Last Week of Classes!

It’s official: I’m finished with classes for the week!! Now to pick up where I left off…

Last Thursday night was Orla’s birthday party, so Katie and I went out with all of her friends! Orla’s real birthday isn’t until Saturday, but she wanted to have her party a week early while everyone was still in town, since a lot of people have already left for Easter weekend.  The whole lot of us pregamed at the apartment (if you’ve been keeping count, that makes for four parties thrown at our place for the week), and Katie and I were the only Americans there, which was really fun… although there was a bit of trouble when one of Orla’s friends broke our couch, oops. We then went out to Carbon and had a great night.

I had a very chill day and night on Friday, and on Saturday morning the API group embarked on our final excursion to Dublin! We first checked out the Book of Kells that was on display at Trinity College; it was so cool! Especially for a history nerd like myself. Then, some of the group took a bus tour through a lot of the city. There wasn’t any room on the lower level, so we all had to sit on the top of the bus, which was only partly covered and therefore ABSOLUTELY FREEZING. After about an hour of being driven around, our group got off right outside of the old Jameson distillery! All of the tours were booked for the next hour, so we all bought our tickets and had a drink (or two) at the front bar. I got this almond flavored whiskey sour and it was so delicious. The tour itself was great; quite possibly my favorite of all of the breweries/distilleries that I’ve been on so far. After that, we all went back to the hotel, where Katie, Amanda, and I had dinner. I got this really good tomato and coriander soup with duck spring rolls, and a Bailey’s coffee for dessert. I passed out around 10 pm and was ready for the next day! 

Sunday, we had a girls day full of SHOPPING and good food. Corinne, Alexis, Evita, Liz, Kyle, Katie, and I all went to Topshop (where I bought yet another article of clothing, a gorgeous tie dye maxi dress). We walked down Grafton Street and saw this really cool band called Key West playing live for a big group of people. We stayed and watched them for a bit, then went on to our next destination: the cosmetics store Lush, aka my new obsession. The company makes all totally natural products that are tested on human volunteers instead of animals. Although the products were a bit pricey, I ended up buying a facial cleanser, moisturizers for the face and body, and dry shampoo (and, after nearly a week of use, it’s safe to say that my skin absolutely loves me… I cannot recommend this brand enough, everyone go out and buy their products! There’s a product for everyone). After all our shopping, we had definitely worked up a good appetite and found a Lebanese restaurant to eat at. It had a great ambiance and really reminded me of my favorite restaurant back in Memphis called Casablanca. I got stuffed grape leaves for an appetizer, and chicken shawerma as my entree. I totally loved this meal, and it made me realize how much I love Mediterranean-style food. After lunch and a drink at the pub called the Bleeding Horse, we all met back at the hotel to wait for the bus back to Galway. Overall, the trip to Dublin was one of the most fun and relaxed excursions thus far!

The beginning of this week was full of finishing up assignments and essays for my classes (why does it always seem like professors assign the most work right at the end of the semester? That’s what exams are for). So on Wednesday, the last day of classes, I was all finished up and ready to celebrate. It was Amanda’s 21st birthday, so our API group went out to celebrate. Alysse’s family was in town to visit, so they had all of us over to their hotel that had this great rooftop view of Galway; it was a really classy affair. We then went out to Hole in the Wall, McSwiggans, and the Skeff. Definitely such a fun night.

Thursday night, Katie and I went out with Alexis, Evita, Peter, and Ryan (and Ryan’s dad!) to McSwiggans, Taaffe’s, and the Quays for a couple of drinks. Katie and I ended up at McDonalds (where I got my typical double cheeseburger… oops) then went back home! Today, I’ve been getting ready for Katie’s and my Eurotrip this week! So get ready for that blog post 🙂 

Image Ready for my trip, 2005 style.

 

Shenanigans.

Literally…. this week has been way too insane. It started out with me losing my iPhone at the silent disco last Tuesday, which was a traumatic experience in itself. Wednesday, I went out with Alexis, Evita, Katie, Alysse, Kyle, and Kyle’s sister and brother-in-law to the Skeff and Karma and took it easy for the night. It was super fun to dance with my girlfriends, although I had to elbow multiple aggressive boys in the chest for trying to bump into us. On Thursday, Katie and I went out to our Irish friend’s birthday party, then went out with a bunch of other Irish friends to Karma (again), but this time–apparently someone thought this was a great idea–there were people shooting green slime from giant squirt guns onto people dancing in the crowd. Katie and I tried to wash all of it off in the bathroom of the club, but to no avail. This slime nearly ruined a brand new Topshop dress, and I had to go home early to shower; I’m not sure the last time I felt so disgusting.

I stayed in on Friday to get ready for my parents to come in the next morning, which coincidentally was my 21st birthday! It was so great to see them after two and a half months. I met them at their hotel and napped in a big, fluffy hotel bed–a huge step up from the single bed in my apartment. I then met up with my friend Margaret, who is currently spending a semester in Glasgow and decided to spend the weekend with me. All four of us went out to dinner at Martine’s Wine Bar, where I got delicious chicken and mashed potatoes. I also bought a replacement phone to tide me over for the rest of the semester… a pink plastic brick phone that looks like it’s come straight out of 2004. It’s actually grown on me, but I’m pretty sad I no longer have a camera to document my time here. Ah well. Later Saturday night, I had a party at the apartment and invited both American and Irish friends; it was really funny to watch the Irish girls beat a couple of Americans at beer pong… I was pretty proud. We then went out to Carbon (FINALLY!), and I got a free bottle of champagne since it was my birthday. Overall it was such a fun night! A very successful 21st.

The next day was quite possibly one of the biggest days of the year… St. Patrick’s Day! Margaret, my parents, and I made it over downtown to get lunch at the Skeff, and I got a chicken quesadilla, tea, and soup. We watched some of the parade, which was full of Irish dancers, brightly dressed groups of people, and cars moving slowly to loud music. We tried to get inside a few pubs, but everywhere was so crowded that we gave up after a while and took a bit of a siesta before getting dinner. We all met back up at my parents’ hotel and got drinks and dinner there, and then Margaret went back to my apartment, where my housemates were throwing a St. Paddy’s day party. Margaret decided to go to bed early since she had to get up at 3 am for a bus, so I stuck with Orla for most of the night, ending up at the Front Door for ages and staying out super late.

The next day I accidentally slept in super late but met up with my parents for dinner at the Spanish Arch, which was delicious. I took the parents to a couple of pubs that played traditional Irish music and they loved it! I then went back home and hung out with Katie and her friends who had visited for the weekend for a long time; it was such a great, chill night. Tuesday I had to get back in the swing of things with classes (a rough transition after such a busy weekend), and last night my API friends and I went out to the Roisin Dubh for the silent disco, yet again. Tonight I get to celebrate two more friends’ birthdays…. My life is so busy. Thankfully I only have one more week of classes before Easter Break, and I’m looking forward to my Eurotrip with Katie, which is fast approaching. Hopefully you guys could follow all of the crazy events of the week, cheerio for now! xx

Another Week, Another Blog Post

Time is flying by over here! It’s almost halfway through March, and halfway through my semester here. Unbelievable.

This week has been relatively low key and normal, complete with attending classes, going to the gym, and cups on top of cups of tea. After receiving a generous grant of birthday money from my grandmother, I bought a few (more) clothes, although my fingers are crossed that this will be the last shopping binge of the semester, otherwise I will have absolutely no room left in my suitcases. I’m very excited for the package to come in the mail; I’ve hit up all the new spring trends that are all the rage in Europe!

Tuesday night, my API friends and I went to the weekly silent disco that goes on at a bar called the Roisin Dubh. Every person that attends is given a pair of headphones with a choice between two different DJ stations. The two Djs at the front of the dance floor played a variety of music that ranged from songs like “American Pie” by Don Mclein to “Candy Shop” by 50 Cent. We all stayed and danced like no one was watching and stayed until after 2 am before walking home; it was so much fun. Thursday night, our friends Matt and Anthony had a bunch of people over for an American-style pregame, and I played a round of Kings and flip cup (still a beast at that game). We then made our way over to the Skeff, which was classy as always, before trying our luck to get into Carbon. After waiting in line for at least 10 minutes, the bouncers closed the queue, saying the club was full. Ever since the first week of school, it has been Katie’s and my dream to go to Carbon, but somehow all of our attempts have been foiled. At this point we’re pretty sure we’ll never make it before the semester is over 😦 ah well….

All day Friday I bummed around the house, and Saturday morning I made an early walk to Salthill to take in the views and snapped some lovely pictures. I had the apartment all to myself this weekend, so I’ve taken advantage of my alone time by doing the dishes, washing clothes, and catching up on some TV shows. So, like I said, a very low key week, which has been great. This coming weekend, I’ve got a lot to look forward to, including my parents coming to visit, my birthday, and St. Patrick’s Day! I’m so excited for all of it, so get ready for next week’s post! I’ll leave y’all with a couple of pictures from Salthill 🙂

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Excursion to Connemara!

Hi again! This past week has been pretty uneventful, since my wallet (and body) have been in recovery from Rag week! Lots of going to class, getting work done, and going to the gym. I’ve been focusing on ab work for the week due to my sprained ankle (although it’s very well on the mend). I’ve determined to come back to the States totally toned and ready for summer, so we’ll see how well the exercise and eating healthy will go 🙂 … I went big for food this weekend, but I did take a trip to Connemara–described in detail later–so I decided, why not treat myself?

Thursday night was Will’s 20th birthday, so our API group had yet another surprise birthday party! The get together was held right next door to our own apartment, so Katie and I flitted back and forth to hang out with both our American and Irish friends for a while. We ended up going out with the Americans to the Skeff, which was chill. Since the party had started pretty early (around 8 pm) a few of us girls were ready to dance, so we went over to Karma… right as it was opening for the night. We pretty much had the whole club to ourselves, so we danced like maniacs on the dance floor, taking up most of the space. It was hilarious. Katie and I decided to head over to more pubs once the awkwardness of the fact that we were all literally alone in the club started to hit, and we ran into our friend Anthony on the way to the King’s Head and joined him for a while then went home. Overall it was a really fun night!

The next night for dinner, Katie, Orla and I went to Scotty’s Steakhouse for dinner. I got my first fillet mignon in AGES.. and although it was terribly overpriced, I definitely needed it. Although not the best steak of my life, it definitely hit the spot! Plus, the restaurant is a convenient two minute walk from my apartment, so there’s that.

Today, our API Galway group was joined by our Dublin counterparts as we travelled to Connemara for the day. Apparently it said on the itinerary that we were joining forces, but I was taken by complete surprise and was unprepared to hang out with people I didn’t know, so that kind of put me in a bad mood for the day. I had to sit across the aisle from a girl with the most annoying laugh in the world (putting in my earphones and turning my music on high barely helped), and she seriously laughed the entire trip. I don’t know what could be so funny to laugh THAT much. But whatever. Anyways, we stopped at a local market to take in the sights of normal Irish people selling produce, livestock, and other goods. They all kind of gawked at our big group of Americans, a bit unsure of what to make of us. Back on the bus, I got some absolutely gorgeous pictures of the scenery (it was unbelievable, very Middle Earth-esque), and we then stopped for an hour or two at Kylemore Abbey, a large manor house with a Gothic church and gardens, which were all very picturesque. We all took a nice walk through the grounds before meeting back on the bus. Katie and I also stopped for a quick bite to eat at the restaurant, and I got some tasty tomato basil soup with a savory scone. So good.

Image Image We then headed back towards Galway, but stopped at a place called Brigit’s Garden, which was a kind of modern homage to the ancient Saint Brigit and even older Celtic version of Brigit. The gardens were separated into four seasons and had both sculptures as well as trees and shaped earth to represent what the traditions of each season mean to Irish society. I stupidly left my camera in the bus since my battery was dying; I would have loved to take pictures. The place was a great blend of ancient and modern, otherworldly and natural, full of easy aesthetic. I’d love to visit the garden again when the flowers have bloomed so I can see it in it’s brightest stage. Even though I was super tired and reluctant to leave the bus when we stopped, I’m so glad I took advantage of the opportunity.

Once we got to Galway, we went to dinner on API. We each got to have a two course meal for free, which was great. I got penne pasta with tomato and basil sauce (tomato and basil was a theme of the day) and apple pie for dessert! After that, some of our Galway group went over to McSwiggin’s pub for a drink before heading home. That’s pretty much it for the week! I’ve got a crazy 8 page paper due on Monday that’s been causing me some stress, so I should probably get back to cranking that out. Until next time, xxx

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