Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One month left???

Hello again everyone!
So a few days ago I woke up and realized I only had one month left in Ireland. It was the weirdest feeling I think I've ever had. One, I'm really excited to go back to the states and see my family and friends and start a great summer again on the Vineyard. But two, I really don't want to leave at all and it's going to be so sad leaving this country. Really. It's such a bittersweet feeling and I'm not quite sure how I'm going to handle it...(Here's a picture of the light shining down on one part of a hill in Connemara..also very weird!)

I feel like I saw and did so much but I still need to see and do so much more. I went on amazing trips to London, Paris and Italy. And I especially love that I got to see and do so much in Ireland, the real reason I went abroad. Everytime I went somewhere, it was so nice to be able to come back to my my FAVORITE country and I realized I really did pick the perfect place for me.

Another "weird thing". I've been around the friends, my roommate, and the people in Galway since January. It's going to be so different to just go back to our own schools, go back to life in the US and not see them every single day.

And of course I'm going to miss Ireland life. The friendliness, Irish humor, and most importantly, Garlic sauce for my chips (fries). Oh and seeing cows/sheep on a daily basis...

Although I'm looking forward to summer, I feel like I have another "home" here to add to my list. I have my home in Sagamore Beach with my family, my St. Michael's home that I've missed so much this semester, another summer on the Vineyard-a homey place that feels so familiar, and now my abroad home, Ireland. Each of those places give me the same friendly, homey feeling and I wonder if its possible to call four places home. So if someone asks me where are you from? am I supposed to give the long winded answer, "well I'm from Sagamore Beach, I go to college at St. Mike's, I spend summer on Martha's Vineyard, but I also lived in Ireland?" I guess I can just accept that no matter where I go, I have four favorite places in the world (so far) and I can call each one of them home. Whenever we went some place, a friend would say "I could have studied here!" or "I feel like I could live here!" but the only place that really did that for me was Ireland and it made me realize each time how lucky I was to be here.

So here I am within my last few weeks and since I've been back in Italy I've been finishing up my last few final essays and trying to do as much as possible. I finished my last essay just this morning which means I have less than a month to cram everything in and take full advantage of my family coming in two weeks! :)

In the next month, I have a trip to Dublin planned with my family and we are also going to go up North to see Belfast, where my family is from. I also want to try to take some day trips and make sure I see all my friends one last time in Cork, Limerick and Dublin. I was talking to my Aunt from Galway at Easter, telling her how much I didn't want to go home of course and she told me that I can at least try to go back once a year. Now it's a stretch and I'm not sure if my financial budget will allow me, but I think it would be a nice goal to try to come back once a year or as much as I can. My friend who studied abroad in Galway two spring semesters ago, has been back 8 times already. I guess its just that kind of place. :)

So now that I'm officialy done with school, I'm going to take advantage of everything Galway has to offer. My roommate turns 21 in a few days, we're going to take trips to the Salthill beach not to far away now that the weather is nice and just spend as much time in Galway as possible. And then eventually, my study abroad trip will have come to a close. So, I've included some little pictures along the way here of Ireland. I'll keep everyone updated and talk to you soon!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ciao Bella!!

Hello again!

I've lots to talk about from everything that has been happening in the past few weeks!!

SO BIG NEWS...I am now 21 years old!! Who would have thought?? I had an AMAZING birthday here in Ireland. My friend Cassy came to visit from Greece, (read her blog here!) and I had about three days of celebrations! My roommate threw me a great party here at our apartment with all of our friends and they even surprised me with a CADBURY cake! (We all know how much I love Cadbury!) Althought at first I was a little sad to not be spending it with my friends and family back home it made me realize how great the friends I met here are and how lucky I am to be in such a great place! :)

After my birthday, our lectures ended for Easter break. I traveled down to Dublin to spend Easter with some family! I went to Dundalk, Carlingford, and also stayed a night in the center of Dublin. I met some of my cousins, my great uncles and aunts, and it was so nice to be with such a welcoming family for Easter! Easter is one of my favorite holidays at home and I loved being able to spend it with my family here in Ireland. They were so funny and my great aunt and uncle had a delicious dinner and showed me around everywhere. I was also able to see some more of the country and it only reinforces the idea that I may or may not leave when May 25th comes!
After Dublin, I had two days to prepare and then I went off to begin my world travels to ITALY!!! Last Tuesday, we left Dublin Airport to Bologna. We then took a train, that very much resembled the train in Harry Potter ( we were all excited) to Florence. Florence was beautiful, again I don't know how Christine ever left! It was one of my favorite parts of my trip. We were able to meet up with my friend's friends who were studying abroad there. The weather was beautiful in the 70's and we were able to drink wine and watch the sunset from these steps that overlooked the city! Here's a picture of a few of us enjoying the nice weather by the river!

The next day we went to see the statue of David, and explored some of the outside markets. We had a great dinner with all of our friends and it was such an amazing time. The entire trip I couldn't help but feel how lucky I was to be able to see and do all these things!

The next day we started our tour of the Almafi Coast! We stayed in these adorable "bungalows" that were so nice! They had two different rooms, with a kitchen and bathroom and outside with a balcony and our very own lemon trees!! The place where we stayed was also an outside camping site and I felt like I was in a movie again! We took a day trip to the island of Capri where we took a boat ride all around the island, saw the blue grotto (one of the natural wonders of the world), jumped off the boat into the surprisingly VERY cold water, and went around to the beautiful little town of Capri! We also got some delicious caprese sandwiches which I miss dearly now! The next day we took a trip to Positano Beach, the bus ride getting there was a bit dodgy. It was twists and turns and the only thing holding us back from us, the massive cliff, and the water very far down below was a small metal barrier. I was clinging onto my roommate sitting next to me to say the least. Positano beach was amazing and we took another boat ride around the sea and saw how these houses were built right into the cliffs...amazing! The next day we went to the ancient city of Pompeii and saw of the ancient preserved ruins. After that we were on our way to Roma!

We only had one day in Rome so we tried to see and do as much as possible! We went to the Vatican and saw St. Peter's Basilica but the line to get in was so long and it would have taken all day! I was kind of upset that we weren't able to go in but I was lucky just to be there! We saw the colloseum, went to the spanish steps, and threw our pennies into the trevi fountain!! Here;s a picture of me outside the fountain! We stayed another night in Rome, had an amazing last dinner, I ordered fish and lets just say it's not the cape cod fish and chips I was used to the head and everything was on my plate. Luckily, our nice waiter helped me out with that... We woke up early and took our flight out of Rome and now I am back in Galway and back to the real world :)

I can't beleive I have only a little over a month left here. As time goes on I seriously don't want to leave! I have good news for next year though and I'm just as excited to return to my life at SMC where I'll be on Student Association as the Secretary of Communications and be doing a year long internship with the Marketing and Admissions departments! I'm currently on the lookout for a summer job too. I'd love to work back on the Vineyard again but getting everything sorted while your in a different country has definitely proved it's difficulties!

I have a few final essays to do and then my parents and brother come in a month! I'm soo excited for them to come visit!! I'll be doing little trips around Ireland hopefully and taking advantage of everything in the next month and a half! I'll be sure to keep everyone updated until then ciao!! :)