Finish line

Well, I think I made it through NaBloPoMo. The weather in Ireland turned cold a week ago and is now snowy and icy. They actually kicked us out of work early and two of three roads away from the plant were immediately blocked by jacknifed trucks. It took me an hour to drive my ten minute commute yesterday because an inch of snow became ice-rink roads. If they treated the roads it would have been fine. And if anyone knew how to drive on “slippy” roads it would have been better, but most locals are trying to go 5-10 mph and then they can’t get up the slick hills. There was a work email advising us to avoid routes with hills. hahahahahaha

Bad weather is all relative: I think this is only the second time in 30 years they closed work early due to snow, and the grass wasn’t even covered when we left. The roads were slushy but fine, but when all that freezes tonight… yuck. I’m kind of glad I went in Sunday to get some work done because this is a three day week for me as it is, and now I’m not as far behind with my projects. A guy at lunch said his kid was 11 before he even saw snow, so I believe it doesn’t happen often! I advised my fellow diners to take home cafeteria trays for their sledding pursuits. Other parts of the country received a LOT of snow so I guess our inch here and there isn’t so bad. But listening to the radio amuses me: today a weather person tried to explain why it felt a lot colder than it was when the wind was blowing (“we call that wind chill!”), there was a proud report of AN actual plow in the western part of the county, and we are getting lots of advice about dealing with the “bitterly cold” temperatures. Oooh… sometimes it drops to upper 20s!

David walked into town for pints with a friend but I opted for a nap on the couch with a Walter foot-warmer. Walter’s been puking for a couple of days and I hope he’s feeling better before we hop a plane Thursday for our next adventure. I also hope the bad weather doesn’t ground our plane!

I’ve got about two posts of pictures left from Spain, so may as well finish those too!

ongoing account of May trip to Spain

When we left the Alhambra to explore Granada, we found flamenco dancers and dressed up horses and riders everywhere. There were celebrations in the streets and several decorated crosses in plazas, which I think must have been our accidental visit during Dia de la Cruz (Day of the Cross) and related May celebrations, May Crosses. We had seen some decorated crosses in Málaga too but there was more of a party going on in Granada.

The last picture is our triumph over hours of wandering to find the ‘right’ food, which I’ll just say was my companions’ attempt to find ‘authentic’ food at some pricepoint I didn’t care about, while still trying to accommodate something I could eat. In the end I wouldn’t say I liked this food, but I’m glad I ate somewhere that was local and representative of the culture and that means it was still a good experience.

The ocean’s fecking free, mate

An Irish Thanksgiving meal: actually it was five Americans and a British guy, who has been quoted as saying the title of this post, which I think had something to do with not paying to swim in a pool. He had pumpkin pie for the first time (made with pumpkin we had our visitors bring from the States because you can’t get canned pumpkin here).

Our Irish coworkers wished us happy Thanksgiving way more times than I’ve ever heard it in the US and asked if we were going to take vacation days. Seeing as how it’s freezing cold here and there’s nothing to do in Ireland in November, we just went to work!

Emmy ate all the bread off the counter again today but we managed to have a nice spread and even heard Alice’s Restaurant on internet radio. Now it’s time for bed!

The first one’s my favorite

Phoning it in tonight… tired from work and visitors. Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow in the States! David’s mom is here and is cooking a dead bird. I made a pumpkin pie and Emmy the dog stole a loaf of bread from the counter, bread crumbs from the trash, and pearl barley and rice noodles from the pantry. Everyone plays a part… kind of glad I’m escaping at work most of the day.

Enjoy these cards from and don’t eat too much mash (that’d be mashed potatoes)

Granada: Alhambra gardens

ongoing account of May trip to Spain

I hitched a ride with the Polish couple I’d met on the bike tour, and we left early in the dark to drive to Granada to see the Alhambra. It might be the most fantastic place I’ve been–just incredible.

1. Washington Irving lived at the Alhambra for awhile and was the US Minister to Spain; just like home in Irvington!
2-7. Some of the extensive gardens of the Generalife.
8-9. Palace of Charles V