Sunday 16 June 2024

Bob's on Margaret - new happy hour

We went to a new Sunmer happy hour yesterday. Located where the old Michael's was, owned by same people as Seven Fish, their super teeny tiny tasting plates were packed with flavour. Well, not the brie and spinach quesidilla. It was pretty plain/bland, needed some hot sauce or something

Patrick's shrimp tostada - a delight

My brie and spinach quesidilla - "fine" but bland

We each got a waygu slider and they were "chefs kiss"

Won't be rushing back, but it's definitely on the rotation


Friday 14 June 2024

Brown Chitis

 Hard to describe how methodical and calm my experiences with (urgent) healthcare is in the USA compared to Ireland. 
In just over 90 minutes (with no appointment) I had vitals and history taken, swabs for covid/flu/strep done, seen the doctor for a chat and exam, chest xray completed, another chat with the doctor and sent on my way with a prescription and a note for work.

I can't begin to contrast this with the chaos of the Irish system, but those who know, know :(

I may or may not have supplemented my meds this evening. Some things Irish still work best 😉

Ps. The diagnosis is bronchitis. Anyone get the "brown chitis" reference in the subject line?? 😀😃

Travails of Travel 2024

Yeah, the photo is on it's side.  I can't flip it, whaddya gonna do

I was due to fly home Dublin - Chicago - Miami on Sunday morning, when I woke up on Saturday to a text from Aer Lingus saying reservation cancelled due to technical issues.  They had re-routed to me Monday Dublin - London - Miami.  An extra 24 hours in Dublin, sure how bad is that.  

I spent the day and evening with mam and Katie. Which was lovely. We were woken up by a false (fire) alarm around 1am, my real alarm went off at 4.30am and then finally after I left, mam and Katie were woken up by an old set alarm on the clock radio in the room.  But sure look, that was that.  They said they got back asleep.

Delays with the Dublin flight meaning that it was very tight for my connection for the Miami flight.  I alerted the crew and asked for any advice.  Seems some other people did too because a few minutes later came a nice announcement confirming to anyone (me)  that were flying on the Miami or SF llight that they were pushing out their departure by one hour in order for a group of us to make it.  Arrived at my gate just in time to grab a coffee at starbucks right beside. 

Okay! We are off! I send all my goodbye texts and we taxi off to the runway.  There was a bit of a bang (boom) and jolt as we taxi and about 5 minutes later there is an annoncement from the captain that we had a tyre (tire for my USA readers lol) blowout and we are headed back to repair it.

It takes about 30 minutes before the engineers are on site.  Takes about 2 hours for them to fix.  We are sitting waiting for paperwork to be completed before we can go when suddenly it starts getting very hot.  The effects of no engine and no AC and 500 people in a small space are kicking in.  Two people ask to leave. Their bags have to be located (this takes time).  A few more people want to leave...more time.  You can see where this is going.  One crew member goes out of their service time, we wait on their replacement.  Looking like the remainder of crew will be out of time at some point - replacements are on call for them. Someone passes out upfront, paramedics called, their bags need to be located.  Six hour mark - crew out of time, everyone is overheated, the captain calls it.

All crew onboard during this time were superb.  We are told that there will be ground crew meeting us to assist with rebooking etc and God Love them but they were next to near useless.  They literally told us they know nothing about helping to book, that first they were going to give us hotel vouchers and bus vouchers - could not advise where to get the bus from btw.  I went to three different agents and each one literally had no valuable advice.  I heard somebody mention the app which of course I did not have....because Aer Lingus rerouted me.  I went on the British Airways website and filled in my booking ref etc and Lo and Behold I was already rerouted and rebooked for next day.

I have emailed BA my feedback from the flight (good - it was nobody's fault what happened) and the service on the ground and what I would do if I were those agents:
I would come armed with a Pack for each customer.  
In this pack would be number 1 a cover note saying that right now, in the background, operations crews are working on rerouting you.  That you can check on the app or on the BA website and see if this had happened already.  That if you had not been rerouted automatically within one hour, call this customer service number XXXXXX and they would help you.
Second in the pack would be the Hotel voucher for the night
And third Transport voucher - including directions/map to where to get the bus
Literally just give one of these to everyone, ask them to review it and come back to you if any questions at that point.

Next morning I was up bright and early and back to Miami with no issues....except a $290 uber ride ahead of me to get home that evening for work the next day (and to see my cat and Patrick!)

I have since received compensation from both Aer Lingus and British Airways.  I appreciate that.  But hard to balance against losing all that time.....aaaaaand guess what I now have bronchitis and am on steroid medication (inhaler and tablets) and feeling quite dreadful.

That is air travel these days for you!

Me on the plane.  Note the home made fan in he hand behind me that we were all using

Ireland 2024

My adventure home was everything I hoped for, and more! Catching up with dear friends and family was the highlight, and let's not forget the mouthwatering meals Patrick and I devoured!
And although I missed capturing photos with some key people 😭😭 (Alice, Ann, Louise, Mam, Katie, Faith) the memories will live on ☘️ 🇮🇪


Friday 12 April 2024

Eclipse 2024

An exciting day seeing a 45% partial eclipse in Key West.  Without the glasses there was nothing going on - maybe a slight haziness versus a darkness.  But boy, with the glasses...what an amazing experience.  I put on the glasses and it was so dark (PITCH BLACK) that I initially thought they weren't working. And then, I turned to the sun and with blackness (still) all around I saw the bring sun with a chunk taken out of it by the moon.  I GASPED! And then passed the glasses to my colleague and she too gasped.  Unbelievable.  I've never seen anything like it, and I guess it could be another 20 years before I see it again.  

I leave you with beautiful photo of sunset at Shannon Estuary, taken by my sister Katie on the same day of the eclipse in the USA



How about this for a bit of a mad co-incidence?! (Twincidence as we like to call them lol)

On Sunday, I see on Enid's instagram story that she got flowers. From a girl

I immediately sent her a text:

Want to guess what I got today?

Back to Seven Fish

Took a jaunt back to Seven Fish and better experience this time round.  Skipped the appetizers (really did not like them last time) and just got a nice Entree dish each.  Patrick got his favourite of a Seafood Marinara (mahi mahi, shrimp and baby clams).  I got the mahi mahi gnocchi with mushrooms in a bleu cheese sauce.  I got a Malbec. Patrick a Cabernet Sauvignon.
Done and done.  It was a very enjoyable Thursday evening,


Tuesday 2 April 2024

Old Dominion

Old Dominion were in town and were scheduled to play Friday, Saturday and Sunday night but when a storm blew in for Friday night they shifted to cancelling that show and squeezing in a 11.30am Sunday show!!!!  

Sounds crazy, but actually really worked! With four support acts before they came on it felt like sunny fun festival weekend kind of thing.

Beautiful location

Great stage

Great show!

Taste of Key West 2024

Delighted to report that the Taste of  Key West 2024 was as good as ever - if not even better.  

Scallop from Lola's
Wild Boar from Lola's

Lobster Mac & Cheese from 915

Lobster roll from new lobster/crab shack on Duval that I can't remember the name of :(

Mahi Mahi...can't remember what restaurant eek

Not pictured
Cerviche and Octopus
Giant Meatball from Tavern'n'Town

Obligatory photo - we have one from every year.  My crappy phone camera strikes again lol!

See you next year Taste of Key West!

Saturday 23 March 2024

Seven Fish, Key West

Nice "date night" evening out yesterday.  We went to Seven Fish which have been dying to try for years.  Very nice ambient restaurant, mixed reviews about the food let's say that....

We shared three appetizers

Shrimp salsa ceviche - a hit

Grouper rolls - awful :( A big old mush of blandness imo.

Spicy tuna roll.  So so imo.  Good flavour but veering towards mushiness in my humble opinion.  Would not order again.  Prefer spicy tuna roll in Origami - a million times better.

We shared a fabulous entree of Seafood Marinara - mahi mahi, shrimp and baby clams over angel hair pasta.

We would go again! And order different...


Estate Sale of the Artist Richard (Dick) Matson

Estate sales are not something I am familiar with in Ireland.  Although, the second I typed that out I thought about farmers in the country in Ireland - when they die, I guess the auctioneer comes out to the farm and sells off all the machinery in the farm yard.
Anyway, my point is, that I find Estate Sales funny - there seems to be one every two weeks here in Key West.  One day you are alive/dying - aren't we all :( And then, you are gone, and all your kitchenware, clothes, linens, home furniture, paintings, literally all your house contents/life accruals are laid out in your house and sold.  All in one day.  
One day you are there, the next you are not :(

Even before I started going to the odd estate sale I have been a big believer in Swedish Death Cleaning and the older I get, I continue to be more so.

Today I went to the estate sale of Richard (Dick) Matson RIP.

I bought this wonderful little sauce pot - Danish - Danske Designs for the princely sum of $1.  I think I got a bargain: on ebay these range between $25-75

And this! Which was not a bargain lol. It was $4 and it is just Timex.  But I like! It's classic looking.  I have ordered some new straps on it from Amazon and I will wear it with joy every day.  I do love a nice watch face like this.

Sister Season Casino Night

Another fundraiser in ANOTHER cool venue - The Hemingway Social Club

Patrick needs a beard trim, I teased him it was like being with Hemingway. Lol

Fun night - casino tables, appetizers and Pilar rum cocktails!

Poker face!

Really beautiful venue
Really bad photo of beautiful venue

Lifesize model of the man himself, Ernest Hemingway at the bar 

St Patrick's Day in Paradise, 2024

Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!

As is customary we donned our green - Patrick wearing his 20 year old Irish soccer jersey and me in some kind of old vaguely rugby type shirt.
Destination was The Saint Hotel for their special green themed brunch.  It was really, really good I have to say.  Undoubtably the best Endless Small Plates brunch on the island.  And of course with Endless Mimosas.  The hit for us was the chorizo eggs benedict which we both ordered twice.

SPCA fundraiser

Lovely event for the Florida Keys SPCA, held in the Little White House in Truman Annex - what a beautiful and historic venue.
I wore my Lilly Pulitzer jumpsuit which I have been waiting for an occasion to wear at so I was pleased  with that.  It felt very comfortable all night.
Dinner, drinks and fun little silent auction - I bought cute little pineapple embroidered cocktail napkins

Monday 11 March 2024

The Salty Grunt 2.0

Summer is coming as you can see from this pic! And indeed, while out fishing yesterday I got a little bit burnt, so it's time to start being strict about applying suncream.

This morning it got up and did a nice 30 minute session on the peloton. By nice, I mean killer. As always, I felt great after it. 

Afterwards I nipped across to the boat to give it a little clean. We had problem with the water lines over the weekend so the hose didn't work when we came in from crabs on Saturday and fishing on Sunday. Luckily, it didn't get too dirty at these times but it still needed an aul' scrub. I took my time and she is now sparkling! 


Sunday 10 March 2024

Tuna - Little Tunny

Caught this fine fellow out last week,  A little disappointed it was not a blackfin tuna but our day will come, I know it!

Made a simple marinade of garlic, ginger, soya, siracha and lemon juice

Marinaded for an hour or two

Very quickly seared and served over a bed of seaweed salad, with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.  Delicious and healthy!