Wow, it's the middle of March already! Apologies for the lack of updates. February was an insanely busy month and it appears to have disappeared. So lets see if I can catch you up with what we've been up to. The snow in Dublin caused our trip home to be delayed. We attempted to get out of here on Thursday morning, and things looked like we'd manage to get out of Dublin as we got on the plane on time. But the snow and the below zero temperatures were causing havoc to an aiport that couldn't handle those conditions, and we missed our opportunity to take off by not having the de-icer truck come by in time. By 2:00 in the afternoon, the conditions in Dublin had worsened, and we began to know that we weren't going to get out of there in time. So after they finally decided to cancel our flight, we spent another hour or two standing in the airport waiting to rebook our flights.
This led us to a fun story. Standing in the queue for the airline agents, we passed by one of those Star Alliance signs that shows you all the member airlines. This sign had caused the lineup to squeeze by it, but after the sign there was some room on the left hand side. The next thing we know, there's this older couple working their way *past* the girls who were in line behind us, and strategically setting themselves up to pass us as well. One of the girls behind us saw this happen, but was talking on her cell phone (presumably telling someone that they weren't going to make it out of Dublin that day) so didn't get a chance to confront them. After she hung up though, that confrontation happened and the older couple first claimed innocence and when that didn't work, they said that the girls were not moving in the queue fast enough because of talking on the cell phone (which was clearly not the case). Thankfully, even though they were in a position in the line to get to the counter first, the customer service agent had seen what went on and refused to serve them before us. It's a bit funny what people think they can get away with. They could have asked us if they could jump the queue in front of us -- and if they had had a relatively good reason, I'm pretty sure we would've let them do it.
The next day we were back at the airport, and this time we would get out of Dublin after a 4-5 hour delay waiting for the aircraft to arrive. But this meant that we had missed our connecting flight in London. Thankfully, the customer service agents at BMI took good care of us both times we needed to rebook. This time they got us on an air canada flight to Edmonton direct the next day, plus a hotel room, and dinner and breakfast. Not bad!
Our week in Edmonton was a crazy time. We got the errands we needed to do done, and spent as much time as possible visiting people. At the time, we had only been gone for 6 months -- but it was still a bit strange coming back. Not much had changed really, and I guess that we didn't really expect them to. Still, 6 months is a fair amount of time! It was an exhausting trip though. There wasn't a lot of rest to be had, and my body refused to sleep in past about 8am every morning despite being out every night visiting people.
When we got back to Dublin, work started to get really busy for me and that basically dictated what we did for the next month. There was a lot of nights where I didn't do anything more than sit and watch tv programs and then go to bed. But we still managed to fit in quite a few social activities. On one memorable evening, we held a surprise birthday party for one of the other employees. His wife planned it flawlessly, and he was so surprised when they entered their apartment to find 15-odd people wearing party hats and yelling surprise, that he dropped into his martial arts training. I have some great photos of him with his keys clenched in his fist ready to defend himself.
On another night, one of the Polish guys at the company took us (for the second time) to a little Polish restaurant downtown. A group of 18 or so of us took up most of the back of the restaurant where we ate what I can only describe as gourmet perogies and other very tasty items. Mmm, perogies.
This past few days leading into this weekend have been insanely busy. Despite it being deadline time at work, we were still out Thursday night for farewell beers, and then again on Friday night for birthday beers. And to top it all off, yesterday we had people over for Pi Day. For the uninitiated, Pi day is March 14 at 1:59pm (3.14159...). It is a great excuse to have a gathering of people and eat pie. So that was great fun. I think the day's best pie was Xan's beef and bacon pie. In the early evening we caught the Ireland versus Scotland rugby match of the 6 nations cup. I kind of feel like I've got to learn something about at least one of the sports they play here. Of them, rugby seems the most exciting to watch -- and it's an exciting time right now since there's this international competition going on right now. Ireland seems to have a fairly strong team, and are one win away from sweeping the competition.
Diane and I have finally booked our next trip: a long weekend trek out to Budapest to visit a friend there. That should be fun!