Thursday, May 12, 2011

First event of Summer: pAris

Do you see the Eiffel Tower in pAris :)  Anyways, I spent the first few days of my summer in Paris, France.  My trip was spent with 2 lovely people I never met up unto this point, Larry and Maureen.  They are a married couple from the States who have been living in Paris for 4 years.  I'm so thankful that they invitingly had me stay with them in their flat right around the corner from the Eiffel Tower and then showed me all around their city of Love.  We tried to do all we could in 3 days but there is so much to see!  I ended up seeing a lot of art work in the Louve, and Museum d'Orsay (impressionist work), drinking coffee, eating yummy crepes from a cute French guy, walking around the Tower, sitting in the gardens, eating duck, and my favorite thing was going to Giverny.  Giverny which is about an hour train ride outside of Paris is where Monet lived and you can visit his house, gardens, and lily ponds with green foot bridges!  This was really a dream come true to see the Monet Lilies in the Museum d'Orsay then go see where they where painted and his inspiration.  Overall Paris was a grand experience and next time I go I want to know more French!  Enjoy the pictures.

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Unexpectedly loved the sculpture in the Louve

Maureen and I, she is so full of life and energy :)

I just love this picture I snapped at the outdoor market on Sunday.  I wanted to take a picture of the Escargot sign, not intending this French lady to be in it, but ends up she is probably my favorite thing about the picture... Misses Red or something, she even has her lips perched lol. Funny

Loved the huge stain glass in the Notre Dame 

Giverny. Monets house in the distance and his water lily ponds in the foreground

On the green bridge!

His gardens take about 100 gardeners to keep up

The three of us had the greatest of times. Maureen. Me. Larry.
In conclusion, pAris was great and I would love to come back with a significant other.  Anyways, now I am back in Ireland for a day then off to California I go!

Only get a crepe with whipped creme on top if you want half of it all over you and the other half on your napkin.   Good times :)  Au revoir

Thursday, April 21, 2011

West is best

I recently got back from our last trip traveling Ireland as a group.  It was my favorite trip! Killarney. Gap of Dunloe. Galway. Aran Islands. Cliffs of Moher. Dingle Peninsula. The Burren. Connemara. We did lots of hiking and driving along the West coast of Ireland. The weather was fabulous and attitudes were pleasant :)  How could you not be in a good mood when surrounded with views like this?  I feel so blessed that I was able to see so much of Ireland through this program!
My favorite part of this trip was Dun Aengus on the Aran Islands.  It is an ancient ring fort on the edge of a sea cliff, 300 ft above the ocean.  We crawled out to the ledge and enjoyed the thrill of laying on the edge of the world!  This was definitely better than the Cliffs of Moher (over rated, but still grand).
Now that I'm back we have all our final papers due soon but with 15 days left, I'm dying to continue exploring Ireland!
Gap of Dunloe hike

Gap of Dunloe

On the Dingle.  The landscape looked very similar to this everywhere!  Sheep. Green grass. Stone walls. Small cottages.


Alli and I sitting in the grass putting flowers in our hair :)

Cliffs of Moher!

At the Cliffs of Moher

Rented bikes all day to explore around the Aran Islands!

DUN AENGUS: highlight of the trip! (See photos below)

Army crawl to the edge of the cliff at Dun Aengus because it is a 300 foot drop off!

300 ft down! So thrilling

I loved laying on the cliff looking over; and to think Cliffs of Moher are 600ft!  No wonder you can't do this there.

Group pic.  Looking over. Such the perfect day for this!

Don't lay on that rock.

View of the Aran Island from Dun Aengus

4x4 biking crew

Last day in the Connemara 

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Recently I have been learning about Irish Literature and focusing on that class only for 2 weeks.  An English professor from Taylor flew out here for all of last week and we traveled with her for a few days up near Northern Ireland in Donegal, Sligo, and Derry.  The purpose of these travels was to visit sites from our novels, plays, poems, and short stories we are reading.  My favorite of the writers thus far is Yeats.  I enjoy his poems with influences from nature and fairies.  Pictured below are places we saw that are in his poems.  


Waterfall from poem, The Stolen Child

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

I will arise and go now, for always night and day
I hear lake water lapping with low sound by the shore;
While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,
I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

Yeats wrote this poem while away from Ireland, in expression of his desire to come back to Ireland and live in rest on the island of Innisfree, I don’t blame him! 

Even though English is not my favorite subject, visiting waterfalls and lush green forests doesn't make it that harmful. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Edinburgh was the place to be!

So last minute a couple weeks ago my friends Emily Guebert and Alyssa Beck (the other PA) decided that traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland would be a grand place to travel over our short Spring Break.  I was hesitant because I had never heard of the place before but decided to go for it!  All I had in mind was people playing Bagpipes and I pictured it to be similar looking and feeling to Ireland.  How I had no idea of the magnificent city of Edinburgh!
View of the Castle and city from above on our hike.

Looking down at all the different hiking trails that you can explore on the mountain.

It snowed for one day!!!

The snow was great at first.

Out at night

My favorite pub, and our favorite non alcoholic cider!

Amazing mountains behind the city

The peak at the top is where we hiked to on the first day


New Town area of Edinburgh.  All Georgian style buildings.

The birthplace of Harry Potter!!! JK Rowling's cafe where she wrote the first book!  Mocha and inside the cafe was great

Walking along the Royal Mile.  St. Gile's Cathedral spire, where we attended church on Sunday morn

Grand live music on the last night at the Royal Mile Tavern

Lobby of the hostel :)

Top of St. Arthur's Seat in Holyrood Park, what a hike but so worth it

The crew.  Picture taken by a Californian I met!

And one night we made dinner in the hostel kitchen.  Peas and pasta!

Well I guess it is a long story but the whole trip I wore my passport pouch under my clothing so me and the kanga are twins with our front pouches.  You can't see mine in this pic, luckily.

In Calton Hill area.  Edinburgh was building this huge monument and ran out of money, so now it is just a great place to explore and take pictures

And finally, Brodies.  My first legit hostel. 
So backpacking in Edinburgh for 3 days was such a great time.  We didn't even have travel problems except when I mislead the group to the wrong gate at the Dublin airport at 3am and we had to exit the whole airport, go through security again and go to the correct Edinburgh gate.  I felt so bad but we didn't miss our flight :)
While in Edinburgh my favorite thing was the hike on the first day up to St. Arthur's seat!  And every single day we did miles of walking around the city.  We went to:
*see the Edinburgh castle
*the National Galleries- saw pieces by van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt, Degas, Millet, and so much more!
*the Elephant House- where the first Harry Potter was written
*Gallery of Modern Art
*went out at night in search of the best live music and non-alcoholic drinks
*St. Gile's Cathedral
*Princes Street
*all over :)
I highly recommend traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland!  It was a great city to experience.

Today is St. Patrick's Day!!!!!  We are going into Dublin for all day and night.
First, the Dublin parade.  Then Gaelic games, football and hurling!  Back to Dublin for dinner and everything else that happens on St. Patrick's Day.  All the locals have the day off school and work.  It is going to be a huge party!  And an overload of tourist in Dublin, oh man...

Well hope everyone has a grand day, missing America but love Ireland!