Fun Stuff

January 13, 2009 | Leave a Comment

It’s been lots of fun hanging out at home with the kids. With the cold weather we’ve been able to play in the snow – when we’re not shoveling it ! Using our snow blower we make a maze for the kids which they love running through. They also have a blast using their sleds, both in our courtyard and in the local parks. We have a gentle slope here, so it’s an ideal place to let them hang out and tire themselves out. Orla and Eoghan can spend hours out in the snow, sledding and making forts, and Conall is an outdoorsy kind of guy, too. Eoghan and he are great buddies, Eoghan holding onto him in the sled and letting rip !

Sometimes, when the two older kids are in the mood for a bit more action – think Chuck Connors in Thrill Seekers – we take them to Mills Mansion where there’s an impressive hill. It’s great fun, sledding down a hill with the mansion behind and the Hudson River in all its frozen majesty in front of you. It’s quite a workout trekking up the hill afterwards; a chair lift would be just the thing !

(It’s been fun, too, trekking through some of the other parks near us. One new park is Hopeland, which is the former residence of the Huntington family, and the site of the wedding of Helen and Vincent Astor. The Hudson Valley around Rhinebeck was dotted with many such millionaire mansions, some alas no longer standing, but many of the estates have been turned over to the State and make wonderful parks).

The main excitement of the last week or so has been the arrival of Orla’s new puppy, Roisin. It’s a Cockapoo, a mix of a cocker spaniel and a poodle. It’s referred to as a designer breed, which is just a marketing person’s way of charging you a lot more for a mongrel. (But don’t let Orla hear you say that !). It is pretty cute, I must admit, and Orla is busy crate training it – or rather, supervising and delegating to her mom. Orla at first was going to name it after the lead character in the Movie (and book series) Twilight, but finally settled on Roisin.

I managed to get away when the puppy arrived, so I wouldn’t be kept awake by its crying. I went to the city on Saturday night, where I had dinner with Seamus and Ivana, Barbara, and the guest of honour, Colette. We had a great night, Ivana’s food being, as usual, excellent. The next day I headed down to Washington, D.C., where Rob, JP and I were treated to a fantastic personalised tour of The White House by Dan, Mary, Neal and Sean. We tried not to make too many disparaging remarks about the person-who-shall-not-be-named, and instead thoroughly enjoyed the tour, getting a true insider’s view of the West Wing and its history. We promised to return in four year’s time.


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