Some of you have heard Bill’s plan to keep us from falling into too much of a routine and forgetting we’re on a Grand Adventure. He’s proposed that each month we spend one weekend doing something Dubliny, one weekend traveling somewhere in Ireland, one weekend hopping to another country, and one weekend just hanging out.
The monthly inter-country trips may be a bit ambitious–we’ll see. We do want to go everywhere. However, I think yesterday (Saturday) might qualify as a Dublin weekend.
Yesterday morning we walked to a Food Market in the park next to our apartment. St. Anne’s park is large, approximately 270 acres, so it was about a 20 minute walk. The park was formally part of a 500 acre estate belonging to the Guinness family. (Dublin has one of the largest urban parks in Europe, and I’m guessing the US too. Phoenix Park is 1752 acres.) The park is so big that I haven’t wanted to explore too far by myself as my weak sense of direction truly fails me when trees are involved. It’s an amazing park with sports turf, playgrounds, green fields, mossy rocks and dense trees. The rose garden is past its prime, but is still gorgeous. It will be stunning when all the bushes are in full bloom.
The Food Market is smaller than the one in Howth, but we still managed to spend all our cash. We had to get crepes of course. I had hard goat cheese, salad greens and sun-dried tomato pesto in mine. Bill had smoked salmon, crème fraîche, lemon juice and scallions. We bought four jars of jam: Plum, Damson Plum, Rhubarb and Ginger, and, by law, black currant. (Black currant is to Ireland’s palate what Purple Grape is to the taste buds of the US.) We also bought some chive goat cheese and an apple walnut AMAZING log.
I talked to a jewelry maker named Vincent Meehan who used to sell jewelry to Neiman Marcus in Texas. He also said he was commissioned to design jewelry to represent Ireland that didn’t have harps or shamrocks. He went to the ruins of Newgrange and based his designs on the ancient markings. He had some nice stuff, so next time we need to take a little more cash!
The market is held at a facility that also provides studio space to artists, and has a cafe there as well.
Last night we went to City Centre in search of food. Bill made a list of moderately priced restaurants in Temple Bar, and we chose an Italian placed called Trastavere. Pretty good, and we had a great table for people watching. Lots of the people were sparkly. I had a very nice ricotta and truffle oil ravioli with pancetta and Bill had penne with ragu of pork sausage and mushrooms.
On the bus on the way home we sat next to the same guy we had sat next to on the way into town. Weird. He was on his way to hear his friends play in a band and invited us to come. He said he could possibly get us in free. When he found out we were from Texas he made some comments related to the death penalty, I think, and said he understood why we wanted to leave. “They’ll never find us here,” I said, and he agreed. So, we could have met the next U2, but we’re old remember, and had bought books and really wanted to go home and start reading.
Oh, our books. We’re a little worried about them. Bill had a message on his NI voice mail in Austin saying one of the boxes was in the Lost and Found at FedEx. Apparently, the USPS uses FedEx for their m-bags. The particular box had his work books with his work number. Maybe the other boxes are sitting in customs in Ireland, which was the fate of a squirrel costume in an account we heard recently. I was upset about my books, and then Bill reminded me that his cookbooks were also in the missing boxes, at which point I became inconsolable, and hungry.
Bill can cook freestyle, thank goodness. Our dinner tonight of leek and goat cheese omelettes was delicious.
Today we went to church and lunch and then the grocery store. Bill is going to make chili. Yea!