Twenty Three and Ireland.

So this is my twenty third post. I also just turned 23. I just wanted to point that out. These facts have nothing to do with this post.

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On Memorial Day, I was getting off a plane and walking in the city I call my home, Boston. After two weeks in Ireland, I’m finally home. This trip was one of the best experiences in my life. It was my first trip out of the country and my first time on an airplane. The plane went a lot smoother than I thought it would. Of course I had my Celtic rosary clutched in my hand while I listened to Beyoncé. The King and the Queen Bey helped me through. The flight went so smoothly, both there and back. The wine helped. I opted to not take dramamine. I wasn’t so nervous that I needed to be tranquilized. I didn’t start freaking out until we were taking off. Shortly after I calmed down. Once we arrived in Shannon, we drove over to Limerick. We had a brief bus tour to get our bearings then headed back to the hotel where everyone simultaneously crashed. A few hours later we went to Adare Village. I took so many pictures. Totally Catholic geeked out over a church there. For the first two days, any chance I got I was sleeping. The bus shortly became nap time after a few days. The second day we went to the Cliffs of Moher. Everything else we did that day is irrelevant in comparison. Pictures can’t begin to do it justice. If you ever get a chance to see them, do it. On the way to the Cliffs, we passed Galway Bay. More beauty. Seriously, Ireland is so beautiful it’s ridiculous. The next day we traveled to the Ring of Kerry. I had no clue what this was until we got there. It’s this ring of mountains. So gorgeous. I know I keep saying that but there’s no other words to describe Ireland other than beautiful and any synonym of it. The bus ride was long but it was worth it. During our journey around, we came across several animals. At our first stop, there was a donkey with the cutest puppies sitting on it. One was super chill and wearing a puffy jacket while the other was a new puppy (Jack Russell) that was being sold. Next to that stand was a goat! I tried to take a selfie with the goat but failed. A couple stops later we came across lambs and a fawn! We were so smitten. Everyone had their picture taken with a lamb. One of my life goals has been accomplished. If you want to get me a birthday present, get me a little lamb. I was dragging along the whole day. The night before we went out to some pubs. I actually found a cute Irish guy! He was super flirty and we were going to go to the next pub with them but their group left before we could find them. Lame. After another pub, a couple of us went back to the hotel bar. I’m so glad we did. It was bumpin. There was a random dance battle and an exotic surprise. Our last day in Limerick, we did some more bus touring and visited a little village called Sneem. We had some great ice cream and did some shopping. Nothing major. Then it was time to get on the rocky road to Dublin!

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When we first arrived in Dublin, we got the typical bus tour of the city. We all rested at the hotel then headed out to Temple Bar to grab some dinner. It was a long day of traveling so we called it an early night. The next day we visited the Botanic Gardens. So many pictures. If it wasn’t rainy, I would’ve stayed all day. I could totally see getting married there. Gorgeous. After the gardens, we went to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. The fact that these books were together and in prime condition is amazing. I might’ve snuck a picture or two. (Shh!) Later on, we went to “An Ideal Husband” by Oscar Wilde. I’m not really one for British humor so I wasn’t that into it. After the show, I met up with Mikala. We went to a couple bars in Temple Bar, reminiscing about old high school crushes, classmates and memories. Overall, a solid night. The next day was our only free day on the trip. I took a cab over to one of the National Museums of Dublin. Nothing too interesting. I ran across the street to the Guinness factory. I’m not a huge fan of Guinness but this was fun. I learned a lot about the brewing process and had some good beer. After some shopping on O’Connell Street, I went back to the hotel to rest. Later that night, some us went to The Liquor Rooms which was hosting an open mic night for writers. I heard some beautiful, hilarious, sad poetry. Good drinks with good people. After the readings, we went to a couple different bars and called it a night.

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The next morning, we headed up to Northern Ireland (UK). On the way to Derry, we stopped in a little town by the sea called Larne. It was filled with cute little shops and beautiful views. Also took a lot of pictures here too. Several of the red phone booth! After Larne, we visited the Giant’s Causeway. I wasn’t initially excited about this when people were describing it to me. It was incredible. More pictures. Along the way we found an overlook with a field of sheep next to it. I proceeded to take dozens of pictures of the sheep. Adorbs. We headed back to the hotel for the night. Some people went out but Derry was super sketch. Me and my roomie stayed in and watched HP7P1. Some serious bonding happens when you witness Dobby die. Tears were shed. The next morning, we had a lovely tour of Derry’s city walls. Our tour guide Ronan was great! I learned so much.I’ve been inspired by the whole Londonderry/Derry conflict for my final creative writing piece. I’m gonna do a Romeo & Juliet piece but Protestants and Catholics in Derry/Londonderry. We headed out not long after the tour. We made a stop in Donegal. There was a castle in town. Took lots of pictures and selfies. We arrived in Sligo to this gorgeous hotel. The night was ours. It was raining and the center was so far. I ordered some pizza and watched Netflix.

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We left the hotel the next morning and visited a holy sight. I would’ve stopped and prayed but it was a little difficult with everyone walking around everywhere. After we went to this mountain that I was too lazy to climb along with 4 others. We stayed on the bus with our tour guide Damien while the others hiked. I’m not for that life. We traveled around for what seemed forever and we never left Sligo. I’m talking hours of driving and tours and still being in the same place. What the actual what? After more driving, we made it to Galway. We were all exhausted but we all wanted to get drunk because we hadn’t really got drunk so far during the whole trip. Every morning we’d have to be up at the crack of dawn to eat breakfast and get on the bus. So everyone napped for a couple hours. We then decided we’ve been spending too much on beer. 8 Euros for a pint? NOPE. We ran to a convenience store, got 4 bottles of cheap wine, picked up some take away and cranked a pregame playlist. All the girls got ready and headed out. I can honestly say that was one of the funnest nights. Everyone went out and everyone got drunk. We went to The King’s Head (seen on Three Sheets on Hulu). The band was awesome and so were the drinks! No one wanted to leave. It was always “One more song!” By about 1am, we headed back to the hotel. Some drunk snapchats were sent. Whoops! The next morning, we all boarded the bus in rough shape. There was a bottle of Ibuprofen being passed around. We did some more touring. I’m not even sure what we saw. We all talked a big game about going out for night two but everyone was exhausted. No one went out. It was the first night we didn’t have to do anything the next day until noon! I woke up and went to mass at 10am. I swear this priest was playing the game “How Fast Can We Get Through Mass?” 28 minutes. I felt a little gypped. The Eucharist is still the Eucharist.

At noon, we headed over to Limerick. Another long drive. The whole drive was a blur, a stressful surreal blur. I just wanted to come home at this point. We were all so tired and just done. By the time we got to Limerick, we laid low. The hotel was really nice. We had dinner as a group then just relaxed. Some people went to the hotel bar for a final drink but I was too broke and too tired. Me and Shannon watched some movies (per usual) and went to bed. I packed everything by some miracle and headed to Shannon Airport. We boarded the plane and headed back to Boston.

Now I’m home! It’s been a rollercoaster since I got back. One of the teens in the youth group I help run passed away suddenly on last Tuesday. That whole week was a mess of emotions. Once the weekend came along, I was so drained. I rallied with everything I had and went to the American Craft Beer Festival where I ran into an old teacher, a cousin and a couple old classmates. So much awkwardness but so much great beer. Totally made up for it. I was having a great night until I had a jealous bitch fit and rage quit everything. To be fair, it had been a long week and I was kind of drunk. After some T-Swift and a brief therapy session with the Bae, I came to my senses. This past week has been class night, graduation, my birthday and work. I haven’t had a moment to take a breath since I got home from Ireland. Tomorrow, my calendar is empty. It’s going to be glorious. Welp, that’s my life right now. More to come later!

PS. If you ever have the opportunity, go to Ireland. It’s so ridiculously beautiful. Everyone needs to go at least once. GO NOW.

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