I thought today would be a good one to revisit our trip to Ireland a while back. (You can see all the photos in the gallery.)

We made it up to Northern Ireland as well. Mostly, this was because the Beleek factory is there.

And to see the Giant’s Causeway.

What we didn’t know before we planned all this is that we’d be riding through the "Bible Belt". The very north of Northern Ireland is very Unionist. Meaning, they are big fans of the British and very Protestant. It was quite interesting. You didn’t just enter a town, you would enter the Unionist town of X. The curbs were painted red, white and blue (although peeling just slightly). What was also very interesting was that their elections were happening while we were there. Apparently, all the campaining stuff is highly regulated. All the banners for one candidate looked almost identical to those for another, only a picture would be different. They were also hung extremely high. No one was going to mess with them.

We didn’t go into Belfast, but instead went around it. It was slightly ominous. Barbed wire and rocky. It felt like we were somewhere we shouldn’t be. I really wish now I had taken more photos and not been looking at the map so much.

Of course, Downpatrick is the burial place of Saint Patrick. So we saw both "extremes" if you will.

I do want to go back. So much we didn’t see where we did go, and so much we didn’t even get to. I’d like to explore the North a little bit more. It’s always fascinated me. Brendan, too. When we were in Montreal we saw this film called Holy Cross. I think it was actually a TV movie in Britian. Anyway, it:

…tells the story of two fictional families caught up in the events of September 3, 2001, on the Ardoyne Road in Belfast. A dispute arose there concerning the rights of schoolgirls from the Catholic Ardoyne area of North Belfast to walk a few hundred yards past the predominantly loyalist area of Glenbryn to the Holy Cross primary school.

It was a heartbreaking film. We both cried a lot.

It all seems so relevant (again, unfortunately) given the current state of things.

london baby!

Photos from our London trip are up in the gallery. Highlights include:

Big Ben

Westminster Abbey

The London Eye

The Tower of London

Buckingham Palace

St Paul’s Cathedral

the Changing of the Guard

the British Museum

the Rosetta Stone

and others…

home jeeves

We’re back. And good and tired.

I had the most fun in London, though. It was hard not to shop all the time. Monsoon has the best trousers I’ve had on anywhere. They actually fit through the hips and the waist doesn’t pucker in the back when I sit and show off my underwear to the entire world. It’s so nice. Sadly, they don’t have a store here, and they don’t deliver anywhere except to the UK and Ireland. I had to limit myself to just one pair of pants, but I’m going to wear the hell out of them.


Brendan joined the party on January 2, 2004. He's cool now.

Jessica has never been cool. She is OK with that.

And just so everyone is clear, what we say here is not endorsed by either of our employers.