Wednesday, April 29, 2009

So close to the sea you forget to count the days

I'm BACK!!!! After 2 weeks of being a world traveler I am back in Cork. While I was away for 2 weeks I felt like I was traveling for much much longer...a sign that I truely went on holiday. Within these two weeks I went to Faro and Lisbon Portugal, Barcelona, Sicily and Rome. Having most of these cities be on the coast and also being much further down than Ireland, it was around 21 degrees C. So I got some good color and got to lay on the beach. My favorite place was Barcelona but I also truely loved Rome and Vatican City. Maura had it right when she said it is like Catholic Disneyworld. Portugal was also lovely but I seem to forget it because it feels like so long ago. Sicily was not what we expected but had the best food. Barcelona had a very chill and hippie feel to it as well as great beaches and water where we could walk to.

Each place made me think of different people back home even though I was traveling the world relaxing. Portugal obviously made me think a lot about Sissy and how I hope to one day return with her knowing what to do and understanding the people better. Barcelona made me think of Loyola because a bunch of us were all there and went out. It was a city that all of Loyola would enjoy! It also made me think of Erin and JJ because it was our type of place and could have pleased all of us. Sicily where I had the best steak of my life I thought of Sunday night dinners at Poor Herbies wishing my whole family could experience the joy of it.

Now Rome. First the Vatican I thought of how amazing the tour and experience would be with all of Campus Ministry who could experience in the joy and awe with me. I also mainly thought of Sean who would have had a field day there! At the Forum where there were tons of Ruins Erin would have loved it and would never have stopped talking about that Ruins that she suddenly become obsessed with.
I also went to Mass with the Pope which was amazing which is something I hope and know anyone would love.

I loved my travels and have so many pictures to show all of you. I am filled with so many emotions of excitement now because there is only a month left I am excited for the last month, excited to go home and sad to leave. I turn 21 in 2 days which is crazy and am going to be going into my last year of college in August. Miss you all and be back in the states in a MONTH!!!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Schools Out For Summer

A lot has happened within the month of March. While the U.S. lost an hour of sleep, Ireland waited a bit for a brief time there was only a 4 hour difference which was lovely, but that time is over now. We had 2 weeks of crazy work after all of Loyola invaded Cork. St. Patrick's Day occurred and was an unreal experience in Ireland then two days later we had to take a midterm.

That same day in March my sister, Erin, came to visit. Due to the fact that she is the only family coming over and I love her, I was so excited!!! I showed her the usual places we go..aka the Thirsty. She got to kiss the Blarney Stone after waiting an hour in line to climb up to the top of the castle. This hour long wait also allowed me to witness the luck she has compared to my brother and me. Sarah, Cathy, Erin and I were blessed to be taken by Dave to see Courtmacsherry, the beach. Also in the same day we all got to experience history in the making when Ireland won the 6 nations Rugby match, grand slam, and for the first time since 1948...61 YEARS and we got to witness it. It was a crazy game that I am so blessed to have been in Ireland from. Erin and I also went on the Ring of Kerry Tour and had the most beautiful weather so far in Ireland. Erin got to experience some of JJ and my luck. Erin also made my roommates and me delicious meals, converting Cathy to her amazing mash potatoes and Sarah to soft boiled eggs (they are becoming true strong's now). Erin left on Tuesday the 24th in the a.m. I was so happy to have shown her my life in Ireland and had the best time with her.

Later that day though I took my first final and that Thursday handed in a paper. Thankfully though, that Thursday the 26th was our last day of classes. The whole month of April is Spring/ Easter Break!! I have a bit of relaxing time here before leaving on April 13th til the 27th to go to Portugal (Faro and Lisbon), Barcelona, Sicily,and Rome!!! I return just in time to do some work, celebrate my birthday, finish all work by the 18th and have 2 weeks in May to spend in Cork. We all can't believe that there are only 2 months left here in Cork. It will be so sad to leave but will be good to go back home and start seeing our bank accounts go up instead of down for a change.

Glad to see Relay for life at Loyola was a success and an amazing experience for another year. I will be watching Saturday cheering on Nova in the Final 4!!! GO NOVA!!! And I will still anxiously await to watch Lost on Thursdays, Grey's on Friday's and American Idol on Saturday's to keep me up to date with American T.V. :) Much Love to everyone in the states!!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

By Popular Request

This past week Loyola invaded Cork. There were tons of Loyola people here for their Spring break, so it was a pretty crazy week. Cathy and I had 6 girls staying with us in our apartment. We celebrated our friend Emily's birthday last weekend with some of the visitors, then on Monday our 4 roommates came. We took them to the Blarney Stone and took a day trip to the Ring of Kerry. Overall, everyone had fun but it left Cathy and me very exhausted from doing so much. Soon we are all planning our trips in April which makes me excited. Also, our half way mark is coming in the middle of March which makes us all sad but we are still going to celebrate!

My mom has requested that my family wants to see more picture of me and people on the blog so here are some pictures. ENJOY!

Emily, Me, Sarah, and Mary Beth in the snow outside of Versailles!!
Loyola visitors
Everyone who went on the Ring of Kerry tour
Sarah and me in the Thirsty one night
Sissy and me on the Ring of Kerry Tour

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oh, it is love!!

Our Rock Band Picture- taken by Tyler is was a classic picture that was taken this weekend


A picture of me loving the water taken by Tyler

This is delayed but this past Friday and Saturday, my friend Sarah and Tyler were taken to Courtmacsherry by our two Irish friends Dave and Rob. Dave and his cousins own country/beach houses in Courtmacsherry. This cute one street town is right on the water and harbor. We left Friday around 5:30 p.m., so we drove the hour chasing the beautiful Irish sunset along the countrysides. When we finally arrived it was too dark to see the water but the house smelled as though it was a beach house. I knew then that I was going to fall in love, just like Sarah told me I would. Once we ate dinner by candle light because we decided lights were overrated, drank some wine and tea it was 11:30 and we decided to walk down the street to a local pub for some pints. We got to the pub and all of us sat around a very tiny table getting to know one another, laughing and exchanging life stories. Around 1:30 the pub closed so we walked outside to walk the 15 minutes home. 2 and a half hours later we walked in the door. We stopped on benches and the harbor pier to look at the lights and boats on the water.

The next day I woke up at 12 to sun shinning bright into the room- God was on my side for today, sun in Ireland and a beach. I jumped out of bed- a very rare occasion- and looked out my window to find it was everything I imagined; water and then Irish countryside. We all got ready and jumped into the car, we were off to the beach. After an anxious 10 minute car ride we pull up to a cliff that over looks the water. When I get out, I knew today was the day I had been waiting for since I arrived Jan. 3rd. We walked down towards the water and walked on the rocks due to the fact that this beach had no actual beach. I sat on the rocks overlooking the water and surrounded by countryside. I took very little pictures due to the beauty surrounding me. Next Dave drove us to a beach we past earlier that Sarah and I wanted to see. Sarah and I ran down the hill, took off our shoes -boots in my case-, rolled up our jeans and began to run around with our feet in the water. I spent the entire time with my feet in the water. If it is possible to love something like this, it happened to me. I was in my element. I was in love with Ireland. Sadly my fellow travelers were hungry so we ventured to our next stop, the woods. We walked through a path that included green moss growing on trees and the water peeking through the trees. Once we walked up, we were welcomed by a cliff overlooking the water yet again. The day ended with us going back for some tea, eggs and bacon and us not ready to leave just yet, so we went to a pub for a pint before traveling back to the hustle and bustle of Cork city. I enjoy Cork, but this place was heaven to me. If I could stay one place for the rest of my life, that beach with my feet in the water is where it would be. This past weekend my other friends went to Amsterdam for 6 days I was sad that I didn't go, but after that trip I know that I made the correct decision. I got to fall in love with Ireland and had the company of 4 others that made it even better.

This past Sunday my two friends also shared a moment they will never forget. Jake and Lindsay got married and I was blessed enough to talk to some people at the wedding including Maura who lives in Alaska. Congratulations Lindsay and Jake!

This Sunday is my friend Emily's 21st birthday and then on Monday Loyola will have fully invaded Cork. This will be a fun next week. I can't wait for May so I can spend my days in Courtmacsherry even more. Hopefully I will get to take my sister there when she visits because she just like me will fall in love and will never want to leave.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Arc de Triumphe

Versailles in the snow
pyramid at the Louvre
Notre Dame!

Our past weekend was a low key weekend that consisted of watching the Superbowl until around 3a.m. our time and watching one of the coolest half time shows ever. Love Bruce. But this low key weekend was okay due to the fact that on Thursday we were going to be traveling to Paris!

We left for the airport around 3 hours early, so we just sat there and played cards...anxiously awaiting to get to good old Paris. After 3 hours in an airport, and hour and half plane ride and around another hour and a half of train rides, we finally arrived at our Hotel. For 7 girls we booked 2 hotel rooms due to cheap costs and the idea in our head that in America we can fit 4 or 3 in one room. We were in for a surprise. This small French hotel, had a person at the desk all the time and you had to give them your room key when you left. The beds were a queen sized bed or 2 twin beds pushed together. This stressful situation set off the weekend on a bad foot and was the only reason why Paris was not the most wonderful trip that we imagined. After eating dinner at a nice restaurant where we were laughed at for our America ways, we went to bed.

Friday morning we departed our hotel at 9 a.m. and did not return until 11 p.m. It was a long but fun and lovely day. We walked ten minutes from our hotel to the Eiffel Tower. We could not have had a more perfect day to visit here. The clear blue skies allowed for us to take unreal pictures. We got there just in time because when we came down around 10:45 the line was very long. After our adventure to the top and taking lovely view pictures we walked up to the flame by the tunnel where Princess Diane died. Then decided it was time to eat, we needed a croissant from Paris. We did and I had the most delicious croissant of my life. We were fed and on our way to the Arc de Triumphe. Once we reached it we got more unreal pictures of the famous Arc and were able to sit and admire the center of Paris for a while. We decided after a half an hour it was time to walk down the Champs Elysees and headed toward the Meteor to see Notre Dame. It was amazing to go into that Cathedral. The art and atmosphere was unreal. After being awe struck, we walked down the street to shop for 5 euro scarves and eat crepes with Nutella. Delicious! While on our wandering around Paris, we passed an ice skating rank outside where 3 of the girls decided to venture out and try it before we went to the Louvre Museum. Once we reached the Louvre I was awe struck again just by the outside. It was around 5:30 at night which was a lovely time for pictures of the fountains and pyramids. We were so tired that we only stayed in the Louvre for about an hour and a half just enough time to see the main features including the Mona Lisa which is very hard to get pictures of, I might add. If I was too ever go back I would spend an entire day at the Louvre admiring all the lovely art. We were famished and founded an amazing place to eat on the way to the metro, with lovely cheeseburgers:) i was a happy gal.

The next day we got out around 11, we were tired from the the long day before. We walked outside and to the RER stop to travel to Versailles, and it started to snow. We arrived at Versailles and walked in the beautiful snow. Versailles was by far my favorite place in Paris. Snow, beautiful pictures and nature and gardens, a great history lesson and just a very peaceful day in Paris. After our adventure at Versailles we traveled back to the Champs Elysees to get dinner, where we ate for 3 hours. Had a lovely steak, fries, chocolate mousse and some wine.

The next day we awoke at 6:45 a.m. to begin our journey back to Paris, we were ready to go back home to Cork!! We traveled an hour and a half on bus to our airport where we waited for like 4 hours for our flight, had our 2 hour flight, then a 3 hour bus ride to Cork. We finally arrived back at Leeside at 5:30 p.m. We were very very happy to be back in Ireland, Cork and our lovely own beds!

Paris was beautiful and it feels unreal that I was actually in Paris and France. It made me realize though how happy I am to be in Ireland for 5 months and how much I find beauty and joy the in nature and countryside that is Ireland. I love Ireland and am even more sure now that I am happy beyond belief to be here for 5 months of my life!

Hope all is well in the states! Miss ya'll!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blarney Castle

view of Irish Countryside from the top of the castle
Me Kissing the stone

The castle and me
The Blarney Castle!!

This past Friday my friends and I decided to take our first day trip by ourselves to the Blarney Castle. We woke up in time to catch the bus and begin our 15 minute bus ride to Blarney. The silly Americans that we are though did not really know when to get off the bus. After much contemplation we decided to ask some Irish people behind us and they said they would tell us when to get off. We thought we had it covered as soon as we got off the bus but we didn't. Where was the castle? So again being stupid Americans we asked someone how to get to the Blarney castle, they then pointed to a path right down the road. We were finally on our way to the castle. We traveled up through the narrow staircases of the castle to get up to the stone. After many freak out sessions we made it. We all kissed the stone, but I was terrified when I got there. Being little and afraid of heights is not a good combination to kiss the stone. After the castle we traveled around the grounds. Then we went to town and ate some dinner. Day trip to Blarney successful.
The next day we went to Kinsale. Kinsale is a little fishing town on the coast. This trip was a little less successful, we got a little too excited about day trips. There is nothing too special about this town and having it be cold, rainy and us all being tired was not a good combo. We were there for about 3 hours 2 of which was spent eating. This day trip= failed.
Despite this failure of 1 good day trip, this weekend was very good and we felt like we all accomplished something with our lives. I love getting out of the city and seeing more of Ireland. Outside of the city is much prettier and is more of what one thinks of when they think Ireland. I love Cork city but it is always nice to some green and countryside.
For my aunt and uncle, I met the girl from summit this weekend. She seemed very nice and is enjoying her time in Ireland as well.
JJ, I haven't had any Guinness yet, I will soon and def will when I go to Dublin.
People at Loyola, I miss you more then you know. Those people who went on Chapel choir retreat I hope it was amazing! As well as those of you who went to Bull and Oyster roast hope that was fabulous! Miss you and love you all!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

when in cork, we are still american

Nothing really to new in Ireland. I have finally gotten into the schedule of going to class and chilling on the week nights watching one of the 4 tv stations that we get. My core group of girl friends and I booked a trip to France! We are going from Feb 5-8th. The weekend right before Valentine's day. This past weekend we decided to just stay around Cork and experience the city we are in. This up coming weekend though our friend who is abroad in Newcastle is coming down to Ireland. We plan on going to the Blarney Stone and the Jameson Factory. We have made some Irish friends which is exciting. They told us not to kiss the Blarney Stone because it is a very American thing to do...we will anyway because we are American.
Speaking of being American, my friends and I today went to a local pub and watched as our new President was elected! We were still able to watch as history was made in our home country. It was strange to be in Ireland when this happened because it made me so proud to be an American! YAY OBAMA!
Other then all is well. I really want chipotle and a good cheeseburger from poor herbies! People back home PLEASE have one for me! much love and peace!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

the penthouse

view when you walk into the room
the river lee from our balcony
view from our balcony
walking up to the kitchen and living room
the bath room
my balcony :)
kitchen- yes i have made food and i am eating more
our living room- part of the penthouse
my room- desk and such
the lovely big bed!


Well, I think I am finally settled in. I have gotten used to walking to campus along the river lee and going to class. Stopping in some coffee shops along the way and admiring the fact that I am in Ireland. Yesterday was a very eventful day. I awoke at 11 and went to breakfast in a small cafe, went to class then my friend Tyler and I walked around the city looking in stores and found me a camera. I then was so excited I had a camera again I took some pictures of my room!! I had class at 6, but this class is over 30 min away from our building, so after a two hour class we, my like 6 girl friends and I, stopped in our favorite pub, grabbed a pint and chatted with our new friend the bartender, Keiran. Later that night, my friends and I were walking home, waiting for the green man to tell us it was okay to cross the street when some guys behind us said "Go, GO" then proceeded to push me into the street as I almost get hit by a car. My friends then pull me back and start yelling at the guy, who is now trying to befriend us. Yes the man who pushed me causing me to almost get hit by a car, wanted to be our friend. We didn't let him and proceeded to walk home carefully to our apartments.
Other then, almost getting hit by a car life here is very lovely. On quiet nights we go to the movie theater which is down the street. Hope everyone's new semester is starting lovely. I miss you and love you all.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


I just got back from a trip to Killarney, Ireland. Our first trip= success. We went with Loyola and then a group of us decided to stay over at a hostel and see what Killarney was more about. In Killarney we went to the Muskross house which is on a lake. Now despite the fact that there were hurricane like winds and a slight drizzle it was still pretty. Sadly though my camera decided that on my first trip it was going to break. I was slightly angry but I didn't let it ruin my trip. Then we traveled down the road and walked up into the woods to see the Torc waterfall. It was very pretty but I learned just how much I am out of shape. Then our last stop with the whole loyola crew was to Kate Kearney's Collage in Gap of Dunloe. In this cute cottage restaurant we sat in a huge room and ate dinner. Then they had live musicians come and play for us. Along with the musicians were Irish dancers who danced to some of the songs. pretty cool. Then during the break the band took they said that they would take requests as well as be asking those who want to join them for a song they would love it. Apparently they do it at every one of their shows. I decided since I couldn't think of a song I would just keep low and not tell anyone that I can in fact sing. Then our program director here in ireland Mary asked some of the boys if they would sing. Colin boyan said he would think about it. Then she asked my friend Tyler if he could sing and he said no but she does- pointing to me. Now Mary is the sweetest woman and I couldn't let her down. When they came back they played a few songs, then Colin went up and sang. After that I knew i had to, if colin can do it I can. But I didn't know what to sing. So the band gave me a few suggestions and we came up with Country Roads. It was a success! now i can say i sang with an irish band!
Then after the bus dropped us off at our hostel and we went to a pub named the Grand Hotel. Where we saw more live Irish music and a band. Twas a great time!
It is currently pouring in Ireland. our first real rain since we have been here. I figure one week was a good amount of time to wait to introduce us to the rain of Ireland. Talk to ya'll soon! Love ya and miss you. For those Loyola kids enjoy being back and the first week of classes!!! Wish I was there with you!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

open your eyes

WELL I am finally settled in here in Cork, Ireland. Tuesday classes started for us and so far they all seem interesting and not to difficult. I am taking 5 classes and still have no classes on friday!!!!
As for the group of people I am with they are all pretty fun to hang out with . Of course I have the friends that I came here with but it is exciting getting to know the other Loyola people. A good amount of us always end up at a pub together which is nice. We are also all generally taking the same classes.
I love the atmosphere of just going out to a pub having a pint and getting to know people. It is very different from the Loyola atmosphere which I like. We have tried numerous pubs in the area and all have their own feel but are bigger then the bars in America.
We have been told by the Irish that this is coldest winter in 5-7 years which is crazy because while it is cold it is only like 32- 40. It has been sunny basically every day which is nice. I am told the rainy season is more Feb and March YAY im so excited for that cold rain.
As for a funny story, I do have one that happened today. We were all walking back to our apartment building from our 9 am class and were all rather tired. We were all just thinking about how we were going to nap. I was talking to someone behind me about how they say half past instead of like thirty, when a bike almost runs me over. I grab on my friend Tylers coat and seriously was suddenly awakened by almost being RUN OVER. Needless to say that nap was not all that successful.
I have been eating the food isn't that different as all from American food, but I think that is because we are in a city. We walk everywhere, so I shall be in shape when I return hopefully ? haha
Well, I hope all is well back in the states feel free to e-mail or leave comments. Oh and as for homesickness it hasn't really hit me yet, thankfully. There are many times when I am just like oh right I'm in ireland!! Well love you all!!!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

no sleep, no food, welcome to ireland!!!

Well I am here in Ireland. We arrived yesterday morning and got to our apartment around 11 which would be like 6 a.m. US time. With no sleep yet and barely any food Me,Sarah and Cathy arrived in our apartment to find that we live on the top floor in the BEST apartment. We have begun to call it the pent house because the living room is sweet, we have a balcony, and our bedrooms are by far the biggest. And me the littlest person has the biggest bed- a double :). So I knew that it was going to be a fun time. We then ventured out to buy cell phones and bed linens. We right in the center of Cork City which is what everyone told us. The city is so cute and I can tell I am going to love it here. We are still getting oriented and slept til 2 today. I am having a blast already and that was on no sleep! The group of people I am with is awesome and I can not wait to spend 5 months with them. Tonight we are off to dinner as a group again. I shall write soon. Miss you all back in the states! Hope all is well with everyone! Love you!