Saturday, June 26, 2010

Creation in the Cliffs

This weekend the girls and I (Sara, LeAndra, Brittany and Jill) decided to explore the countryside! I am so happy we did too because it was absolutely beautiful! We went to a town on the west coast of Ireland called Galway. Upon arriving at our hostel we didn't quite get what we were expecting. It was a cute room and nice owners but just not up to par. Long story short, there were stains, awful smells, unisex see-through showers, creepy men and loud neighbors who peed on their floor... All we could do was stand in the middle of the room and laugh with each other. We decided to stick it out though and stay for 1 out of the 2 planned nights.After that little adventure we grabbed some lunch at a popular restaurant/ pub called The Kings Head and then headed to Salthill Beach. Jill has never been to a beach before and we were all expecting white sandy beaches we are used to. Not quite the case. Still beautiful though and it smelt like home! Then onto the shopping. Ever since I've been here I've been on the search for a Claddagh ring and finally found one that I love! It was surprisingly well priced too and I found some other cute gifts for the fam and friends. After shopping, ice cream breaks, and facing the hostel again, we went to dinner and then went around town for a little bit. Brittany and I have been on the search for Beef and Guinness pie ever since last weekend and we found a great restaurant that served it. It was once again a favorite in my book.Saturday we went on a tour of Galway, County Clare, and Doolin. We had a pit stop and decided to do a little photo shoot.
The main stop was the Cliffs of Moher. This was by far my favorite part of my trip thus far and hands down the most gorgeous site I have ever been to. Pictures do not give justice to the beauty of the cliffs and words can barely describe how breathtaking the scenery was. I was awestruck at the Lord's creation and have never seen raw beauty like that before. I probably could have stayed there all day rather than a short hour, basking in His presence and marveling at His creation. This is definitely a place I want to visit again in the future.

Another great weekend in this beautiful country! Looking forward to many more ahead!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Performing Arts Festival

Last night COPE Foundation put on an Irish Performing Arts Festival and organizations from all around Ireland came to participate. It was a singing competition and there were some pieces that were absolutely amazing! My favorite was a performance of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow". It was the most precious thing I have ever seen.
Earlier in the day there were Dance, Instrumental, Drama, and Singing as well and myself and some of the staff at JBC took some of the clients to see a dance performance. It was so touching to see the performers up there giving their all and having such a wonderful time. The clients also loved it! They were clapping and smiling and were performing in the audience almost as if they were on the stage themselves! Overall it was a great day/ night of performances, singing, and dancing!

Also, I finally got some pictures of the room I'm working in at JBC. There are some beautiful gardens within the building as well but I haven't been able to catch those yet. More to come!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Doing Dublin

BEWARE: Tons of picture ahead!

This past weekend me and 5 other fellow abroad-ers decided to do Dublin! It was quite an experience to say the least! We woke up Friday morning at 6 am to catch the 8:00 bus which was a ride that lasted 4.5 hours! When finally getting to Dublin we searched to find our hostel. Honestly, I was pretty nervous about the conditions of the hostel since I had never been in one before and had no idea what to expect! Thankfully it was pretty nice and clean and the beds were comfortable.
After settling in we grabbed some lunch and explored the town starting with the Guinness storehouse which is a common attraction in Dublin.
The tour explained the process of making Guinness and told you about its history and once you got to the top floor called the "Gravity Bar"you received a complimentary pint of Guinness. Thanks to my "big sis" I knew to ask for them to put a shamrock in the head of the beer! So cool!We weren't really fans of the taste of the pint so we decided to play a round of Kings and made history in the Guinness storehouse as being the first group to do so.We grabbed some dinner at a restaurant recommended to us called Bull and Castle where Brittany and I decided to share and try Beef and Guinness pie. It was absolutely delicious! After that we decided to go to a pub to watch some more of the world cup, experienced The Temple Bar, and then made our way home. Overall a great first day in Ireland's capital! On Saturday we started off the day at Christ Church Cathedral and learned about its history and saw the amazing architecture inside. We then headed over to a big shopping strip on Grafton Street where there was amazing shopping and an awesome people watching spot.We then headed to Steven's Green which is a huge park next to Grafton Street and sat and basked in the sun for a little. Jill and I also made a new friend, Gussy!
That night we decided to visit the bar that P.S. I Love You was filmed in called Whelan's. There was a fun band that played the song "Galway Girl" which, coincidentally, was played in the movie!Afterward we went to another pub/ club where we decided to... DANCE! For those of you who know me well, this is a very rare, if not nonexistent occasion for me. But, I actually had a lot of fun, especially when requesting Miley Cyrus' Party in the USA! (Morgan). Don't laugh too hard at the pictures below...Overall we had a GREAT time in Dublin! Sorry for the picture overload but there was just so much to show. Stay updated for posts on our upcoming trip to Galway this weekend!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

a PC is okay with me

I have never loved my laptop as much as I do right now. After 5 days being without my wonderful computer, out of the country none-the-less we FINALLY have wireless! Apparently this was the first time in a while this campus had a wireless connection hence the long wait. So, here are finally some long awaited pictures! Enjoy!

These are the apartments that we are staying in, and Dr. Gast's head.

The group of us our first night out

In front of Blarney Castle entrance

Me kissing the Blarney Stone and receiving the "gift of gab"!

At the city of Ballycotton's "beach" and lighthouse

Inside the Barryscourt castle