Cheers, Dublin

HELLO, AMERICA!

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could not wipe the smile off my face when I saw this

I can hear Frank Sinatra singing, “New York, New York”.

It’s like I never even left this side of the pond. I’ve gone right back to eating sushi, driving, and using toilet paper that comes in roll form.

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I swear I did not ask for this to be taken, but Madre takes as many random photos as I do

No, but seriously, my brain is still processing the fact that I studied abroad in Ireland for the past 3.5 months. It was a whirlwind, a challenge, and a blast. I’ll save the reflections for another post and just focus on the transition from Europe back to America in this post.

My peers and I celebrated what felt like the end of an era during our last days in Dublin. Megan and I were basically obligated to go to one last brunch:

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The Lovely Food Co.1 was the first brunch place we ate at in Dublin, so we chose it as our last brunch destination to bring it full circle. ‘Twas a fabulous decision because this was the best brunch we had in Ireland. She ordered the eggs benedict, and I ordered the eggs royale (same thing except with smoked salmon instead of ham).

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The crusty bread was unconventional, but it totally worked. For brunch dessert, we split an order of their brioche French toast, since that’s what Megan ordered her first time there, and she could not stop thinking about since.

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For good reason!! This little guy was perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Served with cream, berry compote, and classic maple syrup. #dead.

We may or may not have bought two desserts from the bakery to take away.

After walking around city centre to look for books for our plane ride (I ended up buying the fourth HP book because I needed to return the one I had to the library, but I still had 200+ pages left), we had a late farewell lunch with all the students and program directors at Il Corvo Italian restaurant.

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I had the lasagna with a side of veggies and happily finished it all. I also almost cried after one of the program director’s farewell speeches. All good things here!

Later that night, a few of us walked back to city centre for some gelato and store-perusing.

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“Florence cream” flavor from Gelato di Natura (it tasted like saffron!)

Megan and I also watched Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them while eating our sneaked-in dinners in the back of the theatre.

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sandwiches and salads — your typical theatre fare 

p.s. the movie was great! a little confusing, but fantastic nevertheless. Eddie Redmayne *swoon*

And then, of course, we had to join the rest of our friends for one last night out on the town!

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baby Guinness shots (the first and last shot I will have ever had in Ireland…until next time!)

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I wish I could say I was cool and went pub-hopping that night, but I went home after the first bar and called it a night.

Saturday morning called for a quick workout and the last scramble to pack our whole lives into our suitcases (“It’s TWO POUNDS over 50!!!”). Eventually, we made it through the airport and onto the plane. My last meal in Ireland was this sandwich with veggies, relish, and an absurdly thick slice of cheese.

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Followed by a pretty tasty airplane dinner a few hours later. They served us turkey and stuffing meals with pasta and veggies, soda bread and Kerrygold butter (♥︎), and raspberry white chocolate mousse. What luxury!

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“milk in a stick”

Purchasing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for the plane ride was one of the wiser decisions I’ve made in my life. It occupied me for the almost the whole 7 hours! (It also blew my MIND.) I was also very surprised that I never napped or even got up to pee during the entire flight.

When we arrived in New York, my family greeted me at the airport, and I almost cried again. I was so happy to see them. Also, one of the first things my brother told me after I hugged him was that they bought me Lloyd’s carrot cake. I appreciate how well they know me.

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Even though it was past midnight Dublin time, it was only 7:30 pm when I met up with them and they hadn’t eaten dinner yet. By then, I was pretty hungry for a midnight snack/dinner too, so they took me to eat some delicious sushi, since I had not eaten any in Europe (I had trust issues).

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Also, Madre bought me a portable massage table for Christmas (upon my request, since I’ve been learning how to give good massages in Dublin), so Pop broke it in for me as I gave him a massage that night. The gift that keeps on giving, I say!

Regarding jetlag, I’m actually pretty adjusted already! I persevered and stayed up until 11:30pm NY time (4:30am Dublin time) and woke up at 9 am yesterday.

I was feeling ready to move and groove in the morning, but I had limited time before Mass, so I did 100 burpees for time. I tied my previous PR (6:12), but not without my heart feeling like it would explode. Holy smokes, I had not done a “sprint” like that in a while.

This dinner last night was nothing out of the ordinary except that I cooked the eggs on a gas stove (instead of electric like in our Dublin dorms, which I didn’t realize until now takes 10x longer to heat up) and that I topped it with SRIRACHA. Oh, how I missed thee.

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Followed by cake for dayyyyyyz.

Today I’m headed up to a very special city for a couple days 🙂 More to come!

I have so much to say and reflect upon in regards to my study abroad experience in Ireland, but for now, I’ll say:

Sláinte, Baile Átha Cliath (Cheers, Dublin)!

So tell me:

What did you do this weekend?

What is the best airport/airline food you’ve ever eaten?

Are there any things about coming home that you didn’t even realize you missed during an extended vacation/trip?

Day in the Life of a Ninja

Two trips down, one to go!

Not that I’m counting down vacations. St. Louis (for cousin’s Baptism) and Canada (to visit relatives) were a blast, and our last family trip is to Seattle (for a wedding) starts today. Then it’s the countdown to move-in day back in Boston!

Our last day in Canada had some ups and downs, but mostly ups. If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you probably already know that I’ve exhausted the fact joke that I’ve been in ninja training, but I’m about to push it to the limit with this post.

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A Day in the Life of a Ninja (Monday)

7:00 AM— Wake up and go to the bathroom. Check emails, comments, and social media.

8:00 AM— Go back to sleep, because ninjas need rest to be on their game.

9:00 AM— Wake up again, brush teeth, etc. Eat breakfast, which is oatmeal a la microwave, because time is of the essence for ninjas (and I didn’t want to burn the bottom of my aunt’s pot like I did on Sunday morning, woo).

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quick oats, unflavored protein powder, cinnamon, banana, maple syrup, milk, and almond butter

10:00 AM— Change into ninja clothes (workout capris and top).

10:15 AM— Hang out with my cousin, Amy. Get my mind blown by hexaflexagons (<— seriously the coolest thing ever) and get my butt kicked in Super Smash Bros (virtual ninja training).

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she’s trying to create a character that looks like me, and the hair is pretty darn accurate

1:00 PM— Go to lunch at a tea house with Amy and her dad, because ninjas obviously like Asian food.

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delicious noodles, short ribs, chicken, soup dumplings, beef tendon wraps, and mango yogurt juice

2:30 PM— Digest at home and get ready for bouldering (aka ninja training for scaling mountains and buildings).

3:30 PM— Start bouldering! {I used to rock climb regularly when I was in fourth and fifth grade, so the smell of the gym was familiar and nostalgic. I missed it!} This was an absolute blast. We were all about focus and discipline during our training.

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my cousin and uncle are SO STRONG

5:45 PM— After burning out our hands, arms, and upper backs, we realize that we’re late for our dinner appointments. They drop me off to meet my dad.

6:45 PM—Dad and I arrive at my other aunt and uncle’s house and go to a pub for dinner from there. My stomach is hurting a little bit… Figure that I’m just hungry from all the climbing.

7:00 PM— Sit down to menus and some fun 70s music bingo. Try a sip of my dad’s beer because that’s legal for me in Canada.

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no idea what I’m doing

7:20 PM— Dig into my fish tacos! My aunt also shares one of her wings with me.

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7:50 PM— After finishing two of my tacos and sharing the third, we continue playing music bingo until my aunt wins a round! But then I totally kill the vibe when my stomach pains become semi-excruciating. Take a tablet from my aunt that’s supposed to absorb gas in your stomach. Go to the bathroom just in case.

8:00 PM— Aunt decides to take me back to her house to rest a little. Every step hurts my stomach! Aunt kindly nurses me with some tonic water and her comfy couch. Ninjas are not invincible.

8:30 PM— After lying down for a bit, stomach pain dissipates dramatically. Like, 100 to 0, real quick. We concluded that it was a heck of a lot of gas in my stomach for whatever reason (my stomach looked like a balloon, but I didn’t feel super full or anything). Thanks, Aunt Judy!!!

9:00 PM— Head back to cousin’s house, where we’re staying. Shower up.

9:30 PM— Practice throwing knives with the family, because ninjas. (Promise we’re not actually plotting to kill anyone. This is purely for fun…but that doesn’t sound much better, does it?)

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10:20 PM— Practice handstands. Evidently, my stomach pains were virtually nonexistent at this point, thanks be to God.

11:00 PM— Sleep!

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And yesterday we drove 9 hours back down to New York, where we did the whole unpack, laundry, repack deal. Here are some eats from our road trip!

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McDonald’s Asian grilled chicken salad (not too shabby!)

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lots of peanut butter in the car

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Bareburger for dinner: pickles and slaw to share // “blue elk” burger

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finished off the day with some vanilla bean ice cream + cinnamon and nutmeg (tastes like eggnog!)

Catch ya on the other side of the country! Hope you all have a wonderful Wednesday 🙂

So tell me:

Have you ever gone rock climbing or bouldering? I rekindled my love for it on Monday. My shoulders and forearms the next day though… not so much.

Have you ever had extreme stomach pains due to gas? Doesn’t that sound sexy.

Have you ever done a sport/activity that seems scary to others? Like shooting or archery?

If you’ve ever been to Seattle or Portland, what should we do there?