Sunday, August 12, 2012

Quick & Full Visit

Here and Gone

Part of our Dublin family was here last week. Garrett's brother Fran, our sister in law Fiona and niece Rachel.  It was a fly by. Just two quick days. We headed up to Portsmouth one day, just 10 minutes North. Beautiful small city on the water.  Wonderful restaurants, artsy, historic. Porsmouth is simply a great place. The one problem that day? It was hotter than hell.

As we tried to park the car in the parking garage, we kept going up and up and up. I made note of the fact that this was not a day to park on the roof. Viola, literally about 3 spots before we hit the open air, seriously hot roof, somebody backed out and we scored the spot of the day.

The good thing about having to go up and up and up, is that we ended up with a great view of North Church.  So of course, I had to get a shot of my sister in law Fiona and my niece Rachel.

We walked a block up to Market Square and then headed toward the harbor. Garrett and his brother Fran were ahead of us gals. I said to the girls, 'it is HOT' to which my sister in law replied, "I'm dying. I think my eyes are sweating."

This flower smelled heavenly. I have no idea really what this flower is, but the leaf reminds me of hydrangea. Perhaps an odd variety? The flower certainly doesn't look like any hydrangea I've ever seen.

We finally made it to the waterfront and Prescott Park.

There was no breeze, so the Dubliners, who have had nothing but rain this summer and weren't used to the heat, were starting to melt.  They found a bench under a tree while I checked out this fountain I've been by a thousand times.

Upon closer inspection, I found this dedication.

I continued to wander because I could see art in the distance.

Then I wandered a little more, past the stage where they put on a summer play each year.  Behind the stage I found the set trailer, which had been painted during last year's street art exhibition. Very cool.

The quote is from a Celia Thaxter book. She was a poet and author born in Porstmouth.

"Under the light-house no sweet-brier grew, Dry was the grass, and no daisies Waved in the wind, and the flowers were few That lifted their delicate faces. But oh, she was happy, and careless, and blest, Full of the song-sparrow's spirit; Grateful for life, for the least and the best Of the blessings that mortals inherit. Fairer than gardens of Paradise seemed The desolate spaces of water; Nature was hers,- clouds that frowned - stars that gleamed,What beautiful lessons they taught her! Would I could find you again, little maid, Striving with utmost endeavor,Could find in my breast that light heart, unafraid, That has vanished for ever and ever!"

Found this cow lurking around the corner. 

Then I made all the shade lovers get up from their bench and stroll with me through my favorite part of the park....the secret pocket garden. It's not really secret, but I like to pretend it is.

We happened on an art exhibit. More art. This always makes me happy.

As I headed back out the door, I spied this on the back of the trailer with the cow. How'd I miss that?

Then I told them they had to see patchwork garden.

We were now sufficiently hot and could do nothing else but make our way past Oracle House (this is where the firts NH daily newspaper was published)....

....back to Market Square and our favorite corner at RiRa. We met our friend Mike, who is a former rugby player who likes Guinness as much as Gar. I neglected to get a picture of Mike, but I did get his son in this shot.

I went with the sampler (4 5oz. minis) instead of a pint. Loved it and enjoyed the beer on the left the best. Lagunita Lucky 13 (or lucky 7,) I think.

Mike kept asking Fran if he wanted a Guinnes and Fran kept saying no (not something he'd normally say), he'd stick with a Stella because he was just too hot.  They continued to joke him about the fact here he was in the place that had the best Guinness around and he was having a Stella. Then this 'little' treat appeared thanks to Dave the manager, who is from Cork. A 'pint' of the black stuff that Fran could easily put away even on a hot day. 

That cracked us right up.

Then we went home and took a nap. See what the heat does to you?

Later we were off again. This time just up the road to Margaritas for dinner.
We all thought Fran could have done a better job parking so we taunted him until he moved the car.

As always we enjoyed our meal, but we didn't let on to the manager. I could see Gar was thinking about calling him over just to cause a little trouble, because that's just the way we are. Anything for a laugh. Then he was having second thoughts and I said, "go on, call him over and tell him the refried beans were done one too many times."  He did and we all kept straight faces. I dont know how, but we did.  The manager fell for it and said, "Well sir, we do have to cook them twice for them to be refried", to which we all exploded into laughter. Including the Kevin the manager.

Our waitress could see we were causing trouble and said, 'you know the other manager would totally fall for that, shall I send her over?' But of course.  Yup, we straight faced it again, and did the same thing. I backed Gar up again adding that 'they seemed like maybe they were just a bit overdone'.  Fiona and Rachel had to face the wall from laughing because this girl's chin dropped to her chest and she just kept saying uh huh and nodding. Then we all lost it again and she said "I was thinking are they serious? Why didn't they call me over before they paid the bill". I swear, we're going to do that in every Mexican restaurant we go to from now on. It was classic.

So, a great day was had by one and all. Wish we got to spend days like thatwith our Dublin peeps more often, but at least we make good memories when we do.  We'll have a chance to in a few short weeks, when brother Niall, sister in law Caragh, our niece Leah and my godson Harry arrive. It will be the first time we get to meet Harry face to face, other than via skype, so we're psyched. Their visit won't be nearly as quick.

We're in the midst of another hot and humid downpour.  How the heck are we supposed to get laundry done around here?

Anyone participating in the photo challenge? If you are, get me your pics by the end of the day today if you want me to include them in tomorrow's post.

Have a great Sunday.

Ciao for now,


  1. It looks like you had a fab time, even despite the heat. You always make me want to take a trip up there when I see your photos. Here's an odd question, and I don't know what made me think of this the other day, but did you ever eat at Yokens before it closed down? We'd stop there sometimes on our way up.

    1. Yokens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      I went to yoken's all the time as a kid. It was a Sunday jaunt with gram and gramp thing. I miss that 'whale of a meal' sign. They should have saved it. It was a seacoast icon and so was Yoken's. I got my key for the treasure chest each time, but never won.

      What a great gift shop too. They had everything. I still have a sterling silver spoon ring my gramps bought there one sunday.

      Good memories

    2. Aw, yay, I'm glad you remember it! I just thought of that out of the blue the other day and I thought you might know what it was. I loved getting the treasure chest key, but I never won either. I wonder if anyone ever did.

  2. Is Garrett a Rugby boy or a Gaelic footy kind?? Woolmerhof misses rugby so much over here and is so upset that we can get the Bledisloe on TV! That fountain is gorgeous - made we want to jump right in to cool off! ;)

    1. well he loves both, but I don't think he ever played rugby. played football/soccer and gaelic in school. we love it when we go home for a visit as there is always a good rugby match on. starting to get it now and then on tv here. my nephew plays at his college. he's built for it.

  3. WOW! Thanks for the awesome tour! Looks like you had a wonderful day!!!

    1. more than's one PRETTY park! and what i really love is that everyone is so comfortable there. there was a group of about 10 ladies next to us, found their spot, plunked their chairs, and they sat there chatting and eating their lunch like they were the only ones there. so great.

  4. the refried beans joke! So funny, I might have to borrow that one...!!

    1. I should have known you would have liked that one. Seriously, it was too damn funny...if you can keep a straight face.


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