our apartments. We've both never taken any form of dance classes before so we're a little unco, but it's a bit of fun and entertainment on a Monday night.
On Tuesday night, I went to my first Ice Hockey game! Christine, Leith, Xavier and I saw the Vancouver Canucks take on the New Jersey Devils. We had pretty good seats, 6 rows back from the ice, right amongst the action. The Canucks were down 3-0 at the first break (they play 3 20-minute periods) and the fans were admittedly a little disenchanted. The Canucks pegged back a couple of goals, and were down 4-3 with only a couple of minutes to go in the final period. They looked like scoring, but took their goalie off to push an extra man up forward, which turned out to be a mistake when the Devils scored again. The final score was 5-3 Devils. Still, it was a very good first Ice Hockey experience!
More dodgeball tonight, and curling and perhaps snow tubing this weekend. Hope you're all enjoying the summer weather!
Love Fee xoxo
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Today was my very first Curling Bonspiel experience! Jenny, Robyn, Leith and I entered a team into a local competition as the Tasmanian Mafia (we were named "The Rolling Stones" but unfortunately so was another team).
The tournament started with a round robin, where we played 3 games with 4 ends each (or 1 hour play, whichever came first). It's a little like lawn bowls, where you count up points based on who's got their rock closest to the jack, but instead of a jack, there's a zone marked out on the ice that you're aiming for.
Although the sweeping was a little more intense than I first suspected (thanks for the heads up, Uncle John!), we somehow managed to win our first game! I think there were a few beginners in the bonspiel...
Getting the weight of pushing the rock to the other end right was a little difficult, especially after a couple of beers, but we didn't do too badly. I certainly improved as the night progressed. We lost our second game, but won our third game in a nail-biting 4th end which put us in division 1 for the finals.
We were one point clear with our opposition sending down their very last rock of the knock-out final, which thumped our rock out of the way and sent the Tasmanian Mafia out of the competition.
I'm also going in a curling competition next weekend, so I'll see if I can put to use the new-found skills that I have!
xoxo love Fee