August 31, 2014

Dublinia and Viking Age Toilets

My mom was visiting recently so we finally took the opportunity to visit Dublinia, an interactive museum of Dublin's history from the vikings to the present day.  Volunteers dressed in period garb showed us various viking crafts, in this case, how they minted coins.

August 30, 2014

Dublin - Cruising on the Grand Canal

We often stop in wonder ourselves as a crowd gathers to watch the canal boats that journey along Dublin's Grand Canal negotiate the lock.  My mother was visiting recently so we decided that this was the perfect time to sign-up for a dinner cruise and have this experience from another perspective.

August 29, 2014

Commute Chronicles - London - Battersea Park

I stayed in Pimlico on my last trip to London and was looking for a good walk to take from my hotel before work.  As always, I like to get up a bit early and do something fun when I travel for business before the workday begins.  Google Maps to the rescue!  I discovered that there was a popular coffee place and patisserie nearby and that if I was feeling ambitious, I could walk to Battersea Park. 

August 28, 2014

Dublin - Opera in the Street - I Sell My Bananas

Dublin is an artistic and creative city.  Things we Throw Away by Wide Open Opera epitomizes this.  Five tiny operas were performed on the streets of Dublin city tackling the subject matter of everyday life in the city.  We popped into town to catch 'I Sell My bananas'.
As you can see, the vignette featured fabulous dancing bananas.  The operatic singing was also top-notch.
It's performances like this that make Dublin such a vibrant city.

August 27, 2014

Dublin Eats - The Punnet

The Punnet is a new health food store and coffee shop on the scene in Lower Mount Street in Dublin City.  You simply can't miss the pale green exterior as you're walking by.

August 26, 2014

Dublin Eats - Le Petit Parisien

Le Petit Parisien is tucked away behind an unassuming storefront on Wicklow Street in Dublin.
We've wandered in a few times to eyeball the cakes and pastries but this time we decided to commit ourselves and stay for lunch.
The sun was shining outside but we were escorted to a dark, cool, and cozy table in the back after a short wait.  This place is popular!
We tried the minted pea soup with brown bread (below) and a ham and cheese sandwich on a baguette (not pictured).  The soup was one of the best I've had in Ireland and was very thick, chunky, and hearty.  The mint added that little something special to the dish.
While we ate, we took a look at the French inspired curios that surrounded us.
Not sure why we waited so long to have lunch here but we'll definitely be back again soon.

August 25, 2014

Dublin Eats - Roasted Brown

We love trying coffee places in Dublin and find that there are a delightful variety of artisanal shops.  Our favorites include the Coffee Kiosk, Art of Coffee, and The Fixx.  We were in Temple Bar recently and finally managed to walk by Roasted Brown when they were open.  Located above Filmbase, it's a great opportunity to get up and above the hustle and bustle of the neighborhood.

August 24, 2014

Travel Vignettes from Westport, Ireland

Westport in County Mayo is easy to do in a weekend from Dublin.  An ideal summertime destination with gorgeous scenery, trails, and festivals; it's sometimes possible to get a train ticket from Irish Rail for 10 EUR each way if you book in advance.  We took the train out there on a Saturday morning and came back on Monday morning at 5 am.  We timed our trip for Saturday June 28 - Monday June 30th to coincide with the Westport Festival of Music and Food.  I thought I'd share some of the highlights from our trip:

The Octagon

The Octagon is the heart of Westport and all roads seem to lead to and from it.  Colorful pubs and homes line the Octagon and it's a great point of reference for exploring the town or to grab a pint.
Westport - County Mayo

August 23, 2014

Commute Chronicles - Mountain View - Shoreline Park

Shoreline Park is another easily accessible walk when visiting Mountain View, California for business.  I budgeted extra time in the morning and spent an hour walking around the trails.  I started off near Rengstorff House which is apparently the oldest building still standing in Mountain View (built in 1867 and restored in the 1980s).

August 22, 2014

Commute Chronicles - Mountain View - Vista Slope

I'm always amazed by what I find when I take time to get up early and take a walk before work when I travel for business.  I worked in Mountain View California for four years and still visit there a few times a year since moving to Dublin.  It was only on this most recent trip that I took time to explore Vista Slope, just across the street from my office.