Dublin – Day 3 Game Day

Day three we woke up super early. I’m talking roughly 7:10AM. We showered and headed to O’Brien’s for a quick breakfast and coffee. Then, we joined a bunch of other Notre Dame fans and headed to Mass. How often are you going to be able to attend Mass with the Archbishop of Dublin, in the courtyard of a castle? Probably NEVER. I’m so glad we were both amped about going.

For Adam there were two highlights. 1) holding both my hands as I stood in front of him while we sang Our Father. Most people weren’t even holding their hands up. 2) In his words: I just think it’s pretty cool in general that you can have a football team so far away, in a different country, where everyone is so united in faith that we could spend a Mass together and turn to each other and say, “Peace be with you” to every fan standing around you.

For me, it was being with a million priests on stage, in fantastic robes that had this amazing orange fade thing going on, scouting the crowd for crazy, wonderful old ladies in awesome Notre Dame gear and going to Mass in Dublin Castle, and praying for my future, my family and friends. Sometimes, I feel like I lose a little faith, not consistently going to mass with all the work travel. One wonderful thing like this, is really centering. Hearing all the tumultuous Irish history and the role Catholicism, The Vatican and Britain had in either rising, pacifying or restructuring this land has been really fascinating.

After Mass we were led through the gates of Dublin Castle by the Notre Dame Marching Band straight onto Castle Street and down Dame Street to Temple Bar. It was absolutely incredible, again, to be a part of an American Mob (35,000 Americans) to set down on Dublin, close down the streets and follow an American College Football team band through town. People watching from their windows and tourist trains thought we were bonkers. We tailgated through Temple Bar, which was probably 95% ND, and 5% Navy. A lot of bars just had ND stuff up, probably with our Irish connections. Notre Dame became known as the Fighting Irish in the 1920’s as a result of a huge influx of Catholic Irish Immigrants to the US, often downcast by fellow immigrants. The University turned it into a positive phrase, to show that the University would fight, just as the Irish, through tough times and come out on top. Recent football seasons show otherwise, but eventually, we’ll be good again.

Caught a shuttle to Aviva Stadium, and then wandered around aimlessly looking for the stupid Will Call. Literally FOREVER. Finally made it in. It’s fascinating how the load that place. You have to go into the proper gate, or you can’t get to your seats. It’s super weird, but a little efficient. Five flights of stairs and we made it to our level. Seats were comparable to our Seahawks tickets. The only down side was we couldn’t actually see a scoreboard, the stadium was weird, so we left not knowing the final score. It was pretty cool. I was amazed by the amount of respect both teams showed for each other. I have to admit that every time I see a Seaman in uniform it brings back fond memories of my brother, his time in the Navy, and the extreme patriotism I have for my country. That being said, we totally slaughtered them. 50-10. That’s what, we in the know, call a slaughter.

Caught a couple cabs to take us to a couple bottle shops and we totally bought some awesome things, or so Adam tells me. I told him there is very few a wife that would allow this kind of trolling through Dublin, for beers, let alone be the one leading the flight to find them! Please feel free to remind him what a catch I am whenever you see him.

Back at the hostel now, planning Sunday in Dublin.

Love, Asia

Day 2 – Dublin

We didn’t even wake up until 9AM, which was incredible! I think we’re over jet lag already…or at least I hope. After we ate a terrible breakfast at the Hostel, we started our way toward a walking tour that Rick Steves recommended. A guy named Peter led us through Trinity College, House of Lords, Old Parliament, Dublin Castle, City Hall, Christ Church, Four Courts and Temple Bar. This extraordinarily educational peek at Dublin and Irish history was work every Euro. 12 EUR per person, and I would have much preferred the dollar be spent on something like this, rather than Guinness Storehouse. At roughly 2.5 hours, he answered any questions you had, gave us directions to our next stop and was overall just really pleasant.

After the tour, we headed to Porterhouse. A place with a good tap selection that was recommended on Beer Advocate. I have to say i’m not disappointed, because they had Peach Lambic, and a beautiful label to boot. Those of you that know me, know that I’m not much of a beer drinker.

We walked through Grafton Street -a beautiful, if a bit expensive, shopping area. It was fun to look at and some shops were fun to walk through. Ran to a bottle shop near the end, Celtic Whiskey Shop, and bought a few bottles of beer and a couple mini bottles of whiskey. We asked Darragh – who owns the shop, if he knew of any other shops that had a bigger beer selection. He was immediately and sarcastically offended, but told us about a shop that is literally on our way to Aviva tomorrow for the game. Turns our, they have over 250 bottles of beer, and his brother owns that shop. He had a ND hat, so of course we loved him. It’s really true what they say about the Irish having that gift of gab, because if you stop two seconds, or ask a question, you should be ready for a bit of a chat. Especially from taxi drivers.

We sat at the hostel to try and figure out what we wanted to be sure to see. Around 7:00PM we headed to the O2 for the Notre Dame Pep Rally. It was about a 30 minute walk, when all the locals said it was about a 15 minute walk. I’ve just resigned to believe that I should always double the time a local says it will take, because the Irish walk with purpose (fast). We met up with a lovely couple while we were walking, from Dallas. They were retired, but boy could they walk. I had a tough time keeping up with them. They were fun though.

Sat next to Patricia at the Rally, she’s an alum that lives in Chicago. It was probably the weirdest pep rally ever. It was televised live in Ireland and via YouTube for the US contingent. There were a ton of performances with famous Irish celebrities. So of course, we had no idea who they were. There was a guest appearance by Martin Short, who has had two of his sons graduate from Notre Dame. He was hilarious. Other than that, very weird. No players or coaches were present. The plus side was that the price of a Guinness was very comparable to what you’d spend in a pub. The US should take a hint that they shouldn’t overcharge at events. The most humorous part was the guys selling in the stands were trying to sell you Bud Light for 6.50 EUR. Absolutely hilarious, very few people were purchasing.

The walk back took FOREVER and I had to pee very badly. It was very stupid not to go before we left the stadium, but the line was unreasonably huge. Clearly, I thought it was better to chance possibly urinating on my person, over standing in a line. I make very logical choices.

Wandered and found a Papa Johns, which took to long to make a personal sized pizza. Then I ate it in my bed, and Adam, who wanted to go out, fell asleep before me.

Back to Reality

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Now that we are back from the amazing surprise birtday trip for this man, I’m excited that I can finally talk about it. I admit, that I’m slightly sick of talking about it though. So, here is the condensed version of details.

Adam is a huge Notre Dame fan, and by marriage, I’ve become as well. This year, the UW Huskies played Notre Dame @ Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana and Adam and I had intended to go. Well, trying to sell the condo and what not, we just decided that this trip did not make financial sense for us, since we were trying to conserve funds. I realized early September, that I could buy tickets with airline miles, and I convinced his parents to buy us tickets to the game, as our combined birthday gift. Not only did they do that, but they also sprung for our hotel in Chicago for night #1. Coincidentally, the Seahawks were playing the Colts, the same weekend in Indianapolis, IN, a mere 2.5 hours away from South Bend. His brothers elected to buy us tickets to that game for our combined birthday gift, talk about total score. THEN, to make things even more awesome, some of his family members chipped in and got us a gift card to spend while there. So, all-in-all, this trip ended up costing me a lot less than originally thought, and I was able to pull it together. Everyone in Adam’s life knew about it, his boss, his friends, my family, everyone! AND amazingly enough, nobody let it slip out, and he was actually surprised. Friday morning, I woke him up at 5:15 am and said, “Get up, I’ve got a surprise planned for you, your father is picking us up in 30 minutes, and I need you to be ready. Don’t worry, work already knows you’ll be late. It wasn’t until about 15 minutes from the airport that I let him open a gift, which included the Notre Dame vs. Washington game day t-shirt and tickets, to the sound of the Notre Dame fight song. Tale about elated, he was thrilled. I didn’t bother to tell him about the Seahawks game until we were on our way to South Bend. His words, “are you serious?!”

The trip went wonderfully and I could not have asked for a better college football game. It’s one for our history book. Even the Seahawks didn’t win, we both had an amazing time, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Some highlights from the trip:

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Because I needed more projects on my to-do list

Another fun weekend! We’ve been really trying to save funds, so, needless to say, we’ve been trying not to go out a whole lot. Friday, I felt like a treat though and we had both been really wanting to see Inglorious Basterds. So, we splurged, for pop-corn and everything. My take on the movie: Parts of the movie were down right hilarious, and though it dealt with a very serious subject, with a completely fictional story, Quentin did a fantastic job of weaving humor into it. For some reason, even the characteristically Tarantino parts that visually grossed me out, made me laugh. All-in-all I say this is a definite “must see” and am not disappointed that I went.

Saturday was no disappointment in my book either, though I can’t really remember what I did. Oh, that’s right, I discovered The United States of Tara and Showtime On Demand. Oh, how I’ve missed The Tudors. Six months of free Showtime is sure to be a real treat!

Also on Saturday, I picked up this sweet fabric, because Pacific Fabrics had a sale on Amy Butler (ooh la la). This will be the new fabric for my frumpy old dining room chairs, when we finally buy a house :). I might have to go get a chair from my storage, so that I can do one, cause I’m uber eager.

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I also got my shiz together and baked some banana bread. Let’s say it wasn’t perfect, and what was with the kick of cinnamon, but hey, I ate it. I think the problem is routed in the fact that I made them in these giftable containers, instead of a standard bread pans.

Sunday, we had a wonderful pancake breakfast at Church and then followed up by Doing The Puyallup. It was a good time, and a tiring time. Aside from spending some time crunched up in the middle back seat of a Volvo, I had fun. I had a terrible headache when I got home though, so promptly went to bed.

Wonderful Weekend Fun

This post might be a little random, but that’s how I roll, if you haven’t noticed by now. Probably the most important revelation I had this weekend was what my title should be. I think my business cards should say something along the lines of Relentless Thrifter & Domestic Vixon as a title. It’s a work in progress, but I have high hopes for it.

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1. Another reason to love Seattle is the beautiful freeways. Every time I have out of town guests, they are bewildered by the beauty of Washington. Driving under the Convention Center is one of my favorite pieces of freeway.

2. I’ve gotten in the habit of texting myself so that I can remember things I want to blog about, or tell Adam. It’s like having a personal twitter, or virtual notepad.

3. A thrift store opened up right next to my house, and it had a sign in the window that said, “Now Exception Your Donations”. I find it sad that they were losing credit with me before they even opened their doors. The kicker  is that it’s a non-profit for foster children. I hope the foster children get better educations than the facilitators of this store.

4. Saturday evening we hung out at our friends, Ben and Gina’s. It was a really good time, and spur of the moment. I had a lot of fun though, and perfect end to a Saturday evening.

5. Sunday I had breakfast with my friend Scott after church. It was really nice to visit for awhile and he picked up the tab, always a score. THANKS SCOTT!

6. My friend Becky is amazing. I’m always proud of her, even when she does dumb things. She’s come a long way and dealt with some struggles lately. I’m always appreciative of the staple and best friend she’s become in my life.

7. Sunday evening, I went to Chateau Ste Michelle for the Great Big Sea concert. Let’s start by saying that I am, by no means, a fan of this band. I had a really great time though. We danced, we drank, we ate and we laughed. We got Adam’s brother some tickets for his birthday because he’s a fan. It was an amazing time, even though “someone” got drunk and puked in my kitchen sink. By “someone”, I do not mean myself. Someone else who lives with me. Check out that awesome chair I’m sitting in. It’s metal and teal. Talk about a total thrifting score at $4 a piece. I picked up two 🙂

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8. Yoji and Wicket are getting bigging, and their hair is also getting fuller, thicker and generally bigger. Talk about high maintenance.

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9. Check out this pretty sweet mullet I spotted down in Seattle today. It’s rare to find the endangered Asian Mullet, so I could not resist taking a pic, I only wish I were closer.

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10. I am off work until Thursday. Today Adam and I ran to Pike Place and West Seattle. We didn’t buy anything but chowder, but it was fun. We did discover this guy. His name is Mr. Dan and he has some pretty sweet gear. Fell in love with a couple paintings.

Off to eat dinner and clean a little 🙂

Weekend Recap

All in all, a pretty good weekend. Aside from the fact that I didn’t really get anything done on my accounting test… Anyway, Friday was good. We went bowling for Elece’s Birthday Festivities. She got a hair cut, it’s cute, but she always didn’t let me snag a picture. This is the gift I gave her. It’s a glass block, that I drilled a hole in, stuffed lights in, and wrapped up. It’s basically a present that glows. I love them, and I think she liked it too, so that’s good.

Elece's Present

Saturday :

In the morning I headed to the DMV to renew my license. It had expired on my birthday, whoops. I go so into reading my book, that I missed my number and had to draw again. I know, I am dumb. But it still didn’t take that long, maybe 30 minutes total. Fact: I cannot take a good driver’s license photo. It’s better than last time, but this whole chin thing ruins it.

After that I met up with Becky (my awesome friend) to go to Scrapbook Convention. The most exciting booth, by far, was the Treasury of Memories (TOM for the cool peeps) booth. They had cute make and takes, and cute ideas. Like this advent calendar with paper bags on canvas. You could put stuff in the paper bags.

Advent Calendar

This sign with Vinyl on it is also very awesome. $22 bucks for the whole shebang. I didn’t buy one, but I want one. You can order online, anyone? If you do purchase this for me, please let Adam know you did so. (Mine would say: Kieffer Family est. 2007)

Kieffer Family

Saturday night, I babysat our cousins, ages 1.5 through 10, there were four of them. Adam had a concert to go to, so I did most of it solo. I have to say, that I’m pretty impressed with myself after that experience. We baked Stain Glass Cookies. They are sugar cookies with a cut out in the middle, filled with hard candy. I got all 3 of them to participate, there were no arguments, and only one minor mishap. Noah, my Godson, ran around and played with random things, all very quiet, where I could see him. It was quite the success. It was a nice mellow evening. Working at the Boys and Girls Club fr 4.5 years really taught me a lot, and I enjoyed that time of my life. I’m fully capable of handling children. Like I said, I’m pretty impressed with myself.

 

Sunday we had tickets to the Seahawk Game. We tailgated before hand, and that was fun too. I saw my best friends EX-BF and he’s fat, and balding. It made me happy. (If that’s sick and wrong, then count me very sick, very wrong, and absolutely delighted). There are things that happen in your life, that just give you validation that things you did in the past, ended up the correct way. Best Friend, this is that validation for you. (Did I mention he looked like a do chay?) Our tickets were on the 300 level, my first time all the way up there. I have to say, that I was pleased to find that they are pretty good seats. It’s a hike, but I feel like every fan has a good view. Good job Qwest Field architects, I’m sure were paid more than necessary. We lost, but it was a good game. A guy peed in the tunnel right in front of us, on the wall. (Stupid Cardinal fan!) and Adam was texting so I had to scream bloody murder to keep Adam from stepping in it. That’s just gross. I wouldn’t even pee in a Steelers tunnel. For the love of the game, show some respect jerk face!!

 

 

Fans at Qwest

My husband buys beer…Beer Buy

A shot from the upper deck looking into downtown. It was a beautiful foggy day in Seattle. I watched Ferry boats and barges coming in on the water, when the game wasn’t going on. I love this city.

Seattle From Qwest Field

November, a post a day?

So, I’ve read this morning that people are doing this post every day thing in November. I have already missed the first two days, go figure. Perhaps, I’ll try and do the remaing 28 though.

Halloween and my birthday are over. I won $25 for most original costume at work. Isn’t it sweet? I’m a man caught in the wind.

This weekend was super busy and super fun, (aside from my crappy accounting test that I had to take). Saturday Becky took me to breakfast for my birthday and gave me a super awesome gift card!! Breakfast is my favorite type of food. It’s wonderful. Thanks super awesome Becky! (Don’t be like Becky, don’t breed babies just for German engineering.)

The rest of Saturday pretty much consisted of working on my accounting test. After breakfast with Becky, I went to my office and worked on it for like 3 hours, another few hours at home. Saturday night I needed a serious break though, so we went and saw Zack and Miri Make A Porno at the movie theatre. It was hilarious. Highly advise you see it. A couple of part make it all worth it.

Sunday, went to the Hawk game. Tailgated beforehand. We had amazing seats, I even bought a rain suit, clear, to wear, cause the forecast said rain. It was fine though, no rain. I feel like the rain suit really helped keep me warm though. Oh, and they lost, total bummer! (I’m thoroughly aware that I have used several incomplete sentences, and squished too many commas into sentences, when I should have broke them up. Oh, and I’m a fan of run on sentences as well. Got a prob?!) I finished Ben’s Christmas present on Sunday too.

Came home, finished my test. When I was in highschool and wondered why I had to learn Algebra or Geometry because i would never need them in real life, I was a moron. I would not be able to do a ton of things without these basic math skills. They are completely necessary. To Mr. Freedman and Mr. Groenen, I’m sorry I ever doubted your usefulness.

Anyway, since the internet Nazi’s are watching (AKA my boss), I better get off, since my lunch break is cut short, by a mandatory meeting. Peace out jigga!