Advice from me to you: Keep up on your blogs and journals. Every day. I have been overwhelmed with trying to find time to journal all that’s happening, contact people back home, and finally show pictures/blog on my trip so far. My new motto has involuntarily become “I’ll do that tomorrow.” So first, here’s whassup with Ireland.
I left Omaha on August 20th and flew to Dublin, Ireland. Big shout out to Deb Schmidt who drove me to the airport, hauled home extra clothes because my suitcase weighed too much, bought me a Panera farewell breakfast, AND supplied me with great pepper spray. Big blessing. Emily, Paige, and Chelsie are these cute girls in the pictures below who I got to spend the week with. We flew from Omaha–>Newark–>Dublin and arrived at 7 am Ireland time. We arrived at our hostel only to find out we had to wait until 3 pm to check in. Sooooo we locked up our luggage and sleepily wandered the town for a bit. Espresso and the chilly wind helped some, but we were pretty out of it. The next three days we spent exploring the city. There were some fun gems, like a garden we found (full of gorgeous flowers, green grass, and paths winding around the park), St. Patricks Cathedral, and the Dublin Castle. We also had fun going to a few pubs and finding out Irish men really do just love to drink beer and laugh loud. But…for the most part….Dublin is not great. After we told some friends we weren’t loving it, we heard lots of “Oh yeah, I’ve heard Dublin is really dark and not that great.” And my reply would be: where were all you advice-giving friends before??! I feel it is my duty as a friend to get the word out on this city: take a day trip in and walk around for a bit. See some shopping, get a beer, and then leave before the clock strikes midnight. Scary ish goes down and you’ll smell like cigarettes and sadness for a week plus.
We stayed in Dublin through Friday night, and then on Saturday morning, we traveled by train to Bantry. Our friend, Amy, picked us up and took us to her house in Durrus. She had studied abroad in Ireland a few years ago, fell in love with an Irish man, and now they live in Durrus. I think they’re making a movie about her life soon. I can’t even explain how much I loved that weekend. It was the best way to see Ireland and how beautiful it really is. We got to relax in their beautiful home, explore their small town, visit a local church, picnic with friends after, and watch movies with warm tea and cookies. Dream life. Amy and her husband Rob have been able to host a Bible study in their home and are involved in their church. Their discipleship and faithfulness has already produced visible fruit, and it was exciting to hear the ways they are being used in a their country.
After the amazing week, we headed back to Dub-city and listened to “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” on repeat on the bus. (Just kidding.) We checked into a new hostel…which was just a taaaad unsettling. I slept with my wallet, passport, and laptop in my pillow. And that’s all I’ll say. But we didn’t spend much time there or in the city. Tuesday we spent the day traveling to Limerick and Shannon, Ireland. We saw the Cliffs of Moher, Burren National Park, and the city of Doolin. Burren National Park was breathtaking. Sitting on the cliffs and overlooking the ocean was kind of an indescribable moment. Ireland really is a beautiful place, and it was a peaceful moment to take in beauty and appreciate the work of our Father so much.
Wednesday we got up real early. (3:45) We took a cab to the airport, grabbed some coffee, and took off for Italy! Italy updates are on the way.
You’d think such a simple update would be easy to fit in any old day. You’d be wrong. Pistachio gelato is a really needy friend…it calls for a lot of my time and attention…