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BETHGILLIGAN's Recent Blog Entries

I did not fall off the face of the earth.......

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm really in a much better place than I was a month or so ago when I wrote my last blog. I got started on the recumbent bike and found that I almost like it! I pop on my ipod and crank out 20 minutes (I started at 10 minutes and it was a struggle). I do my knee exercises every day and have started to add in some weights for my upper body. I don't like spending so much time on exercise but I am feeling better and my body is starting to look better. We went to Indiana for a long weekend a week or so ago and had a great time with my brother and his wife. I tried to take it easy with food and drink but probably had too much of both and no exercise. In the long run, that may have been a good thing. I'd been having some muscle pain in that arthritic knee but staying off of it for that length of time seemed to have completely healed it. emoticon I've had no pain since we got home! I have not gotten back to walking but am regularly on the bike and doing knee exercises.
Our weather has cooled and is feeling more like fall. I am ready although we had a more than pleasant summer. As a teacher I always felt like the new year really started in September so I'm ready to start back in to a regular schedule and stay home for awhile.
I have deep cleaning and de-cluttering I want to do. I just need to return to being more "proactive" in all areas of my life. My dear hubby has started de-cluttering in the garage and in the basement but, God knows, there is so much more to be done!
My hubby and I have started the serious countdown to his retirement. emoticon He is head of a national association so replacing him is a little convoluted and time intensive. In June he will be a "part time consultant" as the new president takes over and will be fully retired next October. Hooray!!
So, right now, my life is good and I am on track!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEDOE12345 9/14/2014 10:06AM

    Arthritis creeping into our lives, watch out! You are to be praised for getting going. It is so terribly difficult to remain psyched - thanks to the iPod, I can stretch my gym time by a song or two. SP had a cd that had the 20 Best running songs, so I checked the list out and made my own playlist for my gym moments. It was a great help. (Try ZZ Top to really get going, lol.)

My doctor prescribed Celebrex but I won't take it. Like you, I think exercise will help me more. I have used the bike at the gym and it makes my knee(s) hurt more and so I do resistance machines and the treadmill.

Stay fit, buddy!


Comment edited on: 9/14/2014 10:06:35 AM

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    Glad to hear from you! Good job doing exercises you like. Those recumbent bikes are cool-looking.

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MOM2ACAT 9/11/2014 6:25PM

    Glad to see you back, and I'm glad your knee is healed!

I used a recumbent bike in PT a few years ago and I actually enjoyed it. I'd love to have one at home, but I have no room for it.

It's really cooled down where I live also, today really felt like a fall day.

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VEENAS1 9/11/2014 8:43AM

    I am glad that you are doing exercises and feeling better about yourself. And of course the knee is better! That helps!

Good luck with the decluttering. I hope the transition to retirement for your husband goes smoothly.

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NORASPAT 9/10/2014 9:08PM

    emoticon Way to go BETH, well done. Look at it as your own thing to do. I am so glad you are getting down to exercising.
It sounds like your DH is ready for retirement and fam ily fun. HUGS and much love

Pat in Maine.
Still have more pavers to replace. HUGS Pat emoticon mmmm emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    Cool!! I have never tried a recumbent bike but have heard good things about them. You must have found just the right thing to do to help your knee and get you to where you want to be, It sounds like you are doing really great.

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JAMBABY0 9/10/2014 8:31PM

    good for you but remember to listen to your body

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Major Wake Up Call!!

Monday, August 04, 2014

So, a lot has been going on since our trip to London. I met with the nutritionist at Kaiser and she was very nice and was able to give me a few tidbits that I didn't already know. She was able to be more specific as to what my calorie range should be. That was a big help as every site I checked had different numbers. After reviewing about a week's worth of food tracking, she determined my diet was OK although I could add a fruit or so a day. Her conclusion was that increasing my exercise is the key for me. (No duh!) At that time, I was starting back in with the walking and was only doing 20-30 minutes a day. She said if I would increase that to 40-60 minutes, kept calories the same, I could lose about 15 pounds by September (this was first full week of June). She recommended I call a health coach at Kaiser for continued support. I was happy with the meeting and ready to get back on track.
I started walking routine and within 3-5 days I was having significant pain in the back of my left knee. emoticon I decided I should rest it for a couple of days (good excuse, huh?) Well, time marched on with no exercise.
At the end of June we went to the lake for a long weekend and I took a terrible fall off the boat onto the dock. Landed on my left shoulder and knee; awful bruise on my right calf. It was a bit of an emotional breakdown for me also---aging, falls, balance, weight----I was angry about all of it!!! My dear hubby "talked me off the ledge" but, boy, my left knee hurt like heck. There was no bruising and little swelling. I stopped walking and spent as much time as I could with my leg up, trying to get that knee to heal. Doctor? Why, no, thank you. I will just sit here day in and day out doing nothing. emoticon
Last week, at the lake, we had ceramic tile or hardwood throughout. My knee ached 24/7 and I was having significant swelling. So, I finally called the doctor. DUH!
Saw my primary care doctor (I will be changing doctors by the way, but that's another story). I know I have posted as being at my all time high weight. Well, that was then---NOW I'm at my all time highest weight and it is not pretty. I never thought I would weigh this much!! Anywhoo, she sent me for xrays and then to orthopedist. Loved the ortho--kind, caring, knowledgeable, patient. Great guy!! Bottom line: I have no significant damage from the fall but it exacerbated some osteoarthritis in that knee that is fairly significant. Xrays weren't pretty but he was calm. We had the weight talk--I cried, he comforted. Then I had a cortisone shot and got a knee brace for when I start walking again. Right now, I am being sent to our recumbent bike in our dungeon of a basement emoticon for daily workouts until my thighs are stronger and I start to lose some weight. He kept mentioning 20 pounds but "that's not set in stone". Seeing as how I've only gained since SP I am not very confident of losing 2 pounds; let alone 20!!! I have to overcome that attitude and pump some positive in my head: I will lose weight this time! I am different than I was and I can do this. HMMM......may need to repeat that quite often!
Just in a bit of a funk today/tonight. I know I'm 63 but feel too young to be dealing with arthritic knee! I do not like aging!! I hate it that I've gained all this weight. So, the two things I struggle with most (aging and weight) were the focus of my day!
I'll feel better tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 8/22/2014 7:32AM


You need a hug.

I'm so sorry you're hurting. This seems to have been the summer for weight gain among so many of my dear spark friends. We can blame it on evil Vogon Rays beaming in from outer space.

I hope you're doing better this week and that you're seeing some progress. I decided that some of my trouble (most of it is in my attitude, I know) was not enough water and I bumped mine up to 1/2 my weight in ounces of water. The happy surprise for me was that I didn't go to the bathroom more often. I just stayed there a little longer. But the best part was the mood shift that has happened, quite slowly, over the month. I just feel fresher so I feel more confident. You might try that and see if it helps.

many hugs to you.

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NORASPAT 8/7/2014 11:23PM


Beth, once you can focus on the reason to be healthy and more flexible it really feels good.
DH had big issues with foot and hip and the Podiatrist told DH that padding the floors instead of what we wanted-ceramic tile- would be helpful. We did do that.
Our friends had the hardwood and ceramic. She bought some shoes that have memory foam and she says the cushioning helped her feet and knees. She goes to the Gym daily and she is doing much better. It is a chore but once you feel you are making progress, I am sure you will, it helps because you are taking care of yourself.
If you clean and maintain your house you have pride in it. Why is it we are often unable to realize we can feel better just by thinking more about "BODY MAINTENANCE"
I still have aches and pains but when I walk with my head high, I know I will feel better.
Positive mind set on our bodies is the key. It is not how we look it is how we FEEL and INTERACT with our wonderful bodies. HUGS, for our good bodies, pamper them not hamper them. Pat in Maine. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JANEDOE12345 8/6/2014 8:09PM

    Here it is, tomorrow and do you feel better? I hope so. After all, the knee is not going to have to be replaced. Can you change the lighting in the basement to cheer it up a bit? Maybe buy some new exercise clothes - even a new tank top - maybe get some obnoxiously loud music and go all disco on the bike?

Treat yourself with some special consideration, baby yourself a little (not with food) and see if you find some motivation. You ought to have gone right to the doctor, but you didn't, so now you at least know the issues are not horrifically damaging. Next time hobble into the ortho's office and take your pain to an expert. Your knee is talking to you and you are now doing something -- good for you. You will bounce back, I know it. Just don't land on that knee!

emoticon emoticon emoticon !!

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I am different than I was and I can do this.

Awesome mantra!

Comment edited on: 8/6/2014 7:55:05 AM

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VEENAS1 8/5/2014 8:13AM

    I am sorry to hear about your knee. In May I fell helping a neighbor but other than a few bruises on my knee and some abrasions on my face I was okay. I am 62 and you are right, aging and weight are the big concerns. I know you can do lose the weight! If you need support you know we are here for you!

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TIME4CARRI 8/4/2014 10:53PM

    Dear Beth,
It doesn't matter "the number" we are all aging every day and feeling it. We have been linked here together for years and I have consistently gained every year here on Spark until just these last 6 months and yes (pregnancy no excuse as I'm talking about baseline weight) It is good to be here. It finally started to click and I'm so grateful for sticking around here even when I never lost a pound. It's the knowledge, consistency and support that will pay off in spades very very soon.
I know it's frustrating dearest, I am discouraged by how much of my knee,hip and back aches stuck around even after the baby. It's my own weight that hurts. I am off balance with you sister. We can do this, really we can.

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    I hear you and can totally relate. I could rationalize things better when I was in my 50s but 60s sound like senior citizen and I really don't like that moniker. I guess I can be 62 but I don't want to feel, look, and act it. At my weight it always seems to cause some kind of flare up when I push myself. I need to lose weight before I can even get much exercise in. I'm tired of being fat but don't have the advantage of being able to spend all of my time concentrating on myself with everything I have to do. Losing weight isn't fun but being fat isn't either.

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Happy, happy news!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our dear son and daughter in law are expecting first baby in January!!! They are over the moon and so are we! There were many reasons we were afraid this wouldn't happen for them but it seems it was easy-peasy!!! (TMI?) They will be amazing parents!!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 8/2/2014 8:56AM

    Yippeeee! Congratulations.

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    Congratulations and thanks for sharing it with us!
Remember, we'll want pictures! emoticon

Comment edited on: 7/17/2014 7:52:00 PM

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LESLIESENIOR 7/17/2014 2:06AM

    Hallelujah! That is wonderful on so many levels!!!!!! I am so happy for them and for you and your husband!!!!! Congratulations!

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NORASPAT 7/16/2014 10:04PM

    Oh BETH you will have another wonderful baby to look forward to. GREAT for the family. HUGS and much love. GREAT NEWS!!!!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MOM2ACAT 7/16/2014 5:14PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MEADSBAY 7/16/2014 11:53AM

    Happy, happy news, indeed!

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HMBROWN1 7/16/2014 8:52AM

    Congrats on being a grandparent!

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JANUT57 7/16/2014 8:50AM

  emoticon you will love being a grandparent!

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    Congratulations!!! This is wonderful news!!

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DEW1960 7/16/2014 8:18AM


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WARNING: London Travel Pictures!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

I finally have some of my London/Ireland pix downloaded to computer so I'll give you a sample of what I've got. They are pretty standard point and shoot travel pictures. I'm not a very good photographer. So, with all those caveats; here goes:

Tower of London

London Street sign

Thames River

London Eye (did not ride--don't like heights)

Side street in London

A guard (of course!) It may be illegal to go to London without a picture like this.

Windblown lovers on Tower of London wall with Tower Bridge in background

St. Paul's Cathedral (this picture is for my granddaughter--where they filmed the "feed the birds" scene in Mary Poppins

Beginning of changing of the guards ceremony--I'd already been waiting an hour and a half

Band during changing of the guards

Changing of the guards (again! I know, enough already! I just love this ceremonial stuff)

Line of cabs---Aren't they cute? Love them! Great to ride in, too.

Irish countryside, this doesn't do it justice. Breathtaking!

City center Galway

Restaurant in Galway

Hubby and me eating lunch in small pub in Galway

Abbey Road Studios The only reason my hubby wanted to go on this trip!

Hubby crossing Abbey Road. He refused to do the walking pose (he's no fun!!) But lots of people do.

Need I explain?

Under the bridge on Thames cruise

Big Ben with the top chopped off. Sorry. I have a better pic but couldn't find it. You've all seen pix of this anyway. :)

Tower Bridge from our boat

Took this for the grandkids--who doesn't love Paddington Bear. (His family found him here, in case you're not familiar)

That's it, folks. Pretty typical tourist pictures. I know they mean a lot more to me than to you. It was a wonderful, fun trip and we have so many great memories from each of these pictures!!!
Thanks for looking!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BESSHAILE 7/3/2014 8:28AM

    It's been 11 years since I was in London = and your photos took me back there again. Sigh. Thank you. hugs!

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ANIHAKA 6/27/2014 9:21AM

    I love London my home for 27 years. Beautiful photos and backdrop thank yo.

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NASFKAB 6/27/2014 3:06AM

  thanks for sharing brought back many happy memories

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NORASPAT 6/26/2014 11:40PM

    You both look like you are having a ball and I am sure you did. EXCELLENT!

You also took me back to our last visit. The changing of the guards was a fiasco. We too went early and stood looking at the gate. Minutes before on cue a Chinese bus load was dropped in the street and they all stood in front of the crowd.

They elbowed their way through. YUK! such bad manners.
I had three rolls of film that were not processed properly so we had no pictures and I honestly cried. I had a photo of me and my brother after not seeing him for almost a quarter century. I still love him a lot despite very few contacts from him.
I Love the photos Many thanks for bringing back those memories. Thanks my good friend Pat in Maine.

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SHARIBEAR2 6/24/2014 1:46PM

    Love your captions. You and hubby look relaxed and happy!

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    Liked your title and loved the pictures. I sing "Feed the Birds" when I'm filling my birdfeeders. What do you mean, your DH wouldn't take off his shoes to do the pose on Abbey Road!

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MOM2ACAT 6/23/2014 12:56PM

    I think your pictures are great!

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TIME4CARRI 6/22/2014 11:36PM

    Great pics!!
Windblown lovers, how perfect! Yes, tuppins a bag! so cool. Thanks for sharing:)

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    I loved them!! I'm sure this will be my only trip to London and Ireland. LOL. The Thames is a very impressive river. And you covered all the things I would like to see! You look very relaxed and beautiful!!!

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VEENAS1 6/22/2014 7:02PM

    Wonderful pictures. Brings back a lot of memories of my trip to London.

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MEADSBAY 6/22/2014 5:22PM

    Oh my goodness, don't be so self-critical!
These are great pics-
you two look so happy!
Thnx for sharing.

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The inside story (still no pictures)......

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

That blog sounded like a boring travelogue. Let me give you some of the inside dirt. Leaving Dulles my husband was told his carry on was too big. It wasn't. The guy was just giving us grief and being "tough". He said he'd let it go this time (it fit in the measure thing!). Nobody else on the entire trip made a peep about the size of that bag and we saw at least one carryon that was almost twice that size.
I got stopped a Dulles security. They had 3 different people come up to look at xray of my bag. My husband does our packing (he has better visual spatial) so I'm standing there thinking "what the heck!" (or something similar). They open my bag (after they dusted it; why, thank you very much), TSA guy digs around through my underwear and pulls out a CPap machine. Yeah, so what? Well, under the cpap was a boatload of extension cords. The guy smiles at me and says "a box sitting on numerous wires sends up all sorts of red flags. Have a nice day." My husband is surprised--never thought of that. emoticon
We stop for a quick breakfast--yummy egg sandwich--and get to our gate. The rest of the flight is fairly uneventful. Reading, sleeping, legs cramping, using the nasty bathroom (I managed to keep it to one time!) emoticon Had some yummy plane food--remember when they used to feed you all the time??? Well, you're so hungry it seems like 5 star restaurant fare.
Land in London--ya da, ya da, ya da. Filled you in on the sightseeing events. Hubby walks twice as fast as I so I'm like the toddler always trailing behind. Occasionally, he will pause to make sure I haven't gotten lost or kidnapped. He also has a hearing problem so to get his attention, everyone for a square block turns to look at me--well, except him. Actually, the days in London were pretty routine sightseeing, eating, etc.
Saturday we're up and at 'em to head to Dublin. Cab to train, train to airport. Heathrow loves to make you think you're gate is right around the corner--WRONG. It's long hallway after long hallway like you're in a maze. Very discouraging as a traveler. Got into Dublin--here's where it gets interesting. My dear hubby has always thought he could do anything--drywall? not a problem; fix a car? not a problem, fix the septic? not a problem. I will not comment on his success. So he had decided we would rent a car and drive from Dublin to Galway ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE ROAD!!! His friends told him he was crazy but his response "how hard can it be?" Well, he discovered it is much harder than you would think! Most of that trip was on 4 lane freeway so it wasn't so bad. Oh, yeah--our first meal in Ireland? Burger King! We don't eat there at home. Hubby tried to convince me it was Burger O'King. I wasn't buying it.
Ok, driving into Galway now and it's getting a little dicey. They have numerous round abouts and it is difficult to stay on the wrong side of the road going in a circle looking for your road. Geez! Understatement to say it was stressful. By this time my sweet husband has figured out he made a terrible mistake thinking he could drive in a foreign country on the left side of the road so he's getting somewhat tense. We find our hotel, park the car and haul luggage to the room.
OK, so what does the dear man want to do for the evening? Well, of course, he wants to DRIVE us into Galway city center. Does he know where that would be? Well, no but it can't be hard to find. Like a fool I got in the car with him--I was afraid for him to head off alone. First of all, he kept wanting to be on the very, very left side of the road. Hence, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride---tires rubbing the curb, on the sidewalk. Holy Moly just get me out of this car. Of course, he's getting more and more stressed. To add to the fun, they do not mark their streets so you have no idea where the heck you are! We made the "difficult" decision to try to get back to the hotel in one piece. We were successful and had a great dinner in their restaurant!!
Sunday, we get a cab to take us to city center. He laughed and laughed at these 2 Americans thinking they could drive in Galway!! More sightseeing, shopping, lunch. Fun!
Get a cab back to the hotel and now we have to drive back to Dublin to spend the night for early morning flight back to London. Load up the car--head out. Cocky couple are sure we got off on the right road on the round about. It's raining--hard to heavy. On the road. Uh oh, not surprising that we believe we're on the wrong road to Dublin. Hubby decides he needs to pull over to look at a map and mull things over. A couple of convenient places pass us by and I can tell he's getting stressed and upset. He sees a ????. Not sure what it was--an old building behind a fence with a gravel lot. He has to turn across lanes of traffic. He's nervous--too much acceleration and, well, yes, we did run into a stack of wooden pallets. Many small/ medium Irish children come running and on bikes. They are screaming "he crashed, he crashed!" This was not soothing to either of us. Punctured tire and lost part of bumper. Hubby pulls back into what seemed like a parking lot. Surrounding this concrete were a number of RVs and small motor homes. It was a community! A couple of young, brutish Irishmen came to make sure we were OK. They then left the 63 year old on the verge of a nervous breakdown to change the tire by himself in the pouring rain! Luckily, those kids hung with us the whole time--"why did he hit those?", "is he a bad driver?", "where are you from?", etc. Neither of us were in the mood to be friendly to these young children, let alone polite. Finally, some older gent (our age?) came out and offered to help since it seemed the old American guy had no clue. (Actually, hubby is very good at changing tires, just not in pouring rain, in strange place with a bunch of kids yelling at him!) So, hubby is soaked but they finally get it changed. We tried to give this angel some money and, of course, he refused. He was just happy he could help us. I'm sure we gave those kids and that community something to laugh about all week!
We FINALLY get to the airport. Turn in the damaged car and the Avis man seemed almost giddy that we had wrecked. We had the full insurance so he was delighted to repeatedly tell us that there would be no charge!
Many delays with the flight. It took us until evening to fly the short distance from Dublin to London. ARGH!
Rest of trip was pretty uneventful. (thank goodness!).
One more thing about that Heathrow airport. They don't post your gate until maybe 10-15 minutes before you board. That's fun. So we're EARLY for our flight. Have a great leisurely breakfast. I decide I should use the bathroom by the restaurant. Hubby recommends we get closer to what we think is our gate. I'm not happy but agree. We turn the corner thinking we were about at the gate and the sign told us it was a 15 minute walk from where we were to the gate. Are you kidding? We are bookin' it to the gate. Luckily the flight was a little delayed so I could use the bathroom, hubby got more coffee and we could get on the plane!!
Now, was that better than the boring travelogue????

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JANEDOE12345 6/29/2014 9:36AM

    This post is WAY better than the first one. In this one we have frail humans loose in a strange bizarro world of wrong-way drivers, soaking wet children (accents probably thick), and a lot of stress tempered by humor.

Sounds like a great time!

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TIME4CARRI 6/21/2014 11:19PM

    LOl! What a great blog Beth.

What an adventure you both had. Oh my goodness, it made me grateful to be home and in my bed. It sounds like a wonderful time in spite of it all and I can tell by your great sense of humor that you really did have fun. Thank you for sharing with us, it's always a treat to see a blog from you:)

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    Welcome back! Great blog. Waiting for those pictures!

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SHARIBEAR2 6/17/2014 11:58PM

    Boy did I enjoy this post. You brought back memories of our trip to Dublin, Ireland in 2009. My hubby also thought he could drive everywhere, but thankfully on the cab ride to the hotel I asked the driver what he thought and he recommended just renting a car for one day. It took some doing but I convinced my husband we should follow that advice. So we drove down to Kilkenny and the drive there was as stressful as you describe. Our first left out of the hotel parking lot landed us in oncoming traffic...thankfully at a stop light. Could have been serious! At some points, you could have fit a piece of paper between my side and the bus or vehicle next to us. Alas we made it and had a great day there, but when we returned to Dublin we were happy to turn in the keys and use the metro! So glad you enjoyed your trip. Thanks for sharing it.

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MEADSBAY 6/17/2014 10:29PM

    Omg...I'm sorry but I had to go change my pad...ypu made me laugh out loud!
I would wait a looooooong time before planning another trip abroad.

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    I figured you would end up the one stopped going through customs. You look like such a terrorist. LOL. They said on T.V. this week that they are cracking down on bag size. They showed some people on T.V. that were practically wheeling in coffins with handles.

I was okay until you got to the underwear search and the nasty bathroom. LOL. I have a phobia regarding both. LOL!! I would make a poor traveler. I often enter a bathroom, and do a pirouette right back out if it is not up to par. And the thought of some stranger touching my underwear - eek!!!

I've never had airline food. I've only flown twice and and they only served booze.

Ohare is like Heathrow. You walk 45 miles to get on the plane. LOL. I was convinced I was lost and asked someone and they were like, "You have quite a ways to go."

Burger O'King? OMG!! LOL!!!!

Ian rents cars sometimes. Hopefully he will have better luck. LOL!

Comment edited on: 6/17/2014 8:56:32 PM

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NORASPAT 6/17/2014 7:38PM

    Oh My we avoid Heathrow if we can. I too had a nightmare. A lady gave me a birthday gift to take to her DIL who still lives here in Maine so it was no problem. They opened my case, they rummaged through and found the gift. Of course it had to be opened there were odds and Bobs and I had explained it was a gift from her MIL. She did not tell me there were seeds in it, What a red flag. I was about in tears I was carrying our 14 month BIg firstborn son.
The guy saw my Dilemma and he shut and tried to Zip it for me and he broke The zipper !!!!!
It was very hard to carry so we had to pay for a buggy to get to ore gate and explained to the person who checked us in. They Duct taped it totally someone had afield day.. That was when we decided to stay in the states.
You have m memories and stories to tell. I hope you had fun. Pat in Maine

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