Ireland. I had pretty lofty expectations for Ireland after my dear friend Katherine had told me how much fun she had there a few weeks before I went. Also, one of my close friends back at CU has been studying in Limerick this entire semester and has told me some pretty great stories about it. So I was pretty excited to be getting into Ireland for a long weekend.
We flew into Dublin early Friday morning. I went there with three girls from my ISA program and planned on meeting up with Lindsay later that afternoon. We found our hostel right away as it was relatively easy to find; very close to the train station. For that morning and early afternoon, we walked around Dublin and checked it out, trying to get relatively familiar with the area we were staying at. A couple of us went to a park in the center of Dublin and checked out the beautiful greenery and abundance of Irish tweeny-bopper hipsters. I got some great pictures and met some good Irish folk.
We went back to the hostel and eventually met up with Lindsay. We decided to grab a bite at a nice restaurant down near the Temple bar. We had great food and great music as both Lindsay and I got our indie hard-on's as they played the entire self-titled Vampire Weekend album through all the way. After the restaurant, we went to the Temple bar and checked out a couple others as well. Lindsay and I decided to stay out a bit later than the three other girls as we continued bar/pub hopping. At this time I would like to address to how amazing Guinness is in Ireland. Back in the States, I really couldn't care less if I had a Guinness or not. It's fine, but nothing that special to me. In Ireland, Guinness is amazing. It is so smooth and the head is on the beer until the last drink. Sure it is filling and more like a tasty treat, but it has booze and tastes great. I loved the Guinness in Ireland.
Anyway, Lindsay and I eventually made our way back to the hostel after an interesting encounter with a drunken Irish man who was in what looked to be a nasty 4 wheeler accident. We had quite a few alcoholic beverages and had no problem passing out. The next morning we were blessed b our dear friend Sahr's presence. Herself and two of her friends were supposed to get in the night before and come out with us, but they got in too late and we were already passed out. Nevertheless, we met up with them the next day. Lindsay and I decided to part from the group and get a little breakfast since we got up a little later than everyone else. We then proceeded to walk around Dublin a bit more and check out a few shops. We grabbed some fish and chips and irish stew and a guinness at a pub, then met up with Sahr and co. and went to the Guiness Factory. The Guiness Factory was pretty cool. They like beer and I like beer, so we all got along. Plus you get a free pint at the end of the tour and if you are like me, you jacked the glass they gave you. Whoops. After the tour, Lindsay decided to go back back to Limerick to get prepared for our arrival the next day. That night, Sahr and I went out with our friends. We had a good time and I enjoyed spending time with her and getting to know her better.
The next day, we got on a bus and made our way to Galway. The bus ride there was long, but gorgeous. The Irish countryside is really unrivaled in its beauty. The bus rides were actually some of my favortie moments in the trip. We stayed in Galway for most afternoon, really just walking around and checking everything out. It was cool, but I didn't like it nearly as much as Dublin nor as much as I was about to like Limerick. We hopped on an evening bus to Limerick and got there around 7 or 8 at night. We caught a cab to Lindsay's campus and started meeting her roommates. This is where my true Irish experience began. Lindsay's roommates were characters to say the least. She lived with one other girl and the rest were dudes. Real Irish bros at that. They like to have a good time, to put it lightly. Extremely friendly and very generous, I had a great time with Lindsay and her friends. Lindsay and the girls I was with did a nice job making dinner after which we decided to have a few drinks and check out a club the Lindsay had recommended for the evening. So we checked out the club and it was pretty cool, though I couldn't but have slightly bad taste in my mouth right away as they charged all the dudes 5 euro to get in. But it is what it is. Okay, so we were all dancing and having a good time and then some shit went down. Long story short, they turned on AC-DC and just don't know you are supposed to dance to it. Of course, coming from America, I do so I proceeded to start a 'polite' mosh. By this I mean, I was far from belligerent and was not trying to piss anyone off. Well the bouncers (all 25 of them there) didn't like it and gave me the boot. Ha. I waited outside for the rest of my crew to come outside and we made our way back to Lindsay's place, with a quick pit-stop at a local fast-food joint. We got back and a few of us decided to have a few drinks and just chill. Well we were chillin, but Gavin, one of Lindsay's more meat-headed roommates proceeded to slug on a handle of cheap vodka and start shattering bottles. Lindsay made it very clear to us that this was a very normal tendency for her roommates to break their alcoholic beverage bottles once they are done with them. So I was ready for that, I wasn't however ready for him destroying the front of their microwave with his fist. Yeah, that took me off-guard. The rest of the night was pretty weird, but cool. I ended up passing out on one Lindsay's couches.
The next day, we grabbed lunch with Lindsay and parted ways. We caught a bus back to Dublin and made our towards the airport. I had a great time in Ireland. I really liked Limerick (stab-city) a lot and found Lindsay's campus to be very beautiful. I wish we would have spent more than one night there. I did my worst job of getting pictures on this trip. I really dropped the ball getting a few of me, Lindsay and Sahr. Oh well. Lessons learned. I would love to go back to Ireland. I feel like it will definitely happen again some day in the near future.