Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Winter Break: Family Trip Part 1

So I’m trying to keep these posts coming, but it’s really hard since even though there’s two weeks for exams, I still have so much to do and so many errands to run and so much shit to make sure I get done before classes start again! So I’m working on it. Tomorrow I’m going to London for a few days, and then next week I’m going to Cambridge, both trips to meet up with friends of mine who will be there! I’m really excited. Okay so about my break!

December 18: I woke up early and nearly drowned/got blown into the ocean on my way to the ferry terminal in Holyhead. My ferry ride was fine, really nothing too exciting except there were a bunch of terrible obnoxious little kids throwing shit around and I wanted to chuck them overboard. I made it to Dublin, and a very nice taxi driver offered me and another man a free ride into the city centre, since we had just missed the bus and he was going that way anyway. It was so nice of him!

I got out of the taxi and my sister was sitting on the stoop of our hotel, waiting for me. MY SISTER!!!!!!!!!!!! I really missed my family and I am so happy they were able to come visit me and spend so much time with me. I truly am one lucky girl. They brought me peanut butter and fudge. Best family ever. They were all super jetlagged, so we went on a walk, ate some food, and then they all went to sleep early while I just hung out in our hotel and read my book.

Dec 19: Carlye and I set out early to get a bus to Wexford, in the hopes of getting to the Kennedy Homestead which was (we thought) relatively close nearby. The bus ride to Wexford was beautiful, Ireland truly is the emerald isle. Unfortunately, we would have had to take another bus for 16€ (each) and a taxi for 25€, and we just decided it was too much money to spend at the beginning of the trip. I really wish my sister would have been able to get to Her People, but it’ll just be another trip. That night we got dinner at a place down the street where Sigrid and I ate a couple times when we were there. We all had our first Bulmers (not everyone could finish theirs so Maja the Tank had to pull through in the end), and then went to the Celt, a pub that does live music every night. Everyone finally tasted Guinness in Ireland, we listened to great Irish music, my parents left, my sister and I got hit on by a 50-year old man, and after requesting it, my sister and I got to hear our song, 500 Miles by the Proclaimers, live. In Ireland. Livin’ the dream.

Dec 20: #iwishihadrainpants We went on a day tour to the Cliffs of Moher, and I literally don’t think we could have picked a worse day to go. The weather was simply awful. It was so windy, the most wind I’ve ever been in in my life. We went through Galway, passed through a small village, drove through the Burren, stopped at Corcomroe Abbey (which was beautiful), spent a little bit of time at the “Baby” Cliffs of Moher, stopped at a pub in Doolin, and finally, finally got to the Cliffs of Moher. It was raining and blowing and almost a little unsafe at times, I really didn’t want to get blown into the ocean. My parents had rain pants; my sister and I did not. Grave mistake. I have never been so wet in my life (or so I thought at this point). We ended up in the gift shop, dripping wet, jeans totally soaked, probably with standing water in our shoes, and then got to sit on a bus to Dublin for another 4 hours. “I am cold, and I am wet.” It was totally worth it though, even with the bad weather. The Cliffs were awesome and I guess it’s just typically experience of Ireland.

Dec 21: We had our first real day in Dublin together, so we did a lot. Trinity College and the Book of Kells, Christ Church Cathedral, long walk to see Kilmainham Gaol, and then walked past St. Patrick’s Cathedral, St. Stephen’s Green, and Grafton Street on our way back to the hotel. The Gaol was so cool! A lot of the leaders for the independence movement were imprisoned/executed there, and it was really cool to learn about that and about those people. Car and I went out to Temple Bar area that night for our last night in Dublin. My sister legally bought me a drink and I got the musicians to play 500 Miles not once but twice. Successful night.

Dec 22: We woke up super early to get a taxi to the ferry terminal, had a 4-hour ferry ride, then a 3-hour train ride from Holyhead-Liverpool. We got to our place in Liverpool and had a nice rest period and then went out and got dinner in the Albert Docks—first fish and chips of the trip!

Dec 23: My mom was literally in heaven as we spent most of the day doing Beatles-related stuff in Liverpool. We went to the Beatles Story Museum, which is of course amazing. At the end, you walk through a hallway and in a completely white room are the lyrics to Imagine, John’s white piano and his glasses. Imagine plays continuously and no matter what I always have a good cry session there. Next stop was Matthew Street to see the old entrance to the Cavern. My fam went to some gift shops while I walked across town to go to the Walker Art Gallery to, FINALLY see the famous portrait of my guy Henry VIII. It was phenomenal. Larger than life, so powerful, so intimidating, and so Henry. Met back up with the fam, and headed on a train to Nottingham. After checking into our hotel, we took the bus (their first time in a double decker!) to my flat so I could show them where I live. And then, since my sister and I were in a room just the two of us, we sat in bed and watched cable all night. It was awesome.

Okay! Tomorrow is London and then I have my Polish exam and then I’m going to Cambridge and then I start classes. It’s going to a busy next couple weeks!

Score so far:
            Castles: 3
            Cathedrals/famous religious places: 4

Corcomroe Abbey
Cliffs of Moher #iwishihadrainpants
Trinity College with my sister!
Hanging out with Henry VIII

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