Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Greetings from Belfast

Long time no blogging hey? We've been here for about a week and in no way has it been uneventful. I'll start off with our journey over to Northern Ireland. It was long...but not all that bad. My grandmother, Liv, and I drove down to Detroit on Sunday. We stayed the night in a hotel and got to the airport in time for our 3:30 flight to Chicago. Once in Chicago, the search for terminal 5 started. God forbid it was easy, because I am walking with Liv and my grammy, who by the way is carrying two bags, one of which is too heavy for her. She needed to take a break to use her puffer :). Needless to say, It took us awhile, but we made it. Once we got onto the last leg of our trip I felt more relieved. We were in a row with baby "bassinets", which were cardboard boxes with foam on the bottom. My baby didn't care though...she slept for almost the whole trip over!

Twelve plus hours later we arrived in Dublin. Pat met us there and drove for about an hour and a half to Belfast. Doesn't that sound like a lot? It felt that way and I'm already dreading our trip back. The other thing I'm not looking forward to is Liv's jet lag. It was bad for a few days and I'm expecting the same on the way back. She is just used to her naps and sleeping her good nights sleep....so she was definitley off for a few days. She is still out of her routine when it comes to naps. She usually naps in her swing during the day...maybe thats my mistake, but if your child will nap for 3 hours in the afternoon if she's in her swing, who would deny her that? So, no swing = no 3 hour nap. Today Liv fell asleep sitting up on Pat's lap listening to music...it was cute, but a reminder that she reallyyy needs those naps.

Ok...so huge mistake number 1: I forgot my stroller. I stupidly thought "oh well, I'll buy a $25 one at Meijers and I'll be ok". WRONG. Do not attempt to go to Belfast, where people walk everywhere and there are cobblestone streets around every corner with a cheap ass stroller you put together in a hotel room. Also, on a side note, every mom here has BEAUTIFUL strollers. I'm talking designer, $500 + strollers. I have never felt stroller envy before, but I now know what it feels like. I'm going to continue to be jealous of these strollers, but wayyy too stubborn to pay more money for another stroller when I don't need one.

Here comes mistake number 2: Picture this- Desi stressed, tired, jet lagged, and trying to get out the door to meet her grammy. I was going to walk to her hotel, with the use of Pat's directions he left for me. I thought about taking a taxi, but I didn't have a carseat and all I had was my American money...so I figured how bad could it be right? I put my little grumpy monster in the stroller and told grammy I'd be there in 10 minutes. First line of Pat's directions say "follow the river". So I think I know which way to go, but there is no river...so I walk that way regardless and I get maybe half a mile down and second guess myself and turn around walk all the way back and in the opposite directioon for a mile and ask someone where to go. The woman directs me back the way I started. So I head back, and see a path that goes right along the river in front of pat's apartment. So I ignore that woman's advice and take this path, because he said along the river and I'm trying for the life of me to follow these directions. After this route turns up dry I ask a man where I need to go. He sends me once again down my original path and says "how funny, you asked me where Victoria Square was and you were going in the opposite direction". FUNNY REAL FUNNY. At this point it has been probably 2 hours. My grandma had been calling me because I said 10 minutes. She was going biserk. The madness that followed me actually getting downtown is actually too embarassing to talk about, but I walked and walked and walked. I finally called a cab and had to stand on a corner of who knows what to get picked up. We get in the cab and I admit...I was feeling quite dumb for not calling one earlier, but the next task was getting to an ATM, because our cash is not considered a currency in Northern Ireland. So we stop and one ATM, broken...next one works but when we get to the hotel I look down and see that I have a handful of euros, which is not the currency I need. He did take it, but he charged me double. Our planned day of touring Belfast didnt quite turn out, but we tried to do a little shopping after I finally got some coffee and food. I was feeling quite good by the time we were in H&M and I was in line pilfering through my purse to find my debit card so I could buy this cute little cardigan. To my surprise, it wasn't there! So I was thinking at the moment "not only was I lost, but I was robbed too!". Next step was to call the cab company...even though as my luck goes, I was seriously doubting that my card was there. We headed back to my grandma's hotel room because who wants to shop when your debit card is missing. The first good news of the day came when we got to the hotel...The taxi driver had my card! So even though the jerk ripped me off on my cab fare, he did return me my debit card :).

After reading this post, it probably sounds like I hate my Belfast life...and I did at first, but its getting better. Its totally different and hard to get used to life without all of my baby amenities. Its is definitley nice and helpful to have Pat around. He is having so much fun with Liv and taking advantage of what little time he has with her. I have some pictures of the day Pat took all of us up to the Giant's Causeway and a few of us at Pat's game, which was Liv's first hockey game.

The three of us at the causeway
Olivia being a trooper...it was freezing!

Pat and Liv at the top

Blowing bubbles, surprisingly they didn't freeze...
My favorite picture

I gave in and bought a play mat for Liv to use...I can only entertain her by myself for so long. She seems quite happy with my purchase no?

First hockey game with mom
She loved all the noise and music.
Then she passed out for the last period of the game...too much excitement.

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