Not To Be Trusted With Knives

The Internet’s leading authority on radicalized geese


Quick Trip Recap: London & Scotland

I’m sure it will be awhile before I get to do some of my usual thorough post-trip blogging of my trip to the UK, what with all the having-to-go-back-to-work-and-teaching-and-catch-up-on-all-the-work-I-missed-while-I-was-galavanting-around-the-UK, but for those of you who just can’t wait, here’s a high level summary of all the fun I had while you were working like a bunch of suckers.

Oct 12

Flew to London. Spent most of the flight marking assignments. I should do more traveling as I am really efficient at marking while on planes1.

Oct 13-15

London. Saw a bunch of London things. Went to the Natural History Museum and couldn’t figure out why nothing there looked familiar since I’d gone there on my previous trip to London. Turns out, I hadn’t. I went to the British Museum in London and the Natural History Museum in Dublin *and* the Natural History Museum in Washington, DC, but never the one in London. As it turns out, I prefer all of those other museums to the NHM in London.

Oct 16

Train trip from London to Glasgow. Had a steak dinner and then went to my favourite of the pubs we visited in the UK (and we visited quite a few): The Pot Still ((Dr. Dan,The Pot Still is like Fet’s Whiskey Kitchen in Vancouver but without the cool ladder but with cool Scottish people instead. I think you would like it there.)).

Oct 17

Glasgow. Glasgow Cathedral and the Glasgow Necropolis are spectacular. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is an interesting mix of a natural history type museum and an art gallery. Did the first of our scotch distillery tours: Clydeside Distillery.

Oct 18

Visited the University of Glasgow – I can’t believe that people get to go to school on such a beautiful campus – those old buildings are amazing! The business school is named after Adam Smith (he was a philosopher professor there) and we proceeded to see his name a lot around Scotland for the rest of our trip. Then we drove to Glencoe, making various stops along the way. Scottish countryside is stunning.

Oct 19

On this day I got to do the thing that had originally prompted me to go to Scotland (but was by no means the only reason I wanted to go) – I visited my Highland Titles Estate! For the uninitiated, the Highland Titles Nature Reserve sells plots of land and when you buy one, you become a Scottish landowner, which means you are allowed to use the title Lady, Lord, or Laird. As you know, I love titles, designations, and anything else I can add to my name, and I like to support nature conservation, so of course I am the Reverend Lady Dr. Mary Elizabeth Snow. It was a rainy day when I visited my vast 1 square foot estate, but visit it I did! After that we drove to the Isle of Skye and took a ferry to the Isle of Raasay, where we stayed in a hotel that is in a distillery – the aptly named Isle of Raasay distillery. We had dinner at the only place on the island to have dinner, Raasay House. The Isle of Skye and the Isle of Raasay are absolutely spectacularly stunning!

Oct 20

Did our second scotch distillery tour – Isle of Raasay Distillery. Then took the ferry back to the Isle of Skye and drove around and looked at various things there. So beautiful.

Oct 21

Looked at more Isle of Skye things and then drove back to Edinburgh. Got a flat tyre2 on our rental car, but the rental car company sent a guy to put the spare tyre on and then we were on our way again. It was dark when we got to Edinburgh but a lot of buildings were lit up and they looked incredibly beautiful in the night.

Oct 22

Squeezed as many things into our half day in Edinburgh as we could: St. Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, two cemeteries, and a bit of shopping. I got to see where David Hume is buried, so I was pretty chuffed about that. Then it was back to Glasgow, where we had just enough time for a cup of tea and then got onto our train to London.

Oct 23

Flew home.

Also, here’s some random other thoughts/observations:

  • Dairy Milks taste way better in the UK than in Canada. So does butter.
  • Things that you don’t tend to find in the UK: conditioner, salads.
  • Things you find a lot of in the UK: sheep, meat, cemeteries.
  • Three banks in Scotland makes their own banknotes. They are basically equivalent to pounds sterling that are issued by the Bank of England, but they are issued by retail banks. At one store in Scotland, the clerk told us that these banknotes are not accepted in England, but the internet tells me otherwise. I suspect she may have just been trying to get us to spend our money in Scotland instead of England!

More to come, including photos3 once I get myself unburied from all this work I need to catch up on!

  1. I also wrote most of this blog posting on the plane – just didn’t add the links or post it because I’m way too cheap to pay for wifi access on the plane. Hence why I’m posting it now! []
  2. Because that’s how they spell it in the UK! []
  3. I took about 8 million photos. []


Museums of London and Dublin

I think of all the museums I visited on my holidays, I liked the British Museum the most. I got to see the freaking Rosetta Stone!


And this awesome scarab:


A smaller version of which my aunt bought for me:


I think I’ll make it into a necklace.

We also went to the Victoria & Albert Museum1:


and to the National Gallery in London, which were both pretty awesome.


I especially liked this giant blue rooster outside the gallery in Trafalgar Square2:


I just googled it and appeared it is called ““Hahn/Cock” and was only installed about a week before we got there!

We got there a bit late in the day, so didn’t have a tonne of time to look at everything before it closed, but I did get to see Leonardo Da Vinci’s The Virgin of the Rocks, which was pretty awesome. We couldn’t take photos in these museums, so you’ll just have to go there yourself if you want to see the awesomeness.

The museums we went to in Ireland, however, were not nearly as exciting. The National Gallery in Dublin seemed to have about four rooms of painting and sculptures by people I’ve never heard of:


And the Natural History Museum in Dublin was a giant room of taxidermic animals3:


Though this giant basking shark is pretty kickass:


As is this skeleton of a giant Irish deer:


In their defence, it looked like both of these museums were undergoing renovations, and I think a bunch of their exhibits were inaccessible because of this.

Also, there was so much awesomeness all over Ireland that I don’t want to give you the impression that Ireland does not rock, just based on these two museums. The awesomeness of Ireland shall be the subject of a whole slew of upcoming blog postings.

  1. We were going to go to the Natural History Museum too, but the line up was hours long and we figured we’d rather spend that time seeing stuff than waiting in line. Because it’s not like there’s a shortage of stuff to see in London! []
  2. Which you may recall from this posting that I posted earlier today []
  3. I thought that they were called “taxidermied animals, but my spell check said it should be “taxidermic” and Merriam-Webster agreed. But spell check says that both “Merriam” and “Webster” are not words, so now I just give up. []


England Has A Dirty Mind

I noticed pretty much as soon as I got to England that they use the word “cock” a lot. My first experience was getting on the Piccadilly line at Heathrow and seeing this sign:


Because of where our hotel was, we took the Piccadilly line a fair bit and so repeatedly heard that we were on the Piccadilly line with service to Cockfosters. Which made me given. Every. Single. Time.

Other cocks we saw in England include the Famous Cock:



Laycock Street:


And this giant blue cock outside the National Gallery:


But it wasn’t just cocks. There were also balls:


and my personal favourite, Smallbone:



The Sights of London

This is the first of a bunch of blog postings that I’ve been putting together from my trip. Rather than going through chronologically, as I’ve already done a quick chronology of the trip, I’ve done these more detailed postings by themes1. Apologies in advance for flooding your Twitter stream, Facebook feed, and/or RSS feed.

The London portion of our trip involved a lot of walking around and looking at things2. And shopping, because it’s against the law to go to London and not shop.

One of the coolest things we did in London was going on the London Eye, which is a giant ferris wheel type thingy on the River Thames. It takes about half an hour to go around the whole thing and thus gives you a good opportunity to look around and get the lay of the land – you could see the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and even, way off in the distance, Buckingham Palace. As someone who had never been to London before, I really enjoyed it and it helped me to figure out where everything was so that we could then go see all sorts of famous London sights.


Houses of Parliament, as seen from the Eye:


Big Ben, as seen from the Eye3:


Another capsule full of people on the Eye:


Shadow of the Eye on the River Thames, as seen from the Eye4:


And here we are on the Eye – my Aunt Eileen is in the front, wearing white, and my mom and I are on the right, wearing sunglasses. Aunt Lynn is in there somewhere, but she’s hiding from the camera!

london eye 2013

We also did a boat cruise along the Thames, which we got as a package deal when we bought our tickets for the Eye. Because we are thrifty like that5. The tour was awesome because the tour guide gave a running commentary as you cruised along, so you learned a bunch of history about all the stuff you were looking at:

Going under the London Bridge:


The Tower Bridge:


Houses of Parliament, as seen from the river cruise:


I think the Houses of Parliament are my favourite site in all of London!

After our trip on the Eye and our boat cruise, we wandered around to see some of the sights up close.

As it happened, the day we were there was the day of a 100 km bike race from Surrey to London, so we got to see a bunch of people racing:


I took this photo of a statue of Oliver Cromwell near Parliament without really knowing much about him:


I’d hear a lot about him when I got to Ireland, and none of it was very nice. I looked it up when I got home and apparently there was controversy over the statue, as opinions on Cromwell are divided, what with the attempted genocide of the Irish and all.

We couldn’t actually go into Westminster Abbey the day we were there, but it looked lovely on the outside:




The first time I saw a sign for Cafe Nero, I totally thought it said “Cafe Nerd”:


Needless to say, I was very disappointed when I realized its actual name.

This priest was walking out of a church and he totally made me think of The Exorcist6.:


Buckingham Palace was a bit of a let down, because the palace itself was pretty crappy looking and it turns out that they only do the changing of the guard every other day in August, but they don’t tell you anywhere which day7. The gates were very pretty though – here I am with my mom in front of the gates; I’m doing my best royal wave!


Saw this pub on the way to do some shopping. In retrospect, I wish we’d stopped in for a pint:


The English national lottery logo bears a striking resemblance to the one for the Oregon state lottery8:


Oregon Lottery Sign

Of course, no trip to London would be complete without going to Harrod’s:


My mom bought a purse here, which was actually cheaper than buying the same person back in Toronto. Only my family can go to Harrod’s and find a bargain! On the not-a-bargain front, I wanted to buy a tin of cookies that had the most adorable pigeons on it, but it cost €30 – or about $45 Canadian – which is criminally expensive for nine cookies, regardless of how cute the tin is.  I also didn’t buy this coat at Marks & Spencer, but only because I couldn’t find it in my size9. I did, however, get three dresses at Miss Selfridge, which my Aunt Eileen insisted on buying for me. Thanks Aunty Eileen!

Speaking of shopping, one of the things that my mom was especially interested in doing when we were in London was going to Stephen Einhorn’s jewellery store:


After my dad died, my sister and I got my mom a pigeon charm for a charm bracelet, as my dad was an avid pigeon racer. Naturally, the place we found said pigeon charm was in England – from Stephen Einhorn, to be specific. The pigeon charm was quite heavy though, and didn’t work with my mom’s existing charm bracelet, so she wanted to buy a bracelet here. And then she bought a couple of charms. And another bracelet. And my aunts bought bracelets too10

Here are my Aunt Eileen and my Mom showing off their new bracelets:


And here’s a frequent site you see in England if you take the Underground (a.k.a. the Tube):


Mind the gap!

  1. Or by clever titles that I thought of and then came up with themes of stuff to write about so I could use said clever title. “Clever” as defined by me. YMMV. []
  2. My mom and Aunt Eileen had been to London before (though for my mom it was about 30 years ago), but my Aunt Lynn and I had never been, so there were tonnes of things that we wanted to see! []
  3. I didn’t know this previously, but Ben is actually the bell inside the clock tower, not the clock itself. []
  4. So meta. []
  5. Yes, nothing says “thrifty” like going to Europe in August! []
  6. Also, he doesn’t look too happy about me taking his picture. []
  7. At least, it wasn’t on the sign that told us it happens every other day, nor could I find it on their website. []
  8. I took the photo of the Oregon state lotto logo on a trip to Oregon a couple of year ago, as the idea of the logo being crossed fingers struck me as particularly funny. []
  9. Despite checking one M&S store in London and two in Dublin. Plus the website – apparently every women in the British Isles who is my size will be wearing that coat this fall. Also, M&S had free shipping to Canada if you order online, which is good to know! []
  10. I contemplated buying a ring, but in the end decided that while I liked it, I didn’t *love* it, so couldn’t justify the purchase. []



I have *finally* finished uploading all my holiday photos to Flickr and that’s how many photos I took – 2,580. Well, I took a few more than that, but some were blurry or contained only the face of the random person who walked right in front of my camera as I tried to take a photo of something else, so I deleted those. So 2,580 useable photos. When you combine that with the 1,638 photos that my aunt took – well, that’s a lot of photos.

I don’t imagine you actually want to scroll through thousands of photos though, so I’m posting a few of my favourite ones here. And then I’ll write some blog postings about some of the stuff we did, and I’m sure I’ll put some of the photos in there too. And then I’ll stop flooding your social media streams with stuff about my holidays!


T-shirt in a store window in London.


I still don’t know what this is an ad for.


Shadow of the London Eye on the Thames, taken from the London Eye.



My mom, leaning out the window and calling “Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?”


A British racing pigeon. Look closely, you can see the bands on his legs!


Me and the Tardis.


Eyeballs in a garden at Blarney Castle.


My Mom, Aunt Eileen, and Aunt Lynn, at the top of Blarney Castle. They are ready to kiss the stone!


Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin. His shoes are real leather and are polished every day.


No trip would be complete without a picture of me in front of a sign, doing what the sign says not to do. Don’t sit on the steps. Pfft!


Aunt Lynn, Mom, and me!


Fearless whiskey tasters at the Old Jameson Distillery in Dublin.


Me, my mom, and Aunt Lynn at the Dunbrody famine ship.


Aunt Eileen, captain of the Dunbrody!


I’d make an excellent Queens guardsperson.


This really does not need a caption.


My mom’s favourite jeweller in London.


Giant blue rooster outside the National Gallery in London.


My mom and I on the tour bus in Ireland.


Grave of W.B. Yeats.




Nice, France.







Me feeding a lamb in Ireland.


Aunt Eileen and a sheep in Ireland.


Me, my mom, and Aunt Lynn at the Cliffs of Moher.


Aunt Eileen and me in Ireland.


My mom worked for the Royal Bank of Canada for 45 years. Her she is at the Royal Bank of Ireland.


Nice, France.


Nice, France.


Moonlight on the water in Nice, France.


The Wild Rover Returns

And so my first every trip off the continent has come to an end. I have many blog postings1 about my various adventures that I will post over the next week or so – tales of castles and churches and cemeteries and more castles and more churches and pirates2. I have much newfound knowledge about my motherlands3, and new jewels and artwork to show you.

I am also pleased to report that, as planned, I knocked not just one, not just two, but THREE items off my 101 list:

55. leave the continent
12. re-read Momo
13. re-read Johnathan Livingstone Seagull

Moreover, within a space of 24 hours4 I set foot in 4 different countries! That’s the same number of countries that I’d been to in my ENTIRE LIFE prior to this trip5! I also looked at Italy while I was in Monaco, but since I was there on a tour, I couldn’t just pop over. If I’d been driving myself, I totally would have, just to say I’d been.

As a teaser, here’s the Reader’s Digest version:

  • Aug 2 to 5: 4 days in London, England, galavanting with my mom, my Aunt Eileen, and my Aunt Lynn. Highlights include: the London Eye, cruising the Thames, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace6, Houses of Parliament, museums galore, Harrod’s.
  • Aug 6: Arrived in Ireland! Stayed in our first castle hotel: Dunboyne Castle. Met the rest of our tour group.
  • Aug 7-8: Stayed in our second castle hotel: Kilronan Castle. Visited the town of Kells (where the famous Book of Kells is from), the Holy Well & Mass Rock at Tobernalt, saw W.B. Yeats’ grave, Donegal Bay, Glenar Waterfall, Parkes’ Castle, Trim Castle, and took a boat ride on the Rose of Innisfree
  • Aug 9-10: Stayed in our first non-castle hotel of the Ireland portion of our trip7: Connemara Coast Hotel. Learned about making textiles at Foxford Woollen Mills, how to shear a sheep at Rathburn Farm8 ,9 (not to mention having some delicious tea and scones10 ), and how to make marble at the Connemara Marble Factory11. Stopped for lunch at a Tim Horton’s in a gas station12. Saw Kylemore Abbey, Galway Cathedral and dipped my feet into Galway Bay. For our last night at Connemara we had a private show by a harpist who also plays at the Cliff of Moher.
  • Aug 11-12: Stayed at the Malton Hotel in Killarney. The absolute highlight was the stunning Cliffs of Moher, but other cool stuff included a ride on the Shannon Ferry, a jaunting car13 ride through Killarney Park, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Kerry Bog Village, and some fantastic lamb stew at the Thatched Cottage Restaurant. Also, we stopped to shop at Moriarty’s and inadvertently left my Aunt Lynn behind! Once we realized what had happened, we turned the bus around and picked her up – though she was flirting with a bus driver from another tour group when we got there – I don’t think she actually wanted us to come back! Another awesome part of the Killarney days was that the hotel we stayed in was right in town (others had been further out), so we could go out to pubs at night and listen to all the live music.
  • Aug 13: Stayed in the Faithlegg Hotel (at a golf course). Blarney! Spoiler alert: I kissed the Blarney Stone14! So did my mom and both my aunts. It’s pretty freaking high up and you have to hang over an edge15 and arch backwards to do it. Also of note in Blarney, I bought a painting from a local artist. Actually, wait, no – my Aunt Eileen bought me a painting from a local artist, because she kept insisting on buying me stuff for my birthday. lol! Also went through Cork’s English Market, and had Murphy’s Irish Stout at the the Marine Bar
  • Aug 14-15: Clontarf Castle, Dublin. We learned how to make crystal at the Waterford Crystal Factory, and more about how to weave at Avoca Woollen Mills, visited the Dunbrody Famine Ship, had some fish & chips at Leo Burdock’s Fish & Chips and listened to more live music and watched Irish dancing at the Arlington Hotel. Learned how to make whiskey at the Jameson Distillery, where I became a certified Irish whiskey taster16. Visited the Garden of Remembrance & the Glasnevin Cemetery17, a super cool statute of Oscar Wilde18, some museums19 and had dinner at Abbey Tavern where there was, again, music and dancing.
  • Aug 16: still at Clontarf Caste. Due to a screw up by the travel agent, we were booked to fly out of Dublin the day after the tour ended, instead of the day of, so we stayed on an extra night at Clontarf and explored more of Dublin on our own. Checked out Trinity College, Dublin Castle, the General Post Office20 and a bunch of statues.
  • Aug 17: Traveled to Nice! Had a stopover in Zurich, Switzerland, meaning by the end of this day I’d set foot in 4 of the 5 countries planned for this trip. Checked into my hotel – the Hotel Boreal – grateful to be staying in a single hotel for more than 2 nights in a row! Headed to the beach for an evning stroll.
  • Aug 18-20: A series of days of strolling through the town checking out all the interesting streets and shops and whatnot, and going to the beach. Actually did more of the former and less of the latter than I thought I would21. Ended every night on the Promenade des Anglais  to watch the sun set.
  • Aug 21: Half day trip to the village of Eze and to Monaco! Absolutely gorgeous! Learned how to make perfume at Fragonard, saw Grace Kelly’s grave, and followed the race circuit for the Formula One world championship held in May every year in Monaco.. Plus, I went with a little tour group – 7 of us in all – and it was really nice to be around such friendly people22. I’d been getting a little lonely only talking to either salespeople or creepy men who were trying to pick me up, so it was nice to have some people to hang out with. Ended the day, as always, watching the sunset on the Promenade des Anglais
  • Aug 22-23. Returned to London, via Geneva. Then home to Vancouver. Happy to see my frogs!

Hmmm… that wasn’t very condensed, was it? And I didn’t do it from memory – I kept a travel journal throughout my trip, because I knew I wouldn’t remember all the details without a little help. As I flipped through my journal to write this posting, I got excited all over again by the things that I did and the fun memories I have now. I was especially lucky to travel with my mom and my aunts. We had so much fun together – one of the other people in our tour group told us at the end of the trip that “You are what a family should be like.” And I couldn’t agree more!

So, as I mentioned, there will be more blog postings on some of the most exciting things that I saw/did/learned/ate/bought on my trip. Complete with photos – as I took about one zillion of them23. But I have to admit, even just writing thing post has me wanderlusting already! I wonder where my next trip should be?

  1. Where by “have” I mean “mostly in my brain still, but with a few bits and pieces jotted in my notebook.” []
  2. OK, just people dressed as pirates. []
  3. OK, more about one of my motherlands (Ireland) than about my other motherland (England). Because I went on a guided tour of Ireland, while the England portion of my trip consisted of only 4 days and no guide. []
  4. Between 2 pm on Aug 21 and 2 pm on Aug 22. []
  5. I realize that for people from Europe, where there as so many tiny countries all packed close together, being in 4 different countries within 24 hours might not seem like a big deal, but when you come from a country where it takes a week to drive across your country, it’s pretty cool! []
  6. Spoiler alert: the palace is not all that exciting to look at. []
  7. Though it was still lovely! []
  8. Which will come in useful since I learned all about weaving at Foxford []
  9. Also, I got to feed a lamb! []
  10. I bought a copy of the recipe for the scones, because I’ve been trying to find a good recipe for scones for ages, as all the recipes I’ve tried so far turned about mediocre at best. Expect a scone baking blog posting in the not too distant future. []
  11. OK, so I guess you don’t “make” marble, you mine it and then make things with it. But I learned about that anyway. []
  12. Did I mention that everyone in our tour group was from Canada? []
  13. Read: horse & carriage []
  14. Don’t you see how my gab giftedness has become even more gifted already? []
  15. There’s safety bars beneath, so it’s not *that* scary. []
  16. The tour guide there totally wanted me. []
  17. Which was really freaking cool. I couldn’t believe a cemetery could be that cool! []
  18. Did I ever mention how much I love Oscar Wilde? []
  19. Spoiler alert: They were underwhelming. []
  20. Important in Irish history, but not all that exciting to look at, really. []
  21. My feet are *killing* me from all the walking! []
  22. There was an older couple from Belgium, and two couples around my age: one couple from NYC and one couple from Washington, DC. []
  23. Don’t worry, I won’t make you sit through all the photos. I’ll pick out the prettiest ones to share here. []


Me Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Apparently my blog was down for a bit – I think leprechauns got in the tubes and messed thing up, but thankfully, unlike me, Kalev, the Tsar of the Geekery and Overseer of Deb0rking is not on vacation from overseeing the necessary deb0rking and my blog was returned to its fully functioning form, just in time for me to write a quick blog posting from Ireland!

I’m taking most of my photos on my real camera (as opposed to on my iPhone or iPad), so won’t be able to show you them here until I get home, as I didn’t bring my laptop and have no way of getting them off the SD card. But rest assured that you will be subjected to more vacation photos than you could ever want to see upon my return1. I’ve taken a few photos on my iPhone to post on Facebook, so if you know me on FB, you can check those out there.

And now, because I’m tired, here are a few random thoughts:

  • I’m writing from Connemara.
  • Tomorrow, I’m going to dip my foot into Galway Bay.
  • I’ve eaten more meat, bread, and cream during this trip so far than a person should eat in a lifetime.
  • I’m sure I’ll be eating a lot more yet.
  • Ireland feels very peaceful, which is surprising given that its past is full of misery and violence.
  • I saw a pigeon coop2 from the 1700s.
  • I want a pet sheep. And also I want to live in a castle.
  1. So far, between my Aunt Eileen and I, we have taken more than 3,000 photos. And that’s not even counting the ones my Aunt Lynn has taken. And we are only on day 4 of our tour of Ireland – day 9 of 23 days of vacation for me. []
  2. Technically, it was a “pigeon tower” in a castle []


You Should Be Jealous of Me

It seems like only yesterday that this trip to Europe was just a twinkle in my eye and now it’s the day before I leave! In fact, by this time tomorrow, I will be transferring from the Vancouver to Toronto leg of my journey onto the plane that will take me to London!

Despite the fact that I have a stopover in Toronto and my traveling companions – a.k.a., my mom and two of my aunts – are coming from Toronto, we aren’t actually on the same flight and are, in fact, going to different airports in London. I’ll arrive at Heathrow about an hour after they arrive at Gatwick. Our plan is to meet up at our hotel in Earl’s Court and then set about to our galavanting. We have 4 days for adventuring in London and then we fly out to Dublin for an 11-day tour.

These are all the places we shall go in the Emerald Isle.

In Ireland, from what I hear, we will see some extraordinarily beautiful sights, experience some outstanding hospitality, and probably gain 20 lbs from the hearty Irish breakfasts. I plan to kiss the Blarney Stone1 – though one of my epidemiologist colleagues suggested that I should bring some sanitizer to put on the stone first to kill the germs: “People are kissing that thing ALL DAY!!” I will also get to sleep in a castle2 and hit up the Jameson distillery AND the Guinness brewery3. And a whole bunch of other stuff, which I will report back to you on in greater detail than I’m sure you even care to hear4.

From Ireland I head to Nice, via Switzerland, where I intend to do a whole lot of nothing. Where “nothing” consists mainly of sitting on the beach, drinking wine, wandering around town, and doing whatever I feel like.  I have booked a short excursion to Monaco on of the days that I’m there,  and I’ve only just recently clued in that a couple that I know is currently living in France, a few hours from Nice, so I might take a trip out to see them if I can figure out how to get there despite my complete inability to speak French and dreadful sense of direction.

Most importantly, I will spend the next three weeks completely forgetting about work and school and any other such responsibilities. The only evaluations I’ll be conducting will be evaluations of beaches in the south of France. The only research I will be doing will be a comparative analysis of French wines and an ethnographic study in Irish pubs. I figure that it will be easy enough to pretend that I am just independently wealthy and travel around for a living. I mean, money will be going into my back account despite the fact that I won’t be doing any work, right?

The other day I was searching for a particular blog posting of mine when I came upon this one, a promise I was making to my passport to take it on exciting trips. It took me more than two years to finally make good on the promise, but I can finally say that I’ll be getting my passport stamped!

I may do some blogging while I’m away, depending on wifi access and whether I have any time or if I end up adventuring during all my waking hours. If I don’t do it while I’m gone, I’ll be sure to keep good notes and take lots of pictures so that I can blog stuff when I get back. I’ll probably be more likely to tweet, so if you are interested in that, you can follow my tweets: @Beth77.

And now, I’m off to pack!

Update: I forgot to mention that there are four viscous attack frogs who will be in my apartment while I’m gone, so don’t get any bright ideas, thieves. Also, there’s a frog sitter to contend with. Just sayin’.

  1. Because you know that I really need the gift of the gab! []
  2. Just like my frogs! []
  3. The fact that I am not that big on neither whiskey nor Guinness does nothing to dampen my excitement over these two things. []
  4. Because you are jealous. []