God never fails; He blessed us with another incredible weekend!
This was the weekend I’ve been waiting for, the one where I got to meet up with two of my closest friends who are studying in Vienna. Rachel, Michaela, and I left for Dublin on Thursday night and stayed in the airport overnight because Savannah and Hannah had a different flight than us, and the Vienna group’s arrived just a few hours after that. Total, we spent 15 hours in the Dublin airport; it was quite the party. We found the overnight hangout spot/employee break area (the food court) and spent the night there. We ate too much McDonalds, took lots of naps, played game after game of Banagrams, and avoided tons of homework. Being homeless is the new norm. Pictures to prove my it:
When the Vienna group finally got to the airport on Friday, all of us were ecstatic. It was such a blessing to see Emily and Natalie. We walked (a very long, confusing walk) to our bed and breakfast, not a hostel (finally!), and spent the late afternoon talking, laughing, and feeling extremely lucky to be together: AKA 7 girls on one king size bed. That night we went into Dublin to see the nightlife of the city. We took a cab to Temple Bar, where I met our extremely kind taxi driver, Anthony, and when I first discovered how friendly the Irish are. He told me about all the landmarks along the way, pointed out Gaelic words, and gave me a lot of tips for travelling in Ireland (which came in handy). Dublin was fun, but after a day of travel and not enough sleep, all I wanted to do was crawl into our amazing beds at the lodge.
Saturday was dedicated to the Cliffs of Moher! We started our day at 6 AM and it didn’t end it until midnight. To get to the Cliffs, we had to take a 3-hour bus ride to Galway (across the island), and then take a guided bus tour to the Cliffs. Our driver to Galway was another friendly Irishmen. I’m always afraid that when a person hears our accents, they’ll be nervous about us Americans, but he actually told us he enjoyed our company! He made sure we got off at the right stop, gave us lots of transportation info, and got us on the right track for our tour. The tour to the Cliffs of Moher was an hour and a half. Another friendly bus driver turned some Irish tunes on and told us all the fun facts along the way, not just historical things. The Irish countryside is beauty like I’ve never seen before, and hard to describe. Everything felt open and free. Thatched roofs, stone walls, grey skies, green pastures, abandoned castles, grazing cattle…we saw it all. We drove through tons of small villages (two requirements for a village: it must have one pub and one shop). When we reached the Cliffs of Moher, even though it was pretty chilly and super windy, we couldn’t help but just stand and stare. Nature has always been something that intrigues me because God’s fingerprints are everywhere. Every view was gorgeous. We only had time to walk out onto the first cliff, but it was such a great experience. The 9 hours we spent on a bus that day were worth it.
We went into Dublin again on Saturday night, looking to go souvenir shopping, but that was a total letdown. I ended up buying mine souvenirs in the airport. Dublin did not let us down in the milkshake department, though. We all got delicious, real milkshakes at Eddie Rockets (yes, like Johnny Rockets). A good milkshake is almost impossible to find over here. At Eddie Rockets we met Collin and Lorraine, probably the highlight of that night. Collin heard our accents and started talking to us as we were paying, and when his wife heard we were from Tennessee, it turned into their best day ever. “Isn’t that the same place Miley Cyrus is from?” Yes, she actually said that, and then asked to take our picture to show her daughter, a big Miley fan. We were all pretty shocked, but hey, it turned out not to be such a bad thing to be an American!
Today has been another long travel day, and it’s always good to be home. My bed was still freshly made from the maids visit on Thursday morning…such a good feeling. Ireland was amazing, though. It’s been the only place, so far, that I’ve wished for more days in. The people were friendly, the food was great, and the land was beautiful! I love you, Ireland. “May you have all the happiness and luck that life can hold and at the end of the rainbow may you find your pot of gold.”