travel is a crazy thing. we’ve been out west for a couple days now and I actually miss my “home” at UCD. (where we stayed for our first three weeks) I had become so accustomed to my life there.  We leave tomorrow to head back! We have been to three different B&B’s in the last four days. We have also been on a train, bus, ferry, and bicycles. It’s been a crazy weekend. The west has the very best views though. Our tour guide, William, drives us all around in his coach and we get to stop various places and take pictures, or tour the grounds. He talks to us over a speaker in the bus and knows everything about everything. I have learned so much history in the past three days that all the stories are running together and I can’t remember what is what! Our next days here will consist of independent travel. Although originally David and I were going to head to Killarney for these days, we might save our pesos and just hang around Dublin. Total exhaustion has set in. We biked cliffs today on Inish Mohr. The view on the cliff was breathtaking (and so was the hike.. literally). I was so exhausted after 12 miles that I fell into deep sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow and was late to dinner. whoops. I’m looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow (woohoo!) and learning a little more about western Ireland before we head back to Dublin. If you didn’t already know, I really really miss my puppy. 5 more days!!

on a side note: I stumbled down the stairs at the last B&B. They had really slippery carpet and I was wearing socks. Basically I sprained two of my toes and they are totally black and blue. That made walking/biking/hiking quite interesting today. Hoping they get better soon, but for now they just get a deeper purple. Wish me luck on that one!

JSV

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i started collecting coasters from all the bars. how cool are these going to look framed?!
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we got to go to the beach!
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the cliffs of Moher!

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best day ever

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waterfall where The Field was filmed!

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one of the many spots on our tour that we thought was too beautiful not to take a picture of!

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the water is that blue and the grass is that green. can you even believe it??
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he is seriously so handsome
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single digits

We are in single digits…. what…. As the week is coming to an end, we are saying goodbye to our home at University College Dublin, and saying hello to traveling the west coast of Ireland. Everyone has said that this is the best part of the whole trip. I can’t believe that we have spent 18 days here already. It’s weird because on day three I was kinda thinking wow I have 25 more days here… that is so many. Now looking back, I can’t believe how fast it flew by. So, what have we been doing lately? We have had a few days off to do what we choose. Mainly I took those days to research my paper topic (we have to write a 10 page paper for credit for the class) and exploring Dublin. We took a couple days to visit some accounting firms and talk with their employees. At KPMG, we got the chance to talk to Americans who were working in Ireland. It was so interesting to see what struggles they have and what they love most about Ireland. At EY we worked with Interns on a case study. We had an hour to come up with a marketing strategy and present it. My team didn’t win, but we still kicked butt! It was a blast. There is a holiday here called Bloomsday. It is a day basically dedicated James Joyce and his book Ulysses. All around the town people dress up in crazy hats and old time clothes and read pages out of his book. It’s very interesting… haha. We have class all day today (can you believe it? We only had TWO days of class and are receiving six hours of class credit!!!) Tomorrow is Deloitte. My professor described it as “EY on steroids” so I’ll keep you updated on what that means!

Things I miss about The US: my puppy. my planner. my parents. my bed. my kitchen. (we eat out every single meal) But that is basically it! I could totally move here though. As long as Houston could come with. I actually can’t live without him. Here’s a picture to remind y’all how cute he is.

Houston
my guy

I’m currently sitting on the floor of the laundry room, waiting for my two loads of clothes to be dried. I forewent going to the pub tonight because I refuse to wear my socks inside out and I should probably save some money. It’s kinda crazy that we have already been gone 10 days. The days fly by and each one is better than the last. I’ve spent a lot of time walking, a lot of time drinking, and just a little time sleeping. Ireland is really really fun. Today I was asked what was different about Ireland. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not too different! The food is cooked a little differently, and the people speak a little differently, but all in all there are a lot of similarities! Mainly, I miss my dog and the comfort of my own home. Although the dorms they put us in are really nice.. way nicer than any dorms on UofA campus. I lived in the armpit of the UofA freshmen year so anything is better than that. Tomorrow is a EuroFound visit which is a labor union here in Europe! Should be interesting to hear more about what they do on a day-to-day basis!

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the oldest pub in Ireland!
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the Guinness Factory was awesome!
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Trim Castle!

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my cutie baker!
my cutie baker!

day three out of thirty

Instead of writing a lot I’m just going to post a few pictures from the last few days!

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Grafton street! one of the main roads in downtown. The sky is actually that blue here.
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its kinda unbelievable that this is an entrance to a public bathroom
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we walked down this street because there was a guy with his guitar singing outside a pub. he totally rocked.
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Queen Elizabeths castle. There was a wishing well in front of it and the greenest grass you could ever think of.
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even the dessert is pretty
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Our professor, Hunter, and I at the pub last night! There were 10-20 ukulele performers! They played everything from Britney Spears to The Beatles.
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The Book of Kells! This was just one of the many nooks with so many old books.
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The Book of Kells “long room”. It was incredible. Can you even believe this architecture?
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He’s too handsome not to take a picture of.
This is a bridge in downtown. It’s a crazy busy street but it was necessary to stop and take a picture because it is so pretty! Even if the clouds were grey today.

Tomorrow we head to an athletic center to learn old Irish games! It should be really fun! Look for another update from me soon. I’m sure I’ll have a million and one more photos to post for y’all.

JSV

31 hours and counting…

hi all!

we have all arrived safely in Dublin! We left for the airport at 8:00am US time, and arrived in Dublin at 7:00am their time (1:00am our time). So naturally, we ended up spending the whole day awake and walking the streets of Dublin in the pouring down rain. It was an adventure to say the least. Our professors swear up and down that this is the best way to overcome jet lag and seeing as I have now been awake for 31 hours straight, I guess I believed them. We will see when I wake up tomorrow morning. It’s approximately 8pm here now and I’ve already showered and said my goodnights. I will be slumbering for at least the next twelve hours. Naturally, since everyone was in a total daze today and it was pouring down rain, there is not a single picture to post, BUT I will be better about it tomorrow as we head to tour the University of College Dublin. It is absolutely breathtaking here. I never thought one place could be so green! I hope the rain has subsided for the most part in the states. It seems like we brought it with us to Ireland.. whoops.

It’s weird that i’m saying goodnight and you all are saying good afternoon. Time zones are a strange thing.

JSV

SO SOON

Wow I can’t believe that it’s one day until I leave for my trip, well one day and two nights. Our trip to Houston was amazing and I’m so thankful we got to see David’s family before heading out. Tomorrow we drop Houston off to obedience school while we are away. I know he will learn so much and become an even better dog than he already is. Side note, we taught him lay down and roll over this week. He is seriously the smartest dog in the world. I decided to head to my parents house and spend my last few nights here and watch the animals. They are away on vacation in Florida (they seriously live the life) and my mom will be back to drop David and I at the airport on Sunday morning. While originally she was going to come home late Saturday night, she changed her flight to come home mid-afternoon on Saturday so she can spend a couple more hours with me. She is the very best. It was a quick turnaround of unpacking from Houston doing all of the laundry and packing for Ireland. I still don’t know how I had the patience to pack a bag for a months worth of traveling.

David and I have been trying to fit in a few last “American” things before we leave. Eating hamburgers, mainly. Did anyone else hear it was National Hamburger day yesterday? Who comes up with these days???? It’s still crazy to me that I won’t be able to run to Walmart for anything and everything that I need everyday. I constantly find myself saying “Do they have that in Ireland?” I’m clueless, as i’m sure most of us are about what day to day life is over there. I’ll try my hardest to spread my wisdom about everything Irish when I get back.

So what will I do in my last 48 hours in the States? Catch up on sleep, write a paper (ugh!), and spend lots of time lovin’ on my puppy and mama.

Stay tuned.. next post i’ll be IN IRELAND or at least on the way to it!

JSV

T W O W E E K S

Hi all!

Finals week, aka the worst week ever, is finally over. I’m so proud to say I ended this semester with a 3.8– stupid bfound. BUT, I leave for Dublin, Ireland in…. drum roll please…. TWO WEEKS. I will be spending four of the best weeks of my life in this wonderful place, studying business, but mainly learning a lot about myself and a lot about a foreign country. Not to mention I get to do it all with the one I love most. (DC, you rock) I feel as though there is not enough time to prepare for a trip where you will be gone for a whole month. I have many lists going.. “don’t forget” list, “to do” list, not to mention my calendar is full of squeezing in hair, nail, dentists appointments, and a few more hours of work so I can do a few more hours of shopping in Ireland (added to the list: “don’t forget to pack light so you have room in your suitcase to fit all your new stuff”). So, what are my last few weeks in the states going to consist of? I work the next three days, and then David and I are off to Houston, Texas (his home town) on Thursday for a visit with his family and to watch his brother graduate high school! Then back on Wednesday to begin packing our stuff, buying clothes suitable for Ireland.. it rains there, like all the time.. and working just a few more hours. Mainly, I will be soaking in the last few days we have to spend with our puppy. I think i’ll miss him most. (sorry mom and dad if you are reading this)

he is so handsome
ugh he is so handsome

I can’t believe how fast the time has flown by. I can’t help but thank my lucky underwear for getting me through finals, giving me a new job I love, and convincing my professors to pick me to go on this amazing trip- I’m pretty sure I stuttered through my whole interview. whoops. I know the time will fly even faster in Ireland. I’m considering never sleeping just so I can see everything there is to see. Wish me luck!

JSV