Dublin Diaries – October 2017

October is here. The weather is still bearable and my anxiety has started to creep in because the close of Halloween means the Christmas season begins, shorter periods of daylight and super cold weather arrives in Ireland. I am not built for cold weather and my Type A personality goes into overdrive during the Christmas season. Oh, I feel it now. But, I digress. I will survive!

October’s Highlights:

This was the beautiful rainbow we captured in the midst of Hurricane Ophelia (the worst hurricane Ireland has seen in 50 years).
  • Hurricane Opehelia. Just two months ago we were worried about our family and friends that were flooded in Houston due to Hurricane Harvey and then out of nowhere we were hit with Hurricane Ophelia. Hurricane Ophelia was the worst tropical storm to hit Ireland in more than 50 years. We were prepared as this was not our first rodeo. We have weathered several storms so we knew the drill. All we could do was prepare and wait and that we did. We waited and waited and waited some more.
  • Rugby Match. Bigg Dogg had his first official rugby match this month. I’m still learning the rules of the game but, I’m getting there. He has definitely picked up rugby and has literally ran with it. When he’s on the *pitch, I have no idea who he is. He completely transforms. I do appreciate the fact that the *matches are completely different from little league sports in America. The coaches on both sides are teaching even in the middle of a match. They will stop a match if it’s a teachable moment. Yet, they are still teaching techniques, social skills and the art of losing and winning. I think I like it to say the least.
  • Christmas in October. So, clearly there is no Thanksgiving in Ireland. That means the Christmas season starts very early here. It pretty much starts the week of Halloween. As a matter of fact, we were in the mall right before Halloween and the mall was at 80% capacity for Christmas decorations. It feels weird to us because Thanksgiving is nonexistent but it is what it is. And we are rolling with it.
  • JCole. The husband and I attended our first hip hop concert in Dublin. He has always wanted to attend a concert in another country and now he can cross that off his list. The concert was lit. The crowd was lit. I mean it was sold out and the floor was standing room only. It was a great experience. Ireland knows good music and hip hop is no exception. I can’t wait for our next one.

What I’m LOVIN’ about Dublin this month:

 
  • The Butcher. The Irish take their meat very seriously. It is usually a family trade. I can do with or without meat. And to be honest, I was just about over it. And then I moved to Ireland. There is no way I could give up meat living in this country. First of all, when you cook the meat, it is so tender and pure. It feels surreal. I’m pretty sure the meat is organic by American standards. With that said, there is a certified butcher (which is usually a family owned business) on every corner and even in the mall. You literally walk in and create your meat order. For example, you get a beautiful cut of dry-aged steak for about €20/kg and it is awesome. So, needless to say, becoming a pescatarian will have to wait until I am back on the Gulf Coast.
  • Halloween. I must admit that Halloween is NOT my favorite holiday. It is actually a bit annoying (although I respect the reason) to me. But again it is not about me, anyway, Halloween originated in Ireland with the Celtics celebrating the feast of Samhain (start of the New Year on Nov 1). That means the schools have a Fall holiday (the entire week) and the country goes all out. There are fireworks, parties and family celebrations. This year, we celebrated our first Halloween in Ireland by trick or treating and ended up “hosting” (basically we just provided the house) a “feast” at our house with tacos, spirits and some of my world famous chocolate chip cookie dough dip. Hey, we may be in Ireland, but you can’t take the Texas/Cali out of us!

What I’m MISSING about home (the USA, Texas, Houston) this month:

  • Mexican Food. I was born and raised in Texas. My children were born and raised in Texas. The husband was born and raised in Southern California and lived in Texas for 21 years. So, we know Mexican food. Not Tex-Mex. Not Taco Bell. But, for real Mexican food. That is one cuisine that is missing here. And now I am to the point where I am craving it. I can make tacos, nachos, beans, etc. But, I want to be able to walk in a restaurant and order some *proper Mexican food with a frozen rasperry margarita on the side. The husband has mastered the frozen margarita for me so, I’m halfway ok.
  • Chicken Wings. Chicken wings are not hard to find here. You can get them at pretty much any restaurant and they are good. But, Friday chicken wings were my thing. I would pick up my chicken wings, *carrot batons and blue cheese and get to work on one of my new Pinterest chicken wing recipes. (And if I wasn’t feeling it, we still had Wing Stop (my fave) and Buffalo Wild Wings (their fave).) The husband only eats drumettes and HEB sold these by the droves and life was good. Well, although the butchers here are awesome…you won’t find drumettes. So, needless to say I crave chicken wings more than I should.
  • Pickles. You can’t find dill pickles or hamburger dills on the shelf. Although, you can get them at Subway or burger restaurants. I may be missing something.
  • Church. We severely miss our church (Community of Faith in Hockley) at home. I can watch it online but it’s not the same. Sigh.
  • Simple Conveniences.  It seems like there is some convenience from home I miss every month. Either that or I have been here long enough that I am really missing home. I mentioned the husband mastered the art of frozen margaritas, well, that requires ice. So, one random Saturday, I ran out to get ice because we do not have an automatic ice maker in our house. I ended up going to two gas stations and finally the grocery store. Now, why does the gas station not have ice? They claimed they were all sold out. That is definitely not an American thing. This month, I also needed a bank statement, so I logged into my account to print a statement for the previous month. Only, I didn’t. There was no statement available. I called the bank and they told me that I could get one in 24 hours because I was close to my 12 month mark because statements are only provided once every 12 months and not monthly. Wait. What? I digress.

Say What Now?:

  • As I mentioned before, we want some *proper Mexican food on this side of the pond. Proper means genuine. The kids say it all the time and now I find myself using it. The husband refuses to use it and gives me the side eye when I use it.

  • I remember the first time I went to the store looking for carrot sticks. No one knew what I was talking about, but they had *carrot batons. Finally, someone understood-carrot sticks as Americans know them are carrot batons on this island. Now, here’s the twist, you would think batons is pronounced like a baton used in track or marching band. No, here, baton is pronounced (bat (like the animal)-en). So, the husband got ugly looks when he went to the store and asked for batons in his American accent. Needless to say, we now know the difference.
  • I shared that I am learning rugby lingo. I quickly learned that *pitch is the world for field and *match is the word for game. So, when I asked, what field the rugby game was being played on…I did get the deer in the headlight look for a second. But, now I got it, “What pitch is the rugby match on today?”

Next month is my birthday month and another concert, so let’s see if I turn up! I can’t wait to meet you here next month or sooner.

Hugs and love,

Dee Dee

Is there something you want to know about our experience here in Ireland? Please leave a comment below and I will get back to you.

Dee Dee Wheaton

Dee Dee Wheaton is the editor and main contributor of her family’s blog, The Wheaton Takeover. She writes and edits her posts listening to hip hop and r&b while sipping hot tea. Dee Dee and her family have temporarily relocated to Dublin, Ireland from Houston, Texas. They are traveling the world, learning and experiencing new things everyday and loving life one day at a time. Through their blog, they share their worldwide excursions, experiences living as American expats in Ireland, lessons learned along the way and glimpses into their crazy life.

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