Thursday, May 13, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Kinsale and Clonakilty, Ireland
We arrived in cork, but seeing it was 7am, we decided to drive straight to Kinsale, a small seaside town. We had breakfast complete with black and white "pudding." As we walked around, i couldn't help think of the difficult times ireland has been through. When it wasn't being invaded, or sectioned up, mother nature decides to reign down plagues and famines. And currently, they are in the middle of economic uncertainty.
As tourists, we wouldn't know it. The people were very helpful and friendly, but we did tend to be the only tourists exploring the touristy areas.
In kinsale, there is an old fort called Charles Fort--Unique for it's star shape.
We completed the day driving a short distance to clonakilty. We stayed just outside clonakilty at a B&B on a dairy farm. Unlike B&Bs in the states, the ones in ireland tend to be more family friendly. We didn't see any other guests as the one we stayed at and the hostess was very kind. We put the kids to sleep and she cooked ceri and i a lovely meal (lots of potatoes!) complete with an Irish Coffee. The next morning, we explored the farm and visited with the baby cows and watched the big cows get milked.
We wet to see Aunty Judy in Swansea for one night. She has her son over for the night as well, and Ceri hadn't seen this cousin since he was a kid, so it was a nice surprise. Judy has 2 dogs, and was fostering 2 more dogs. Amelie particularly liked Zeb. She doesn't remember, but she used to play with Zeb the last time we were in swansea.
We satisfied my castle-itch at Kidwelly castle, near swansea. Although it's an abandoned shell of a castle today, it is well preserved, and they let you climb around and explore the rooms
Here is adele in one of the castle rooms:
And here is amelie demonstrating how the Murder Hole works. Of course, in the good ole days, this hole wasn't covered with a grate. The area she is standing is over the front gate of the castle and i'm guessing they dropped hot oil and feathers, or witches or whatever else they had an abundance of through this hole on the bad guys.
And this is the flat he lived in.
UK & Ireland
Here they are in front of Hampton court. They took us to this palace for the day, and amelie was especially intrigued with the actors playing king Henry VIII and his wife, Catherine, seen below. They walked the grounds of the palace and fooled our girls into thinking they really did see the Queen and King of England.
We also took the thames river boat cruise to Greenwich.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Ragbrai Saturday (55 mi)
After (on the drive back):
Total miles biked in 1 wk: 528 miles! I had a great time, the weather was perfect and the riding was excellent. I can't wait to do it again.
Ragbrai Friday (88 mi)
My dad was doing pretty darn good with the riding until he came down with a tooth infection, fever of 103F and chills so bad he couldn't move. He decided to sit out Friday and hope to come back strong for the last day. At breakfast, we ran into the duo above on a tandem. I believe the little one is wearing his dad's arm warmers on his legs. They weren't the only parent/child duo on a tandem. Surprisingly, we saw many young kinds on the backs of bikes pumping their legs away.
The ride was tough this day. Windy, hilly and hot and i don't believe i ate enough food the day before. It was a long day, and towards the end, i was sick of stopping at each town and i wanted to get the ride over with. Luckily, my husband made me stop, made me eat and drink and, shockingly, i felt better. At one point during my semi-bonk, my husband says, "I'm so glad i didn't have to train for this!"
Ragbrai Thursday (111 mi)
As we rolled into the overnight town (Ottumwa), the skies opened up and it rained hard. We huddled under the awning at the gas station along with 50 other cyclist and waited it out for about an hr. Instead of going into the town center, we ate at the closest "restaurant," which was Wendy's, which i hadn't eaten in since high school. Despite, i wolfed down fried sauce-drenched chicken and a baked potato and we headed for the Baptist church.
You can't tell from the below picture, but the gracious baptist church let the men pitch their tents in the church basement, which was air conditioned. I thought it strange that three men, who know each other were in three tents in the same room with no others. Whatev.
Ragbrai Wednesday (53 mi)
Ragbrai Tuesday (87 mi)
Macksburg, IA had skillet throwing in the main square. For a small contribution, you can attempt to knock the basketball head off the body with a skillet. Why? I don't know, but it was hypnotising to watch. As you can see, they put a pretty high fence on the back, but didn't cover it with fence, so a few times, a skillet thrower would whip it onto the street and cyclists would scatter to warnings of "HEADS UP!"