Saturday, October 31, 2009


IREALND!!!! Well well well I just got back from Ireland and had the time of my life! I know it sounds a little ciche, but really I am having the time of my life.  It was so beautiful and I just felt really connected to Dublin since I lived in Dublin, Ohio for 7 years of my life… naturally I have a soul connection with the real Dublin.  Here is just a brief summary of some of the things we did, and when I say we I mean my two good buddies Catherine Adams and Kacey Schneider both from Salt Lake City, Utah.

The first day we got there we went to see Dublin castle. When I hear the word castle I usually associate it with a giant stone buildings with tourettes and a mote… this wasn’t that kind of a castle.  There was one stone tower left but the rest of the building was replaced but a more modern bulding in the style I refer to as the “palace-esque” style.  It was a plaesant surprise to realize that there were 4 missionaries on our tour with us.  They were some of the most awkward missionaries I have ever met. We introduced ourselves and talked to them for a couple minutes and I don’t think any of them ever looked at us or said more then 5 consecutive words.  They were so sweet. I just love the missionaries and I think I have a soft spot for them because all of my good friends are out there right now doing the exact same thing!  The castle tour was a little but of a let down but they took us underground and showed us the ruins of the original castle and the river that runs all underneath the city of Dublin.  We were exhausted form getting up at 4 and getting our flight so we walked around Temple Bar (the pub and shopping district of Dublin) for a wee bit and found some place to eat.  It is impossible finding cheap good food in foreign countries but when you have 3 hungry American girls, anything is possible. We wandered back to our hotel but stopped on our way to buy these little donuts from this random donut lady on O’Conell street. Seriously the best donut I have ever had, they could put Krispy Kream out of business.  In honor of our arrival in Ireland and our planned trip to the Wicklow mountains the next day we decided to watch “P.S I Love You.”  Little did we know that the next day we would be standing on the very road where they filmed the scene where Gerry and Holly meet for the first time! It was a pleasant night snuggling all together in one little bed together knowing we were in Ireland and we were saving money:)

We had to get up early and go to the tourist office to catch our coach to the countryside.  Our tour consisted of our fun Irish tour guide Martin, 2 asian girls who didn’t really speak English, a Dad and Daughter from France, and 5 Mexican Americans who didn’t know how to talk below a blaring yell… I know understand when Europeans think we are are loud and annoying because we are! We started driving our into the Irish country side and it was unbelievable.  It wasn’t the typical Irish green, it was still the vibrant green but then there was this coppery orange color dusting the top of anything, it looked like a penny had sneezed all over the mountains. It was just our luck that the 3 weeks before were perfect weather and the second we got there it started raining all day, it really wasn’t too bad, a little foggy but I didn’t mind. It gave everything a mythical aura… oh yeah. We saw waterfalls and lakes and mountains and trees. And it was all stunning.  We stopped at this little town called Laragh (pronounced Laura:) and we had hot chocolate and scones at this cute little bed and breakfast.  If I could pick anywhere to go back to it would be to that little town. We stopped at the ruins of an old monastery and walked around some lakes on our way back to Dublin and it stopped just ling enough for us to get so amazing pictures.  When we got back to Dublin we decided to eat at the same place as the night before… and we even had the same meal: french onion soup, chicken caesar salad, and pizza. It was the best european-american food we have ever had so we were going crazy ha. We walked around the city some more and bought some cute green and white stripped sweatshirts.  When we were walking back to the hotel we decided we wanted to go to a movie. We wanted to see “Love Happens” which we thought was going to be this cute chick flick, but we were wrong, terribly terribly wrong. Just think of the most cliche things about chick flicks... put all of them in one movie... add a bad script... and then multipy that by 10 and you have that movie. Needless to say we were excited to go to bed that night. 

Again we had to get up super early to catch our paddywagon out to the Cliffs of Moher.  These cliffs are the cliffs of insanity in “Princess Bride” and the cliffs in the recent “Harry Potter 6” where the Harry and Dumbledore go to find the Horcrux hidden on the lake.  They are on the west coast of Ireland so it was a 3 hour drive out and our bus driver didn’t believe in heat so we pretty much froze the whole time.  The cliffs were unreal! I loved them. Seriously. Nature is such an amazing force and it has taken me a trip to Europe to figure that out even the the Grand Canyon is in my backyard.  We were luck that is was clear so we could see them very well.  We stopped at a castle on the way back but we were so tired we didn’t really appreciate it… We got back late and decided we wanted some more American food.  We found this littel diner called Eddie Rockets- yes definitelty a knock off Johnny Rockets- and had a hamburger.  We got back late from the tour so we went straight to bed.

Saturday was our Dublin day.  We started off by checking out of our hotel and taking the train out to this little seaside town called Bray to go and see this manor house called Powerscourt.  If you have seen the movie “Count of Monte Cristo” it is the house Edmond buys when he becomes the count.  The house is just surrouned by these beautiful gardens so we just walked around.  It was sunny the whole time we were there which was so nice! I finally dried up and thawed out from the rainy days!  We made our way back to Dublin and went on a tour of Trinity College and saw the Book of Kells (this 2,000 year illuminated manuscript of the 4 gospels).  We went and ate quick and then headed to Christ Church Cathedral and went to Choral Evensong.  It was a little long but really interesting. All I have to say that I prefer our sacrament meeting any day! We went back to the hotel and picked up our bags and then caught the bus to the airport.  We arrived home safe, sound, and tired. It was an amazing trip and if any of you ever get the chance to go, GO! I can tell you all of the best places to hit!

The Irish coast...

The Cliffs of Moher...
The P.S. I Love you bridge...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

More Happenings

What a week! Well let me just catch up...

Monday was just classes and homework.

Tuesday I had Biology and we went the Victory and Albert museum to see this Exquisite Bodies exhibit... it was really weird.  I wasn't a fan.  It was all these wax body parts and things to show the medical knowledge of the time but I thought it was just kind of gross and crude... not my fav. After I decided to go on one of these assigned walks we have to do for our culture class and I really loved it.  I just went by myself and stuck my ipod in and explored a new part of London that I hadn't been to yet! Then it was more homework and dinner followed by a good viewing of P.S. I Love You. I just had this urge to watch it considering I just bought my tickets to go to Ireland for 4 days!

Wednesday morning we got up and went on yet another walk.  It was through the theater district and we went to Covent Gardens market.  There were these yoga mats set up in the middle of the square and this amazing lady just rockin these yoga moves.  We got free foot massages and then walked around some really cute little shops.  We got these super yummy cookies from Ben's Cookies and apparently there is one at Gateway in Salt Lake, I think it is the only one in the states!  I got home and did some more homework and then headed to Primark and bought a couple shirts and super cute bag... I really don't need another bag but it was so cute and sooo cheap:) 

Thursday I had class all day followed by a nice run through my favorite park and then we went to a Fulham football game (that is soccer for all you Americans out there)!  It was so fun.  There was a big group of us because out professot got them for us.  It was so fun to watch. They are amazing and we won so that we even better!

Friday was nice too.  It was my month mark so I celebrated by going to the Park... ok I actaully went to the park to study, but it was still nice.  That afternoon we had the chance to go back to the National Gallery.  We just walked by paintings and talked about them.  It really was like having a live powerpoint presentation.  I got back to the center and studied for a bit and then took my first test! It was for my religion class and I think it went well.  We were just allowed to take the test from class and then we just had to take it whenever and slip it under our Professor's flat door when we were done.  That night we hit up the Single Adult dance and it was so fun! There were tons of people there and they all wanted to talk to us because we were the BYU girls. We already can't wait for the next one!

Saturday we went to Stratford Upon Avon.  We went to Mary Arden's Farm (where shakespeare mom lived), Anne Hathaways House (Shakespseare's wife's house), and then the house that Shakespeare was born in.  I felt all inspired after I saw everything.  He really was a literary genious.  To top it all off we went and saw the Royal Shakespeare Company "The Winters Tale." I really enjoyed it.  It has been my favorite Shakespeare that we have seen so far.

Today was just really relaxing.  I got up and went on a walk in the park and read and then I went to get ready for conference.  Because of the weirdo time difference we went to the Hyde Park Stake center at 1 and watched a rebroadcast of the Saturday afternoon session.  Then we went home and my life has never been the same haha... we seriously had the most amazing brunch ever.  Jaylyn, out professors wife, is the most amazing cook ever.  We had muffins, keish, salad, cream cheese and chocolate stuffed french toast with homemade apple syrup, scones with jam, cinnamon rolls, and baked apples with granola... seriously I have never eaten so much or such good food.  Then we watched the sunday morning session at the center and now I am just bloggin my heart out! My skype isn't working very good so I am pretty bugged because I want to talk to my family but I am going to try later tonight and hopefully it works!