Little Citizens of the World


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Funderland!

My dear friend stopped by this afternoon and mentioned that there’s always a fair that comes to town at Easter called, Funderland.  She asked is we would be interested in going.  I thought, “sure we would, lets plan for it!”  “Ok, get your shoes.” she replied!

So I wasn’t prepared for that, in fact I had just finished coating my hair in coconut oil and clipping it on top of my head.  She offered to wait while I took a shower, but the kids looked so excited to run out the door that I just said, lets go!

It was about a 45 minute walk from the city to the fair grounds.  When we got close, you could see the biggest rides up over the buildings.  The kids were over the moon thrilled.  I was excited because I felt bad that they would miss the Ag Fair on the Vineyard this summer, which is tradition.  So here we were, at the gates of this beautiful fair and I was so relieved.

Everyone going on rides requires a bracelet and because it’s fairly pricey, I just got the kids bracelets.  The front of the fair grounds was mainly younger kids rides, but we’re not adventurous when it comes to rides, so carousels, Dumbo rides and those little cars that go round and round in a circle are just fine with us.

As we made our way through, there were big slides, obstacle courses, bumper cars and a medium sized roller coaster that was not too big but big enough to be awesome!  They also had fairground hot dogs, which I’m just going to believe were 100% organic beef, and we finished off the night with Hook A Duck for €3 a pop.

We spent about 4.5 hours there before walking back home.  It was an amazing, surprise day and we all had a fantastic time.

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This ride left one of mine in tears.  Bad call on my part.

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Some of the rides were wild!

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…And some were just our speed.

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A silly fun house

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This swing can be seem from over a mile away.

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Fostering Puppies

The kids have always wanted a dog, what child doesn’t, but because we travel, a pet just isn’t a possibility right now.  However, the idea that we could foster was a revelation, and I immediately called a local rescue on the Vineyard to see if there was any need for foster families.  There was!  After a very impatient week, we took in a mama and her 2 insane puppies.  Mama was brought to the Cape from a high kill shelter in Arkansas, and was absolutely terrified.  Her puppies were typical licky, jumpy, pee on the floor, crazy.  We had a pen for the puppies, and Mama had a bed nearby so she could get some peace.  It was tragic to see Mama with her tail tucked and her head held low all the time, but after a few days, she did start to relax a teeny bit.

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Walking the 3 of them was like some kind of nightmare I can’t even describe.  I had Mama’s lead and the girls each had a puppy.  Within seconds of walking out the front door, the puppies had crossed paths, gone behind the kids, between myself and Mama and thoroughly tied everyone in a knot.  Oblivious to their predicament, they continued to try and make a run for the driveway.  This continued for the entire walk down to the beach (approx. 15 minutes away) and back.  The girls tried their best to swoop and dive over and under each others lead as the puppies ran back and forth.  We managed to get there and back without any major injury and I concluded that, in future, the puppies would be walked separately.  This was also a plus for Mama as she could go alone with the girls and walk without tripping over leads, and pee without one baby jumping on her face and the other trying to sniff her bum.  I honestly felt her pain as a mother on that first walk.

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The babies have a bit of Jack Russell in them, so besides being energetic because they’re puppies, they are super charged.  My brother came over and fenced in a portion of the backyard so they could run, which was a lifesaver!  (I had expected the puppies to be only a few weeks old and do a lot of sleeping)  Thankfully, I didn’t have to get up in the night to take them out, they were paper trained, but when they figured out how to escape the pen, and did their business all over my new rug, then walked through it, climbed/jumped (?) over the baby gate and came upstairs, the fun was over.

Puppies went outside while I cleaned.  Mama, who had always been too afraid to climb the stairs, had followed her babies up, and was now stuck.  Sparrow and Sky took turns sitting with her on the landing for 3 hours until my brother could come over and carry her down.

I had messaged the shelter on the Vineyard at 6:10am, while scrubbing my carpet, to let them know, it just wasn’t going to work out anymore.  Once the puppies figured out how to jail break their pen AND the baby gate, it was too out of control for this OCD mama to handle.  So as sad as it was to watch them go after only 7 days, we brought them down to the ferry the next day, and they went to another foster family.  I still miss Mama a lot, but I know she’ll be happier with a true dog person.  I really lean more in the cat direction..

It was a great experience for us though, and I really think that anyone on the fence about adopting a pet, should foster first, that way there are no regrets!

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Leaving Home for Home

Leaving the Vineyard is always a bit sad.  The girls miss it so much, and even though we are just across the sound on the Cape, it’s a world away.  We had a great time at the fair, but it’s time to head back to our house, and continue to unpack and sift though all the boxes I have yet to open.  It’s strange to now live on the Cape instead of the island, but we’re making it work, and enjoying our new neighbourhood.

We took the freight boat back, and watched the Vineyard slowly drift away.

Until next time…

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You can’t go to Ireland without making a stop at Blarney Castle, it’s just not on.  It’s so incredibly easy to get there from Cork City too, there’s a city bus that takes you right to it in about 25 minutes.  The castle itself is a ruin, there are no artifacts or recreated rooms, it’s basically a shell.  But if you can brave the claustrophobia inducing narrow spiral staircase, that seems to go on for days, the views from the top are outstanding.  This is where the famous Blarney Stone is located.  No, I did not kiss it, germs aren’t my thing.  It’s all in good fun, you say.  Well, it’s the same as kissing all 200+ people wandering around the grounds.  I’m all set.  If you do decide you want to give it a smooch, it’s not for the faint of heart.  I saw grown men looking pretty terrified as they leaned backwards and pulled themselves out into mid air, with nothing but a few bars between them and a straight drop to the ground below.

The entrance fee is very inexpensive and, although there’s a children’s rate, mine were not charged that day, nor was my friends child.   There are 2 small playgrounds, a poison garden, giant trees to climb, acres and acres of running space, waterfalls, trails, and so much more.  It’s a truly magnificent place that I will be visiting again and again.

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Blarney House from the top of the castle

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From the top looking down

The grounds are something out of a fairy tale.  They go on for miles and they are superb!  My Irish friends say, you can go there a hundred times and still find new places.  It’s truly magical.  I can’t possibly post enough photos to do it justice, but if you ever get the chance, go to Blarney Castle, You won’t be disappointed.  http://www.blarneycastle.ie/

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I’m telling you, it’s incredible.

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Willow tunnel

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Careful now!

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This is one tree!

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Half Moon Cay, Bahamas

We anchored off Half Moon Cay early this morning.  The kids ate breakfast in the window and watched as we slowly made our way to the anchoring point.  We had to sail around a few little islands to get there, and they made lovely breakfast viewing.  Our window is pretty dirty by now so everything has a salty hue, but it looks worse through the camera lens than it did in actuality.

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Bagels while we moor up

Half Moon Cay was originally called Little San Salvador Island, and it was very popular with pirates during the days of the real life pirates of the Caribbean.

Pirates!

Pirates!

We definitely had beach day on our minds, but I had planned a shore excursion first thing.  So at about 8am, we headed to the showroom to wait for our colour to be called for the tender boat.  When we were all on board, we cruised off into the little harbour that reminded me very much of the lagoon on Gilligan’s Island.  We got on our “bus” and headed off to the Stingray Adventure!  I know some people will think I’m nuts, but how cool is it to swim with stingrays?!  The kids got into wet suits and we all put on water shoes, donned masks and climbed down the stairs into the stingray area.  It’s actually open to the sea, so the rays can come and go as they please, (which I love!!) but they always come around in the mornings because they know there’s food.

They are stunning

They are stunning

The kids were both super nervous because of the waves and because the water at the bottom of the stairs was up to my chest.  As they can’t swim, I had to carry them back in to the shallows.  After some minor freaking out, I got Sky into the shallow water.  Sparrow was a bit more of an issue, she got a little panicky and decided she didn’t want to do it, not because of the rays, but because of the deep water.  It was slightly overcast, so the water looked cloudy and deep, I can see where she was coming from.  Anyway, a very nice passenger offered to lower her down to me from the pier which was about 2 feet above my head.  That worked and as soon as she was in the water, she was perfectly happy.

Gorgeous!

Gorgeous!

Most people on the excursion were swimming about, as I was with the kiddos, I was waiting for the rays to come to us.  Well they did!  They were everywhere!  It was so cool!!  Everyone was given a squid, which the girls found completely fascinating, and we waited our turn for the lady to help us hold it properly.  Sparrow decided she didn’t want to get that close but Sky rocked it!  She did great and I am so proud.

This sweet lady helped them get over their jitters

This sweet lady helped them get over their jitters

The kids took some warming up before they would touch them

The kids took some warming up before they would touch them.

 

At Sky's feet

At Sparrow’s feet

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Showing their smile

 

Great job Sky!!

Great job Sky!!

After the stingray adventure, we got back in our open air “bus” and headed back to the beach.  It takes about 6 minutes.  We spent the rest of the day lounging and it was magic.  I rented a cabana for $15, it’s just a big half moon umbrella that comes with 2 lounge chairs.  Yes, I was in heaven.

Playing in the sand

Playing in the sand

 

Maasdam (rt) and Noordam

Maasdam (rt) and the much larger Noordam

We stayed on the beach until about 1:30 and then headed back for lunch.  It was a fantastic day and a great and relaxing end to a very long and exciting trip.  Tomorrow, we disembark in Fort Lauderdale and catch a taxi to the train station where we’ll get the overnight to Washington DC and transfer to an overnight to Boston.  It’s about 25 degrees in Boston right now, so that should be interesting.  Amtrak, as I mentioned in an earlier post, does not have any internet access, so I’ll post when we get to Boston.