Ireland!

Hello all! Apologies for not having posted in awhile. I’ve been busy traveling and my laptop decided to stop working when I got back from Ireland and had a few days in Manchester to actually do work (I guess that’s a sign?); but thankfully there is an Apple store in town, so it is fixed!

Wow, where to begin? Life has been going so so great. Our 3 week Easter Break started this past week, but Amanda & I read the schedule wrong when we were still in America planning our trips. So we planned our Ireland trip the week before break started-so we really get a 4 week break from school (I swear I’m getting an education here..maybe). Amanda & I set off for Ireland early Monday morning and stayed until Friday! We were so fortunate because the weather was absolutely amazing. It was still a little cold, but it was sunny the majority of the time we were there! This was great because I feel like I was truly able to appreciate Ireland and all of its green beauty.

The first day there we got tickets for the Guinness Factory. That was a neat experience to see how they make their beer. After you take your tour, you even get to pour & drink your own glass! The best part was probably the view from the Sky Bar; it overlooked the whole city and we got to watch the sunset while ‘drinking’ our beer. Fun fact, we took about 2 sips then asked these guys next to us to drink it so we could take the glasses. I just don’t think beer is for me.

The following two days we had signed up to take PaddyWagon Tours. Tuesday we drove 3 hours to see the famous Blarney Castle! Along the way, we made a few pit stops in these cute Irish towns. Finally arriving to the castle was thrilling because I had seen so many pictures of people kissing the stone, and I couldn’t believe I was getting the opportunity to do the same! We got about 2 hours to explore the area and again, the weather was so beautiful, so everything was so green and plush. Walking to the top of the castle to kiss the stone was interesting. The stairwell you walk up is veryyyyy narrow, and the further up you get, the steps get thinner and thinner. At one point my whole body and feet were turned sideways. If you get very claustrophobic, this wouldn’t be the best situation. But once you get to the top, the view is amazing. They say that kissing the stone gives you the ‘gift of gab’ and 7 years of good luck. After the kiss, I really did feel on top of the world. I just couldn’t believe I was actually in Ireland kissing the Blarney stone!

Wednesday we took the PaddyWagon Tour to the Cliffs of Moher. This time, we just drove 3 hours in the opposite direction. We stopped at a few castles along the way to the cliffs, as well as a cute town for lunch (which had GREAT Irish food)! Again, I had seen so many pictures of the cliffs before, but seeing them in person beat every expectation I had. Once at the top, you were able to walk down for about 30 minutes (of course it took us longer because we couldn’t stop taking pictures), and you could sit on different parts of the cliff. I was overcome with such bliss just being able to sit on the edge of this cliff and look out over the water. Not to mention, the views were spectacular.

Thursday was St. Patricks Day (I guess we chose a pretty good place to celebrate). We wandered out into town to watch the parade that started at noon. There were so many people and it was such a cool experience being surrounded by so many people all celebrating the same thing. Everyone was decked out in green and cheering as different floats, bands & performers walked by throughout the parade. There were so many precious children in green, smiling and laughing (of course their accent makes them 10000x cuter). To be able to say I celebrated St. Patricks Day in Ireland is going to be something I’ll never forget. Once the parade was over, it was a little hectic. Trying to find somewhere to eat & a bathroom to use deemed quite impossible since everyone around us was trying for the same thing. We ended up going back to our AirBnB to rest up for a bit. That night we went to a local sports bar called “The Living Room” to watch the big Manchester vs. Liverpool match. The Living Room is probably the coolest sports bar I’ve been to hands down. There were TV’s everywhere you looked, including two massive screens on opposite sides of the room. There was also an outdoor area where you could watch games and it turned into a dance club once the matches were over! I highly recommend this place if you’re ever in Dublin.

Before we left on Friday, we explored town a little more and visited Trinity College in Dublin. It is a very elite school, with a beautiful campus & was founded in 1592-crazy! This trip was such a fun-packed week. My family is coming to visit in June and we get to go back to Ireland, so I’m looking forward to that! I can’t wait to show them around, and see their faces when they get exposed to all Ireland has to offer. I leave again tomorrow for 2 weeks! I’ll start in London, then work my way to Paris, Tour & Nice! I’m super excited to get to see Paris and Southern France because I constantly hear how beautiful it is. I’m also excited to finally meet french people because I’ve gotten mixed feedback on them; some love them, and others not so much. I look forward to all the new and exciting adventures that are going to come out of these next 2 weeks!

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