Trotting the Globe

Joined August 2014
  • Day44


    June 22, 2016 in Ireland ⋅

    Headed off to do a bit of shopping after breakfast then back to the hotel to check out and leave our bags while we explore a bit more.
    We decided to go to see Epic Ireland, a new museum about the migration of the Irish. It covers the Irish leaving Ireland centuries ago up until the present and only deals with Irish who have left & sometimes come back, or who have left forever. I asked why there was nothing about U2 and was told that is because they still live in Ireland. We spent over three hours there. It's only been open about six weeks but is apparently number 22 on Trip Advisor. We've seen a lot of museums in the world but this is certainly one of the best. The interactive technology used throughout is absolutely awesome. It's easy to see where the tens of millions of dollars have been spent but it makes for an outstanding experience. The owner (who used to be the CEO of Coca Cola and lived in Tasmanai for some time) bought the building a few years ago for $10 million and it's now worth $40 million, but he spent about $45 million setting it up!!
    Some shots of the museum, including the exterior of the Epic Ireland chq (customs house quarters)building, an exhibit of convict uniform etc from Tasmania & Paul Keating, who has Irish ancestry. The last shot is of Ron and Aideen, the lovely staff member who we spent ages talking with. Truly an amazing experience at this museum.
    Checked in for the horror journey home, another holiday we have been lucky to have had!
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  • Day43


    June 21, 2016 in Ireland ⋅

    Had dinner in Doyle's Pub and then walked to the Gaiety Theatre to see Riverdance. What a show it was - absolutely worth seeing. The dancing included flamenco, American tap, Russian folk and the Irish dancers were unbelievable. The speed of their feet beggared belief. The music was great and the costumes stunning. The theatre is also gorgeous, with the most beautiful chandelier I've ever seen in a theatre. When we walked back to the hotel we passed several buskers of different music genres playing in Grafton Street. Still lots of people wandering around after 9.30 this evening.
    Some shots of Dublin. The first couple show the beuautiful hanging baskets of flowers outside some of the pubs. The third is a statie of a seaman by the docks and the fourth shows a building with a huge memorial to the 1916 rising on it. The fifth shows the Samuel Be met Bridge, which was built in South America and was brought to Dublin in tact. It resembles an Irish harp. The final shot is of a preschool near the docks.
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  • Day42


    June 20, 2016 in the United States ⋅

    Last day here, sadly. Packed after breakfast and decided to go to the Visitor Centre at the Capitol. It's the first working day of the week and there was certainly plenty of activity around the Capitol. There were oodles of cameras etc outside the Supreme Court, so something was going on and an even stronger police presence in the area.
    Arrived just in time to catch a tour of the Capitol, which was very interesting. We decided to go back to the hotel to check out and then went back to the restaurant in the Capitol for lunch. It was VERY crowded because there were 100s of UK military personnel from all service there for tours and lunch. After lunch we had a look inside the greenhouse at the National Botanic Garden. It was very hot again so we walked quickly back to the hotel and waited for Mike.
    The drive to Dulles was about 25 miles so we really appreciated Mike chauffeuring us!
    We got to the British Airways desk and just after we did their system went down!! It took about 45 minutes to complete the checkin process. Thankfully our luggage was under the limit, which amazed both of us. Had a couple of wines while we waited to board. I had to have a full body scan and the woman doing it the. Had to do a full frisk of my upper thighs and lower abdomen. The scan showed two largish yellow areas, however I was wearing a skirt and sleeveless top and had no pockets In either so I can't imagine why anything would show up. Must admit I was a tiny bit panicked for a minute but then she just let me go, without explanation.
    BA flight to Dublin not as good as the last one and it was very cold on the plane at times. The connection process at Heathrow is excellent - lots of colour-coordinated signage and you can't go wrong. Aer Limgus flight only took about one hour but by this stage I was hungry and thirsty. They charge for everything on AL, even water so we waited until we got into Dublin.
    We caught the Aircoach and thankfully our room was ready so we could shower and rest. I walked to the GPO to post a packet while Ron had a rest and then we went for a walk and had some lunch at Kilkenny's, an Irish goods store. It was delicious and very much appreciated. The cooler weather was so pleasant after the stifling heat of Kentucky & DC.
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  • Day41


    June 19, 2016 in the United States ⋅

    After breakfast we walked down Constitution Avenue to the White House, about an hour and a half walk. We started before the heat hit but it was still hot enough to raise a sweat. It was difficult to get a broad view of it because of trees on the side and the barrier has been moved further back than last time we were here - there are now about four barriers. Throughout the city there are more police officers/cars/vans than I've ever seen in one city, which is totally understandable. From the bottom of Constitution Avenue we walked along Pennsylvania Ave to the Museum of American History, which we hadn't seen for a few years. The Star Spangled Banner exhibit is one of the exhibits that has changed since the multi million dollar renovation. We had something to eat there and when we had finished we walked back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. We caught the Metro to Friendship Heights, where Margaret met us and drove us to the Kenwood Country Club for dinner with Henry, Sam & the children. Had a lovely meal in a beautiful setting. It was all too short and Mike drove us back to the hotel, via the scenic route along Embassy Row. Went for a brief walk before going to bed, leaving the packing until tomorrow morning.
    First shot, the White House, the next three from the Museum of American History, including Michelle Obama's Inauguration gown from the First Ladies exhibit. Next is Union Station and the last is a family snap from dinner.
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  • Day40

    Mt Vernon

    June 18, 2016 in the United States ⋅

    Margaret & Mike picked us up and drove to Mt Vernon, George Washington's home. It was interesting comparing it with Monticello, Jefferson's home, which was grander but the rooms smaller. The gardens were beautiful and the view from the house across the Potomac unchanged since Washington's time. Walked through the kinds to Washington's tomb, then back through the beautiful flower gardens. It was very hot in the sun and a relief to get into an air conditioned car again!
    First shot is the mansion, second is the view across the Potomac, third some of the other buildings and the last two inside the women's slave quarters.
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  • Day40


    June 18, 2016 in the United States ⋅

    Breakfast at 7 when it opened. Love this hotel - it's in a great position, although it's. a bit of a walk to the Mall, but the staff are very friendly, the room is spacious and the 'extras' like all day coffee and water etc are great. Most of the staff are African and always great you with a 'welcome back' when you return.
    After breakfast we went for a walk around the neighbourhood to take some photos. The houses are gorgeous and very well maintained and it's a bit like living locally when you stay here.
    Stopped for lunch at Indigo Landing, by the river. A beautiful spot, very peaceful.
    After lunch we went to the Thomas Jefferson Library of Congress building - what a magnificent building. The ceiling in the dome is stunning and the floors are beautiful inlaid marble. A truly beautiful building. There were several exhibitions on but the most interesting to me was the Jacob Rhiis: How the Other Half Lives, an exhibition of photos etc of the tenement dwellers in NYC. Very poignant photos. We walked to the Mall to the Air & Space Museum. It's easy to see that it is the most popular of the Smithsonians - it was absolutely packed, people everywhere. Walked back through the National Botanic Garden to our room for a wine and to rest our feet as we'd been walking pretty much all day. When we were ready to eat we walked to Eastern Market but didn't find anything there so we walked back to Tortilla Coast, a Mexican Restaurant near the hotel. Really good Mexican food!
    Some shots of the Capitol Hill neighbourhood.
    The second last shot shows the front of the hotel with free bikes for use by guests and two water bowls by the pillar for four-legged guests!!
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  • Day39

    Washington DC

    June 17, 2016 in the United States ⋅

    Beautiful morning this morning so we had breakfast on the deck. The neurosurgeon called and wanted Norman to be admitted to hospital for tests so they dropped us at the airport and then Sue took him straight to the hospital. Hopefully we will find out more concrete information soon.
    We had to take some shoes out of one case as it was 5 pounds over and and they didn't think we would want to pay $100 for the extra weight!! We were well and truly loaded up then and had to check 2 bags at the gate - it's one way of avoiding paying excess baggage fees!!
    Margaret was waiting when we arrived in DC and Mike was parking the car - it was so good to see them both again. They dropped us at the hotel, which is in a very nice, leafy area.
    Went out for a walk, past the Capitol and along the Mall. Had a quick look in the National Gallery before walking back to the hotel to get ready for dinner. Walked to Eastern Market with Margaret & Mike and had dinner in Montmatre, a small French bistro. The area is vibrant and lively and full of ethnic restaurants and some beautiful houses. The weather was perfect for walking - a lovely evening.
    First shot is Norman & I before we left Bardstwon.
    Next is the Library of Congress and the next two are of the Capitol.
    Next is an enormous planter outside the Botanic Garden and the last is a house, typical of the area, we passed on the walk to Eastern Market.
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  • Day38


    June 16, 2016 in the United States ⋅

    Early morning walk to feed the donkeys again - I'll miss going for a walk along this lovely road. Did a bit more packing and went for a drive to look at a new rick house being built just outside town. Then went into Bardstown while Norman was at the neurologist. The news wasn't so good and he had to have another scan so the dr can try to find where the blockage is - could be carotid or heart artery. He is still in good spirits and feels very secure with the neurologist taking care of him.
    Nice dinner of lamb shanks and a Mollydooker red tonight.
    Then bed to prepare for an early start tomorrow.
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  • Day37


    June 15, 2016 in the United States ⋅

    Went for a walk along Froman Greenwell Road before breakfast, fed the donkeys along the way. Norman had an appt with his GP today so we borrowed Sue's car and drove into Bardstown again. Not a great deal to see unless you drive out of town but it was so hot we decided to come back home rather than drive too far. It tried to rain last night but didn't really succeed! We know winter will hit with a vengeance when we get home so we are enjoying the heat while we can. At least Ireland will be something of a transition to the cold!!
    Some more shots of the garden.
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  • Day36


    June 14, 2016 in the United States ⋅

    Norman's first appointment today so we borrowed Sue's car while they went into Louisville. My first drive in the US this time and it was so easy. Her car is fantastic to drive, with great visibility and Bardstown is easy to get around. Went to the PO to post a box home and then to the stores near Kroger's, the local supermarket. The rest of the day was just taking things easy, so it was a pretty lazy day today.
    Norman was told that his vision will not return to normal but it may improve a little. He seemed in pretty good spirits but the most important appt is Thursday, when he learns more about the stroke itself.
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