Don’t Stop Reading!

Hi Everyone,
Sorry for not posting the rest of the trip- its has been so hectic these last couple weeks, with Dublin, Ring of Kerry, Galway, and now Dingle.
I am currently residing in a B&B in Dingle for my last few moments.
Unfortunately, the internet cooperated only a handful of times this trip- HOWEVER- I will continue to post the remainder of my pictures once I am back in the states (tuesday!)….
Overall this trip has truly changed my life. I hope that in my new life, you don’t look at me as a different person, but rather a new person. My views on a lot of things have changed and my attitudes and passions have as well. The adjustment from just a month will be hard. Very hard. But bear with me and things will be easy.
Thank you for reading thus far, and please, don’t stop now.

LOVE YOU ALL- MISS YOU ALL

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Lots to Say- Post Coming Soon!

Hey All,
I have done a lot in the last few days and I promise a good post soon! Thanks for continuing to read!

Food!

Just wanted to show you what I have been eating while I am here! We have a small kitchen with an even smaller refrigerator, but to be honest, a majority of the food I have eaten has been from the Grocery Store.

My first real taste of Irish food was at a restaurant called Riordan’s (pronounced like Reerdin’s) 

I had..what else?? IRISH STEW:

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 You guys this was incredible!!! It was boiled cabbage, potatoes, boiled carrots, the stew- which is a combination of Lamb, spices, and “gravy”. Again, this was soooooo good. I think I could eat it every day.

Then I found a little treat that is currently my new obsession- bloggies, meet Yoghurt Covered Banana Chips:

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YUM!

Another great spot in the City is the farmer’s market. It has some local food vendors, crafts, jewelry, and more…it was adorable in every way.

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While there, I decided to get some dinner for the night- Vegetarian Kitchiri- a combination of Basmati Rice, Mung Beans, onions, carrots, peas, leeks and a wide array of spices: Cumin, Coriander, Ginger, Cinnamon- it was delish!!!

courtesy of dietdessertndogs.com

 As for last night we decided to go to a smaller bar called The Dáil Bar:

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For my meal I ordered: Baked Chicken Roulade- you guys, it just keeps getting better and better!!! This was incredible.

From the menu: Baked breast of chicken wrapped in leeks, filled with Toulouse sausage and smoked mozzarella served with roasted butternut squash and a lemon and sage veloute. NUM NUM!!!

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I actually don’t have lyrics for this post (GASP!) but I think the food porn will suffice 🙂

Ciao Bellas!

A Biking Adventure

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Beautiful scenery, great friends, cute villages, hard work, meditation, and exploration: That sums up the day I had. A group of girls and I decided that today would be the day for a big biking trip through Ireland- I cannot tell you- this was THE BEST part of my trip thus far. It was so great in every way.

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We went to the City Center around 9 this morning and rented bikes from a shop on the West Side. The owner gave us a great discount on our deposit and also “threw in” the helmets- After that we made a quick stop back at Corrib Village, and then we were on our way. We had a map to follow (which ended up being useless at the end of the journey:)) and it lead us in a bit of a triangle.

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We journeyed up some really steep hills, and rode along the land of Western Ireland. Everyone we passed was friendly (except on the main roads- we got honked at a few times for being in the way of traffic) and the scenery was unbelievable! We saw cows, stray dogs, and well-endowed horses 😉 :

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Travelling along the coast was amazing. We journeyed through many little towns and right before we got to Spiddal, we stopped at the beach along the North Atlantic :

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 We spent a lot of time at this beach- it was gorgeous…

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We tried to spell out I-R-E-L-A-N-D…

I even found a four-leaf clover 😉

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Then we settled in Spiddal for lunch. It reminded me a lot of Door County with many little shops and cafe’s.

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The weather for our trip was mild- its starting to cool down now and it was a bit breezy as well. Somewhere around 60 degrees I think? With probably 10-15 mph winds.

Before I show the next picture, I should explain something. For my Women’s Health class we have been learning a lot about meditation. Two types in particular, mindful walking and meditative walking, are something that the class will do on a regular basis. Mindful walking is just as it seems- silently taking in the moments around you with nobody but yourself. Reflecting on the moment. Meditative walking is a bit different. You walk heel to toe, and pause in between each step. You can recite something to yourself on each step. The more “popular” saying is, “I am here (on step one), I am present (on step two), I am here (on step three), I have arrived (on step four).” This type of meditative practice is again, done alone, and silently. You can do Meditative walking in the privacy of your own home, or on a labyrinth…which is what leads me to the next part of our biking journey. We were treking along when we saw a sign for a labyrinth. Lindsey decided that we should stop and we all agreed. It was a fabulous idea:

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So we did some Meditative Walking on a Christian Labyrinth in the West of Ireland- true peace and tranquility.

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Then we started to get a little lost here and there, and tired as well….Finally we made it back and relaxed for the night. It was the most amazing thing so far (as I have said like 6 times now.)

I am so glad I am here…

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Peace out.

“It was the wicked and wild wind
Blew down the doors to let me in
Shattered windows and the sound of drums
People couldn’t believe what I’d become”

Coldplay: Viva La Vida

Connemara, Kylemore Abbey, & The Spanish Arch Hotel

Hey, hey, hey!! Finally got the internet in the apartment, though it is very sketchy. I will have to whip some Irish arse here soon, if it isn’t fixed for good- Dad you make a good point- some things are exactly the same no matter where you are….

Anyways, onto the fun!!!

As promised, I have lots of fun stuff to show you- Currently, the Volvo Ocean Races are taking place in Galway. This is a sailboat race with sailors coming in  from all over the world. It is amazing to see all the different people  in such a “little” city. We went down to the boardwalk, which is roughly a 20 minute walk from our village, and looked around all afternoon- it reminded me a lot of a typical festival- much like Summerfest. They played classical music on the boardwalk and they have food vendors with everything from Chinese, Thai, Paella (from Mexico), German food, falafel, icecream, popcorn, everything you could think of from around the globe! It was cool- and the weather was HOT! I think I got sunburned….anyways, here is a large mural at the race entrance:

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Then when you actually found your way down to the dock, they had a huge graffiti mural:

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After that I decided that everyone needed to meet my roomies- it is my pleasure to introduce Cortney, Kari, and Chelsea (in that order):

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Next up on the journey (this is over the course of about three days) was Kylemore Abbey (aka The Sound of Music-jk but it looked like it!) and Connemara.

From www.connemara.ie , ”

From the rugged Twelve Bens mountain range in the north through lake-rich Roundstone Bog to the golden beaches reaching out into the Atlantic Ocean, you’ll know you’re in Connemara by the light that constantly changes the mood and tone of the landscape.

Connemara has long been regarded as the real emerald of Ireland.

This natural terrain and unspoilt environment offers the visitor a wonderland of sights, experiences, adventure and activities. The people are warm, friendly and extend a hospitality which is the essence of Ireland.

The beautiful spring flowers, buds on the trees, newborn lambs dancing on the hills and the call of the cuckoo all make Spring time a very special and magical time in Connemara. This is an ideal time to take a break as the countryside is totally renewed. On mellow Autumn days, one can enjoy the Connemara countryside, now clothed in different colours with each passing day. In the evening enjoy lovely warm turf fires after a day spent walking, cycling, painting, shooting, fishing or golfing.”

We took all kinds of pictures along the way, stopping in Famine Village (everyone died as a result of famine- hence the name), and our bus broke down at a little town called Leannon- it was really beautiful you guys, these pictures really don’t do it justice.

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Then we made it to the biggest destination, Kylemore Abbey! :

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Kylemore Abbey is the Monastic home of the Benedictine order of nuns in Ireland. They also have a huge garden and a few small churches.

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*I swear I have a supportive bra on- the girls look a little saggy in this picture 🙂

The Abbey is situated at the lower level of one of Ireland’s amazing mountains. Overlooking the Abbey is a huge Virgin Mary statue- it is sitting WAAAAAAAY up in the mountain- how it got there, I will never be able to fathom.

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It was a great day…..then….

WE HAD A GREAT NIGHT!

Look what I had!! :

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Oh Goodness, My Guinness!

It was yummy! As you can tell, we had quite the adventurous night. In Ireland, everyone is so friendly. We met three Aussie men and hung out with them- go figure. Anyhow, the night life ends fairly early at the nicer pubs- This one we went to was called the Spanish Arch Hotel:

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Yep it was a good night 🙂 (Actually they collect all the glasses at the end of the night and stack them on the  bar to clean up after everyone leaves…)

The pubs close early ( like 12) so we went to a “club” where they had music and drinks as well. The pubs play mostly live music and all of the singers are AMAZING! They sang Love Shack (hate that song!) and even Katy Perry.

I had videos but with this internet it takes FOREVER to download them, so until I can get on campus, pictures will have to suffice.

 

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I forgot to mention that the first day of classes was good- this is the “first day of school” picture- Mom that’s for you;) (please excuse the freshly awaken Ali)

 Not quite like the sweet crimped-curly-mullets of past first day of school pictures but it’ll do.

 Peace out

 

“And I ask you, friend, what’s a fella to do?
‘Cause her hair was black and her eyes were blue
So I took her hand and I gave her a twirl
And I lost my heart to a Galway girl”-

Mundy: Galway Girl

Great Times in Galway…and No Internet..right now.

Hi! This is going to be a quick post, but I just wanted to let you all know that I am sitting in the computer lab on Campus right now- the fact is that our internet @ Corrib Village is not working and they are in the midst of fixing it. Until then,  I am going to be sporadic in my posts, and without pictures- sad. But, I will try my hardest to keep it going strong- PLEASE keep reading!!!

Since we got here we have done so much stuff! I have visited the Volvo Boat Races, hung out in the city center, went for a run by this small castle, and been to classes….this place is awesome- although it really reminds me of Wisconsin- We have our first big trip tomorrow to Kylemore Abbey and Connemara- should be fun- we leave at 9:30 am and come abck around 5. I am thinkin’ the plan is that we will get back and go out on the town for the first night! Looking forward to an ice-cold glass pint of Guiness!!!

Thanks for all the posts everyone- I will try to figure out when I can skype with you all (Mom Dad, Amy, Crystal, Abi!!!)