Thursday, June 30, 2011
Right. So, always, but always have I wanted to try the legend that is a scone and clotted cream. Despite having lived in the land of scone and jam for a fairly lengthy amount of time, I had never (until recently) tasted clotted cream with my scone. Travesty, no?
So, to put this epicurean disaster to rest, Jessie and I set out last week in search of the best clotted cream-scone-jam combo in Cork City. Luckily for us, one needn't wander far before stumbling across the amazing breakfast fare at the Farmgate Cafe in Cork's English Market. Behold:
Tea, rhubarb jam, fruit scone, and clotted cream. This, friends, is breakfast at its finest. The rhubarb jam was also new to me, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. For best results, definitely swirl your jam and clotted cream together with your knife before chowing down.
Do you enjoy trying new foods when traveling? Do you have a favorite local dish from your home region? Do tell.
I found Talladega ("Dega") hiding under an SUV at a truck stop last August. He was tiny and dehydrated. My dad said things like:
Many pleading eyes and several come-on-daddy-look-at-the-kitty's later, we were zipping towards Atlanta with a skinny kitten on our laps.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
So, I've been busy. After our jaunt to Scotland, Miss Jessie hopped on a plane to come stay with us in Ireland for a week or so. As you might imagine, this was (for the most part) loads of fun and lots of clicking cameras. Unfortunately, Scotland laced my food with some sort of malicious bacteria, so the first few days of her stay were interrupted by my either being feverishly unconscious in my bedroom or vomiting despairingly in my bathroom. Travel will throw you the occasional curve ball.
However, after this first upset, Jessie and I were free to frolic the streets of Cork, the city we in which studied abroad together. It was nostalgia all around! We revisited the campus of UCC, we strolled Patrick Street, and we ate delicious lunches in the English Market and the Quay Co-op.
We even hopped on a train and revisited Fota Wildlife Park, an island zoo where many of the animals are free to roam amongst their human visitors! We got ice cream and took pictures with kangaroos. Mostly, we did a lot of this:
Overall, Miss Jessie's stay was very nostalgic, and all together too short for my liking. The best part, however, was definitely buying ice cream from this guy:
One vanilla ice cream cone with a flake in it? 2 euros. Buying said ice cream from the creepiest leprechaun van in Ireland? Priceless.
If you'd like to see more of our adventures over the past week, check out this album:
|Laurie and Jessie Do Ireland|
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
Friday, June 24, 2011
If the answer to any of the above questions is a resounding "Yes!" then, boy, do I have the link for you.
Behold, and Shazam!
|Edinburgh (and Glascow) 2011|
We arrived late in the evening, exhausted from our toils of packing suitcases, cleaning the house, and grumbling through airport security. Of course, it is always in these low moments of exhaustion that fate decides to throw you a curve-ball. Tired, you say? BAM! Your hostel is the tiniest door in the wall, and will take an extra hour to find! Think of it as a challenge.
Eventually, we found our tiny hostel. There, we also found Jessie. All of these new sights were welcomed with many hugs and subsequent flopping on beds. Despite our group's jetlag and travel-weariness, we did manage to rally our spirits enough to go out for one pint and a few photo ops in the dark.
The next few days were much more exciting. We savored the sights at Edinburgh Castle and The National Museum of Scotland. We took a tour of the royal yacht, Britannia. We tasted whiskey. We indulged in deep-friend Mars bars. We climbed to the very peak of Arthur's Seat!
More importantly, I tried haggis. And, enjoyed it. Most importantly, I ate lots of tiffin at The Elephant House, the cafe where J.K. Rowling penned scrawling notes for the Harry Potter novels. I also took lots of incriminatingly dorky photos of myself writing on napkins while drinking my morning coffee.
After three nights of gasping at the breathtaking beauty of Edinburgh (constantly vowing that we would drop our lives to live amongst its wet, chilly stonework), we moved on to Glascow. Maybe I didn't have a chance to get to know Glascow very well, but seeing the "other Scottish city" after oogling Edinburgh's stunning features was rather underwhelming. But, beauty wasn't the point.
The points were twofold: 1.) FREE breakfast in our hostel and 2.) watching Dylan Moran, one of my favorite comedians (of-all-time-ever) perform at the Pavilion Theater. Each moment of the two hour performance was inflated with the breath of incessant giggling, guffawing, and chuckling. Very much worth it. Then, I ate a chicken sandwich.
The morning after my chicken sandwich, I awoke to the feeling of pointy rocks in my stomach and a vaguely swimmy sensation in my head. Surely, I thought, these unpleasant feelings will dissipate with copious water and FREE breakfast, right? So, we all trundled downstairs to the eating area where I stuffed my face with two bowls of milk and muesli, toast, and three cups of coffee. This was good. I love muesli. I love it even better when it's free.
It was somewhere on the bus between the hostel and Glascow airport when things began to go awry. I began thanking all heavenly bodies that I'd saved plastic bags from souvenir shops and tried desperately not to concentrate on the fact that we were moving. By the time we made it through check-in, I was dashing for a bathroom. After security, a conveniently close trashcan. Before the flight, another nearby (but not nearby enough) trashcan. And so on, and so forth.
Once home, I was able to collapse into bed and sleep for a day. I awoke from my stomach-reeling slumber dehydrated, but much less nauseated. Thank goodness.
Sadly, we never did ramble our way to Loch Ness during our stint in Scotland. Luckily, Nessie was doing a book signing in the National Museum and was kind enough to give me her autograph. Dreams do come true.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
If there's one thing I learned as a former high school Dungeons and Dragons nerd, it's this: a bag of holding is the most important magic item you will EVER come across. Period. It also happens to be the one D&D item I wish I could will into existence. “Why,” you ask? Well, let me tell you...
I am addicted to bulk. For some reason, when I leave the sanctity of my home, I feel the need to load myself down with every object I believe might be somewhat necessary or kind-of-maybe useful in the future. “'What if I get bored?” I ask myself as I eye that novel I've been meaning to start. “Paperbacks aren't all that heavy,” as I plonk the book into my purse. After that, all is lost. Chapstick, back-up makeup, notebooks, pens galore, extra kleenex, extra sweater, emergency apple? Yes, yes, and yes and yes!
This is the problem I'm facing as I pack for Scotland for the weekend. Let me tell you, international travel does not smile upon those with heavy bags and backpacks. No, not at all. Take it from a girl who has (successfully) navigated the Paris metro with two XL suitcases, two duffel bags, a purse, and a backpack... TWICE. When possible, always pack light.
So how did I spend my pre-Scotland packing session? Unpacking my monstrous purse so that I could rearrange the contents for a four-day sojourn to the Land of Whiskey, Tartan and Haggis. I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with how I managed. One duffel bag and one purse for two people over four days. Not exactly packing genius, but not bad either!
More importantly, now that I've downsized my luggage, my hands will be free when it comes time to ask Nessie for her autograph!
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
1. Finding my dog's hair in very unexpected places (e.g. inside a banana, or in my morning oatmeal one week after I've moved out of the country)
2. Germans who sound completely American when they speak English
3. How I still giggle every time I order an "Americano" with an American accent in a cafe when I'm in a foreign place
4. The fact that everyone looks like John Travolta from Saturday Night Fever when you bounce around a city listening to disco on your iPod. (see!?)
6. I'm going to Scotland (forthefirsttimeever) tomorrow!!!
Seriously. Number 6 is probably the most amazing thing on this list. That being said, number 4 is pretty great, too. Honestly, listening to the Bee Gees's "Stayin' Alive" while walking through any city center is like living in a 70s montage. Your jeans will instantly sprout bells and fringe. I implore you to try this if you haven't already.
Let me begin by saying that I don't really know what I'm doing here. In the beginning, I always feel like I need a plan of attack with a journal or blog. I say to myself, “This! This will be what your journal is about! You will post pictures of your drawings. You will write about living abroad!” Then, after weeks of laziness and neglect, all my elegant attack plans tend to Waterloo themselves right off a precipice. I end up waxing poetic about the moon or berating my readers with amateur photography. My web ramblings start to look dangerously like a Livejournal. Meh.
And yet... Over this past year, I found that I indeed have the capacity to stick by a journal (a cute little paper number—one beat-up purple composition notebook). How did I manage to fill its pages? It was my catchall. My wordtrap. My doodle box. And, oh how its pages are fruitful, people. My notebook overfloweth!
Anyway. I suppose I will start by telling you a little bit about myself:
Hi, my name is Laurie and I'm trying to survive my twenties. Over the past two years I have:
Worked a minimum wage job at a local Starbucks
Dropped everything and moved to France for 9 months
Taught 160 children between the ages of 6 and 11 how to speak English
Learned an awful lot about French
Moved back to the Southern United States
Started a graduate program in Gifted Education
Worked a minimum wage job in a local bookstore
Tried to avoid becoming a hipster
Moved to Ireland for the summer
In short, my life has been eventful. I've met all sorts of interesting people and had all sorts of interesting thoughts. I love adventure (especially the small kind). And—when I can't have adventure—I strive to convert everyday occurrences in to the oddball. Mostly, I love to draw and write weird notes.
So, I suppose this journal doesn't have a theme per-say. The gist is consistency. And... I can't promise there won't be a few waxings poetics about the moon on occasion. Old habits die hard.
And with that, I throw up my arms and give you all jazz hands.
Welcome! I say to you!