Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ireland for St. Patty's and Easter

We had a delightful time in Ireland, we even had a few days of sun! Our trip started in Dublin on March 15 where we stayed for 3 nights, then we moved onto County Clare on the West Coast and then County Kerry, specifically Killarney towards the south then to Cork and finally Glendaloch. It was a whirlwind 9 days but we were able to relax and enjoy the country side.

Julien was an angel for the majority of the trip, he seems to have a knack for sleeping in pubs. We were able to enjoy St. Patrick's day in Dublin while Julien napped in the booth and we chatted with the locals and watched hurling. I can't even begin to describe the insanity that is hurling, I am still trying to figure out this crazy game.

We also took Julien on his first boating expedition to see the cliffs of Moher which were very beautiful. Following the boat trip we went for a hike to the edge of the cliffs, Julien rode in his hiking back pack. He was awake for most of it but finally the fresh air got the best of him and he fell asleep in his harness.

We took a trip to Dingle and ate at a restaurant that had nothing but fried food, they even had a fried Snickers bar for dessert which Josh enjoyed. We toured the Ring of Kerry which was the most beautiful scenery we saw, the day was beautiful and we followed the ocean for hours.

We only managed the one hike because the weather was pretty damp and I managed to loose my shoe in a huge mud swamp. I did retrieve it but I am afraid the shoes are now officially dead, they had a good run and I will miss them. I was left with only "dressy shoes" so hiking wasn't possible.

We finished up our trip with a night in Cork and then our final night in Glendaloch. Cork was pretty much a flop, we tried to go to dinner but Julien had a break down and we had to make a hasty retreat back to our room. The last night we found a great pub for dinner in Hollywood. Julien was happy as a clam in his high chair eating his vegetables while we enjoyed lasagna, not your typical Irish Easter dinner but good all the same. The ladies loved Julien so much the kitchen staff even came out to have a look at our boy. We took to calling him LLJJ because Ladies Love JuJu. He really does like to charm them with smiles and giggles.

Speaking of giggles I found Juliens tickle spot, when I tickle him under his left arm he can't help but squeal and giggle uncontrollably, it really is the cutest thing I have seen!

Now I must get back to the important final moving details. We have a list a mile long of all the work we need to complete before the big move on Monday. We have the movers arriving on Thursday to pack and Friday to load. We couldn't get a plane out until Monday due to many, many difficulties booking a flight.

So, Monday we are headed to the airport with Julien, Santa and Jingle along with all the stuff we need for two months in the US while we wait for our things to arrive. We are planning to have the worst day of our lives, that way anything else will be a treat. I am sure this will be the last blog until we are on US soil, even now I am procrastinating on my list.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Close call in Champagne and other news

We have been having some exciting times these last couple weeks. We took a trip to Champagne with Melissa and Patrick and ended up at the French police station. Josh flew to the States just over 48 hours. We started the great purge of 2008 and Josh ran a half marathon.

I guess the most exciting thing was going to the French police station. We headed to Champagne with the hopes of picking up a few bottles and having a tour or two. The rural police had other ideas for us. They saw our out of town plates and pulled us over on the highway. They started asking for ID and we began to have problems. I didn't have any ID with me and was quickly informed it is illegal in France to not have ID on your person. Josh's ID was expired and we also didn't have all the auto documents required. So, they hauled us IN, can you believe it? The five of us followed the little French police car to the little hick station. Josh went in and the four of us waited in the car until we were also summoned, baby and all! Once we were inside it quickly became apparent the police officer who pulled us over was somewhat of a radical. The other police officers were kind of laughing that we were all there for something so small. Anyway, we paid a fine and they let us go but it used valuable Champagne time and we were only able to visit one house. Long story short, always carry ID in France!

Last week Josh flew to Philadelphia for the inspections of the new house. He flew in on Wednesday and out of Friday which was a short trip! The house looks good for the most part but we have some concerns with the heating system. It may need to be replaced which isn't not a fun thought but it is chance to make it more efficient. We are having our own HVAC guy take have a look. Okay, we don't actually have a HVAC guy but we have a great realtor who has a "guy" for everything.

We also started the great purge of 2008. I am getting rid of as much as possible, I see no reason to cart useless junk across the sea to the US. I also keep thinking about my nice clean empty house waiting in Exton and I don't want to bring the clutter. I filled two hefty bags with shoes alone! Josh is in shock at how easily I am throwing things away but really I don't think I need 4 inch silver heels or stiletto boots, I mean I am someones mother now. I am also getting rid of a lot of clothes which is difficult because they always have memories attached, but I don't need an aqua sweater and leather pants to remind me of my first date with Josh. Hopefully by the time we leave Paris I will have only things I want and need in the US left for the movers to pack.

Yesterday Josh ran the semi marathon de Paris. It was a half marathon (13.1 miles) which he trained for the past couple months. He ran with his friends Michael and Stephane and luckily his time was better than Stephane's or we would have had a very depressing night. I think he ran a 1:41:58. Julien and I got up at 6 AM to go with and show our support (and hold all the warm up clothes). It was cold and rainy so we circled the park where the race started in hopes of keeping warm. I was also in search of a restroom big enough to bring in my stroller but we never found one, cities just aren't designed for the stroller set.

Today Josh is off to Belgium on another beer run. This will probably be the last time he goes since we are returning our car next week. I can't believe we are really leaving, it is coming up so quickly.

Julien and I are still having a great time day in and day out. He is a happy baby smiling most of the time and interacting with people. I am trying lot's of new foods and enjoying his reactions. It is really funny when he doesn't like something, the faces he makes are priceless. I have learned a few lessons; never serve green bananas and be very careful with purple foods!

Only 4 more weeks until we are back in the US!! Hopefully these last few weeks won't be too stressful or crazy!