So I know this is soon and I literally just walked in the door from such a busy day, but I figured that I would do this while sitting on my computer before I forget to do it later. Today we went on a trip to Youghal and Ardmore through a trip sponsored by Iona for only 5 euro! It was so amazing! We first got a tour of the small town of Youghal and a little bit of its history and than we drove another 20 minutes to Ardmore where we stopped to do a cliff walk and than looked at a historic church and the area surrounding it. Let me tell you, this cliff walk has to have been one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen in my life! We were out in the more rural areas of Ireland right by the water. So completely breath taking! And to make my afternoon even better I spend the day with friends and my 5 other lovely theta sisters <3 On our walk back to the bus (oh and we all were the ones holding up the group back tailing in the back) we saw horses! They were running in the field and came up to us by a gate and we were all able to feed it grass and of course take pictures with it! I don’t have many more words to describe the day other than that it was just simply perfect!
Loving and missing everyone,
p.s.- I promise I will be posting pictures up soon!! And my ankle held up through the trip and is feeling a lot better!
We have been extremely lucky here because it has not rained the entire time that we have been here…that is except for today. From the moment we woke up until early evening it rained the entire day. But, I would never let rain stop my plans to shop in the city! Danielle and I spent the day in city center shopping in cute little boutiques and in some of their more popular department stores. Although we did get a little side tracked from what we had gone into the city for we managed to get back on track. I bought a dress and a top that I felt were necessary purchase because they were on sale and were definitely things that I could only get here! After our clothing shopping we stopped into the English Market. This place was heaven! It was so cute but also had so many great deals and extremely fresh food! I was excited to pick up items so that I could cook for my roommates and myself for dinner tonight! We definitely needed a home cooked meal. But before I could make it back to this soon to be prepared dinner, we met up with some other Thetas to take the bus back to Victoria Cross together. Well let me tell you, it was a good thing we met up because we would have all been lost on different buses at the same time! When we first got here one of the most important things that Mark stressed was that the #8 bus is all we needed to know. Well one minor detail he failed to mention was the fact that we also had to pay attention to whether it was going north or south. Naturally we chose the bus going in the wrong direction! After riding around on the bus for a longer time than we thought fit, some of the girls decided to ask a women if we were on the right bus. After basically laughing in our faces she told us that we were in fact on the longer bus that would take about an hour to get where we needed to. After the initial shock set in we were okay with the additional time because it was more time we had to spend together. That was until the driver turned to tell us that this was his last loop and he was parking at the station (in city center right where we started, oh and that the other buses were not on time or frequent because it was a Friday night) Great. But, being the nice people that the Irish are he wrote us a note that explained what we had done to give to the CORRECT bus driver so we would not have to purchase another bus ticket! (definitely would never have happened in Manhattan that’s for sure!) After waiting in the FREEZING cold, and for most SOAKING WET for the next bus for 20 mins and having it not come we walked closer to the city center in hopes we would have more luck there. Good thing we did! As soon as we approached the corner a #8 bus drive right past us, off sprinted Chelsea (naturally) and the other girls with Maddie and I limping behind! We made it on the bus okay, but boy what an adventure! Seeing as how my luck has been so far on this trip I was not at all surprised that this happened to us. But I could not have asked to go through that with any other people =)
The good news is that when I got back to the apartment I was able to fix my internet and now have accessibility in my own bedroom!!! YAAYY!! And to top it off we all hung out and cooked the stir fry (which my roommates must have known that I was planning on making through some psychic powers seeing as how they bought rice and sweet and sour sauce!) The meal was delicious!! Mom and Dad would be proud yet again! Despite what happened today it was nice to sit and have a good meal with good company and great company in my travels to and from the city today!
Loving and missing everyone,
What an eventful night we had last night! Before we went out me and a few girls decided to go to Irish cultural night put on by Iona. It was different, to say the least, however we still had a lot of fun and met several new people who we will be going on our trip with tomorrow. After that, last night had to have been the most fun that I have had in a while. And when I mean a while I mean since I have left Quinnipiac. We decided to try a new pub last night and went to a place called ‘An Brog.’ Talk about good life decisions! Me, my roommates, and a few friends came to our room to hang out beforehand. We figured we would take the bus into the city because by the time we were ready to leave it was getting late. Once we arrived in city center we were full of life. We must have approached and talked to every person that passed by, but every time they were always so please to talk with us! Once we entered the pub I felt like I stepped into a picture. This place was exactly how I imagined pubs in Ireland to be (except tonight they were not playing live music =( however we learned of a few good places) Although I won’t go into too much details I feel that it was necessary to comment on how great of a night it was with good friends and good drinks!
just throwing this out there
Now that I am currently up to date with my travels thus far, it is safe to say that the following passages will be far more enjoyable and entertaining than the last. I finally attended my first class today (which I actually found without getting lost). To my surprise, but not really, I entered the lecture hall and was greeted by more than half of the Quinnipiac population that is studying here. Am I in Ireland or about to go hike the sleeping giant? For this class, History of Irish folklore, we have an older Irish woman who was the cutest thing ever! I think I am going to really enjoy taking this class. Unlike Quinnipiac classes where even when they have nothing to teach and still find something to lecture you on anyways, we were let out of class after about 20 minutes so she could start lecture officially next Tuesday.
Since we got out of class early Danielle M and I headed on over to the student center to have our sandwiches that I premade for us and ordered some potato wedges as a side (we were unsure how to order them because apparently everything we have a name for they have a different name for here). Since I was unable to find jelly, it was peanut butter and jam sandwiches for lunch! We took our time because we didn’t know what to do with all the time being that we do not have class again until Monday! Our next venture was to find the Starbucks that they supposedly had here. Although we thought we were going to get lost in trying to find it in the most massive building on campus, we found it right away! Two caramel macchiatos coming right up! Yum! We decided to sit in a little lounge area at the entrance of the building and people watched for a bit. Oh and did I mention causing a scene by taking pictures in everyone’s way (they don’t seem to have cameras at their side to capture every waking moment possible like we do)? That was when we realized how big this school really is because we sat there for 2 hours and only knew 2 people of the 304982930840923 people that passed us!
Now it is time for my favorite part so far, the tour of the library! I know sounds dorky but we all know how much I frequent Arnold at home, except I don’t plan on spending too much time in The Boole Library. We were greeted by a woman waiting to give us a tour and a small group, which was nice considering the massive group of 70 that we have been typically touring in. The library is huge!! Sorry Arnold but you have nothing on Boole! There were soo man work spaces and so many group rooms and books (but who really reads those anyways?). We made friends with a girl from Germany who was excited to meet some girls after coming with a few guys from her home to study here. We had a very pleasant conversation and swapped numbers and names (I feel bad that I cannot really pronounce her name) and will hopefully be meeting up with her and her friends either tonight or another night!
And now here I sit in “The Common Room,” (located downstairs and outside) the only room which I get internet in still. There is still a long night ahead of us! Third night in Cork can only be better than the first two! Oh and did I also mention the huge male population here! Quinnipiac that’s another loss on your end, sorry!
Loving and missing everyone,
I apologize for the length of this post. I have not had internet at all since I have been here and it has been making my blogging pursuits quite difficult! Here is the first few days in Ireland in a nutshell! They are pretty vague and a lot less humorous, but tying long details and pages is not my thing. I promise the rest will be updated quicker and better!!
Where to even begin! We arrive here nice and early in the morning on January 2nd. I would say bright and early but the sun doesn’t rise until about 8:40 in the morning! I slept on the bus ride to Cork because I could not keep my eyes open for one second! We finally arrived in Cork and got all of our housing straightened out. I am living with 2 other students from QU who I absolutely adore, however due to the craziness of the first few days I have not seen too much of my fourth roommate. We didn’t have too much time to spend in our rooms because we had an entire days worth of activities planned! All 70 QU students paraded through the city to go look at the campus and walk into city center. While in city center we were sent on a scavenger hunt to try and find various places and take pictures in front of them. Somehow I ended up with the map and led my group through the city. Typically I would say that was a bad idea considering my horrible sense of direction, but we did not get lost once! After the hunt was over we walked the 30 min walk back to our rooms. We had a little bit of free time before our next activity. A little before dinner time we met up and were than led in the opposite direction of the city centre to where we would be able to buy our food and other items. Our food store here is called ‘Tesco,’ our phone service that we use is ‘meteor,’ and the place we bought some bedding and other items is called ‘Penny’s.’ We got what we needed for the next few days and almost got lost on the walk back home! We were finally able to settle in for dinner and a toast to our first night here in Cork! I retired to be early because I was exhausted! Two days with no sleep and tons and tons of walking is not fun! Although, it was!
We were able to sleep in a little this day and had to meet outside our building for a tour of the school and city at 12 noon. Of course another long day of walking! Walking is a continuous theme and will continue to be throughout my entire time here. Oh but what’s the fun in walking if I didn’t hurt my ankle the first day! Yep, so I have been walking, or should I say limping, around the city and will be until my foot feels better. Oh and did I mention the absolute absence of technology that I have? My phone was supposed to work when I got here and for some reason didn’t so I had to figure out how to use the pay phone and call the states (it’s a lot harder than you think!) and then we than later found out that we would not have internet access until about the end of the week. I know I sound attached to technology but when you’re in a foreign country and want some peace in knowing that you can reach home if you needed to but can’t, it becomes a little frustrating! Anyways, we walked to campus where Mark (the international person who works for QU and is studying here with us) pointed out buildings that we needed to know. That was followed by another walk into the city to point out the police station (for the sole purpose of getting our immigration cards, not to spend the night) the bust station, the train station, and other points of interest. He then left us to have free time until we would meet for dinner later in the night.
I used my free time to stay with my roommates and another friend. We figured since we were in the city me might as well have stayed and grab some lunch. We looked to find a local café but didn’t want to spend too much money so we figured we’d go to Tesco. Good idea! We got a sandwich, drink, and bag of fruit for only 2.50 euro! That’s a bargain, and you know me and my bargains! After this we still had time before dinner and did not want to walk back to our rooms so we found a cute little coffee shop to go into. We each ordered and sat down and as we were sitting a nice Irish man who was sitting next to us started making conversation. He told us to expect random people to just talk to us, and so I have conversed with a lot of random people! We ate dinner at an Italian restaurant and toasted to our first dinner all together with my sisters and friends! After we went out to our first pub and hung out and met a few Irish fellows! Apparently here it is good to be American! Haha But we enjoyed our night despite the lack of busyness at the pub.
This morning we had to sit through some lecture but it was unimportant and not a highlight of my trip, so moving on! After the lecture we went and ate at a cute little local eatery. I felt so out of place because we didn’t know how to order and proceeded to cause a scene with the huge group of us that were there! Lunch was good and we than departed off to the health services building. Typical me, never broken, sprained, or torn anything in my life and I come to Ireland and sprain my ankle in the place where I have never done more walking in my life!! The nurse was super nice and we met some more Irish girls while waiting in line who were very friendly also! The nurse who saw me told me to ice it, so we stopped at the Tesco express to pick up a bag of frozen carrots, I figured it could at least serve me two purposes, and it did! That night we cooked dinner in my room with my roommates and hung out before we headed on over to Danielle M’s room to hang out before the pubs. The pub was a blast and like all Qu students do wherever we go we caused a scene, but in a good way. I think. Apparently they don’t seem to take many pictures here when they go out so we also managed to stand out by the insane about of flashes going off from all of our cameras, but they never hesitate to jump in a picture reguardless if you know them or not!
Today we met with the person to figure out classes. Their way of picking classes is so different than the way we do it back home. They are so much more laid back about it which was nice so we didn’t really have a reason to stress too much over this confusing process. After the meeting Danielle and I headed up to the Chaplaincy to sign up for a day trip this Saturday. While we were there we wound up staying for much longer than expected! The people in there were so nice and would not let us go without serving us a cup of tea. I think we stayed and talked with the people there for about two and a half hours! Although, we could have probably talked with them all night if given the chance! They had so many fun stories and made us really excited for the next few months ahead of us! That is defiantly a place that we will visit often between classes! After we managed to finally say goodbye to the people in the Chaplaincy (they also call it Iona) we walked back and head back to our separate rooms. I cooked dinner with my roommates and had a very well balanced meal, mommy would be proud! We just stayed in and hung out for the night getting everything together and talking. So far everything has been great but extremely overwhelming!
Have you ever heard the saying that the way that you start your New Year determines how your year will be? Well if that’s the case than bring on the New Year! What better way to start the new year than on an airplane heading to Ireland for 5 months!?
So before I head off and start my new adventure, I thought it would be helpful for me to explain the purpose of this blog and what to expect. As you can all see I have titled the blog “All in good craic.” (pronounced crack) Nooo they do not mean something in a sidewalk or a type of drug, this is the Irish word for “fun.” I felt that this saying (translated to “All in good fun”) was appropriate. Yes I am supposed to be there for school and to get a good education blah blah blah, but while I am there I hope to experience a lot more. This is my last semester before my major really starts (bring it on 20 credits!) and I have time to just play around, and take some fun courses with a lighter workload. I want to try and stop taking everything so seriously and learn to have some truly “good craic”
I have every intention of living my time up while there. I mean when will I be back living in another country for 5 months on someone else’s expense? (thanks mom and dad!) Expect to see updates (as much as my attention span allows) of what it’s like to live in such a green country! I will tell all about my travels throughout Ireland and Europe, some lessons that I have learned about their culture, fun sayings, pictures, videos, and most importantly all about the people!
Before I leave I want to wish you all some “good craic” this New Year and time to come! We all need some more good fun in our lives and this is my way of sharing mine with everyone at home! So as part of my New Year’s Resolution #1- Make time for people who really matter in my life, and make sure they know that they are appreciated. I want to thank you to all of my family, friends, roommates, and sisters who have been so supportive of everything I am setting out to do! You have made me feel so loved in my preparation for this trip and I want you all to know that while I am away you will be truly missed. You are such an important part of my life and I am extremely grateful for each and everyone of you! So thank you <3
Have a Happy New Year! Enjoy! (While I on the other hand try to finish packing my life in 3 bags)