Tuesday, April 29, 2008

It was like being in a movie

Four movies to be exact. We had some nutty experiences in Ireland. Driving on the wrong side of the road on streets that don't look wide enough for our car while a semi wants to pass you on the right. Our cottage located exactly in the middle of nowhere down one of these very long and treacherous roads. Our brush with death, well actually our brush with another car (totally their fault thank goodness). The fact that my dad cannot understand anything said with an Irish accent, especially directions. Needless to say, it was definitely an adventure.

So here is my attempt at a summary of the crazy week and a half we had. We saw so much and traveled everywhere so I'm just going to hit the big points. And throughout you can see my four movie moments.

First off, Ireland is beautiful. I guess constant rainfall helps with all the green but it seriously is one of the prettiest places I have ever seen. But it is also absolutely freezing! We were lucky, it was definitely a drier week, we only were rained on once or twice. But I brought every warm piece of clothing, wore at least three shirts a day plus my coat, hat, gloves, and scarf and still that wind would just freeze!

We spent our first day in Dublin touring the city and got to pick up Kristy the next morning. Then we headed to County Clare to find our cottage.

This is it! It is actually totally nice on the inside. It was brand new and had nicer appliances than my house. And this was our view from the window.

Beautiful... but as you can see. Middle of nowhere. All of us had trouble not imagining this turning into one of those slasher movies... family of tourists trapped in the middle of nowhere...

One of our first touristy stops was one of our first true movie moments. We got to see the magnificent Powerscourt Gardens.

Anybody recognize it? This is the very spot where Jim Caviezel landed his hot air balloon in the movie, "The Count of Monte Cristo". It is insanely gorgeous. We visited about 3 or 4 houses like this with the most amazing grounds, their own lake and houses that were beyond beautiful. It is so insane to think that people lived there.

My dad would make a great Earl of Powerscourt!

Kristy, still in her missionary finest, showing Jon her 'I KNOW the Church is true' face. Pretty believable huh?

One of the things we did most often was visit castles, some restored, some just the ruins left behind. The crazy part was as we would drive from castle to castle according to our trusted tour guide book, we would pass just random castle ruins on the road all the time!

This was Bunratty castle. This one has been fully restored with furniture and everything. They do kind of a dinner theater every night where they feed you a 'traditional' meal without any utensils and then they sing and perform for you. Kristy, Jon and I were the youngest people there. Of course my parents would have been the youngest people there by a good 20 years if we weren't there :) It was fun though.

And that brought us to our second movies moment, "The clif-ths of In-thanity". Yes the classic Princess Bride scene where the giant climbs up the daunting cliffs followed by our brave Wesley was film right here at the cliffs of Mohr.

And our second movie moment led us quickly to our third. We decided for whatever reason to be a little more adventurous on our way back to the car and took 'the road less traveled' or more accurately the path without a road but filled with barbed wire fences.

Any film coming to mind? "Climb every mountain..." Yeah, this was our Sound of Music moment.

Jon tried to get Kristy, mom and dad to jump at the same time to look as of they were flying down the rolling green hills. Timing was not their greatest of skills.

To show them how it should be done, Jon and Kristy took a turn.

Jon left on Sunday to get back to work and Scarlet and the rest of us headed up North. We got to visit a lot of the people Kristy got to know on her mission. It was so great to meet them.

Oh, and the fourth movie was Braveheart, we drove through the city where they filmed it but I can't find the picture. Imagine a big green field... yeah that's pretty much what it looked like.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Back to the Desert

I am finally back on U.S. soil! After a very long day of flights and delays, I made it back at about 8:30 last night. I can't even tell you how good it was to see my little girl. I even shocked myself with how much I missed her! I was like a girl with a new boyfriend who talk about him non-stop. Everything I saw reminded me of a new Scarlet story to share.

I am sorting through laundry and pictures all day so I should have a better vacation recap soon. Until then, I will be catching up on everyone's blogs and you can keep checking back for posts to come soon!

Monday, April 7, 2008

The Misadventures of Scarlet K Nielsen

Scarlet has reached new levels of mischief and mayhem this week.

It all started a few nights ago when Jon brought home a Metro Pizza for dinner. You know that one pizza joint in every town that puts all the rest to shame? That's Metro Pizza for Las Vegas. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it... ok back on track. So Scarlet had just finished eating dinner but she never turns down an opportunity to snack on what we are having. She stood with both hands on my knees, wide eyed just begging for bites. And this was a pizza with mushrooms, artichoke hearts, and other random vegetables on it. She downed every bite we gave her. She basically ate an entire piece by herself (and their pieces are enormous). After that, Jon set the pizza box out of site and we turned on a movie to watch. I heard Scarlet wandering off into the kitchen. Now lately I have caught her climbing up into the pantry trying to reach food.

Usually she can't really get anything but cans but then I heard some crinkling and munching... yeah she comes walking out with a big bag of potato chips and at least 4 already in her mouth. I put those away, set her by her toys and continue on with the movie watching. After a few minutes of silence we realized we better figure out where Scarlet is. Turns out she has found the pizza box, opened it and has continued to munch on toppings.

From this adventure I learned Scarlet has inherited my bottomless stomach.

Our next misadventure happened just this weekend. Jon has been smoothing the walls in our family room with dry wall mud. He had set the bucket of mud and the trowel on the top of the staircase. Scarlet again went wandering off but I was pretty sure the gate was up on the staircase so I wasn't too concerned. I went to go investigate a few minutes later and this is what I found.

I made sure she hadn't swallowed too much mud while Jon ran for the camera.

What a stinker!

Then I remembered this picture of my husband...

So I echo Lindsey's recent blog dilemma. Can we really fault our children for doing exactly what we would have done in the same situation?