Raise your hand if you’ve spent St. Patty’s in Ireland. Now raise it higher if you spent the majority of it in the Dublin airport.
Yeah, didn’t think that was a common occurrence.
That being said, my dear reader, what you are about to read is one of the craziest and most unexpected weekends of my life. Thankfully I don’t take myself too seriously that I can laugh about it. :)
Oh, and I titled this post “Luck o’ the Irish” – if I’m Irish at all (which would be mainly my Irish name and 1% of my heritage)… I certainly don’t have the “Luck o’ the Irish.” ;]
The whole reason I went to Ireland was because my wonderful friend from freshman year GCC was celebrating her 21st birthday on March 17th, and wanted to go to Ireland for it. So, my other GCC friends, Katie and Emily joined her in Ireland for this crazy weekend.
It started Wednesday night (around 11pm) when I realized that my flight the next day was at 12:30pm – not 2:30pm – and I had not printed off a boarding pass yet. THANK GOODNESS for Ricardo (host dad) who told me there was a place just down the street from our apartment that could do it for me cheaply and was still open! Don’t ask why I am such an idiot and didn’t double check my flight time.
However, I have to say that something my granddad always taught me was that “God is in the details.” Annnnd He sure is, because I got off the phone with Courtney & prayed that I would find a way to make this work because I couldn’t afford to miss my (not-cheap) flight to Dublin. 10 minutes later I was down the street printing off my boarding pass.
Traveling was fairly uneventful, and we met up in Dublin (we had different flights) and took a taxi to the center of Dublin. Our taxi driver was really great – we asked him to teach us some Irish phrases (Gaelic, but they don’t call it that), and the only thing he taught us was “kiss my ass” (which I immediately forgot). But he also gave us a free ticket to see the Book of Kells – 8 euro saved! Courtney & I went to see the Book of Kells at Trinity College and then walked down the main shopping street in Dublin, where she bought a claddagh ring (birthday gift) – the rings with the heart & crown held by hands. If you wear it upside down or right side up it shows whether your heart belongs to someone or not. I think they’re really pretty, but I guess I’m just a more private person when it comes to my heart, and I don’t want everyone to know if someone has my heart or not. Same reason I won’t put a relationship on facebook, I suppose. They are pretty rings though. :]
Afterward we walked to St. Stephen’s Green, a park in Dublin – GORGEOUS. Then we found Jim (Courtney’s friend from Sevilla who had accompanied us, but visited the Guinness Brewery) and got dinner before catching the bus to Wicklow, where we were staying for the weekend.
Friday the 3 of us decided to go to Glendalough State Park, where a lot of movies are filmed – or at least nearby (think PS I Love You, Braveheart, etc). It was pretty… buuut it reminded me of PA countryside, annnd it rained the entire time we were there. So it was a bit of a letdown. I am told it is a looot prettier in the summer.
There were ancient monastic ruins in the park, and it was crazy to look at the dates on the tombstones, or walk among the ruins – where else can you set foot inside something that old?
After walking in the rain for about 1 hour and uphill in the mud, these are our reactions. Courtney had brought an umbrella, but we still ended up muddy & soaked. And guess who was the smart one that didn’t pack tennis shoes, or clothes to hike in other than my leggings & PJ shirt. That would be me!
And this would be in the bathroom afterward trying to dry off my shirt that had been completely soaked.
We came back to the hostel and met Katie & Emily – who had been on the other side of Ireland visiting other Grovers – wish we had thought of that … in December when we booked this haha! (jk) We went out for “pub grub” (soup & brown bread), and got potato & leek soup… which I was nervous about since I am not a big fan of leeks since I overdosed on them last summer in an effort to do a “leek juice cleanse” (DON’T ASK). But the soup was delish.
We also went to another pub for traditional Irish music. … It was an old man pub. No chance of finding an adorable Irish boy to sweep us off our feet. In fact, the opposite. While some of them went to order drinks, I had an older, DISGUSTING Irish man hit on me within 30 seconds of saying hello. (I like Spanish boys much better)
If you’re a beer person, the Guinness is absolutely amazingly delicious here.
I am not a beer person at all. I gave the Irish Guinness a fair shot, but try as I might to develop a taste for it… I absolutely can’t. But that’s OK. :] After listening to some music for a little while, we left & went back to the hostel to hang out & go to bed.
Uuuuuuunfortunately, the other American, Finnish & French people we were sharing our hostel with (about 10 of them) came into our room around 2am and drunkenly woke us up with their yelling and laughing. Thank goodness for our no-nonsense Irish hostel owner, Trish, who came in and scolded them soundly. They quieted down for a little bit, and we were able to sleep for a few precious hours.
In order to keep this post a manageable size, the next post will be about the St. Patty’s Day festivities. Which were AWESOME.