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VISITING A FAMILY HOME My Trip to Ireland
In October, I traveled to Ireland with my wife for a little over a week, and it was such an incredible trip. Our first stop was Dublin, then we went to Cork, and last, the Aran Islands and Galway. We stayed in Dublin for three days, where we caught up with a friend of my wife’s who showed us around the city and where the locals like to hang out. My wife and I saw all the touristy attractions in Dublin, including St. Stephen’s Green, the Trinity College, and the Book of Kells. We also experienced the infamous pub culture. The Book of Kells is a famous book of Gospels that was produced by Celtic monks, and it was fascinating to see because of how colorful the illustrations were, despite being written around the time of 800 A.D. Visiting the pubs around Dublin was a great experience too. To the locals, going to the pub is almost considered a rite of passage and is truly a part of their daily lives. After work, many head to the pubs to socialize and celebrate their culture. We went to a pretty touristy pub called Temple Bar, which was close to where we were staying. The pub was filled with mainly tourists, but my wife’s friend took us to the pubs around Dublin where all the locals go. They were far more interesting than sitting in a pub with other tourists. While we were in Ireland, we made sure to rent a car so we could drive around and visit other cities. We ended up driving to Cork, in southern Ireland, where I had the best seafood in my entire life. Cork was also the place I was most eager to visit, because my family is originally from the area. We went a little way outside of Cork and saw the Sullivan name on many signs and business. It was really exciting to see. We’d go to a pub and start talking with the locals, and they’d ask me for my name, and several times they had the Sullivan name as well. We’d spend a good time trying to see if there were any connections between us. It was interesting making that connection with my family’s history. My great grandfather came to the states from Ireland years ago, and seeing where my family originated meant a lot to me. When we were talking with the natives, my last name always sparked conversation, and they were excited to hear about what things were like along the East Coast of America
They were proud of how the Irish influenced the cities here. It was truly unique seeing that connection between our two countries.
Driving to Cork was an experience in itself. You’d be driving along and suddenly see medieval castles, ruins, farming, sheep, cows, a horse and buggy, and the most beautiful shade of green grass you can imagine. The streets that we drove along were tight, twisty, narrow roads, and we had to drive on the left side instead of the right. It took about a day to get used to driving on what looked like the passenger side of our rented car and on the other side of the road. From Cork, we drove to the west coast of southern Ireland to visit the Aran Islands. We took an hour boat ride to the largest island, called Inis Mor, and spent a day touring the 12-mile island. Our tour guide told us that the island is essentially limestone rock, and the first settlers had to make it livable, so they created their own ecosystem. They took sand and seaweed and piled it up on the rock to make grass so they could farm and feed their livestock. It was like going back in time — there are still about 1,000 people living there, but they have thatch houses, and it’s a Gaelic speaking region, meaning that most of the population speak Irish. From Inis Mor, we visited the Cliffs of Moher and then spent two days in the city of Galway. Galway was our favorite city we visited. It was clean, much less busy, had a bohemian feel and look, and had beautiful historic streets and shops. The food was amazing and the culture and pub life was authentic and so much fun. On our first day, we did a walking food tour with six other tourists. The guide took us to local restaurants, bakeries, and pubs that we probably would have missed otherwise. Each place came with a story and history that was as interesting as the food itself. We tasted three different types of pastries, mussels, salmon, sushi, chocolate, cheese, salami, and seafood chowder. The food was also paired with local whiskey and beer. To top
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HURRICANE HERO TONY ALSUP How One Man Saved Hundreds of Animals In the wake of destruction, it’s easy to focus on self-preservation. After all, fight-or-flight instincts are hard-wired into our brains so that we can survive dangerous situations. But while fear drives the actions of many in times of chaos, there are a few who find greater strength in compassion. Tony Alsup considered the potential devastation of Hurricane Florence as he sat comfortably in his home in Greeneville, Tennessee. Rather than sit back and watch, the truck driver by trade packed up an out-of-commission school bus he’d bought and set off to South Carolina with one goal in mind: to save as many animals as possible. Stopping by every shelter he found along the coast, Alsup rescued over 60 cats and dogs in both North and South Carolina and took them to Foley, Alabama. The heroic efforts of Alsup saved the lives of many animals, but it wasn’t the first time he’d rushed into danger for a good cause. He’d originally purchased the school bus, which he turned into Noah’s Ark last year, to save animals in Texas and Florida as Hurricane Harvey pounded the Gulf Coast. When he finished there, his mission shifted to helping animals in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island. It’s said that character is defined by the way someone acts when no one is watching. Many people heard of Alsup’s bravery after the devastation of Florence, but as news stories turned to sports, politics, and business, America slowly moved on. Victims of the hurricane who lacked supplies received less national attention, but more than a month later, Alsup’s commitment to the cause was as strong as ever. Living out of the back of the bus for weeks, he drove pets out of the persistent flooding and convoyed shipments of desperately needed supplies to the coastal Carolina towns. You can follow Tony’s commitment on Facebook. He’s not asking for money or fame; he’s just a person with heart to serve, using social media to promote awareness about those who desperately need our help. If you’re wondering what drives such a person, you can find it written at the bottom of every update he posts: “Love y’all, mean it.”
Running, Walking, and Standing Better
Walking is something people do without thinking twice about it. In the mornings, we walk from our bedrooms to the kitchen, out to the car, and then around the workplace. Individuals who have trouble with balance, an irregular walking pattern, or shooting pain in their feet can find this simple activity almost unbearable. An important component of a person’s health is a balanced foot structure. Think of the feet as the foundation of your body — if the foot structure is misaligned, then the rest of your body will be altered. If there’s a problem with a patient’s feet, it may lead to problems with their hips, knees, lower back, and even their neck. One of the simplest ways to correct this problem is through orthotics. Orthotics are prescribed medical shoe-inserts specifically designed to correct biomechanical foot issues in activities such as walking, running, or standing. They can also help foot pain. Adjusting to orthotics can take a short amount of time, but it’s recommended that you ease into them by wearing them only a few hours each day. For people who are more athletic, orthotics should not be worn for the duration of an athletic activity until the orthotics are completely comfortable. Also, keep in mind that your orthotics work best in shoes that fit appropriately. Take your orthotics with you when you’re purchasing new shoes, and wear the kind of socks you’d typically wear with the shoes to ensure they’ll work well. NOVA Chiropractic & Acupuncture utilizes the most advanced technology to develop your custom-made orthotics. We perform a digital scan of your feet to determine if there’s any abnormal pressure pressing on either foot. From this scan, custom orthotics are made by Foot Levelers to put your feet into proper alignment. Foot Levelers orthotics provide the support your feet need and aren’t rigid like most orthotics, making them more comfortable to wear. If you’re suffering from pain in your feet, legs, or back, orthotics can help. Call our offices today to see how we can help you get back on your feet and doing the things you love.
A Fun Trend You Can Easily Follow! UGLY SWEATER PARTIES
WHAT EXACTLY IS ANUGLY SWEATER PARTY? It’s rather simple — slip on your favorite Christmas sweater, gather all your friends and family members, make sure there are plenty of refreshments and games, and you’re guaranteed to have a top-tier party. A few ugly- sweater-themed games that should be on the agenda include an ugly gift exchange, which is similar to the white elephant exchange, except with the gaudiest gifts you can find; an ugly photo booth, complete with terrible, tacky props; and, of course, an ugly sweater contest. This is the only time of year when slipping into a lurid red sweater with a stuffed Santa sewn on the front is considered trendy. So adorn yourself in the frumpiest, tackiest sweater you can find, and have some fun this December!
It’s speculated that the first ugly sweater party took place in Vancouver, Canada, back in 2001. Since then, the trend has become one of the most popular holiday party themes. Come Thanksgiving, you’ll start to see racks in all types of clothing stores lined with hideous sweaters. If you’re ready to jump on the ugly-sweater-party bandwagon this Christmas season, here a few things to keep in mind. YOUR VERY OWNUGLY SWEATER Ugly sweaters come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. You can head to H&M or a local thrift store to pick one up. However, if you have a sweater that’s been cozied up for years in the back of your closet or a drawer, now’s your chance to give it new life. Arm yourself with a hot glue gun, thread, and needle, and patch Santa, Rudolph, or Frosty on it. And let it be known that an ugly sweater isn’t complete without sparkles, beads, and sequins galore.
Holiday Roast Prime Rib
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Inspired by Food Network
things off, we were filmed by a video company working to create and short travel experience video for Aer Lingus. If my wife and I end up making the cut, we will be sure to share the video. In addition to the food tour, we spent much of our time shopping and walking the city, exploring other sites. We visited the Spanish Arches; National University of Ireland, Galway; and several amazing local restaurants and pubs. We got to experience older native men singing and playing native instruments in the pubs. Irish music is a big part of their culture and how stories are passed down, still to this day. It was a great vacation, and we enjoyed our time in Ireland, but it was good to come back home. We had the grandparents take care of our kids for the week, which I’m thankful for, and we enjoyed reconnecting with them. We truly missed them. Visiting Ireland was a unique experience, and I’m looking forward to revisiting it sometime in the future. While we saw a lot, there’s still so much to see and explore. -Dr. Todd P. Sullivan
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
1 bone-in prime rib (6–7 pounds)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
8 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 cups red wine
4 cups beef stock
5. To make au jus, place roasting pan with drippings from roast over 2 burners on high. Add wine and scrape pan as liquid reduces. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half. Finally, sprinkle in thyme. 6. Slice roast and serve topped with au jus.
30 minutes before cooking, remove roast from fridge and let sit until it reaches room temperature.
2. Heat oven to 350 F. 3. Make small slits in prime rib and stuff with slices of garlic. Liberally season with salt and pepper. 4. Place a rack inside a roasting pan and roast prime rib for 2 hours, until medium-rare.
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Inside Issue THIS
Vacationing in Ireland
Hurricane Pet Hero • What Orthotics Can Do for You
Everything You’ll Need for an Ugly Sweater Christmas • Holiday Roast Prime Rib
Events Near You
Wanting to get into the holiday spirit early? Now’s the perfect chance to get your whole family involved! Head over to Matchbox Merrifield to meet Santa, take some pictures, and have brunch. There will be a cookie decorating station, a holiday crafts table, and a hot chocolate bar. You and your family can enjoy Matchbox’s buffet-style menu with breakfast and lunch foods to choose from. A CIVILWAR CHRISTMAS Where: 1524 Spring Hill Road, Suite LL, Tysons When: Recurring weekly on Sunday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Nov. 29 through Dec. 23. Times vary. Admission: $15–$39 Website: 1ststagetysons.org/plays-events/#current-show Combining history and the holidays into one performance, Paula Vogel pieces together a time in Washington, D.C., in the year 1864. Enjoy the stories of different characters from Northern Virginia and from the White House itself. Watch this emotionally moving play just in time for the holidays!
COMMUNITY YOGA ATMY BODYOGA Where: My BodYoga, 2570 Dynasty Loop, Woodbridge When: Friday, Jan. 4, 2019, 5–6 p.m Admission: Free!
Don’t Miss These Exciting Events
Enjoy the holidays and start the new year with these local events!
Start the new year right with an open-to-the-community yoga class, led by My BodYoga instructors. The hour-long class is open to beginners and intermediates alike, inspiring you to build flexibility, strength, and coordination through practice and dedication. If you’ve been interested in yoga but never had the chance to attend a class, now is the perfect opportunity to try!
BRUNCHWITH SANTA Where: Matchbox, 2911 District Ave., Suite 120, Fairfax When: Saturday, Dec. 15, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Admission: $0–$29
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