22 December 2014

I didn't suspect this tradition would make it to 2014, but it looks like it has. So without further ado...

Dear Santa Claus,
Hello again, another year, thanks for the stuff from last year, it was pretty awesome. This Christmas my requests aren’t drastically different from last year. I would like, please, Supernatural and Doctor Who merchandise (Shirts, posters, ect.) I’m good on many conventional items(except for socks, socks are always good) so I would also like money towards my trip to Italy in a few years, also, Hetalia Merchandise wouldn’t be terrible either. I have yet another Age Of Mythology request, this time the mac version, please. Alright, now onto the part where I talk about how great I am. I for starters, have kept my grades up and gotten straight A’s since last Christmas, I’ve helped out at home more, and at other people’s houses, and even broken up a few fights in school.(The last thing the world needs is violent 12-year-olds) I’ve put up with my English teacher, which I think my whole class deserves a prize for, and worked my butt off in a ton of extra activities (Two plays, four concerts, and guitar) and have managed not to hospitalize my sister, even though yes, I have fought with her. Anyways, thanks again for last year and I hope you have just as merry a christmas this year.

Alex Roth

Dear Santa,
for Christmas this year I would really like it if you could bring me some nice slippers and a bathrobe. Also, could you bring me some new shampoo and conditioner I like the one called Herbal essentials(I’m not sure if thats how it’s spelled) I would also appreciate it if you could bring me a nice new ball of yarn(like the kind I showed mom at Michaels)  
I have been very(maybe not very) good this year. During the summer I helped Dad build the lawn mower shed and I did all of my chores most of the time. I did attack my brother but not as much as usual. I have gotten good grades and hope that you will be here soon.(we moved I know you came last year but just so you know 123 Thurgood St.)
Love your biggest fan,

06 October 2014

The Kids Experience Cultural Diversity


What could we do with another day in Dublin? A bit of rain and some lingering jet lag would not stop us from finding out. Having to wait for a breakfast table put us off our game enough that we forgot to order properly, but there would be other meals.

The first stop of the day was Trinity College. It was collegy. Then we walked to Temple Bar, which is an area and also an actual bar. We didn't go the actual bar. We did find a farmers market of sorts, and the kids got a Nutella crepe to share. We then did a bit of shopping, including a stop at Knockers and Knobs. Unfortunately, we could find none that suited us.

Belles of Dublin

We tried for some take away fish and chips, but the shop was closed for a bank holiday. Instead we wound up at Slattery's for pint 5. I was now able to confirm with certainty that Guinness does taste a different, and yes better, in Ireland. As excellent parents, we felt that the kids should get to experience this cultural diversity first hand. Ella was first:

It was then on to the Irish equivalent of 7-11 for what lets call lunch. We consumed this back in our room while watching You've Been Framed, which is like America's Funniest Home Videos minus the funny.

The days showers progressed into a solid evening downpour, but we were not done with Dublin just yet. We donned our raincoats and walked the mile to O'Donoghue's for some dinner and traditional Irish music. Unfortunately, that pub was full, so we went a few blocks south to Doheny and Nesbitt, which was not founded by half the Monkees. Even so, the food was tasty and reasonable. Shelley had a chicken sandwich, Alex had his second shepherd's pie, Ella and I properly ordered fish and chips and everyone but Shelley had some kind of salad. Alex was also ready to participate in the black pint challenge:

A good dinner to end a good but wet day, but still no traditional Irish Music. Yet.

05 October 2014

Learning Things In Dublin


We were all reluctantly out of bed by ten and ready to start the day. This would a day of learning. At breakfast we learned the Irish order food by saying "I'll do" instead of "I'll have". Good to know. With our bellies full of Irish breakfast and our minds slightly fuller with this fun fact, it was time to walk into Dublin to hop on the hop on hop off bus.

On the bus we learned and promptly forgot some history of Dublin along the way to our first hopping off point - The Guiness Storehouse. Think of this as Dublin's answer to Hershey's Chocolate World, except bigger, older and with delicious beer. Here we learned the proper way to drink a pint. This was very good to know. Soon we got to apply this new found knowledge with our sample pints up in the Gravity Bar, which is the Great Glass Elevator of bars.

Lovely Day 

Lunch was at Arthur's, a fine pub where 3 of us enjoyed Shepherd's pie and Shelley got a chicken avocado wrap. We rode the bus around some more, learned some more stuff, forgot some more stuff, then got off. We walked home, got some take away pizza and evtually called it a night.

07 September 2014

Hello, Ireland



My first impression of Dublin was that it was an unfriendly city.  I blame this less on the city itself and more on the RECLINER I sat behind for a few thousand miles across the Atlantic.  Because of her I arrived in the city tired and annoyed. 

My family was no more cheery and  equally unrested, so we grumpy-cabbed to our place of lodging: the Ariel House.  Though we were a mere five hours before our scheduled check-in time,  for some reason the soon-to-be previous guests were still asleep in our beds. My impression of Dublin started to shift when the hotel people let us get in on the breakfast anyway. It gave us enough wind in our sails to bicker and argue our way into the city to about a block shy of where Shelley wanted to go. We then bickered and argued our way back to the Ariel House where our room still wasn't ready. Luckily they had a longe area with a sofa where I quickly fell asleep.  Around 1:30ish someone woke me up to tell me our room was ready. 

I was woken up 1 blink and four hours later. Apparently it was time to walk back into the city.  Sleep had not only started to transform us into our vacation selves, but it also transformed Dublin into a sunny and enchanting city. We went past a place called Captain America Restaurant Bar and found a pub more disappointingly called The Duke. Ironically, despite its bland name, it was popular with Irish literary heroes of the past. My first son and I got stew, my first daughter got a cheeseburger and Shelley got some kind of salad. No wait! She actually got a curry. My first bride and I each also got our first pints of Guinness. And just like that, we were better and so was the city. Welcome to Dublin. 
Cap's Bar

* I have no idea what Ultras Dublin is, but how I could not include it?