The Rose of Tralee

(Ed. note: Now I admit that in many areas of world culture I am, let us say, blissfully ignorant. That blissful ignorance cost me some minor embarrassment the other night, which was quickly assuaged by two lovely young women and one very nice young man. But I digress – back to that later)  

Here I (Ed. note: Geoff) am in Dublin – 10 days of relaxation, sun and good golf! I am meeting three gentlemen from Vancouver – Lee, Peter and Mike and we will embark upon a marathon (9 games in 6 days for them and maybe 6 games in 6 days pour moi) of golf.

Lee picked me up on Thursday evening after the absolutely most uneventful flights I have experienced since coming to China. There was not one anecdote and only a couple of photos worth sharing with you.

A view of SOME of the mountains of Russia

A view of SOME of the mountains of Russia and a HUGE lake still with ice – May 14th

 

A patchwork quilt of Dutch fields

A patchwork quilt of Dutch fields

 

They also come in lined patterns.

They also come in lined patterns.

Once in Dublin, aahh that changes things. If you wish to see multiple nationalities without going to multiple countries, come to Dublin. We stayed at the Gresham Hotel where the only Irish staff person we came across was the overnight custodian. Front desk – French and Romanian, Restaurant – Polish and Romanian, guests – English, Russian and Japanese. All of them were, however, honest.

My first Guinness (and Lee's second) in Ireland - aahh!!

My first Guinness (and Lee’s second) in Ireland – aahh!!

I bought Terry a wee memento, left it on the counter when we checked out, realized it after Lee had driven for about 10 minutes, went back and there it was – still on the counter.

Anyway, before that, Lee and I wandered around Friday morning.

Now this is how you deal with illegal parking, and if they don’t see the huge yellow boot, maybe they will see the sign on the driver’s door.

Hey, I have been booted!

Hey, Have I been booted?

Yes, apparently I have.

Yes, apparently I have.

Our first major stop was at the National Whiskey Museum. It was an interesting tour – highly computerized with holographic images explaining the history of whisky/whiskey. (Ed. note: The change from whisky to whiskey was purely a marketing ploy by Bushmills Irish Whiskey to gain market share.) At the end of the tour you can sample 3-4 whiskeys – we did 5. And who out there hasn’t sampled whiskey at 10:30 in the morning, I ask you.

Only the finest whiskey passes our lips - at least up to 1921

Only the finest whiskey passes our lips – at least up to 1921

From there it was off to meet David and Daphne (Ed. note: Relatives of Kathleen, Lee’s wife) for lunch at the National Art Gallery.

David, Lee and Daphne at dinner - a looooong time after lunch!!

David, Lee and Daphne at dinner – a looooong time after lunch!!

What a fantastically gracious couple. After an extended lunch, they invited us to spend the rest of the day with them. We went to one of their two lovely homes. (Ed. note: Who but the Irish would build two homes on one and a half acres and then move from the one to the other and try to sell one. I mean Location, location, location only goes so afar David. Ok the real story makes much more sense but isn’t as attention grabbing.) They live in a lovely, exclusive area about 30 minutes north of Dublin and are just wonderful people. After having tea with them, it was off to the Kilbeggan Race Track. David was involved for an number of years with the Irish Racing Commission and was able to procure some passes and an invitation to the Hospitality Suite for us (Ed. note: No charge for wine!!!) It was great fun. In the first race David won some Euros, so then we decided to pool all the money and have Lee and David pick the horses.  Ergo, no more winners. It was a steeplechase with the horses running counterclockwise, jumping hurdles and riding up and down hills. It was almost the best part of the day.

The home stretch is up hill

The home stretch is up hill

The best part of the day, however, was meeting Denise Bracken, the area’s representative to the Rose of Tralee Competition, a world wide event, and her partner in crime Natalie.  (Ed. note#1: See above for my mea culpa. Ed. note #2: Ok, they were accompanied by Steve, a nice enough guy, but c’mon 2 Rose of Tralee women? Not a chance Steve was high on the radar) I had no idea there was a Rose of Tralee but was soon educated about it. Denise kindly agreed to a photo. And then a photo with Natalie, who had been a representative 6 years ago in 2015. Denise is a chartered accountant and Natalie a teacher of special needs children. Clearly the Rose of Tralee is open only to intelligent, gracious, convivial women.

Geoff as close to a Pageant winner as he could ever get without being arrested.

Geoff as close to a Pageant winner as he could ever get without being arrested.

Denise and Natalie - a lovely example of Irish women.

Denise and Natalie – a lovely example of Irish women.

By the time the final race was run, we had left to avoid the traffic.

Luckily none of us had to actually use this gate.

Luckily none of us had to actually use this gate.

From there it was off to one of the best Indian restaurants I have been to for dinner in Naas. For all the non-Irish (Ed. note: this is you and Martin and Lynne) people out there, send in your opinion of how this is spelled phonetically. Bet you can’t do it.

Then back to Dublin and the Gresham Hotel. I will give you more details on navigating the streets of Dublin next time. Until then I give you…

The Shoe Blog

Two for you today

Who would think that wearing these to a horse race was a good idea?

Take a snake's eye out - if she could keep them on her feet.

Take a snake’s eye out – if she could keep them on her feet.

Saw these early on in our time at the horse races, but could never get a good photo. Turns out they are Denise’s. I don’t know whether to be embarrassed or proud.

Denise Bracken has good taste in shoes!!

Denise Bracken has good taste in shoes!!

 

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Rose of Tralee

  1. Val

    When does the golfing occur?? This all sound like a lot of fun and no exercise. Did you buy your namesake’s whiskey? Or are you only a scotch drinker?

    Reply

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