Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Wedding season continues...

A couple weeks back I attended a wedding for my friends Sean and Chrissy. It was held in her hometown of Marshalltown, Iowa. Christina and Harriet stayed behind, so I drove down with my friend Ian. Not much to report on Iowa itself, but the wedding was a good time and I was happy to catch up with people, including some old college friends.

The following weekend Christina had a bachelorette party out of town. It was the fourth time her group of friends held a celebration at the Grand View Resort in Nisswa, MN. I kept Harriet busy with a Saturday morning trip to the SeaLife Aquarium at the Mall of America. Despite Harriet's insistence for the rest of the day that she "likes fishies and turtles", she was kind of scared of the giant fish, sharks, and jelly fish. Above is her clinging to me for dear life. On Sunday we visited the Minnesota Children's Museum in St. Paul. Lots to explore here. I can see her enjoying this museum more as she gets older and when it is less crowded.

This weekend we attended a wedding at Bethel University for Christina's cousin, Alison to Seth (he has the hat on in the middle of the above photo comprising of a majority of Christina's dad's side of the family). Harriet and I missed the, reportedly lively, ceremony due to nap time. When we arrived for dinner Harriet was all giggles for the rest of the day and there were tons of other kids there to play with. She was very enthusiastic about dancing and cake! Check out these moves...

On the dance floor with Christina.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Finishing the Ring of Kerry

I've lost all my stream writing about the trip since my last post so this one is less writing, more pictures.

We hiked on the beach down from the Derrynane House (which we didn't go to). It was a beautiful day and a fun walk. An abbey ruin and cemetery were situated next to the water and weren't accessible during high tide.

 Hobbit-ish house located in the botanical gardens near the beach.

Final day of the wedding tour, the 26 of us pose for a commemorative picture.

Cool looking stone building, now a restaurant outside of Gaeltacht.
Brothers, coincidentally (or not) sitting in birth order.

Dingle peninsula.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Baby Shrug

Here's a little thing I whipped up for little Lucia for her 1st birthday. It's kind of ridiculous, but pretty cute and it didn't take too long. Pattern here.

Lucia loving it.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Saying I do in Ireland

My older brother Dave got married on a beautiful Saturday in Waterville, Ireland. The ceremony, dinner, and reception were held at the Butler Arms Hotel. The ceremony was quick and the different readings Dave and Lisa selected for the siblings to read were well received.

Dave, Lisa and Lisa's older sister Julie listening to the heartfelt father of the bride speech.

The dinner was not quick. In fact I think it clocked in at over three hours. The menu was divine. I also enjoyed all three desserts I had at different points.

Christina and I had a wonderful time. Lisa's family were great hosts and perfect company the entire visit. Above are Lisa's twin younger sisters Amy and Denise and my little brother Adam. We had so much fun getting to know all of Lisa's family!

Dave and Lisa married "officially" on Wednesday in Cork.

In attendance (front to back):  Lisa's sister Julie, Lisa, Dave, my dad Tom, Lisa's dad Denis and mother Rose, my mother Laeh, Lisa's sisters Amy and Denise, Christina, Amy's fiance Eoin, my brother Adam, and yours truly.

This wasn't the officiant's first rodeo. He was proficient with at least 7 different cameras.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Cork and the ring of Kerry 

Hold on to your hats, friends (and internet stalkers) because this post is going to be a long one! After a good night's rest, we went around Cork. I have been there once before, but it was 12 years ago, so it all seemed new. We went to a market, visited the Butter museum and I rang the bells at the Shandon Tower to the tunes of Waltzing Maltilda, Amazing Grace and Don't cry for me Argentina for all to hear.  I tried to upload a video of it, but for some reason it isn't working. It was super fun. Then I headed up to the top of the tower for views of the city.

Shandon Tower bell ringing ropes. Music sheets were on the left there and told you what number rope to pull and in what order.

After this we went to Dave and Lisa's civil ceremony and then to dinner at Kinsale to celebrate. Steve will post about that later. Only so much I can write about in this post.

Day #2- the bus tour begins. Dave and Lisa hired a tour bus for all 26 of their non-irish wedding guests. This was pretty awesome, but it required no planning on our part and they had clearly given it a ton of thought so that their guests would have a great time and see the most beautiful parts of Ireland.

Moll's Gap. Still pretty unclear what Moll's Gap actually was, but it was a nice chance to get out of the bus and stretch our legs. Also the scenery was pleasant.

Toured the gardens of the Muckross House. Lovely day for a walk.

Day 3 involved sights around the Skellig Ring, near our home base, Waterville. We headed over to the Ballycarbey castle, which was pretty cool. No entrance fee, we could just climb all over this thing. 

  (click to enlarge) 

As we drove off from the castle, the driver, despite his best efforts, could not get around a bend because some guy had parked his van on the very end of a turn. The guy clearly wasn't thinking. So the bus gang got out and moved the van about 2 feet, but it didn't help to get us out of there. 45 minutes later the van driver, who appeared to be some sort of seafood catcher, rolls up moves the van. Thank goodness for that or we would have been stuck all day.

Next stop Carhergal fort. From the 8th century, this is probably my favorite ruin of the whole trip. It was so much fun to climb up to the top and the views to the water were awesome. Also just like the shape of it.

Day 4= wedding day. Steve and I rented some rickety amsterdam-esque bikes and explored Waterville a bit. It was a lovely way to spend the morning and the weather cooperated.