Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Last week in Ireland

Well, this last week has been a pretty good week. I cant complain much other than that I have to go home and get back into the real world, or so it feels. Im not ready to go home because it feels that I only just arrived, but I know I am ready to see the faces I love. Last thursday we went to Teach Dolmein, and we met the Kilkenny's! It was great to meet them the last time we'll see them, but I suppose they tour in the states as well- it would be neat to catch a show. This past weekend I stayed in Carlow, for lack of funds haha, and went to Dublin to do a little Christmas shopping at the Christmas market at docksiders. Last week I also helped a stray dog find a home, after luring him in with chicken fingers to the pet store I ran into a guy who was interested in him. After finding out that this is common in Ireland for people to just leave their dogs behind if they cant care for them and that If he were to go to the pound they would put him down after two days; I decided I would first question the guy to see if he would be a good fit. He was, it was hard to let go of the puppy because he was soooo darn cute and hard to believe someone would just leave him. I was reassured on that saturday while on the bus on my way to Dublin that the dog was in good hands because I saw the man walking him with his other dog, as well as his two children. It was a good feeling, and such a coincidence. I went out with my friends saturday to an international student party, it was a good time and afterwards we hit up scraggs alley dance floor.
Tonight is my last violin lesson with Michael. Not too happy about this but I know I will continue to play once I get back into the states, just need to restring my own violin.
3 Finals down, 1 to go, and 1 presentation.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Giants Causeway/Derry/ROME

I went with Ray to Giants Causeway the other weekend while he was still here. It was an amazing view and it was cute to hear the folklore of how the Causeway was made. Its something we've both always wanted to see. Also did Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge which, surprisingly I wasn't afraid of the heights. Went through Derry on the tour and it was neat to see the divided walls but also disheartening that the country is not as one, still as we area approaching 2012. Today I just got back from Rome, Italy with some friends. I can say that out of the other countries I have travelled to, leaving Ireland out, Rome is my most cherished. The energy there was uplifting, and I have gained a new appreciation for the people and the country itself. It is very romantic, even if you do not have someone kneeling down on one knee in front of you- you can just sense it. For example, roses in a public water fountain. We toured the Vatican and the Colleseum. I know i'll be back someday, I just hope its soon!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Allison + 1

This past weekend we went to Bunratty Castle to celebrate Thanksgiving IN A CAR. We drove successfully across the country and back without any nicks or dents or any lost rearview mirrors! Pretty proud moment for us given all of the horror stories we have heard from other fellow travelers met along the way. Bunratty Castle was  everything we had hoped for. We were greeted with a glass of "Honeymoon" mead at the door and entertained throughout the night. It was lovely to learn more of the Irish history through this folk park as well as how in America we have adopted different customs as our own. The next day we woke up and headed straight to the Cliffs of Mohr and successfully got our  almost over the edge picture without being blown away by a gust of wind. After this we had a beautiful panoramic view of the cliffs while eating lunch and later tried relying on our irish GPS to take us to the Burren at dusk. Sure, we may have been there but it was quite hard to tell in the evening hours as well as because our GPS kept rerouting about every 30 seconds. It was quite an experience and we truly enjoyed the view, as well as being independent with our travels. It felt good to get behind a wheel from what had been a 2 month hiatus.   I also had the chance to get Ray at a Bodhran lesson! And we also luckily inherited a mass amount of Irish music from my friend Martin. By the way, I am still taking violin lessons here and am completely loving every minute of it!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Paris////Ray's here!

Paris was amazing last weekend, we went on a 3 1/2 hour free walking tour and I was most impressed with The Louvre. Our tour guide said if we had wanted to get through the whole thing, we would spend ten seconds at each painting, and this would still take 3 weeks to complete. We walked 2/3 of the Eiffel Tower and boy oh boy by the end of this trip was my feet aching haha, ALL WORTH IT!. I tried Escargot! I was a little apprehensive about it at first, but after hearing wonderful things I had decided I could not pass up this opportunity. And yes, I loved every single snail. I cannot wait to have them again, will be looking to see how I can get them back in the States.
Ray arrived Monday! It is so great to have a familiar face, and it is still hard to believe he is here. We have already been to Cork and went to Blarney Castle, as well as the Jameson Distillery Tour. Tomorrow we will be going to Galway for my 22nd birthday. Here we will try Oysters and go to the Aran islands! I dont think there could be a better way to spend a birthday. I feel so blessed.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Cant believe its November already

We had our last excursion this past friday. We went to the Chocolate Garden! I had a wonderfully sweet time;) hahaha. It was pretty neat because we did the chocolate workshop and actually learned what they do with the chocolate and how they make it all, even the truffles! We all decorated and molded a milk chocolate cat to take home with us. And after learning all about the chocolate and eating a good amount of it, we all decided to purchase some for our family to take home since it will last from 6 months to a year. It's going to be pretty hard to keep my hands off of it until then. Next weekend I am going to Paris, France with my girlfriends for the weekend and then after that my boyfriend, Ray comes to celebrate my birthday with me! I cannot wait.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recent Events

Last week we went to Dublin for our excursion and toured Trinity college where we saw the Book of Kells in the Long Room,  Kilmainham Gaol where we learned the harsh conditions of the prisoners and also how unmerciful the guards were on young children, and we also had a look around the National Museum in Dublin. Here I was very intrigued by the famous Bog bodies.
On Halloween day I went on a tour with my friend Jamie to the Ring of Kerry. Absolutely gorgeous!! It was well worth it and a great deal was learned of the west coast. We made many stops for us touristers of the group to take pictures, and we were very fortunate to have weather cooperate with us. In the morning it was raining but once we got to our destinations it subsided and the sun came through the clouds. One place I would love to go back and have a longer walk around would be Killarney National Park. I had no idea we would be stopping here as well as to the site of the Torc waterfall, so we were very much surprised/pleased with our tour.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Last week I had my first violin lesson since about 8th grade and i've completely fallen in love with it again:) I could not be more ecstatic to bring this hobby back into my life. I also went to London this past weekend with a couple of my girlfriends. I have to say that the elaborate architecture is one of the most memorable things to me. We took a 48 Hour "Big Bus Tour" which had a blue and a red bus touring the city making stops everywhere, giving you a chance to hop on and off at your leisure. We also stayed at a swiss cottage hostel and this was most likely one of the nicest hostels around. I almost did not want to leave because the bed was even more comfortable than mine at my apartment! hahaha yes that made it hard. We also went on a ferry tour on River Thames where we went under the "London Bridge" saw the beautiful Tower Bridge, Watergate house, the Globe Theatre of Shakespeare!, and much more. The weekend was full of tours because we also went on the Harry Potter walking tour which gave us a lot of interesting facts. I had no idea that J.K. Rowling was three times as rich as the Queen in London. Good for her! Especially learning her background and everything that she had dealt with in the past. We also went on a Jack the Ripper walking tour around 6:45 as the sun was going down. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and humorous and it was neat to learn that he actually lives in the Tower of London with his family. We toured the streets of Victorian London and tread where Jack the Ripper, his victims, and the police once had. We also went to all of the different crime scenes as well as a couple bars in the area that were up in running back in 1888 that still are! Such as, The Princess Alice and The Ten Bells. I enjoyed my trip in London and hope to be able to go back some  day.