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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