Factgirl

factual, friendly, fabulous!

Mid- St. Patricks Day Update

March16

Dublin is alight with color (or colour)  and merriment and tourists.

We dove into the city yesterday morning for the big city-wide scavenger hunt sponsored by Denny Sausages. Denny is the biggest brand in Ireland and even appears in James Joyce’s Ulysses. As a girl reared on Oscar Meyer Turkeydogs, I cant get used to the texture of the Denny Pork sausage, but if they want to sponsor a scavenger hunt, I’m all over it.

Right away we saw teams of people with their scavenger packs, many in crazy costumes, running to and fro, and getting quite soaked. Did I mention it POURED yesterday? No? Well my friends, it POURED yesterday.

Just a note about the weather in Ireland: the Emerald Isle is famous for being a rainy wet bog of peat moss. Though it does rain here, and, unlike Los Angeles, there are four distinct seasons, I have found it rare for it to rain all day long. My husband likes to say we get all four seasons every day.

Of course, yesterday, it  rained all day long. We looked at the locations the hunt was going to take us to and quickly decided that winning all that great Denny Sausage merchandise wasn’t worth getting soaked and tired for. We stuffed the papers into fhwrdh’s backpack and tried to find some lunch.

Tonight we have a babysitter and are going back into town for fine dining. Or, as I like to call it, foin doining.

I Tricked You!

January21

Ha the joke is on you! You thought I was going to take off and leave my blog to moulder in the dank undergrowth of the internet - but no! I am still here. Time for the weekend in review:

Saturday was Birdy’s birthday and I dashed off that birthday post before we left for her special day out at the museum and out to dinner. We went to Collins Barracks in Dublin which houses the Museum of Decorative Arts as well as the Museum of Old-Time Soldiering*. Being with a nine year old birthday girl precluded us from seeing the soldier part and we enjoyed room after room of Irish design, from clothing to furniture and old collections of stuff that someone thought looked good together. Birdy especially enjoyed hanging out with family friends Side Order and her husband The Swede

Currently on exhibition is the Sea Stallion, an amazing example of living archeology. In Denmark, they dug up the ancient hull of a Viking ship. Through testing the wood, they discovered that the ship was constructed in Ireland, and they commenced to reconstruct the ship using computer blueprints created from the original vessel. When they finished they got a crew together and sailed from Denmark all the way to Dublin. They learned a lot about how tough vikings were! Near the Sea Stallion is a geocache but I wasn’t able to go look for it because it was raining and I was trying to be a good mom and focus on Birdy. Oh well, next time I take the kids to the zoo we are stopping and I am totes finding it.

After the museum we went to Birdy’s favorite restaurant Milano. It’s an Italian restaurant that has nice food, but my kids adore it for the children’s menu. They get to order a real starter, main, and desert and it even includes a bambinoccino: warm milk frothed and dusted with chocolate. The staff at the restaurant did a great job celebrating with us and we all had a delightful dinner.

I found it!Sunday was the day I was waiting for. No kids birthdays so I could go back to my selfish self and drag the family on a long cache-expedition. We walked all around Dun Laoghaire and out on the pier were to beautiful views of the Irish Sea. Check out my glee in these candid photos taken by fhwrdh.

Recording my infoFun!

*This is not really the name of the museum, it should be though.

You: Treasure Hunter

January18

A few days ago I wrote about my favorite new thing to do: Geocaching. Well, Mental Floss Magazine must read my blog because looky here!

Most of the time the reaction you get when you tell someone new to the concept is mild interest, as if you had picked up plumbing or collecting stamps or bottle caps. Other times you can see that as soon as they get home, they are going to jump on the computer and see what its all about.

My dad told his pal who works for a California county park service about it.

“Oh yeah, we hate those things.” he said. “We found one and had to call the bomb squad.”

My father in law agreed. “That’s the day and age we live in. ”

Sad. Well, I am going to keep myself from going on a rant about how fear is costing us more than safety is worth. Maybe instead of blowing up our fun, the parks and rec department can take a page from The Ohio Historical Society and join us! They have hidden their own caches on their historical sites to keep new visitors coming through. Or maybe just write up a policy and post it here: GeocachingPolicy.org.

The truth of the matter is this:

Geocaching is good for the environment. Cachers generally are against hiding caches in protected or sensitive areas. Hiking is a lot better for the environment than ATVs and dirt bikes! The Cache In/Trash Out program has seekers take a trash bag with them and collect garbage on the way out.

Geocaching is good family fun. Try to argue with that…. see? You can’t!

Geocaching saves lives. No, really! Read this: Climbers rescued on Mount Hood aided by treasure hunt box. Summary: two climbers lost on Mount Hood find a geocache and are able to call in their location to rescuers.

Factgirl: Treasure Hunter

January15

One thing about poker players, at least the interesting ones, is the OTHER stuff they like to do. Howard Lederer is a great chess player. Gus Hansen, Dan Harrington, Erik Seidel, and Phil Laak, are all backgammon players. A bunch of the pros play golf. I hear a bunch of you poker bloggers are strip-club enthusiasts…

This all brings me to one of my special interests: scavenger hunts. Back in LA I loved it when MouseAdventure time rolled around. This is a huge scavenger hunt at Disneyland organized by the MousePlanet website. Teams of four run around the park solving puzzles and gathering clues. There are little prizes, but really everyone is there for the fun of the hunt.

This Christmas, I received a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx from my dad (thanks, Dad!) I have always wanted to go geocaching, but never had a GPS. Now I am an unstoppable caching machine! For those of you unfamiliar with it, geocaching is when one person hides a cache somewhere and logs the coordinates onto geocache.com. Then another person downloads the coordinates and uses their GPS to find the cache. Some caches are big waterproof boxes, some are tiny little capsules. They can be hidden in rural or urban areas and there are caches throughout the world. Inside each cache is a logbook finders sign, larger caches will also have some little take one/leave one items.

I have already found my first two caches in California, none yet in Ireland , but I can’t wait to get out there and hunt! If you have access to a GPS, why not register and go for a treasure hunt this weekend?

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