May 23, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Did not make the same mistake again for Day 2 in Dublin and was up by 8. This allowed us to have breakfast at Gordon Ramsey again.
And since we knew exactly where to go the drive into Bray was much much easier. And it was Saturday morning so no one was out and about. We rode the DART to Pearse Station in Dublin, around 40 minutes or so. From there it was a quick walk to Trinity College. I really wanted to get there by 9:30 when the Book of Kells exhibit opens. Got there just after 10 am however. Look at the line ahead of us.
Now check out the line after we left at about 11:15 or so.
Yup. Get there early or don’t bother. Seriously.
Anyhow back to the exhibit. You wait in line to enter and pay a cashier. €9 per person I might add!
From there you are shepherded through a one-way, no exit, exhibit with massive blown up photos of the Books. There are actually 4 total, 1 for each of the Gospels of the New Testament. No photos are allowed so you’ll just have to trust me when I say for a girl that loves the written word as much as I do, loves history as much as I do and was looking forward to nothing else in Dublin so much as this that I was unimpressed. I wanted to be impressed, I tried. But honestly they had other books in their collection on display that were more interesting and older! I think it is because they have only 2 books on display at any given time, one turned to a written page and one turned to a graphic page. You see more in photos of the books various pages. And that doesn’t include the massive herd of people around the display case.
My vote? Not worth it for the book. But it is worth a visit for the Old Library’s Long Room! Now that I was impressed with. A book lover’s dream!
Once you are done with the Book of Kells there is a staircase in the same black room. You have to go up the stairs to exit. At the top you encounter the Long Room. Do you recognize it? That’s right I geeked out not just visiting an awesome library but I was visiting on May the Fourth. Star Wars Day! And this library, in a digitized form, bears a striking resemblance to the Jedi Archives used in Episode II. Lucas says it wasn’t but I, like a lot of people, don’t believe it and never have. It’s the library.
This is not only massive but beautiful. I could take pictures here but with no flash and honestly for as bright as it was my pictures turned out poorly. I am not sure why but I had trouble both with my camera and my iPhone. My mother’s didn’t turn out at all. I am still going to share!
Down the center of the room are display cases filled with old books and manuscripts. All of which proved more interesting than the Book of Kells.
Off to the side is an non-descript display case containing this:
It is Ireland’s oldest and finest harp and their national symbol. Often called the Brian Boru harp though it dates to a time much after him. It could not be captured in pictures adequately but this is stunning.
After seeing everything I wanted to I went down a flight of stairs in the center of the room that pops you out into the shop. So of course I spent a bunch of money on things like postcards of the items I had just seen (I knew my pictures were bad) as well as jewelry and the like.
From there we walked to the next Hop-on Hop-off stop and waited for the next bus. We ended up getting the best guide EVER! Their buses have either prerecorded audio (for those that need another language besides English) or live tour audio. He was a live guide and so everything was said with his unique spin. I have no idea what his name was, nor did I take any video and I should have! He called everyone a Dipstick. At some of their better stops they have guys selling tickets for the bus. At one such stop he was trying to get the attention of the guy working the stop. He called Tommy several times very loudly then muttered “Tommy, you dipstick!” Bad drivers, and there are loads of them in Ireland as everyone follows way too damn close, were all dipsticks that needed to get out of his way. He called Dublin “Doob-linn”. A few others I met did too but his was noticeable. A blonde woman got on on one stop and he called her blondie. When she got off a few stops later he said something like bye-bye blondie and then under his breathe (as much as you can when you have a microphone strapped to your mouth) “probably peroxide but what do I know?”. He was a total hoot! I was sad getting off but each trip around is about 1 hour and 15 minutes and we were burning daylight oil.
So reluctantly we got off at the Guinness Storehouse. This was basically a very expensive brewery tour. Very expensive! With a 10% discount from our Hop-on Hop-off tickets it was €31 for 2 people! Even with a free pint on each ticket that is insane! All self-guided so you go in, get a bit of an introduction of Guinness and check out the original 9,000 year lease for the property embedded in the floor.
Video of the waterfall inside emphasizing how important water is to the beer, you do walk under the waterfall before walking around it and over it to get to the second floor:
Then you walk through, one way, a 7 story open air structure. Each floor is something different about Guinness and it’s history. I am scared of heights, did I mention that? By the time I got to the top I was terrified!
From the advertisement section. Why yes, yes it is.
But look at that view from Gravity Bar!!!
There is a bar where they teach you how to pour a proper pint but it is loud enough that you can learn without actually doing it. And besides the line was insane. I decided to just go to the top for mine. And I took video of of it too.
It was crowded but the views were stunning! A proper pint of Guinness at Guinness Storehouse with this view? Beats having a Guinness in Temple Bar right? Besides we already knew we were going to do dinner at the hotel pub that night. And while it is a hotel pub my experience is that hotel bars aren’t that much different than normal bars so I figured I was good with the two combined.
There was a group of guys singing as well, just because. The video sound sucks a bit but give it a shot, hopefully you can hear them ok.
Oh and did I mention it was crowded?
I loved this place. Still not sure it was worth the €31 but eh. Oh and I should add nearly everywhere I ordered a Guinness the price was about the same, €5, give or take. Even here if I wanted to buy another one beyond my freebie.
Once done with my pint I headed down via elevator (that was scary as hell since it was all glass down 7 stories but quick) and did some massive shopping in the gift shop. I brought home some whole grain mustard infused with Guinness that just totally rocks. They had just loads of different things. I picked up an ink pen with a bottle opener in the side for instance.
From there we were both tired and decided it was time to head back, slowly, to the hotel. So we caught the next Hop-on Hop-off to St Stephen’s Green. Incidentally I strongly recommend the red Hop-on Hop-off bus (there is red and green, different companies). We got 2 days worth of transportation for about $23 a person plus some great sites and tour guides. Whenever I go anywhere in the future I will definitely look up these buses to see if I can get such a great opportunity again.
From the bus: Georgian Square
From the bus: Christchurch Cathedral
The Viking Splash Tour “Bus” which hits the Viking highlights. Check out the horns!
St. Stephen’s Green
We walked through the park a bit to get to Grafton Street. Of course since it was Saturday it was packed with people. Dublin in general was packed. That wears you down quickly. At least me, an introvert.
We walked up Grafton Street with the idea to do some shopping. But my mother was done spending money and not really in the mood. All the people there killed any I had left.
Breakfast had tided us over but due to Bewley’s Oriental Café being right there on Grafton St I wanted to go in. Bewley’s is a major tea company and sold much of the tea I ended up bringing home. We couldn’t even really get across the street to visit nevermind how packed it was inside. So we ended up just walking by.
Lots of street performers of course.
The Tart with the Cart otherwise known as Molly Malone.
Walked the length of Grafton, oogled major stores I have desperately wanted to go in but walked to Tara Station to take the DART train back to Bray.
These two were so funny! Total strangers sat down next to each other on the DART and started chatting like old friends. They talked about all sorts of stuff including politics, taxes, etc. Very amusing to listen to for about 30 minutes or so before they both got off.
We arrived back at the hotel around 4:45-ish or so. After a bit of relaxing, Facetiming with my husband (he was having breakfast) and the like we had dinner in the hotel pub (this meal was part of our package so this was pre-planned). It was a busy weekend for the hotel staff though. Several weddings and parties going on and the pub is right next to the ballrooms which made for a string of wedding guests coming in, just like any hotel wedding.
And yes this Guinness tasted exactly the same as the Guinness I had earlier in the day. My summation is that all Guinness tastes exactly the same if poured properly.
After dinner I went swimming in that beautiful beautiful pool again. Then it was some TV and bed.
May 21, 2013 § 4 Comments
I had decided to lump in both days in Dublin in one blog post just because it would have made it easier to find in the future. But it makes for one heck of a long blog post so this is just the first day in Dublin.
We visited Dublin on Friday May 3 and Saturday May 4. Museums are mostly (though not entirely) closed on Mondays. And the following Monday was a bank holiday anyway.
So I must have been tired or something as I got up late. 9:30 am late. Not happy about that. I had woken up around 5 or 6 am but went back to sleep. Being that late meant we had missed breakfast. So we got dressed and headed to Bray. And promptly got lost. Those small Irish town streets! Eventually we figured it out though. Took awhile. And you must pay for parking everywhere via coin machines on the street that spit out a receipt with your time. You place this on your dash. Even the grocery store as it turns out (found that out a couple of days later)!
From Bray we took a train into Dublin, about a 40 minute ride. Admittedly a great view of the ocean along the way.
Once we got to Dublin I used the most amazing app to get around. It is an offline GPS map that not only tells you where your are but what direction you are facing, hours and placements of tourist attractions and even has an augmented reality to point out what you are seeing through your camera. It is called Mtrip and they produce guides for lots of cities across the world (at $4.99 a pop) which are totally offline. I have never worried about anyplace in the USA as I have my iPhone available but this was amazingly helpful abroad! Now I may just use them in the USA as well. I strongly recommend their apps when visiting somewhere. Best $5 I spent on the entire trip! Checkout the demo on the website.
So we walked to the National Museum of Ireland. Out front is a map of the area and while looking at it we had a helpful Irishman point things out to us. He then told us several stories about working for the museum, most of which split along class/religion/caste lines. Very interesting fellow!
The museum was a fabulous experience. This is where most of Ireland’s national treasures are stored like the Tara Brooch:
Or the various bog mummies that have been found:
Yes, that’s red hair on his head.
After the museum we walked to St. Stephen’s Green to find the nearest Hop-on Hop-off bus stop. Waited a bit then got on the bus so we could visit Kilmainham Gaol. We arrived about 2:30-ish but got into the 3:45 tour. Until then it was checking out the museum pre-tour area which told you all about the people, the building, the prison system, etc. This was a revolutionary Georgian jail, the top of its class at the time it was built. It is also where Irish rebels for hundreds of years were stored and eventually shot, the children and the poor for stealing during the Hunger (the youngest was 5 years old!) and a great source of “remembering” for the Irish.
Click on the photos to read some of what the signs say. Very interesting stuff.
Plus we grabbed a bite to eat in the upstairs cafe. This eclair was not sweet! It was just a tiny bit sweet. Perfect. Along with a high fructose corn syrup-free Coke. Tasted so much better than our soda, so much less sweet!
Then it was off for the tour of the jail by a lovely Irishman named Patrick. The rebels in the Easter Rising of 1916 were killed 97 years ago the week we were there. a very sobering and awe-inspiring place. If you have a chance to visit Dublin do not miss this!
This was were the 1916 rebels were shot. There are no bullet holes because they were lined up against sandbags.
We were done about 4:45 and just managed to catch the last Hop-On Hop-Off bus back towards the city center. We got off near Ha’Penny Bridge on the Northside and walked across to Temple Bar.
These are more of those same “Locks of Love” that you find in many major cities in Europe (here in the USA too). The idea is you write your name and that of your love on the lock, maybe a date, lock it to the bridge (something not going anywhere) and throw the key in the water never to be found. Eh. I think it’s an interesting idea but I would never do it. I’m not one for carving our names in a tree either though!
We absorbed a bit of Temple Bar and then had dinner at Gourmet Burger Kitchen right in Temple Square.
I had the Wellington burger – grilled mushroom, horseradish, rocket and mayo with chips and smoked chili mayo to dip plus a high fructose corn syrup-free Sprite. One thing I loved about being there was mayo offered with all the fries/chips! I love mayo with my fries/chips and it’s not an easy thing to get in the States for some reason. Anyhow it was utterly fantastic!
From there we walked a bit further into Temple Bar and went into the Temple Bar Trading Co. tourist shop. Lots to buy. Got my husband a hat he is utterly in love with.
We ended up being too tired, especially since we were an hour and fifteen or thirty minutes from the hotel so no pub. That’s right. I was in Temple Bar in Dublin mere blocks from the oldest pub in the world (the Brazen Head – the red & brown building in the center of the photo with all the flags as I saw it from the bus earlier that evening) and I didn’t go in or have a Guinness.
I don’t feel like a failure though as I am not a bar person at home. I get claustrophobic easily and overwhelmed with all the people. And Friday night in Temple Bar on a bank weekend? Yeah it was crowded. And pubs just don’t interest me enough to put up with that. Besides I righted – and topped – this failure the next day.
We ended up deciding we were done (and besides we honestly thought we would be back in Temple Bar the next day – which didn’t happen) so we walked to Tara Station and took the DART back to Bray. We ended up back at the hotel about 9, which means it was too late to go swimming. Watched TV, messed around on the internet, Facetimed my husband and then it was bedtime.
Up Next: Dublin Day 2
May 16, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Before I go any further I strongly recommend that you all check out my mother’s Flickr stream set as well as mine. She took some amazing photos. Not everything is up there yet (just Glendalough and the Giant’s Causeway) but she focused on entirely different things than me. And of course I am not posting anywhere near the amount of photos I actually took (I came home with about 1350 or so).
Now we woke up early due to going to sleep early. No surprise there! Besides we needed to be on the road. It was just about 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 hours to the Giant’s Causeway from our hotel.
But first the breakfast buffet at Gordon Ramsey’s. Lots of traditional full Irish breakfast items. I still dream about this breakfast.
There is wine poached pears, scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, prosciutto sausage, black pudding, a scone and a croissant. And yes I actually like black pudding, I have had it before. I am not sure where to get it here at home as I have always had it on vacation in other parts of the USA. Sad considering how many Irish settled in this part of the US. Including my ancestors.
From there it was time to drive north. A pleasant drive. The beautiful thing about driving anywhere in Ireland or Northern Ireland is all the signs! Signs for everywhere and easy to follow! Not at all like the US.
The beautiful part of our drive just surprised the hell out of me. We drove up near Portrush, which is on the northern coast, popped out over a hill and BAM ocean. It was absolutely stunning!
We drove along Dunluce Road/the Giant’s Causeway Road just a few kilometers (Portrush is like 10 miles from the Giant’s Causeway) and found the visitor’s center easily. Again, lots of signs!
Once you pay to get in there is a little cafe (didn’t eat, no idea if the food was any good, but it looked good), a gift shop, a diorama of the coastline and interactive displays explaining the history, cause and anything else you could want to know about it.
I won’t bore you with the science but I will say this. Yes, this is a natural phenomenon. It’s what happens when lava is allowed to cool slowly and evenly. These are natural basalt pillars and they crack both vertically and horizontally. At least according to the tour-guide I eavesdropped on because I was too cheap to pay for a tour! They do give you free audio guides but I have never been one for those so I bypassed it entirely. And this is a large example of it but there are formations like this all around world.
Instead I took photos and video.
To give you a better idea of how everything is laid out there on the coast check out this YouTube video. A £1 bus ride (each way) will take you down there and back. But it is only a 700 meter walk down a hill from the visitor’s center to where the bus drops you off. It was much easier to walk down and hitch a ride back up.
I absolutely loved this place! Definitely my favorite of everything we saw, even the Cliffs of Insanity…er…Moher. I strongly recommend the visit if you are in Ireland. And don’t let people talk you out of it just because it is 4-ish hours from Dublin OR in Northern Ireland (which means a whole different form of currency, etc.)
After we got nice and cold (it was in the 40s, raining and windy so we got cold quickly and it wasn’t the full stay I wanted as a result) we headed back to the visitor’s center to see if there was anything else we wanted.
Then it was onto Dunluce Castle. Originally we were going to tour the castle but it was too damn cold. Period. So we took a few photos and moved on back towards Belfast.
We drove around Belfast a bit trying to get our bearings and/or find a place to eat. We were too late to do the Titanic museum unfortunately. It would have been interesting. And it was the after work crowd so the streets were packed which means I didn’t get to see any of the Troubles graffiti either.
Ultimately we found a takeaway that seemed popular with locals and ordered fish and chips. Oh, this was very good!
From Belfast we drove on towards our hotel, stopping in Newry. Newry is the last major town/city before you hit the invisible country line between the UK and Ireland. Time to blow the rest of my Sterling Pounds as I wasn’t bringing them home with me or exchanging them. I just hadn’t brought that much! So we got gas and I bought a bunch of junk food. That’s the way to blow cash, right? It was there that my mother ran into a helpful local who informed us that “if you want to party you go to Dublin, if you want a view you go West and if you want trouble you go to Belfast”! And I saw my only Troubles-related graffiti.
Once we got back to the hotel a little before 8 we went swimming in that beautiful pool. Then it was TV and bed, exhausted.
Up next: Dublin!
May 14, 2013 § 4 Comments
Since I already covered my NYC adventure time to move onto Ireland itself!
I hated the flight there. And I hated the flight back! Just no leg room. And both times I was near the window and trapped behind someone who would not put their seat up during the whole flight. They both had to be reminded by the flight attendant so I could eat. Yeah. Terrible. For about 6 1/2 hours (less going there than coming coming home).
But having food on the flight was interesting. I haven’t had actual food, a meal, since 1997 or so. I had forgotten all about food. Sad huh?
Anyway we left NYC a little after 9 pm local time and arrived in Dublin just before 9 am local time. Customs was a breeze. Though I did get in the wrong line. I was just following everyone and didn’t see the signs for the EU passport vs All passport lines until it was too late. No stamps in the EU line. For those, like myself, never having been abroad I will say it was super easy. Basically 2 questions after they looked at my information card (a note card with your name, passport number, where you are staying in Ireland, etc.) from a super grumpy dude – “business or pleasure?” and “how long will you be here?” Then they stamped my passport and on I walked to get my luggage. Easy peasy. Definitely nothing to fear. Customs coming home was worse. And even that was easy.
Anyhow ran to the nearest restroom (TMI I know but true and urgent!) and then waited for my checked suitcase to arrive on the belt. It took a very long time before suitcases even arrived, nevermind mine. Considering how early we checked in it had to have been one of the first loaded onto the plane. Let’s just say I had plenty of time to do a lot of things.
We then trekked to the rental car counter and picked up our vehicle from Dan Dooley. It was a Nissan Micra. And definitely one of the tiniest cars I have ever encountered!
Turns out they offer a Wi-Fi enabled vehicle. We turned it down (additional €10 a day) but honestly I should have done it. It would have been awesome to have Wi-Fi anywhere we went since neither my mom nor I got the international phone and/or data plan on our cells. I rely on Google Maps in my everyday life even though I can read a map. It would have been fantastic. But instead we were cheap and I read an atlas the entire time I was there. I updated my personal Facebook each night at the hotel. It worked (most of the time, but we did get lost spectacularly in Bray looking for the DART Train Station) but I missed my iPhone and access to the internet so very much!
To say we were exhausted is an understatement. Not much sleep on the flight. But driving on the opposite side of the car and road was enough of a wake-up let me tell you! Not hard but something to get used to. We drove south to Enniskerry (about 1 hour from the airport) and to the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt.
I will highlight all the pro and cons of the hotel (and other services/experiences) once I’m done sharing the adventures I had for those that would like to know but for now I will just say that I liked it and hated it for a number of reasons. They were very accommodating on our early arrival however. We got there about 11:30-ish and only waited about 30 minutes for our room to be ready. I nearly passed out in the gorgeous lounge though!
We had a suite room on the courtyard side and while beautiful the view wasn’t as impressive as the mountain side. They know this of course and charge accordingly. I stupidly didn’t take a picture of the courtyard view but let’s just say it doesn’t compare to this:
The room was a fantastic way to spend a vacation. The curtains, the lights and the temperature are all controlled by touchscreen, with 3 of them situated in the suite including one in the bedside table.
If you would like to see a few more check out my Flickr stream.
I unpacked a bit and then took a bath and a nap. I desperately needed them both. My mother did the same.
In the afternoon we got dressed and investigated the hotel at bit. The pool was to die for and definitely is one of those cases of being better in person than in a photograph. It had no gutters and was a zero entry. I have never seen anything like it. And the chemical smell was very very low. Within it were black and dark brown tiles as well as Swarovski crystal lights that reflected the ripples of the water back unto the ceiling. Just an amazing pool to swim in. It hit me about halfway through my visit why they designed the pool this way. Dublin began as a Viking settlement and it’s name is anglicized Viking/Gaelic for Dubhlinn which means “Black Pool” (It was founded on a black pool of water originally). Whoever designed the pool did a fabulous job.
We headed out in the car on back roads to visit Glendalough. I had hoped we would get there in time to visit the visitor’s center but no such luck. So instead we wandered around the nearly abandoned ruins. I think there were maybe 6 people there besides us.
Do you think that’s a ghost in the image below?
As always lots more on Flickr. And of course I took video. I took a lot of video while in Ireland.
Afterwards we wandered towards Wicklow trying to find somewhere to eat (should have just eaten at the restaurant inside The Glendalough Hotel just next to the monastery). But ultimately ended up driving north towards Bray (a larger town next door to Enniskerry). We couldn’t find parking (and after spending several days in Bray I am not surprised in the least but it was frustrating at the time). And decided just to go back to the hotel and have dinner there instead. It is a Ritz-Carlton with a Gordon Ramsey in house so the food was good, always good, the entire visit. I ordered the lamb shank with potatoes, root veggies and a Guinness.
I pretty much ordered a Guinness with every meal I could while in Ireland. *shrug* I happen to like Guinness so it was easy. Besides I was in Ireland. I will say they all tasted exactly the same regardless of where I got it. Even at the Gravity Bar at Guinness Storehouse. And they all tasted just like a decently poured pint here in the States. I wish I could say they were better in Ireland but honestly I think Guinness works very hard at ensuring that their beer tastes the same everywhere.
After dinner it was TV, Internet and bed. The hotel carries only a few tv stations and they have a mix of International ones – major USA stations, major UK ones, a couple German ones and a few Spanish ones. There was never anything to watch but the commercials were better and more interesting than here in the US.
Up next in Part 2: Northern Ireland & the Giant’s Causeway
May 9, 2013 § 1 Comment
Three countries, 6 flights, 6 different airports, approximately 10,600 flight miles, around 2,000 driving miles, lots of airplane and airport food, nearly 2,700 photos, 2 extremely uncomfortable international flights, 1 matchbox sized car with plenty of leg room, lots of postcards, lots of commercial candy, and lots and lots of tea.
I am trying to weed through all my photos and get stuff situated (I am uploading ALL of my photos to Flickr so my mother can take what she wants from me but I will be posting my favorite photos with the full story starting this weekend). I promise. For now I am still trying to kick the jetlag. That stuff is killer! And so much worse for me coming home than going the other way for some reason. And I have about 2 weeks worth of tv filling up my DVR. I promise to post very very soon!
And as for the title of this blog post – I have always hated the leg room and seat room on a Southwest flight. Those seats are 1st Class compared to Coach on an Aer Lingus flight. I think I seriously caused nerve damage to my leg because of the lack of space. Seriously. My sciatica in my left leg is acting up and I can’t get it to stop. And for both flights I was caught between my seat and the person in front of me. I was unable to move in any way at all.
April 30, 2013 § 3 Comments
I am sitting at JFK Terminal 5. I have about 2-plus hours before my flight will board. Plenty of time to share some pictures from my time in New York City. Live blogging yo!!
I have never been here before. Been to the East Coast a few different ways but never NYC. So I was plenty excited to finally see something I have wanted to see since I was kid – the Statue of Liberty. Yes, yes. Not that big a deal. But I loved it long ago.
Last Friday – just before my trip of course – the company I had booked to do a quick “drive-by” around famous NYC locations (a 5 hour tour) cancelled my booking. Some issue with the company that provides the actual tour. And with less than 72 hours I couldn’t find another solution. So we were going to have to wing it.
Sunday the 28th I woke up much to early to pack myself onto a flight to Denver. Why I have to go 1 hour west to go to the East Coast is one of the great joys of living in Omaha. Anyhow full flight, even at 9 am on a Sunday (it was a Southwest flight after all). It was the first solo flight of my life. I don’t travel for business so every flight I have ever taken has been with a group or family for vacation. But having flown many times I was fine I assure you.
I met my mother in Denver, grabbed a bite to eat, and waited for the flight to NYC. The good news is that I discovered my limit to sitting in one place with my knees up to my chest. The bad news is that it is shorter than the flight from Denver to NYC. And on a Southwest flight when you have the window on a full flight, forget it. My knees were killing me!
Landed at La Guardia (what an old airport!) and grabbed a taxi outside to our hotel in Queens. A hotel one block from a Q & N subway line stop but cheaper than being in Manhattan. Settled in and ordered Chinese delivery. Should we have gone somewhere? Probably but wasn’t feeling it.
The next morning we got ready and hopped a subway ride to the area near the Museum of Modern Art.
But first we took a walk up to and in (a tiny tiny bit) Central Park.
Beautiful foliage in the middle of the city. I can see why city dwellers love it so.
I recognized this shot for a great many reasons but most important for me, and my geeks out there, is for Doctor Who. The only reason I took the photo!!
Anyhow made our way to MoMA via 5th Avenue taking photos along the way. This is the window at Bergdorf Goodman! Owza.
Including St Thomas Church.
MoMA was SWAMPED!! It was raining and drizzly all day in NYC (I totally regret not taking the umbrella) and there was just wall to wall people throughout. Not surprising on a rainy day but it was not fun.
Now honestly my LEAST favorite part was the museum itself. The map lacks detail, basically just what is on that floor. The art is organized so poorly you can’t find anything. And worst of all a 3 foot perimeter around the art. I get it. Lots of people. I know why the rule exists but it SUCKS. I have seen Sunflowers by Van Gogh at Joslyn Art Museum and I was allowed to get very very close to fully appreciate the paint and details. Same for their Jackson Pollock. Pollock must be appreciated up close, no way around it. Very different art when viewed from afar. Anyhow the art was fine, the building, the rules and everything about MoMA blew. Never again.
From there we walked over to Carnegie Deli and had a beautiful piece of cheesecake. It was fabulous!
Then it was a quick subway ride (HA!) to the Staten Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty. Very happy about this.
Only shot of the Brooklyn Bridge I got.
Got off on Staten Island and immediately got on the return ferry. From there we checked out Battery Park a bit but ended up just getting on the subway and heading back to the hotel. We went next door and had pizza at some no-name place for dinner. Then it was TV and bed.
This morning we were going to go to Chinatown but a slow start and my mother’s aching back thwarted it and we ended up just killing time until we could leave for the airport and heading the airport early.
Once we actually got through security we immediately headed to Deep Blue Sushi. Omg. So good!
Of course I hit the Muji to Go as well.
And now we wait until we can board. But at least this is not a dull or dark airport! I will upload lots more photos once I get home. Hard to do this much on the iPad alone so that will wait until I get home. Besides I have these neat things which I haven’t seen anywhere else – you can order right from your electrical spot, pay and they will bring it to you. Fantastic!
I am anxious about the trip. It will be fine, it will be fun. But my first trip abroad so of course I am anxious. I’m going to try to do a quick photobomb update sometime this weekend for all you lovely folks (those I am related to and those that I am not but still love!) but I may not be able to until I get home next Tuesday night. So here is hoping!
April 23, 2013 § 2 Comments
Ok it will actually be an 11 day trip but 10 rolls off the tongue better.
I separated out my two bags. First up the carry-on sized suitcase:
I came up with these combinations based on the clothes I packed – though on some photos I stacked the choices of the same item right next each other. for example on some I have both the black pants and the jeans stacked with the tops. It is just so I can get a feel for an outfit. Like I said in the first video I am leaving the swimsuit cover-up at home:
And now my personal item which will later be my carry-on (my travel purse is the max dimensions for Aer Lingus’ personal item rule so I’m using that as my personal item and the duffel itself as the carry-on):
Did I forget anything?