2009 in review

  St Patrick's Day Parade

St Patrick's Day Parade

For the past couple years, we've made a bit of a habit of summarizing the year's events -- in a lot of ways just to remind ourselves how much we'd been up to in the previous year. Diane's already got her '09 post up. For reference, here's mine from 2007 and 2008, and Diane's from 2007 and 2008. 2009 wasn't set up to be quite as crazy a year as 2008 was -- after all, we had set up shop in Ireland already and didn't have a life-changing schedule involving getting married and moving to another country! It wasn't without its share of adventures, however. We had visits from several people in 2009, including both my family and Diane's family, as well as several friends. These visits necessitated trips to various corners of Ireland, and served as good excuses to explore the island we're living on.

January was a pretty slow month as we went through a fairly lengthy post-holiday case of procrastination. One of the only noteworthy events was we got our Irish learner's licenses, which was one part of a saga which we needed to go through in order to legally drive our car. The other major part of that saga was a trip home to renew our Canadian driver's licenses in February. Unluckily for us, delays caused by a week of snow in Dublin made us take 3 days and unplanned sleeps in Dublin and London before finally getting home.. That meant that we unfortunately missed the ski trip out with our friends that we had planned. Doh!

  Budapest Parliament

Budapest Parliament

March and April flew by. The company was ramping up for one of the biggest releases we've ever made, and tensions were high for what turned out to be an amazingly smooth transition. So I guess I was pretty preoccupied with work. The big event of March though was St Patrick's day -- which is a national holiday here. We headed into town to watch the parade and joined several people after that for pints which lasted well into the evening. In April we made one foray to the Dublin Zoo, and that's all I can remember!

In May, we finally got out and headed to Budapest to visit my friend Mike. He was planning on applying to work at the company later that year so getting there before he left was high on our list of things to do. Budapest was an excellent time, and we were quite happy to enjoy the time with friends and the wonderful food (I think I really want some goulash now ...).

 Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher

My parents arrived for a long visit in June, so that was a crazy busy month. We took them out on weekend trips out West to see the Cliffs of Moher, and up North to see the Giant's Causeway, and Diane took them all around the various day trips outside of Dublin that we had seen while I worked during the weekdays. My dad headed home earlier than my mom who stayed on for a couple more weeks -- allowing for a short trip out to see the Hill of Tara and Trim Castle as well as a weekend trip to Brighton to visit some friends of my Mom's there. It was a pretty packed month and a half, and by the end of it we needed a vacation from all the tourism!

In the latter half of July, my friend Mike was in town for his interview, we had an epic company summer party, and we caught one of three Irish tour dates for U2's U2360 tour.

  Sheep

Sheep

At the start of August, our friend Bryce came for a visit of about two weeks. That caused us to organize another couple road trips on the weekends - the first out to Galway and the Aran islands, and the second a trip that Christine organized up to Bundoran to go ... surfing! I had never been surfing before, and I never expected that Ireland was the place I'd get my first try. But hey, you never know what life's gonna throw at you!

In September, we headed back to Canada for our JR and Shelly's wedding. It was held in Jasper, which to us Edmontonians is a pretty special place to us. The weekend went beautifully, and we were very glad to have made it home for that trip. Apart from that, we used the trip home to catch up with as many family and friends that we could conceivably squeeze into a week and a half.

  JR and Shelly Married

JR and Shelly Married

Just a week after Diane and I returned back to Dublin, Diane's mom and sister arrived in Europe. Diane went over to meet them and they saw some of Britain before coming over to Dublin. The first weekend they were here, we grabbed Carolyn and headed off to Munich with Mike for a whirlwind trip to Oktoberfest. We were there for all of 12 hours, and returned to Dublin just 24 hours after we had left. It was a blast! I'm not too sure that I'm doing that again though. The second weekend of the visit, we took the car back up north again and saw the Giant's Causeway and the Glens of Antrim.

 Oslo Opera House

Oslo Opera House

  Gaudí Mosaic Roof

Gaudí Mosaic Roof

In November, we went to Oslo, Norway for a weekend which was a pretty fun trip. We followed that trip up with a busy December in which we went to the company Christmas party and then followed it up with a week-long trip to Barcelona! We rang in the new year at a small party with a couple of friends which was a lot of fun -- and the big feature of the evening was the inch or so of snow that proceed to fall over the course of the evening.

It was a pretty packed year, full of more traveling than I think I realized. We spent several weekends driving around Ireland, and made trips to Brighton, Budapest, Munich, Oslo, and Barcelona. Oh yeah, two trips home to Canada as well! We sure flew a lot!

 Happy New Year

Happy New Year

To sum up this post, here are some of my favourite photos from this year: