Wow… where to begin! Our last couple days in Dublin were packed with last minute souvenir shopping, eating at our favorite places, and getting a final authentic Irish meal. It is crazy thinking back to the beginning of this trip, coming in not knowing many people, not knowing the city, or what to expect from this trip. I think it is safe to say that we were all surprised and excited how amazing this trip was. The food, to start with, was absolutely delicious. From Lemon Co. crepes and sandwiches to the vegetarian and organic food from Cornucopia, the food was some of the best we have had. Our last meal in Ireland, we all went out to eat at O’Neill’s pub in order to eat an authentic Irish meal. Our meals ranged from corned beef and cabbage to beef and Guinness stew with delicious mashed potatoes and vegetables.
I think what I will miss most about this trip is exploring the country with our whole group. Ireland has to be the most beautiful place I have ever had the chance to visit. From the green mountains to the coastline, the views that we saw were breath taking. I can’t think of any place we traveled to that wasn’t exceptionally beautiful, and we went to tons of places. Starting at the Wicklow Mountains, then to the Ring of Kerry, Galway, the Aran Islands, Cork, and Kilkenny, everything was so pretty it was like looking at a postcard or being in a fairytale. Getting to all these wonderful and beautiful places is a different story. The amount hours we spent on a bus are a bit frightening. A couple trips we had to be on the bus by 6:00 in the morning and didn’t get home till after 7:00 at night, but every minute on the bus was worth all the different sights and tours we were able to experience.
I will miss Ireland so much, but I will miss the 14 other students just as much. The 15 of us made a make shift family over in Ireland. We went food shopping, cooked, cleaned (barely…), and ate together every day. From going on tours, to eating numerous pints of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream and exploring the city of Dublin together, I can say that I have made 14 great new friends. You have Courtney 1 and Courtney 2 (AKA. Sam) who I think ate more peanut butter than anyone I know could eat in a month. Our “Mom” of the trip, Kelly O’Keefe who was always looking out for us (and who, by the way, took a part in the peanut butter eating). Kelly Lucas was our social planner and is also the only person I know who loves cows so much. Vipra just had the best name to shout, and we were all awoken many nights to Kyle screaming it for no good reason. Olivia had a special way of ordering and eating her meals, always starting with desert, which always looked better than any of our food. Emily Burns was Grandma Burns, and could always crack us up with her expressions that she used. Elizabeth Marshall ate more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on the tours we took then I think I have in my whole life, some even for breakfast. Elizabeth Schilling was always our navigator, finding and following directions to lead us wherever we had to go when none of us knew any idea where we were. Kyle being the only boy made him pretty special. Then we have Nikki. Nikki always had a great time and loved making new friends in Ireland. Kim was the girl with the plan; she was always looking for tours and things to do! Emily Coyne had a lot of embarrassing moments, especially when her hair turned into an afro on top of The Cliffs of Moher. And finally we have Emily Bak, whose favorite restaurant is McDonalds and likes using terms such as “emburrassing” and can eat more than Kyle. And we cannot leave out Heather! Heather planned so many nice tours and visits, cooked the absolute best garlic bread, and got lost quite frequently trying to meet up with all of us, which led to many laughs. I will miss being with everyone all day, everyday, and cannot wait to have some beach days in the sun, something we could not do in Ireland!