Saturday, March 17, 2007

Our last full day in Ireland

Today our plans were to go to the Irish National Stud farm with Nan and Griz! But we wanted to cook dinner that night too, so first we headed to the Mall with F for some Irish Mall Shopping and lunch at the 1950's diner in the mall (which was pretty darn good!).

When we arrived they had small farmers market in the parking lot. Fabulous cheeses (we bought a Guinness Cheddar), sauces, olives, veggies, bread, baked goods. There was a stand with fresh past a and sauces with a couple of VERY persuasive Italian fellows working the crowd. I avoided them completely...knowing I can't say 'no' even though they had some tasty snacks to go with all the compliments they were giving out. Sara checked out their pastas and sauces. The fellow in charge of coaxing Sara into a sale, handed her a cute little donut shaped cracker, then he looked away, just for a moment, to scoop up some delicious sauce... when he looked back Sara was happy chewing away on the un-sauced cracker. I wish you could have seen them look at each other when the both realized what had happened... the Italian with spoon of sauce poised, staring where the cracker was and Sara mid-chew, staring at the spoon of sauce.

Once we made it into the mall, I have NEVER seen so many small children... it really hit home how young the population is in Ireland... they are all clearly in their reproductive years. And I had never seen so many choices in undergarments that would fit me...clearly I am of Irish stock! After shopping and a good ol' American burger fries and onion rings and a very nice morning with F, we headed back home to our first adventure with Nan and Griz.


Griz had become fairly efficient at driving on the right side of the road, and Sara and both decided to just not pay too close attention to how fast he seemed to go... after all, Nan had made it this long without any trouble, so she was probably a good indication of whether or not to worry. We arrived safely at the Irish National Stud Farm, very shortly before it was to close...it was not a cheap admission! We headed directly to where the studs were (we actually approached from the wrong side of the barn and managed to set off an alarm as we walked through it to the other side). They were already in their stalls for the evening... which was less picturesque than I imagined they would be in the fields.
We headed over to Intensive care and the boarding stalls... all of which were empty... a bit dissapointing... it is foaling season afterall. After that our group split up, Sara and I went to the Horse museum, the Japenese garden and the gift shop. The museum was pretty great. I loved it. they had horse stuff from way back and videos of famous Irish horses winning famous Irish races that gave me chills of excitement to watch. Nan and Griz explored the outter grounds and found the foals and mares (yes, we ended up missing the best part entirely! but we did manage to get these corny pictures of the Japanese Garden!)
That night was a nice evening at home, cooking dinner and drinking wine. Nan made some delicous hors d'oeurves to enjoy while Sara and I cooked some Fetticini alfredo. We watched one last spectacular performance, by A and then turned in so we could leave for home the next morning.

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