Moving out and moving in

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged, on this blog or my personal blog, and a lot has happened. My good friend William and Kate got married, Aunt Elizabeth visited Dublin, and Uncle Barack and Aunt Michelle visited both Dublin and London. Fancy that!

On a personal note, I (read we) have moved once again this time to England and make it our new temporary home. It is quite stressful moving house, all the more moving to a different country. England quite has a chicken and egg thing going on in settling in. You need a proof of address for pretty much anything. Including a bank account, which you need to get your proof of address (by paying bills and actually getting a damn place to live in).
So far so good though and I was able to settle in my new flat without any big issues. So, bank account – check. Tenancy agreement – check. Electricity supply – check. Gas supply – check. Water supply – check. TV license – check. Cable/Broadband/Landline – Check, check and check. Council tax – check. NHS – check. National Insurance Number – check.
Now settling into the community might take a while. Finding a good place to source your food and household items when you are travelling weekly is a little difficult. We still need to find a good/cheap place to get our meat and veggies. As well as an Asian foodstore to keep our stock of preferential items (good vinegar will always be Datu Puti). We still have to sort that one out.
Moving to a bigger city like London is great, lots of options for shopping, eating out and groceries but choosing the right lifestyle for you then becomes the challenge. Well then, challenge accepted!

Plenty of Fish in the Sea

Its been months since the last update!  Since then, well, Allan’s found his (our) apartment in London, I’m moving out of my Dublin apartment to a shared one still in Dublin.  We’re trying this based-in-different-countries again and see where this will take us.  The main thing though, is that we will be working on the same project, so we’re together most of the week still.

But lets forget all these complicated matters for now.  We finally got off our behinds long enough to explore a little bit of Dublin.  We consulted the magic Trekkin in Dublin guide and figured we’d give Howth a try.  Its about half an hour away from the City Center by train, and promises great views and even greater seafood.  We were craving for the now more frequent sunshine and fish other than salmon (we love salmon, but we need variety) so we decided, Howth it is!

other Howth tourists enjoying the view

The trail started out as walking right beside the main road.   With a backpack and hiking boots and a variety of wet/cold weather gear, we felt a little odd.  Especially since most of those walking were in sneakers, leather shoes, boots and dresses even.  Eventually we found the path that went up the cliffs and snaked around to give us great coastal views.  It even became a little more “forest”-y at one point, with trees and shrubs all around.  We wandered off the path at one point to find a spot beachfront and break for lunch, before we found the trail and followed it until it crossed a golf course and back into civilization i.e. roads again.

It took us about 5 hours, with breaks included.  At the end we ended up in a pub having Fish and Chips and some Seafood chowder for our efforts.  Needless to say, it was a tiring day but well worth it.  We enjoyed Howth so much, we returned the weekend after with some friends.  The second time around we didn’t follow the trail and just went Fishmonger hopping and sun soaking.

More photos from both trips are in my flickr account.

I think I married the wrong man…

So, I “officially” changed my name to Vistan a few months back when I got my new passport.  On my trip back to Dublin, the lady at passport control informed me that there were three female Vistans who were on their wanted list:

  •  a “Vistan, Maria”
  • a Vistan, (I forget, but let’s pretend its “Concepcion”.. any similarities to anyone’s name is purely coincidental)
  • and a “Vistan, Socorro” (wanted on three counts)

Maybe I should’ve just kept my maiden name…or maybe I should’ve married someone else? (Yes I know you’re reading this *hug* :p )

I foresee problems getting NBI Clearance in the future…

First Anniversary

Over the weekend, Socs and I celebrated our first year anniversary as husband and wife. We wanted to do something special other than a “regular” dinner out or weekend trip. Socs was able to find a great place on the other side of Ireland that would suit both the occasion and our personalities. Enter Delphi Mountain Resort.

It was a long trip (3 hour train ride and 45 min taxi) but well worth it. The place was situated in between mountains, near rivers and the only fjord in Ireland. Our activities: surfing, hill walking, biking and generally enjoying the Irish countryside.
We went biking a few hours after arriving to explore the place and make full use of our time there. Socs does not know how to ride the bike, but she managed after much encouragement from me.
I was a little disappointed in the surfing since we were given beginner’s foam boards instead of the surfboards we were used to, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. I was able to stand up a couple of times and survived the relatively colder waters of the Atlantic (it was a sunny day so it wasn’t Irish cold). The waves were pretty huge and powerful too, and although we were way past where the waves broke the white water still had the strength to push the boards. It was weird wearing shoes (required for safety) during surfing, it actually hindered me for a bit but it was a good learning activity to possibly continue surfing here in Ireland.

We initially wanted to climb the hill near the resort but we were both a little tired and was promised a good day the following day so we decided to explore the area by foot. Following the road we walked for a couple of hours, testing both our gear and taking a bit of pictures.
On the day of our departure, we woke up early and immediately left to climb up the hill. It is definitely different from climbing back home or in Vermont. There are no trails and we had no map or guide. I was a little apprehensive about climbing so we set mini destinations on the hill. We never managed to get to the peak, we were walking diagonally instead of vertically, but we did get to a decent elevation (around 150m) and enjoy the view. And we made it back for breakfast to boot!
A scenic taxi ride later, we were back to reality of the 3 hour ride back to Dublin.

Paddy’s Day (in the US!)

Before I post any wedding updates, I’m taking a detour so I can post more of “Allan and Socs” as opposed to just “Allan and Socs’ Wedding”.

A few weeks ago I escaped from Dublin for a few days so I could spend time with my other half.  Being married and living in different countries may be difficult, but it certainly gives me a good excuse to take off from work and travel a little bit.

So, I flew out of Ireland and into Chicago, just in time for the day when the city celebrates St. Patrick’s Day.  I may have left the country temporarily, but Ireland seems intent to not let me stray too far away.

Allan was to spend the weekend with friends and we made the decision for me to fly in just weeks before.  I had three weeks left on my visa and I could take time off from work — so why not?

I was more than ready for a mini break and was looking forward to spending time with Allan.  The sights, people and even the Manny Pacquiao bout were all welcome extras.   There may have been a little too much more alcohol than I should have taken given the travel in such a limited amount of time, but even that went down better than expected.

Overall, it was well worth the expense and effort.