Finally found a wee bit of time to update my hundreds of followers. I never realize how many people are reading this until the idea of presents in mentioned. Then I find out exactly who is paying attention! So don't worry Grace, I'll find you a present much better than your moms!
Remember last week when England got the most amount of snow it has gotten in the past 20 some years? Then we decided to hike to a prison to play volleyball? Here are some pictures! On the left is our mile long hike down our drive way which eventually led to the bar that we met our coach at. On the right is a team picture in the parking lot. The only thing different about this game and many club tournaments I used to play in was that I had to hike on my own instead of sleeping in the car while my mom drove hours through snow storms. I thought I left Wisconsin!
Well last week we had our first big British Studies test. Which meant after staying up all Tuesday night studying followed up by more studying Wednesday morning I just had to spend an hour and forty-five minutes straight writing three essays until my hand was numb and my fingers were cramped.....THEN they finally let us leave for IRELAND! So yes, at 8PM on a Wednesday night our long weekend began. It was a very long night of traveling which started out with a 6 hour coach ride that led us to the dock of Holyhead. Once there we strolled right onto the worlds largest car carrier. I believe it looked a little something like the one on the left but it was 2 in the morning so I'm not quite sure. Once on board we were free to move about the cabin...on the ferry. Most people chose to do the most normal thing and sleep. So it ended up being like a big slumber party on a boat. Unfortunately my adrenaline got the best of me and I ended up wandering around and actually found some friends that were doing the same thing. Good news, the ferry bar was open all night! Well I didn't really take advantage of that but it was still exciting. I basically spent the night wandering around waking people up. FYI people love being woken up in the middle of the night on a ferry. I think the most exciting part of the ferry was watching people walk to the bathroom. The sway of the ferry always got the best of them.
After 3 hours on the ferry it was time to load back up on the coach for some more joyful driving. We made a quick stop at a hotel for some breakfast (at 7 in the morning). Then went out for some more joyful driving! Three hours later we ended up at Blarney Castle in Killarney, Ireland. If you haven't picked up on it, there are way too many castles over here. Well this one was a little more exciting because after hiking up a few very tiny stair cases we were on top of the world! Kind of. Then we were able to lay upside down and hang off the edge of the castle to kiss the Blarney Stone, which thousands of people have also kissed! But it was all worth it because now I have "great eloquence!" Which we all know I desperately needed! Next was another coach trip but this time it was back to the hotel for good! So finally around 2 in the afternoon on Thursday we were free to explore the country of Ireland! We spent the afternoon wandering the streets of Killarney, Ireland (semi cranky but still a wee bit enthusiastic). That night we got our first experience of live Irish music. Which ended up being a man playing in the pub of our hotel. It doesn't take much to impress us!
Friday morning, you guessed it! We hopped on the coach for some more joyful driving! This time is wasn't as painful because we spent the day driving through the Ring of Kerry. It was a 112 mile drive on a very tiny road around the Iveragh Peninsula. We made different stops at varied locations to try out Irish coffee (at 10 in the morning) *(delicious by the way)*, admire the coast, walk on the edge of mountain cliffs and look at waterfalls in the Killarney national park! It was actually a pretty fun day on the coach minus the cd of Irish music that was played three times! They love the song Brown Eyed Girl. The picture on the top right is of me and my roommates at Dingle Bay, I believe, which supposedly has a dolphin swimming around but we didn't get to see him. On the top left is the view from across the restaurant we had our Irish coffee. Hand-holding is me and one of my good friends here in front of Waterville, I believe. Bottom left is right next to the restaurant where we had lunch, so pretty. It was a great trip on a perfect day. They tried to tell us to bring plenty of layers and be prepared for rain. It's didn't rain all day until we got on the coach after our very last stop. It was also warm and sunny the entire day!
Friday night we had dinner at an Italian restaurant. Mostly because we all needed a fix of fettuccine alfredo and it was the first place we found that has had it the whole time we've been here. After that we ventured out to a recommended local pub that had traditional Irish music at the start followed by more of a rock band. Best part of the night? There was a hair straightener in the bathroom! Well the music was pretty awesome too! It was a semi early night to bed so we could get on the coach by 8 the next morning to head off to Dublin!
We spent Saturday hanging out around the city and wandered around the Temple Bar Area which was filled with lots of little shops, actually for every shop there was about three pubs but the shops were still cute. After Temple Bar Area we ventured over to Trinity College. There we saw the Book of Kells, which I know you are all super jealous about! Don't ask me exactly what it is, we had to pay to see it in order to get to the famous library. Yes, that's the library on the left and the picture is a lot better than the actual thing. We were mostly concerned about how they got to the books on the second level because there were no stairs. After that we wandered the campus, which means hearing a band playing and following the sound of the music up three flights of stairs in an empty building then chickening out and running away to Starbucks. Best college tour yet! That night we had some traditional Irish...Subway! It was AMAZING! For the record they still have the best cookies over here too! After that we wandering to a few different pubs which was intense because anyone that can stand up in the country of Ireland is out at the pubs! Soo crowded! Eventually we found a cute little pub with some more live music! I heard Galway Girl (from PS I Love You) twice that night in the same pub! So happy! It was a full Irish experience completed with a pint of Guinness! After that it was time for beddy bye to get up at 6 the next morning for a day of traveling.
It was a typical Sunday. Jump on the coach in Dublin, Ireland; ride the worlds largest car carrier again, drive through Wales; grab lunch at a city in Wales called Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch. Don't worry I have a stamp of it in my passport! After Wales we drove through some more country land back to our manor in England. Just like back home.
Happy belated Valentines day everyone! We celebrated with karaoke in the bistro. Which always gets out of hand when half the school is theater majors...
There isn't too much going on this week. Just a volleyball game on Thursday. The exciting thing this week is that I just booked my own tickets to go to Brussels in Belgium (by myself!) where I will be meeting up with a friend from high school to enjoy some waffles and chocolate! So wish me luck on getting on a shuttle Friday morning, riding a train to London, jumping trains there and riding to Brussels, then staying in a hostel. Then hopefully making it back home Sunday. Someone please entertain my mother so she doesn't worry!
Here are a couple more pictures from the Ring of Kerry. On the left is Ladies view and on the right is Torc Waterfall in Killarney National Park!
Peace out homies!