It Will Burst into Flames

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Today we learned how to brew Guinness! It was a wonderful and flavorful day and nothing BURST into flames. We were precise!

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This is where The Magic happens! It took us forever to find it (Oddly, it is hidden in the back streets of Dublin.) Still, we hunted it down and our day was complete.

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“Yes!” Yes, is the answer to, “Does it taste even better when you’re actually in Dublin?” Sure, it tastes pretty dandy in Kansas City, but it is the “Nectar of the Gods” in Dublin.

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Sure, we could have spent ALL Day in the Guinness Storehouse, but we wanted to check out the local flavors. Guinness is great, but aren’t the flowers spectacular?

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Even the famous Temple Bar, est, 1840, is bedecked with flowers! These people know how to celebrate Spring. Our Cabbie told us the winters here are brutal. . . Not cold, but dark, wet, damp, cloudy and dreary with short days and overcast skies for months at a time. UGH! Thus the explosion of flowers in the Spring!

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The less famous bars just use the most direct advertising they can think of. . . “GET IN HERE!” I hope it works for them!

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No, we didn’t go in here because, well, we can’t drink ALL day, but we knew you’d want to see this. Maybe we’ll go back tonight.

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No, we don’t know who this is and neither do you. . . Still, we thought you should see this painting. It was rather fabulous!. . . Oh! I forget to tell you that we moved from the Guinness Storehouse to The National Gallery of Art. . . That will explain the presence of these magnificent paintings and lack of dire warnings about overheating your barley mash.

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Nobody knows who this is either, but the painter, Peter Paul Rubens (You remember him don’t you.) is the painter. What a spectacular painting. There is a reason they call him (Rubens) one of “The Masters!” . . . He is!

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We could hear the music, but couldn’t make out the song. . . Then, this young woman jumped out doing “The Shingaling!” She was something to behold. Every move was on point! To her benefit, she is made of wood, so quick movements are stressful!

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Art Museums and galleries are so much fun. . . Here, these artsy fartsy people have painted the leading edge of the steps leading to the second floor to match a famous painting. No, we’re not going to tell you which one. You have to do some of the work.

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At nearly 400 feet, this Spire, “The Spire,” is a spectacular sight and makes a real statement about where Dublin is headed! Straight up! We do Love it here and have found the people to be very nice and helpful. Several of the “Nice Ones” even warned us about the “Not so Nice Ones” today as we walked about! “Better hang onto that camera sweetie.  They’ll steal it off your neck!” O.K. Paula put it away and we zipped up our pockets!

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We leave you today with this piece of advice. We have discovered the wonders of wine and suggest you do too. (Small amounts, please!) Tomorrow we pick up a car (The 5th of this trip), leave Dublin and head for the wilds of the Emerald Isle! We are excited to see another new country. Duane was here years ago on business, but this is Paula’s first trip. She’s going to love ❤️ it! Duane will try to get Paula to eat lamb (He’ll fail), he’ll try to get her to eat blood sausage (He’ll Fail), and he’ll try to get her to eat shepherds pie (He’ll Fail!)

 

We drove til we found water

Yesterday, I think it was yesterday, we drove until we found the beach. And OH! What a surprise they had in store for us. . . The Porsche Club of Britain had roped off the entire board walk outside Llandudno, Wales, and had about 650 Porsches lined up from start to finish. Duane nearly flipped for joy!

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We wish we could show them all to you, but we ran out of memory stick. Here’s a sample of the beauties. Mostly were 911s, Boxsters, Caymans with a sprinkling of Cayennes, Macans and Panameras.

 

 

I could go on for hours, but I know there is a limit to just how excited I should allow you to become so I’ll stop. Maybe.

 

Okay, now I’ll stop with the Porsches and show you where we stayed, the beach in front of our Hotel and a new friend Paula made.

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This is our Hotel, The Imperial. It overlooks the Irish Sea and allows great visitors.

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This guy, we named him Harold, came and watched us in our room for about and hour. He seemed very interested in our snacks (Cookies, crisps, nuts and M&Ms) and took to glaring at Paula whenever she would change the channel on the TV.

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But today we again “Took to the Waters” and crossed the Irish Sea to Dublin. We are beginning to like this method of getting around the Islands and highly recommend it. If you look closely at the above sign you can see all of it is, not only in English, but in Welsh. . . . Easily the most confusing written language we’ve encountered. Enjoy reading this. We learned that to pronounce the name of the town we stayed in, Llandudno, you simply put your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth and you got it. It comes our more like a slobbery SSSSSSS sound, but it’s nice.

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The Irish Ferries whisked us from Holyhead to Dublin in under 120 minutes smooth as a pint of Guinness. We met a nice woman on the ferry who gave us all sorts of great tips on visiting Ireland. We hope we remember all of them and have time.

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This is the light house that protects Dublin Harbour from Pirates and other ner-do-wells. I know it looks like rain on the window, but it is just splash! It is dry as a bone in Dublin and the promise is for sun, sun and more sun. The Irish won’t know what to do with this much sun! They’ll probably do like the Scots and sunburn themselves.

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This, we believe, is Molly Malone out selling her baskets, or something in her baskets. Molly is a fictional character in a well known Irish song. (We don’t know the song) That is why you don’t know who she is either, unless, of course you’re Irish and can sing the song, which, obviously, we’d like to hear.

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This is across the street from Molly and is a perfect place for dinner, M.J. O’Neills. It was perfect! Plenty of hand polished dark wood, lots of Guinness, fish and chips galore and blood pudding. We have no pictures of the food, but it was yummy!

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We leave you with this bit of Irish Wisdom. . . Guinness Gladdens! We speak from experience. We’re going to like it here if we can just determine what Molly has in her baskets! We’re thinking, “Cockles and Mussels Alive, Alive Oh!”

Paula Watched

Paula watched the wedding while Duane visited the National Railway Museum.

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This museum, just outside the old walls of York, is spectacular! Now, to be honest, Duane only gets moderately excited about trains, but this museum has the power to excite everyone who gets inside to see what they have put together. In a country like England, where people regularly travel by trains, this museum really tells more than the story of trains. It tells the story of England! If you even have a mild interest in trains and train travel you should plan a trip here ASAP!

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Old #4468! This train, like so many others, was simply stunning! And it is named after a duck!

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But seriously, Old No.1 is the real show stopper. Maybe because it ended up being #1.

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Everytrain wanted to be No.1, but only this green baby received that honor! Have I told you to stop what you’re doing and get to this Museum? We’ll wait for you!

 

 

As sometimes happens, we’re having trouble downloading photos so we’re going to stop for awhile. You’ve probably seen enough photos of trains anyway. Paula said the wedding was beautiful, well thought out and flawless in its delivery!

Yep! We’re Still Here

York! We love it. Sure, the Old Town can be walked in a few minutes and other than the Great Minster, (Which actually is Great) there is little to see. Still, we find that just wandering the Shambles and peeking into stores about Vikings, ghosts, wizards and weirdos is really quite great fun. 8F07AD17-F3F3-4687-B66C-BE5217A6D2B1No, we didn’t meet the Weird Fish, but we do love the local attractions. York Old Town seems to be populated with restaurants, (Lots and Lots of restaurants) ghost stores, clothing stores, shoe stores, wizard stores, novelty stores, gift shops, woolen stores and sweet shops, pubs and pubs. We Love it! It is easy to get lost and we did!

64D16D45-8145-49C8-9105-1A67AFB45D13All pubs have, not just a name, but a sign and logo that describes exactly what you can expect when you enter. Here we are assured that Lambs and Lions will sit with us as we down a pint! The ale was outstanding as we shared a pint and a lunch with a good friend, Michael Parkes, from the old days when Duane still had a job. Thanks Michael! The lambs and the lions were well behaved.

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Despite all of our travels and research and study into local customs we can find NO reasonable reason why this place has a special entrance for yorkie terriers! These yippy little terriers are an extremely annoying breed of terrier, so, just on a a scale of “How Annoying is this Dog?” We understand. Still, it seems harsh.

67D7D7AC-5672-429A-8BAF-04005383335B.jpegPaula has hundreds of friends, but today she made a new one. This guy is a little pale, but he seems harmless. Duane is going to keep a close eye on him!

91D26CB0-F4B6-41D0-ACCE-3D719008B08A.jpegDespite Duane’s penchant to attempt to explain the unexplainable he is staying away from this. Duane has been asked to “Cool It” so you will get NO explanation of what this whole thing is about. Betty, we are certain, will appreciate my self control.

BBAA7CFC-4C4E-494E-98CB-507E502D6FE1Early this morning Duane walked part of the Old Wall that completely surrounds York. Almost all of these cities have an “Old Town” that is still surrounded by an ancient stone wall. It is incredibly interesting to walk the old walls and imagine all the mayham that took place along these walls. They did build them for a reason. . . People were trying to get inside and kill them all!!! Nice wall York!

BE23F18E-B619-4B3C-874F-A68DDD94F766When you get closer to town they install a guard fence (To keep you from falling off the wall) as falling off the wall in close proximity to civilization would be disturbing, while falling off a few yards away is not nearly so troubling. If I find more pictures I will load, but for now . . . . It is bed time in England!

 

As Advertised. . Wow!

The York Minster is everything they say it is and they say a lot! As with so many things we try to photograph, this one is shrouded in scaffolding on many exterior sections. Still, we’ll try to give you some idea of the magnificence and grandeur of this wonderful (and massive) cathedral. This particular cathedral came close to falling  down a few years ago (It didn’t) so the whole world can, once again, thank an engineer! These mammoth, old cathedrals are HUGE and were built on iffy foundations that go back over a thousand years, so it is no surprise that it almost fell over. Thank you engineers!

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One more exterior shot before we go inside. Unlike so many, one can walk completely around this cathedral and that makes it all the more impressive. Having a broad, groomed lawn on 2 sides really helps show off this facility at its very best. Being able to sit on a cathedral bench and let this magnificent building soak in is a wonderful experience. For the record, the weather is much nicer than it looks like in this photo. We are out and about with NO COATS on and only a scarf 🧣 to protect us from the elements. It is dry!

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This is actually a shot behind the main alter and will give you some idea of how massive this place is. Have I said, “It is HUGE!”

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The “Glass”in this cathedral is quite extraordinary and I hope you can view this with some clarity. As is the case with many cathedrals, each panel of glass tells it’s own special bible story. This Wall has the entire bible told on one wall. . . Amazing!

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This ceiling in the Chapter House, a connected, but separate octagonal facility, was quite the remarkable challenge at the time, 1296, as it has no center support. Amazing. They never really admit to how large this cathedral is, but from our experience, it is one of the best and one of the largest. Paula Loved this place.

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This is back outside, of course, but is included so you can see the tiny splash of blue sky in the bottom left corner.

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We simply don’t know what to say about this extraordinary display of monumental  indecision and Second-Guessing, but we thought you should see it.

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There is a section of York called the “Shambles” . . . A section so old that no one knows exactly how old. . . Although, some have guessed as far back as the 600s -700s. The streets are all the exact width of an oxcart and offer an excellent view of life in York from 1,500 years ago. This section is full of tiny, little shops selling all sorts of goodies (Fudge, Grog, Ale and Lamb Parts) and enjoying their location in town as “The Place.” Still, there were places they wouldn’t let us enter. We don’t know why. We’re guessing, witches ahead.

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We enjoy, and try to comply with, all signage. Still, I have my doubts about my interest in being a Viking. Sure, there is the time honored celebration of drinking ale from the hollowed out skull of your enemy, but all the rest of the pillaging and raping and scorching of the earth seems excessive. I’m going to stay in Tucson and drink fine wine from fine crystal glasses as we’ve become accustomed to. 😊

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This place is right across the river from our Hotel. All we can think of is the old saying, “Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner!”. . . . No, we don’t know what that means either. Still, we wish these people all the best in whatever game they’re playing.

 

 

 

 

Goodbye Scotland

We Loved Scotland and certainly would recommend a visit. We only hit the “High Points” but can state with great confidence, “This is a beautiful country that deserves  some attention and we loved the joyful people. They seem happy to welcome visitors and go out of their way to make you feel welcome.” You even get used to the incessant Bagpipe playing after awhile and accept it as a critical ingredient in the Scottish soup. Speaking of Scottish soup, Duane tried haggis last night and loved it. No, Haggis is not a soup, but it is a Scottish specialty (Go check out out a Haggis recipe) and one cannot leave the country until you’ve tried it. It is not nearly as scary  as one is led to believe, although Paula could not be convinced to try a nibble of it.

All that said, we must head back south “The SOUTH” as there are things to see.

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Actually, we aren’t going to any of those places, but we are headed South! Today we will arrive in York for a few days before heading for Ireland. Paula says, “We’re staying here until the wedding.” So, I guess, we are here for awhile. York, as we learned from a short reconnaissance trip is a dynamite place and we’ll have no trouble hanging here for some time.

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York has much to offer the visitor, but their Minster is the BIG DRAW. It is a monster and we can’t wait to check it out. They hold nightly concerts and we will be there.

Tomorrow we will go inside and give you a tour, but for tonight we are out.

Murder, Mayham, Mammarys

3C2D887A-22DA-49B4-BDA0-235B55C558D4The only place to witness murder, mayham and mammarys without causing a fuss is the National Gallery. Luckily we are headed there this morning. It is small, but it is mighty! The painting above, by Rembrandt, is a striking example of why we go to Art Museums. This is some nice brushwork. We’re going to love it in here!

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As Galleries go, this is a tiny one, but then when you get inside there are Rembrandts, Rubens, Raphaels and a Vermeer or two for our enjoyment. Carry on!

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These two are not involved in the murder or mayham and only slightly involved with the mammarys, but still, we liked them. They look like great sisters or grand friends. They should be celebrated with abandon. They’ll only look like this for so long and then this happens!!!

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This, apparently this is what happens if you live long enough. Everything falls apart!

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Finally we get to the Murder and Mayham. This is, however, the “After Party.” Here, we see the head of John the Baptist on a platter. What Duane did not know from his bible studies is that Salome’s mother stabs John’s tongue with a fork. Now, that’s just wrong, but then, if you studied this part of the Bible, there was a lot of things going way wrong! Let’s move along. Things have to get better, don’t they?

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Apparently not! Things get a lot worse! Here we can witness the “Murder” first hand and it looks stunning! This, Duane thinks, is an actual scene from Mary Queen of Scot’s chamber . . . Here Rissio (We think it is Rissio) is being manhandled by a bunch of ruffians much to Mary’s horror! This does not end well for our new friend Rissio. . .nor does it end well for Mary. . . These folks knew how to take care of business! The lesson here, “Don’t mess with Elizabeth!”

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Finally, we get to the mammary section. Here Peter Paul Rubens shares a scene from one of his own bedrooms. In this scene, his girl friend, Sally, yells out from behind the curtains, “Hey, Peter, put down the brushes and get your ass in bed, I’m cold!

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Rubens, was, at the time, working on this piece and you can see why he was late to bed. I hope Sally makes some progress or she’ll sleep alone again.

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Sally’s friends, however, are just as disinterested as Peter is and you can see why. . . They spent too much time partying in the sun without sunscreen and now they have their mammarys sunburned. No one likes that! The girl in the Blue shawl simply grins and says, “I told you to cover up, sillys! Now Suffer!” Veronica begs for some aloe, but she’ll be disappointed once again as aloe doesn’t  grow in Scotland.

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Stepping outside to avoid any more bloodshed or sunburn we are faced with this as a backyard. Duane is just glad he doesn’t have to mow this monster! Hire some Fins!

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The massive tower for Sir Walter Scott we saw yesterday, but today we got closer. It is a magnificent tower and someone still has to tell me why Mr. Scott was such a big Deal in Scotland.

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One more and we’ll leave you alone to ponder Sir Walter Scott’s legacy.

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Sir Walter Scott! Credited with being the founder and creator of Fictional History Novels. Thanks Walt!

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One more shot from the park. Just in the few days we have been here the tress and flowers have gone berserk! Things have gone from “Just barely Spring” to “Full on Spring.” The Scots are out and about in great numbers and enjoying their few day of sun to the fullest. Mostly getting sunburned like Veronica.

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This young Scottish Lassie, Peggy Sue, is out for a night on the town in her short shorts and white legs. This picture is only remarkable as Paula and Duane, at this very same moment, are on their way to dinner at 1930 hours. It is already chilly and the afore mentioned Paula and Duane are bundled up with heavy socks, long pants, silk underwear, long sleeved thermal shirts, plus scarves and jackets. This young woman had better find a blanket and soon or she’ll suffer the same fate as Sally.

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These guys, we think they’re guys, are dressed for warmth and comfort and most certainly will have a great evening if they can just find their face and hands.  Should they run into Peggy Sue I am certain they will welcome her under their robes for a good rubdown. Good luck to all who venture out tonight!