Wine Transportation June 11, 2008
Throughout the year I have used various tactics to ‘smuggle’ bottles of Californian wine back to Dublin. You see, I have a huge problem of not having access to my favorite Californian wines that were so readily available to me in the States. The wine shops across Ireland have heaps of good wine from Old World regions and from the New World regions of Australia, Chile and South America. However, when it comes to importing wine from the States, the Goliath’s of the wine industry: Gallo and Kendal Jackson, dominate the US selection.
The inventive wrapping forms I have used to transport wine across the Atlantic have included sweaters, towels, plastic bags, socks and t-shirts. I wrap the bottle(s) in these items and when I check my luggage at the gate, pray that they don’t bust and leak all over the contents of my suitcase. NOW, I have found an invention to resolve my wine packing needs. No, it is not drink it and transport it in my belly. It’s called Wine Skin (http://www.ftscontent.com/) and is a custom-made bubble wrap for wine bottles. At $10.99 for a 5-pack, I think it’s not too bad a deal considering how much it costs to ship wine through USPS.
It works fairly simply – insert wine bottle, seal end, and wallah – your wine bottle is protected. Also, if the bottle happens to bust, the contents of your suitcase will be safe from deep red wine stains. I guess a simpler and perhaps cheaper method would be to just use duct tape and bubble wrap, but the handy shape and seal makes this little invention quite appealing.
Burren Yoga Experience June 7, 2008
Following my trip to Connemara and Galway City, I headed down to Cappaghmore for a Bikram Yoga retreat. I haven’t practiced much Hot Room Yoga; I usually do Vinyasa Flow/Ashtanga yoga, so I wasn’t sure how I was going to be in +100 degree temps. When the cab driver pulled up to the location, I could tell this was going to me an amazing experience. I was greeted by the owner of Burren Yoga, David, who showed me to my room. Right away I was enthralled with the woodwork. There were three bunk-beds in my room, each handcrafted with these unusual wood panels that enhanced the pure and back-to-nature but also very comfortable feeling of the whole place.
Friday night was very restful, but come Saturday, we had two pretty intense yoga sessions with a lovely hike in the middle of the day. I won’t drag on about the details of the yoga, but will sum it up by saying that I don’t think I ever sweated that much in my life. When they say hot yoga, don’t misinterpret that for ‘warm’. It is going to be hot – really, really hot. My warning for anyone thinking about doing Bikram yoga – don’t sit by the stove oven – it will just make it that much hotter for you.
In addition to the fantastic yoga and incredible vegetarian meals (don’t worry my Midwestern family – I haven’t turned vegan), the afternoon hike up Abbey Hill was a bonus to the whole weekend. You can see from the pictures below. It was a little difficult getting back into school mode after such a fantastic weekend retreat, but I only have one more week to go!