Hey there! I haven't had too many updates since being in Ireland, sorry about that. It's mainly because my internet access isn't the most convenient. I'll get better eventually. I also haven't posted any pictures yet, but that'll be tomorrow or Friday's post... be patient with me! Monday, 17 Feb: I had to force myself to go to sleep again, by putting on an eye mask and stuffing ear plugs in my ears. Those things work like a charm! Since I was spending the night at Tip + Jaelithe's, and didn't have to get up in the morning, with those things in I didn't even stir when Jaelithe was getting ready for work. I spent the morning at their place using their computer and checking more things off my list, before meeting Tracy for lunch. I then headed back to Mike + Lydia's to have dinner with them and spend the night there.
Tuesday, 18 Feb: I set an alarm this morning knowing that given the chance I would sleep in and not want to get up. My jet lag is slowly wearing off, but it's taking its time. I continued to run some errands, making sure iphone is unlocked, calling my banks to put travel notifications on them as well as transferring funds to the correct accounts, etc. I picked up Greek food for lunch with Suzanne, then headed over to Rebecca's. Rebecca and I sat and chatted for a few hours and then she treated me to a pre-trip pedicure! It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon. But my social time wasn't over. I met up with Elizabeth in Ballard for dinner, drinks, and dessert. We ended up at The Gerald just before happy hour ended and grabbed four appetizers and a couple drinks to constitute our dinner. Again, we chatted for a few hours before leaving to have molten lava cakes for dessert. Tuesday was a busy social day, but it was perfect. Spending quality time with three of my favorite people is lovely.
Wednesday, 19 Feb: My last day before I leave! I actually was feeling pretty good about this day. I had prepared myself enough, I felt, that I wasn't going to be running around. I mainly had to get car stuff done -- I washed my car (splurged on the Beary Best wash at Brown Bear) and vacuumed it (wondering why I didn't just spend the 15 bucks and washed it more often since it looked so shiny and pretty), then got an oil change, bought fuel stabilizer to mix with the gas, and then filled up. My final step before needing to be ready to leave was dropping the car off at Rebecca's place. She closed the gate and that was that. I'm done. That's the last thing to cross off my list!
Wednesday evening, 19 Feb: I'm making this a separate event because it was great. Rebecca dropped me off at my old place where Anna and I chatted for a bit before Suzanne stopped by. We made dinner and then Suzanne, Maggie, Jaelithe and Tip came over and we just talked and laughed for a few hours. To me, that's perfect. I don't need a big going away shindig where and every one's attention is focused on me--that is torture to me! Instead I just want to shoot the shit with people. Get together to laugh, be ridiculous, and have a good time--perfection. That's exactly what we did. However the inevitable did come and it was time to say goodbye to five of my most favorite people. Sigh. It was weird. It didn't seem real. But indeed we hugged, said goodbye and "see ya in five months" and that was that.
Thursday, 20 Feb: Another day of travel. I'm not completely sick of airplanes yet, but it'll be nice to not have to get on another one for several months. My flight from Seattle to JFK was pretty uneventful, just early. I slept a little bit, but not too much unfortunately. I befriended some fellow American women who are taking a driving tour to four different castles around Ireland. Based on their personalities, they're going to have a great time! They were all in their 50s and just taking a girls' trip. I hope when I'm older my friends and I will do that! Leave the husbands behind and just take some trips. The flight from JFK to Dublin was a bit bumpy, but not all that bad. It's tough going from Emirates airline (who I flew to India + Indonesia) to American. Very different airlines with a very different view of international travel. But I got from point A to point B and that's all that ultimately matters.
Friday, 21 Feb: I'm in Ireland! I was greeted by a busted backpack at baggage claim, which sucked, and left me lugging around a disabled backpack onto the bus and to my hostel. But I did make it to the hostel just fine and since check in wasn't until 2pm (and it was only 9am), I left my bag in a locker and went out to see the city. I wandered a bit and ended up going to Trinity Library and hopped on a city sightseeing tourbus. I bought a new suitcase and made my way back to the hostel. I was exhausted and ended up going to bed at 9pm. I slept decent although was woken up several times with all the other gals coming in from their nights on the town.
Saturday, 22 Feb: I was able to sleep in a little bit and ended up leaving the hostel around 11am to wander the city again. My ticket on the bus tour was for two days, so I hopped back onto that and wandered around the National Gallery for a little bit before heading to the Guinness Storehouse. Being a Saturday, it was really busy and the Gravity Bar was packed. I drank about two thirds of my Guinness but was too stuffed to finish it (and I hadn't even had lunch!). It only made sense then to make my way to the Jameson Whiskey Distillery! I did stop at a little cafe and had a quick bite before heading in. It was a decent tour -- a little simpler than the Guinness one, and I like the live tour guide rather than the self-guided tour of the Guinness. But at the end I was selected as a volunteer for a tasting! We compared an American whiskey (Jack Daniels), a Scottish Whisky (Johnny Walker), and of course Jameson. This was on top of the free drink we already got! It was a lot of fun. I then followed up the evening with a trip to a pub for a pint or two. Man, I'm not really a big drinker, but apparently I was today! I had two Smithwicks, which constituted for my dinner. Oops. I had a nice time in the pub though as there was traditional music and I was chatting with a nice couple from the Netherlands.
Sunday, 23 Feb: I slept really badly due to the gal in the bunk below me coughing all night -- the joys of staying in a hostel! But I was able to pack up and get ready for church on time. I got a suggestion from a friend on a church called Grace Bible Fellowship, which happened to be only about a five minute walk from my hostel. It was a really sweet church and the message was really solid (although, I did find myself struggling to stay awake due to my lack of sleep!). I was introduced to two fellow American gals who were visiting for the week and we ended up chatting for quite some time and got lunch together. We may meet up at the end of the week again in Galway, but I'm not sure if the timing will work out. Straight from lunch, I picked up my bags, and headed across the street to the bus station to make my way to Belfast. The trip was only about an hour and twenty and I was met by a friend of a friend, named Heather. She and her family (husband, sister, bro-in-law, nephew and father) were at the house to greet me. They were super sweet and welcoming. It'll be a nice couple days of rest and relaxation while I'm in Belfast!