April 2018 - October 2020
Currently traveling
  • Day23

    Home/Random Photos

    May 19, 2018 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 13 °C

    I didn't loose anything, break anything or get sick, so lucky!
    With the exception of the French rail strike, having to change only one segment, all of my transportation went without a hitch. I LOVED Bordeaux and Dublin, could easily live in either city. A lovely trip to celebrate my 60th birthday.Read more

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  • Day22

    Dublin 2.0

    May 18, 2018 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    Irish beer, that I tried:

    O'Hara's craft lager
    O'Hara's ale
    Hophouse 13 lager
    Smithwicks
    G
    Yankee White IPA
    Kilkenney lager
    (and at least two that I have forgotten the names of)
    Quote for the self-guided pub crawl day: "slow and steady wins the race".

    Ireland, like Belgium, has got to be tricky for bartenders/dishwashers. The breweries have a special glass for many of their beers, therefore, lot's of washing, drying and putting back in place. On a busy night at the bar, that must be challenging.
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  • Day20

    Guinness!

    May 16, 2018 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 6 °C

    This might come as a shock but I really don't think I have even had a Guinness before, a Black and Tan, yes, but not a straight pint of the G. I visited the brewery today and I was completely blown away. Magnificent, educational, they did a fabulous job with all of it. Heaps of staff to help you through the beer journey. I even got emotional as I was watching vintage footage of a "cooper" (now I know what that is) making a barrel by hand, yes, you heard me right, emotional! Then came the taste test and learned how to drink this stuff! You first inhale and hold your breath, take a gulp of beer, hold it in your mouth a few seconds, then swallow it while you exhale. This allows you to taste the flavors in all of the different areas in your mouth, and it really worked! Then on to the finale, on the 7th floor, you were given your reward after the tour with a pint of the black stuff at the Gravity Bar, with a 360 degree view of the city. It was happening in the there!

    I then went from drinking, to church. St. Patrick's Cathedral (1192!) was having an Evensong, the members of the church chorus sing the mass, if you will. Got emotional there too, natch. Jonathan Swift (Gulliver's Travels, 1726!) was dean there for 32 years and is buried there also. On his grave in the nave, his self-penned epitaph reads "He lies where furious indignation can no longer rend his heart". Heavy.
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  • Day19

    Dublin

    May 15, 2018 in Ireland ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

    First full day in Dublin and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it. So many green spaces, great city planning. Streets and parks are clean and tidy, people friendly. Not gonna lie, I don't hate it that this is an English speaking country, I don't have to try and fake the language like in Belgium or France. Visited Trinity College ( two Oregon maples are prominently planted on campus, seeds were obtained in 1827! ), alumni include Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and Bram Stoker), Book of Kells, Temple Bar District, St. Stephens Green, Merrion Square where Oscar Wilde's monument is, surrounded by a large concentration of Georgian style houses.Read more

  • Day17

    Brussels

    May 13, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Just scratched the surface but glad that I visited Brussels. Hotel La Legend was perfect, location stupid close to the train station and the Grand Place a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Took a walking tour and would have never found the bar that was tucked away down an alley. It boasts a Guinness book record for most varieties of beer sold in a week, 2000 of them. They have since reduced that to 100, such restraint. Tried my first Belgian chocolate, Galler, a local confectioner that does not export, yum. I found the city to be easier to navigate than Bruges, I could not pull it together there, even with my handy dandy compass. Final word on Belgium, they like to celebrate!Read more

  • Day16

    On the way into Brussels, this happened

    May 12, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 23 °C

    Yet another parade when I enter a new city! This is starting to be a thing. Found out its called the Zinneke Parade and it went down the street where I am staying and continued to the Grand Place, where the floats and peeps hung out to continue the reveling. The parade theme was ILLEGAL. A cultural event that uses residents along with artists that work together to build bridges between all cultures. A very enthusiastic group!Read more

  • Day14

    Bruges

    May 10, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ 🌙 8 °C

    I do believe that Bruges IS "the cutest city in Europe".
    Just adorable with lots and lots of sights to see in a relatively small area, all walk-able. Of course I had to go to 't Zwart Huis (The Black House), where they filmed
    the bar scene in 'In Bruges' and I might have sat at or very near the location.
    I wanted to take a photo but this just wasn't that type of place and I didn't want to be rude. It was a COOL, hip vibe. Took the brewery tour at De Halve Maan ending with a lovely pint of my fav Brugse Zot. The guide mentioned that we would be drinking the unfiltered, fresh as fresh can be version since we were drinking it on-site. It was extra tasty and I could tell it was more flavorful than at the bars.
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  • Day14

    The Procession of the Holy Blood

    May 10, 2018 in Belgium ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    So I just happened to arrive to Bruges on Asencion Day. Bleachers in Markt Square and a bazillion peeps. I couldn't cross the street to find my hotel so I surrendered and looked upon this minor inconvenience as a bonus. Floats, animals, 1700 locals, body tan makeup, wigs, even proper period footwear! Pretty impressive.Read more