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!