Tayto Park: The Crisp Themed Amusement Park

Tayto Park: The Crisp Themed Amusement Park

In Ireland, the most beloved Irish crisp that everybody loves are Tayto crisps. Founded in 1954, you would be hard pressed to find an Irish person who doesn’t like a bag of Tayto! So of course, with people here loving everything got to do potatoes, it was just natural for the owner to set up an amusement park!

crisps

The Famous Crisps!

The park opened in 2010 and they are continuously expanding it with new amusements and zoo animals! It was in the summer of 2015 when I first visited it, and I remember thinking that it wasn’t too big. Yeah it was nice, but there wasn’t really much in it.This time around however, it has gotten much bigger! This is Irelands first major theme park, so of course it’s extremely popular, especially for families.

We decided to go as a family and we had a great day! Although I feel it is a bit expensive as you need to pay extra if you want to go on the majority of the amusements there, (you can buy tokens at the entrance or inside the park)  but it’s a nice day out even if you don’t decide to splurge on the amusements. You can go and visit the many animals in the zoo, and the kids can even get their faces painted!

It really is catered for families, so I wouldn’t recommend going just as a couple, it’s not the most romantic (or quiet) of places!

The park is located 30 minutes from Dublin, so it would be an ideal day trip if you are coming from the capital.

Parking is free and you will receive a packet of Tayto when leaving!

If you’re curious and want to find out more, you can check out their website here: Tayto Park

 

Aisling

Procrastination: TV Series (Updated August 2017)

Because we never watch TV in China, (it’s full of war dramas with Japan and China and  The Voice of China) we are constantly looking up new TV series to watch on our laptops. Here are a few that we have watched/our watching right now. I won’t give details about them; if you like the look of them, you can check them out yourself.

More series will be added while I watch them.

 

PENNY DREADFUL

Penny Dreadful Ratings– 8.2/10 IMDb

93% Rotten Tomatoes

THE WALKING DEAD

The Walking Dead Ratings 8.5/10 IMDb

82% Rotten Tomatoes

BETTER CALL SAUL

Better Call Saul Ratings: 8.7/10 IMBd

97% Rotten Tomatoes

COMMUNITY

Community Ratings: 8.5 IMBd

86% Rotten Tomatoes

If you’ve lived in China, you will relate to Fresh Off The Boat. I love this series because it’s light-hearted. If you are in a bad mood and need something to cheer you up, stick on this show. The first series concentrated on the eldest son, but from the second onwards they also have episodes dedicated to the Mum and Dad, which I feel is much funnier now.  I love the Dad in it!

FRESH OFF THE BOAT

Fresh Off The Boat Ratings: 8/10 IMBd

If you love instrumental music, you should check The Leftovers out. I really love the music in this. With the creator only intending to make 3 seasons, it’s a quick series to watch!

The_Leftovers,

The Leftovers Ratings: 8.2/10 IMBd

90% Rotten Tomatoes

VIKINGS

Vikings Ratings: 8.7 IMDb

91% Rotten Tomatoes

Have yet to watch Love/Hate. Made in Ireland and it has been a huge hit there.

LOVE:HATE

Love/Hate Ratings: 8.4/10 IMDb

SUPERNATURAL

Supernatural Ratings: 8.6 IMBD

92% Rotten Tomatoes

Preacher Is definitely original but so far I’m not feeling this series. I’ll keep at it though.

UPDATE: I’ve given up on this one unfortunately!

Preacher

Preacher Ratings: 8.1/10 IMDb

93% Rotten Tomatoes

stranger things

Stranger Things Ratings: 8.9 IMDb

95% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: AUGUST 2016

Loved loved loved The Man In The High Castle! Can’t wait for season 3.

man in high castle

The Man In The High Castle Ratings: 8.1/10 IMDb

95% Rotten Tomatoes

bob

Bobs Burgers Ratings: 8.1/10 IMDb

89% Rotten Tomatoes

peaky

Peaky Blinders Ratings: 8.8/10 IMDb

94% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: NOVEMBER 2016

I know there was an old TV series which Westworld is based on, but I love that it’s so original at the moment!

westworld

Westworld Ratings: 9/10 IMDb

89% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: FEBRUARY 2017

My fiancé told me about this animated series called Trollhunters, and to be honest I wasn’t too interested. But I decided to give it a go and now I absolutely love it! It’s a great show for both kids and adults; the characters are loveable and funny and it shows that they put a lot of effort into making this animation… I really really enjoyed the series and I can’t wait for the 2nd season!

trollhunters_poster

Trollhunters Ratings: 8.5/10 IMDb

94% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: MARCH 2017

I’ve actually watched Black Mirror when it first came out in 2011, and I forgot to add this series in. I re-watched it again with my fiancé and he loved it. Every episode is unrelated to each other, with a brand new cast and storyline with each episode, and the first one is crazy. They each leave a lingering thought of ‘what if’.Absolutely brilliant series and so original, you should definitely have a watch of this unique series. They now have a 3rd series out.

black

Black Mirror Rating:  8.9/10 IMDb

96% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE: APRIL 2017

Big Little Lies is a short mini-series, and with having a 92% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I decided to try it out. I really enjoyed the series! The character development of the 3 main characters was very good, and the final episode brings everything from the first 6 episodes and it’s a brilliant ending. The first two episodes are slow to start off, but you find yourself wanting to find out what happens to each of the characters. Brilliant series! Even my fiancé enjoyed it!

big

Big Little Lies Ratings: 8.7/10 IMDb

92% Rotten Tomatoes

 MAY 2017

American Gods is based on a book, and I tell you, it’s quite a surreal series! The visual effects are brilliant, and the introduction is… just a little odd. I would advise you to read up a little on the ‘Gods’, as it goes a little into myths, which I had no clue about until my fiancé told me.  Once this was explained to me, I really understood and enjoyed the series more.

You can check out the background to these gods in this YouTube video: The Mythology Behind American Gods

american gods

American Gods Ratings: 8.3/10 IMDb

94% Rotten Tomateos

JUNE 2017

I know I know, how could I not have watched Game Of Thrones...?? I’ve only gotten into it the past week and I finally know why everyone loves it! I’ve read all the books years ago, so when I watched the first episode; none of the characters were what I thought of when I read the books. I felt everything was too different in the series… so I just decided not to keep watching! Now however, having forgot pretty much every single detail from the books, plus my characterisation of the roles, I really really love it! I’ve sped through 5 series in about a week!

game

Game Of Thrones Ratings: 9.5/10 IMDb

95% Rotten Tomatoes

UPDATE; AUGUST 2017

sinner

So far there is only one episode from The Sinner, but it looks promising!

The Sinner Ratings: 7.7/10 IMDb

100% Rotten Tomatoes

 

Japanese Food In My Hometown

If I ever moved to Japan, I know I would definitely struggle with the food! As they love everything got to do with fish flavour, I honestly wouldn’t really know what I could eat if I ever went there!

So anyway, in my hometown a new Japanese restaurant has opened up. Apparently it has rave reviews, and being the only Japanese restaurant (that I know of) in the area, I wanted to try it out and see what it offered!

Of course they had sushi, but they had other dishes like ramen and teriyaki, so I thought one of those may do me! I met my long time friend and we headed there for lunch, and I must say the chicken teriyaki was lovely!

Haha I did notice that throughout our meal I did hear 1 or 2 Chinese songs being played in it! The opposite would absolutely NEVER happen in a Chinese restaurant in China!

They gave us chopsticks and although I’m now good at using the Chinese style ones, the Japanese chopsticks are a little more difficult!

The Japanese style ones are shorter and taper to a fine point , so it’s harder to pick up the food, whereas Chinese ones are thicker and they have a blunt tip. They are also longer. The Korean chopsticks are the same as the Japanese, but I think (but not sure) they usually use chopsticks that are made of silver… so obviously even harder to use!

chopsticks

So I was a little slower than usual eating my food! But it was delicious and I would definitely come back again!

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While we were there, two Japanese girls came in to eat and then a single man came in, most likely on his work break. So it really does cater for the every kind of person. In my hometown, most Chinese restaurants cater only for takeaways or as a posh restaurant, but I feel this Japanese place can be for people wanting a casual lunch or even dining out with friends.

I think another reason why this place is successful is because it’s the only Japanese restaurant around; we have plenty of Chinese/ Indian places, but I must say my small town is lacking in places to try more international food. I suppose the older generation are just used to eating the same stuff over and over again, so trying new food might be a bit daunting for them!

This definitely applies to my Dad… he doesn’t even like spaghetti!

But I hope the next time I come back there will be many more restaurants offering more ‘exotic’ dishes!

But anyway, it was a nice experience trying out some Japanese food…. my first time trying sushi ( and forever hating it) was a different story!

再见

爱玲

My Psychic Card Reading

My Psychic Card Reading

Recently my sister went to visit a psychic. She really enjoys going to see them and it makes her happy. My Dad on the other hand, he isn’t too fussed on them. And being much older, I suppose he doesn’t really have any reason to visit them! Unless they will tell him he will win the lotto!

So my sister told me that the lady she went to would be doing a presentation and doing a short 10 minute card reading for the people who came. I’ve only visited 2 other psychics before, so I decided to see what this lady would say!

The first lady I went to was only for 20 minutes… and I honestly forget what she said. One thing I remember her saying was that I would be travelling to somewhere near Australia (I went to China in the end). I was adamant that I was going to America, so when she said that, I was a bit surprised.

The second lady is quite famous in the psychic world, but again I forget what she said! I remember she was good anyway!

So I really did try and remember what the most recent psychic told me; and I was pleasantly surprised!

Before she started on her 1-1 clients, she asked a few people to pick out 3 cards while thinking of the question they wanted answered. I volunteered and picked out 3. When she got to me, she answered my question and she added “I feel your partner doesn’t have an Irish accent. I feel he has a different accent to you”. And she was perfectly right, as my fiancé is from Mexico. My sister and Dad were there sitting with me and they were also surprised!

So I had to wait ages to see her again 1-1. Finally I did, and she was so nice! We used different cards and I had to ask different questions and what not. Then we moved onto my future and she spoke to me about what the cards that I picked out represented. She eased my worries on some issues and all in all I was happy I went. I know a lot of people think it’s a load of crap, but if it makes the person happy and more content then what’s the harm?

As it was only a 10 minute session, time just flew by…. I’d love to visit her for a proper session, but unfortunately she is all booked up while I’m home.

So yes, it was a pleasant evening that I had with my sister and Dad… but there was no mention of winning the lottery unfortunately!

再见

爱玲 (Aisling)

A Trip To The Capital; Dublin

Even though my hometown is about (1.5 hour by bus) to Dublin, you would think that I would go up and visit more often, but surprisingly I rarely go! Since I’ve arrived home, I’ve had to go up twice for work reasons, but it definitely wasn’t for a visit! I did what I needed to do, then got the bus back.

I’ve never really thought much about living in Dublin while I was living in Ireland. I just never thought of it like that. Since living in China and living in such a big city as Chengdu, I’ve become used to large cities. Before leaving Ireland, I always thought Dublin was a big city. I’ve never had anything to compare it with, so I naively thought it was big.

My perception now is quite different!

But my two times having to go up, I’ve realised that I wouldn’t mind living there; it’s compact, walkable, not too busy, a lot of places to eat, and it just seems like a nice city to live in.

But… of course there are downsides; it’s a ridiculously expensive city, and rent is very very high… too high for me to afford! So I don’t think I would be able to live there unfortunately!

I think the last time I was in Dublin was a few years ago, and this time I noticed that there are so many more little cafes open! The ones with tables and chairs outside. There are loads now in the city! I do like this, but Dublin isn’t exactly like some city in Spain or France… the weather isn’t ideal for sitting outside. But yeah, there are loads more of these places about!

I was also surprised by how many foreigners there were! Groups of Italians, groups of Spanish, Chinese…. it was crazy! I suppose that I’m so used to seeing mostly Chinese people in Chengdu, that it’s strange to see people of other nationalities! I’m sure many are studying English here.

Another thing I’ve noticed is how small the city actually is! Having to walk from one place to another, I was surprised about how much distance I covered while looking at google maps. In Chengdu, I wouldn’t get very far (distance wise) by walking. So I suppose this showed me how small it is!

So Dublin has changed a little since the last time I’ve been here, plus my perception of it has changed, for the better I think!

再见

爱玲

Enjoying Time With Family

Enjoying Time With Family

I’ve been back in Ireland for just over a week and so far it’s been a mix of peace and quiet…. then all hell breaks loose once the nephews are over, but it’s great to see them and play with them! I can now play more with my nephew, who is 6 years old; having me race him up and down our garden, doing tumbles, playing frisbee and of course hide and seek! I can now have more of a grown up conversation with him compared to the last time I was over.

My youngest nephew is now around 2.5 years old, and although he’s still not speaking, he knows exactly what I’m saying to him! At the moment he’s slow at talking, but he’s trying to make out words; banana is ‘ana’ for example.  So he’s trying at least!

With my fiancé in Mexico, it’s nice to be with the family and be like ‘old times’.  Although I miss him, I’m enjoying my time with the family.

Being back in my own bed means I’ve been having really good night sleeps. In Chengdu I never feel rested after a night’s sleep; maybe it’s our rock hard bed, but here I sleep really well. I forgot how super comfy my bed is!

And the weather has actually been better than Mexico for once! I hear it’s raining, thundery and sometimes cold where my fiancé is, but yesterday the weather in Ireland was fantastic! So so far it’s not too bad! Anyway I don’t mind if it’s not too good; I’m not visiting just for the weather.

So so far I’m having a lovely time. I’ve been so used to having just my fiancé as company, so it’s nice to be able to talk with the family and interact with them. I suppose I just got so used to having only my fiancé about in China, so when I came back here, I realised how much I missed having others company.

I’ll enjoy it while it lasts!

再见

爱玲

Animals In Our Neighbourhood

Animals In Our Neighbourhood

With plenty of people, comes plenty of animals! Here are a list of animals which we regularly see when we go for a walk in our neighbourhood!

Beag

Beag was the sweetest wee dog we have met here! We think he was a Corgi/Pug mix, and he was so friendly! We would regularly see him outside our building and of course he would follow us up to our apartment, where we would give him some ham.  Ha I know we shouldn’t have but just look at him! Unfortunately we don’t see him anymore, so we think the owner moved, but he is definitely our favourite!

Cat-Dog

The first time we saw this big fellow, we didn’t know if it was a dog or a cat!! He was quite far away, and all we just see was this big mass of fur! His ears are shaped like a cats, and he sort of has a cat like face, so we just ended up calling him Cat-Dog. We always see this guy slowly wandering about the neighbourhood, either sniffing at things or just lying about.

Smelly Cat

IMG_0879

This poor cat! It lives outside our building, and we usually find it lying among the trees or beside where it sleeps. I don’t think it’s ever been washed, but some people give it food and it even has a scratching post beside it’s bed! Poor thing, I’m sure all it wants is to be cuddled.

Beags Nemesis

IMG_0890

We generally see this dog everyday in our community. We call it Beags Nemesis because one day we saw this dog being chased by Beag and another dog. So I don’t think he is very popular with the local dogs! When Beag was here, he always kept away from this one. Every time we see it, it always looks as if it’s looking for something or someone. He’s also quite skittish so maybe he’s not very used to people.

Blacky/ Charcoal

IMG_0884

This dog is quite new to the neighbourhood! He seems quite cute though, and we usually see him in the same area. I don’t think he explores as much as Cat-Dog. When I saw him first I called him Blacky, but my fiancé likes Charcoal.

The Beast

malamute

Source; google images

The Beast is an absolute monster of a dog. His owners can hardly take him out for walks he is that strong. We presume he is an Alaskan Malamute, and he’s so hairy! We don’t see him that often so we didn’t have a possibility to take a photo of him.

The Patrol Dog

IMG_0891

Behind our building there is a small open area where people do early morning tai chi, grandparents take their grandchildren to play or to play ping-pong (or rather play on the ping pong table). Here we have found this cute dog usually sitting with it’s owner in the square. He always looks like he’s patrolling the area, so we named him The Patrol Dog. There used to be another dog called this; his owner was a security man for our community, and he would always be sitting near the entrance to our community. But one day he just disappeared! Maybe the owner left, or maybe the dog passed away.

Arsehole

poodle

Source; google images

Unfortunately we couldn’t get a photo of an arsehole here; they are constantly with their owners, and I don’t want to just go up and take a photo of their dog… but basically arseholes are poodle dogs. I just don’t like poodles. I understand why many, if not most people have them here; they are loyal, small and never ever stray from their owners. But to me I feel like they have nothing going on inside their heads!

One time we were eating food in our school canteen and in front of us were a family with their poodle pup. All of a sudden we hear a terrible crying/squealing sound which rang through the whole canteen. It sounded like someone was in pain. We look up and the dog was on the seat, squealing it’s heart out,  while the owners were walking away…. it couldn’t jump off the chair. Jesus the noise of it, it was like it was dying! The chair wasn’t even high!! So the owners had to come and lift it off and cradle it. It was so helpless that it literally was in shock that it’s parents were abandoning it! So that cemented my dislike for these dogs.

Thong Dog

IMG_0889

Thong dog is a recent arrival here! It’s owner works in a shop that sells drinks, and I spoke to her one day while I ordered. Her English is good so we found out that the dog is hers, it’s name (I forget it now) and why it has that ridiculous thing on the dogs bottom. Apparently it’s so the male dogs can’t get their way with her! The owner must not want any wee puppies running about! The dog seems quite friendly and it allowed us to pet it!

So these are some of the animals which we see in and around where we live! It definitely makes us want a pet of our own sometimes though!

再见

爱玲