Dublin in photos

I have finally begun sorting some photos. Here are a few of my favorites:

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This is a photo looking out of one of the windows inside the James Joyce Centre, into a courtyard that contains the door of No. 7 Eccles St, which he wrote about in Ulysses. When that house was set to be destroyed, some enthusiasts saved it. The house the centre is located in was built in 1784.

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This was our home for three days, along with fourteen other people. It was very quiet, our bunk was to the very far left and cannot be seen in this photo, right by a big window that was left open so the breezes could keep us cool while we slept. The hostel was located just a few doors down from the James Joyce Centre on North Great George’s Street.

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One of the many pubs I admired, and that Dublin is famous for. I loved the bright facades and hand painted signs.

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The Dublin zoo was very interesting, there were so many different animals to see and the habitats had great views. These are a type of rodent called a Mara. They are native to Argentina and Paraguay.

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Here I am at the Jameson Distillery after doing a whiskey sampling. This was first thing in the morning, so Heather and I decided to head right over to the Guinness Storehouse right after and make the most of the day.

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This is a newer section of Dublin castle, rebuilt in after the great fire in sixteen eighty four burned down most of the medieval castle. There is still a section of the medieval castle standing, the Records Tower, built in the thirteenth century (a picture of it is on my Big Realities page).
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A window, showing a glimpse of the Dubh Linn Garden, just outside the castle.
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A street in the Temple Bar area. There were many narrow streets like this one, filled with cafes, restaurants and pubs.

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The Christchurch cathedral, a beautiful sprawling church full of history, was orginally founded in 1022 by Vikings. It broke my heart to hear the the eight hundred year old preserved heart of Laurence O’Toole had been stolen from the cathedral only months prior. We were able to see the tomb of Strongbow though.

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The Golden Gate crossing

My trip to San Francisco was wonderful; the weather couldn’t have been better. We drove to the closest BART station, about an hour and a half away from home. From there, we took the transit to Embarcadero and hopped on a streetcar to Fisherman’s Wharf. After a delicious lunch at Boudin’s, we finally took a bus to the bridge.

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It was my first time seeing the bridge without only driving across it, I did not realize its enormity until I was standing there, right in front of it and staring at the massive cables strung across it. We walked along, taking photographs, watching sailboats and parasails and enjoying the sunshine. Midway through our trip across we watched a huge freight ship cross underneath us and head to sea. I had to laugh when I saw that it was named the William Shakespeare. We also had the opportunity to see a helicopter fly under, then back over the bridge, possibly a sight-seeing tour.

After our long walk, we grabbed a bus back to BART and headed for home. I don’t think we could have picked a more beautiful afternoon to accomplish one of my little dreams!

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A few of my favorite things

The smell of fresh roasted coffee. Check. My beautiful angel winged Vespa. Check. My faded leather messenger bag with my net book inside. Check. A boatload of homework. Coffee buzz kill.

I am at Peet’s coffee getting some homework done before work, not really fun but I do love this place. I have a yummy black coffee and an eight hour battery life on my net book, making me almost unstoppable. Except for having to go to work that is. Another buzz kill.

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I am going to San Francisco tomorrow to tackle one of my little dreams, walking the Golden Gate bridge. Though I have been to the city more times than I can count, I have never walked the bridge. I have ridden across it on my scooter though! Dreaming and planning my next adventures helps break up the monotony of the daily routines I’m stuck with. I’ve been thinking of Egypt a lot recently, it’s time to hit the library!

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The end of summer

It is the time of year again when eager students fill the hallways and quads seeking an education. Alright, maybe they are not exactly eager, I too am sad to see such a wonderful summer gone. Now it is back to work, school and very little play in between. One thing I enjoy about going to a JC is the diversity. I am not the only student who isn’t straight out of high school here, there are many others that are veterans to the community college life. Some exciting news ahead though- I have an appointment to see a counselor for my transfer. It is coming up soon!

I am very busy this semester between work and school. I am taking fourteen units; history, English literature, anthropology and intermediate French! Since I will be on the go, I found some amazing apps to improve my on campus blogging. The most important one is Phonto, an app which allows me to put any font I like on my pictures right from my phone.

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I must quit daydreaming now and head for my English literature class, I’m almost late. C’est la vie!

The little things

It has been exactly a month since I returned home from Europe but I haven’t been able to sort through my photos or papers yet. My time has been occupied by some of the more mundane things in life; getting ready for school, picking up my books, working, grocery shopping, and buying a Jeep. Alright, the last one was anything but ordinary, it was actually quite a big deal.

I sold my car a year and a half ago and have been a scooter only girl since. My husband has a car I used during bad weather but if he needed it I was on my own. This has not been a big deal since I work only two miles from home and only have to make the fifteen mile journey to school twice a week. Now I have a car to get me around when I need it and take me places I want to visit but need to camp. I am already planning a trip to Yosemite, I have never been there despite how close it is to where I live.

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With the beginning of school almost upon me (tomorrow!), my focus has been on little adventures close to home. A scooter picnic, walking the Golden Gate bridge, visiting the local zoo, a trip to Old Sacramento and Discovery Park. Today’s trip is a double feature at the movie theatre, a program for showing artistic and independent films. I am most excited about a movie called “To Rome with Love”. It has been a very long time since I went to the movies, popcorn is mandatory!

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I am going to try to go through some photos tonight, if I do I will make sure to post an album.

Every mile a memory

I found myself taking a detour today that brought back so many memories of growing up, things I have pushed out of my mind for a very long time.  This morning I took a drive to Lodi, headed to my friend Sergio’s house (check out his Instagram- serg_87). There was some construction on the freeway and I made a last minute decision to skip the stop and go by taking some back roads, leading straight through my hometown.

I usually avoid going back, I can’t tell you the last time I drove through even though it’s only fifteen miles from where I live. My husband works there and his family still lives on the outskirts of town, aside from that I steer clear. Today was a much different story, with Eric Church’s “Springsteen” blaring on my radio I drove the road that passed by my old high school. Not much has changed there, I’m sure every year there are a few wild kids filling in for my friends and I. I have some great memories of that place; a little studying, skipping class, and having a good time. I glanced at the old auditorium, a sanctuary for us back then. It made me think of people who haven’t crossed my mind in quite some time.

Across the street from the school is the road that lead home, until my junior year when we moved to the country. Back then I had friends living on that road, we would walk up and down it many times a day. It’s the same street my friend Josh would walk in the morning, after the bus dropped him at school he would come walk with me.

I made my way out of town and cut back over to the freeway. As soon as I turned I realized I was headed in the direction of the house my best friend from high school. It was the way we would always take between our houses, just an old country road but it was our ticket to freedom. I began driving that route before I had my license, just a learner’s permit with my dear grandmother patiently riding shotgun. Once in school he bleached his hair to match mine, then we both dyed the ends of our hair blue to shock everyone. I still have some of the letters he would pass me in the halls, filled with his beautiful, loopy handwriting which is much prettier than mine. All of these thoughts made a big smile cross my face as I accelerated back onto the freeway. Just a few exits down, I made sure to blow a kiss as I passed the cemetery where he is buried.

“For some life lasts a short while, but the memories it holds last forever.”-Laura Swenson

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Life (and blogs) must go on

It has been a week since my return from Europe and aside from a small scooter adventure I have been keeping it low key.
Last weekend I needed to go to my mother’s house on a moments notice, which is almost seventy miles away. My only driving option was to take my two hundred fifty cc Vespa scooter. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains which made for a beautiful ride. My scooter had been sitting for an extended amount of time, I had a second one that I sold to some #@&£!€ as soon as we got back in the states. Needless to say, my Vespa did not enjoy the trip but we made it though. As I was riding there were motorcyclists giving me the two finger wave, which was nice since scooterists get treated like second class riders most of the time. Up in the hills I was quite popular on my cute scoot but there were some motorcyclists who ignored me. This irked me a bit because any casserole on a twelve hundred cc motorcycle can easily get up those hills, and most were traveling in groups. Here I was, all by myself on my little (but sufficient) scooter, rocking those windy roads on tiny wheels and I still couldn’t get love. As these thoughts were crossing my mind I was sitting at a stop light in one of the small towns, waiting for a left hand turn, and I spied a group of motos headed towards me. I could only see their headlights at first but as they drew closer I had to take a second glance- it was a wild pack of Vespas! There were about ten of them, in all colors, some with chrome front racks like mine. After they left, I made my turn and cruised my baby into the tree lined highway with a big boost of pride.

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My sweet ride

I am up tonight writing thanks to a lovely new trick my cat taught himself. I have two cats, Thomas and Gerald (Tom and Jerry) which have always been indoor cats. That is until Gerald begun demanding to go outside, yowling and standing on his back legs while using his front paws to beat on the sliding glass doors in our home. This began a couple of years ago and has been escalating now that Gerald figured out he could use the same technique to request (I use that term lightly) to be let back inside during all hours of the night. It went even further, starting this summer he began to make his requests demands more frequently, sometimes with just enough time for a person to lie down and think of sleep in between. Instead of strangling my usually lovable feline companion, I came up with a way that Gerald could come and go as he please through a small space in one of my screen doors. Just when I began to think the problem has been solved, that little feline developed a new bad habit.

I was woken up at almost exactly three am by the sound of something being dropped, not my favorite way to wake by far. The only comfort I had was that my dogs were laying by the bed like normal, so no burglars. I go in my living room and Gerald has thrown a framed photo on the floor, is standing in the middle of several other frames and is looking for something intently. This is a very very bad sign. A few days ago he strolled in the back door toting a live mouse while my husband was eating breakfast. Standing in my living room in the middle of the night I knew exactly what he was looking for and sure enough, there was a mouse clinging to my wall behind the cabinet. This time my husband was at work and after what he told me about the last mouse incident ( the cat only tried playing with it, Nathan had to grab the mouse himself and throw it outside), I knew it was time to get the A-team in place. I rounded up my indoor cat and both of my dogs before I scared the mouse out of his hiding spot. I was very nervous about my approach but sleep was not an option with a mouse loose and my Chuck Norris mouse catching skills are not and never will be as good as Nathan’s.

My plan worked, as soon as my dog Maverick caught a glimpse of the mouse, he pounced on it. I ran to the front door and let him out. After a few minutes I let him come back in but put him right back out when I noticed a mouse tail hanging out of his mouth. I got him to drop it on the porch and come back in for milk bones. Order has been restored thanks to my four legged hero!

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Handsome Mouseketeer

I am going through my photos and have a mess to post on here, along with some more interesting city details.  A little known fact is that all of my overseas posts were pecked out on my iPhone.  It was tedious and as a result I usually ended the posts before I had gotten out everything I wanted to say.  Not to worry- all of that fun stuff is coming soon…