Thursday, May 20, 2010

Irish Tears


Horrible morning. We had to be packed and ready to go by 7:15am. After what we called our last night in Ireland, it was not the most ideal situation.

Hopped on the bus for a short ride over to the village of Adare. Jan calls Adare the cutest little town in Ireland. It was very sweet and pleasant. I mostly stayed near the visitors center during our visit there only because we only had 20min to explore.

Our next stop = Cliffs of Moher.

Now I quote this site as being the most gorgeous part of Ireland. See the picture above to understand what I am talking about. I brought the equipment to the cliffs with me to film my stand up for my web project. Nicole helped me out and I think it turned out pretty well. There was a sign that said that you can not go past a certain point because it was not fenced off. Everyone did it, so we did too! I love the Cliffs, absolutely stunning.

After the Cliffs we headed to our last hotel of the trip in Limerick.

At 4:30 we met up again to head off for our last group dinner. I had been very excited about this dinner because it was a medieval banquet. Aaron, Nicole and me made a rule that we would not use the silverware or whip our hands once. It worked! It was especially hard with the dessert but we managed. It was very staged and musical like. We drank mead! So authentic.

Waking up early tomorrow to fly back.

I will miss you Ireland and I know I will see you again.

Cheers!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Killarney Dreaming


I started the day sleepy. No morning dramas, just lack of sleep.

I didn't really get a good night sleep for many reasons
  1. We got in REALLY late last night. My card did not work so I had to take extra time out to visit the reception desk for a new one. Awful
  2. I was worried about filming for my web project
  3. I was worried that I would not meet up with my friends tomorrow and would not be able to go horseback riding with them.
See how bad stress is! Eventually like I knew it would everything worked out!

I woke up fairly early, saw Nicole and we worked out some details regarding our potential adventure to find a place that does horseback riding. Caiti and I did an interview with our tour guide Joe. It was a nice interview.

DOWNFALL about today: when Nicole called about going horseback riding the guide recommended only 4 of us go. We had a group of 7 wanting to go. :( So being the adults that we are some backed down and left us with a group of 4, consisting of Andy, Nicole, Bethany and myself.

We had a taxi come and pick us up at 1:00 p.m. for our 1:30 p.m. appointment at Muckross Stables. It was a cute house with many sheep in the front yard. The man (who I can't remember his name) set all of us up in riding gear. My horses name was Davey and he was a wild one. It was different to ride this horse, you have to ride it European instead of Western. I made the mistake of the telling the guide that I only rode a horse once before during a guiding tour just like this one. So because I said that my horse was leashed to his horse. GREAT! Ha, no it was fun and beautiful scenery. The hour long guide took us through Killarney National Park. The guide loved his horses and taught us a lot about how to ride them up and down the hills.

When we got back it was time for us to get together with an editor from the news publication The Kerryman. Due to the dim lighting and comfortable seating it became hard to hear him. What was awesome though was that after his lecture with us he let me interview him about my project. Nicole helped me out and even asked a great question!

I'm still skeptical about my web project. I have many good interviews but not enough b-roll I think. Only time will tell.

I got some more souvenir shopping done, you all better love me.

It was technically our last night to get to out because tomorrow night we need enough sleep for our long voyage home on Friday. So a bunch of us went out to a pub/nightclub. It was a great time. I am really going to miss everyone here.

I love Ireland.

Cheers!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Kerry! Kerry! Kerry!


So long Cobh, you are absolutely beautiful and I love you.

On that note you may know that we left Cobh today and headed down south to Killarney. What is known to be an hour and a half drive took us nearly 6 hours. The bus ride started off great with some awesome country songs. Shout out to my mom during
The Gambler by Kenny Rodgers. Than someone had the brilliant idea to play a CD Andy got at the radio station yesterday, so no more country. I was sad.

Our first hop off the bus landed me in a "Bog" Museum. What is a bog you may ask?! I think a pony. What the museum consisted of was fake houses with that time periods artifacts. Pretty cool. The pony's were adorable, and some of us were lucky enough to see them in...."love." Hmmmmmmm that was nice to see. Next to the museum was the Red Fox Inn which apparently had the best Irish Coffee in all Ireland. I did not have any. There's a good reason though...I was shopping : ) All of you should be prepared for some awesome pressy's.

The gloomy, rainy and foggy day led us to a bus tour! Perfect weather eh?! We visited the supposedly most beautiful place in Ireland known as the Ring of Kerry. All we saw was fog. Sounds disappointing but it was actually pretty funny. We always seem to make the best of every situation. Why not you’re in Ireland?!

Today was my day to cover one of our activities. The weather was awful but the demonstration was amazing. What demonstration may you ask?! Well a sheep dog demonstration. So cool! Keep your eyes peeled when our Ireland website finishes for the coverage. Shout out to my Aunt Annie (aka ajhein57) for her love of shelties. Thought of you the whole time! Finally I found a reason why Garnet’s barking was necessary.

A random part of today was when we were all told to hop off the bus, go into a pub and order a Guinness. The point of this turned out to be that we were than to go across the street and toast a Charlie Chaplin statue. It was cold and an interesting bus ride after the midday Guinness.

We stayed overnight in the Hotel International in Killarney. Killarney is a quaint and small town, filled with many boutiques, restaurants, and cobblestone roads. For dinner we ate at the “world famous” Danny Mann’s Restaurant. It was a great atmosphere. A live band called The Irish Weavers performed after dinner. So authentic! Great night. ☺

They also played Danny Boy, which really meant a lot to me.

Tomorrow is a free day in Killarney…who knows what kind of trouble I may be getting into ;)

Cheers!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Do You Remember Your First Kiss?!?!



GOOD MORNING!!!!

Our place here in Cobh is absolutely beautiful. It makes me happy : )

**sigh**

The day started off with a trip to REDFM, which is a trendy/hip radio station in Ireland. As soon as we walked in the door you got the same vibe you hear on the radio inside the actual station. One main lady helped by bringing people in to talk with us. We talked to the sales, programming, and production directors. Oddly enough radio is done in a format that the U.S. should definitely take on. They actually still make money AND still keep people interested! One very interesting fact that actually has to do with my web project is that on the radio they are not allowed to promote drinking or even talk about it in anyway. So for example if they were broadcasting outside of a night club they wouldn't be allowed to say come in for $2 draft night yaddayadda. We do that religiously in the States, but not seen here. Interesting stuff.

Next trip = Blarney Castle...and you know what that means!!!

When we arrived at Blarney Castle immediately Nicole and myself ate. I had this awesome egg-salad sandwich. Besides the point...on to the juicy stuff. The grounds of the Castle were stunning. Everything was so green and there were cows! We explore the underground dungeons a little but than decided we need to find what we were really after...the stone! Seriously, we were on a mission. It felt like we were climbing the Statue of Liberty to get to the top of the Castle. The steps were worn thin from people walking and soo narrow. At last! We arrived at the stone. My nerves preceded me and I was having my doubts. But I kissed it! I feel more intelligent and can speak more eloquently already.

I thought it would have been more magical. I expected to have a moment there with the stone. Instead I just had a moment with death and it was awful. I have never been more terrified to be dangled off of a Castle before. Hmm have I done that before?

After touring the grounds a tad more and than doing some shopping (for only you 3 readers of course though) we hopped back on the bus for a night of relaxation...consisting of exploring downtown Cobh.

I think I laughed more this night than I ever have. I love my Ireland friends <3

Cheers!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Cobh on the Cob




Bonjour Cobh (spoken as Cove)!

This morning we arrived at our lovely Bed and Breakfast at a seaside resort in Cobh. On our journey hear we saw what the Irish country side actually looked like. I had been so used to Dublin and the 'city life' that it was different seeing all the green that Ireland is known for. All the green was beautiful and quite overwhelming. There is hills and mountains that you can see in the distance that just add to the beauty of Ireland.

Also we drove past sheep and cows!!!!!

We stopped on our way to Cobh to a place called Wicklow Mountain National Park. Wicklow is an old monastery. Many grave-sites are still seen there, some dating back to late 1700's. Some buildings were still intact and it was amazing to hear their tales of what they were used for. St. Kevin was the one who the church and monastery's were named after and for. Joe, our new tour guide/leader gave a great tour and went into many details about the various archeology left.

Sheep were also right behind a fence by the tombstones.

Once we arrived at our beautiful abode we had a chance to settle in and than a Titanic tour was in store for us. Now, before I get to the tour let me tell you about this apartment. HUGE! Flat screen TV, leather sofas, 8 person dining room table, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, huge showers...basically I'm living the life and am purposely rubbing it in to make you all jealous.

Our Titanic tour guides name was, Michael Martin, and he actually wrote numerous amounts of books regarding the Titanic and Ireland's history with it. The tour was beautiful. We walked all around the city and learned about more than just the Titanic. My favorite part of the tour was when we were standing right at a statue made in honor of those that helped with the ship Lusitania, which was a ship that sunk not far off the coast from where we are. It had 2 exhausted looking fishermen at the bottom of the statue, with an angel on top. Very powerful statue. The fishermen are there because of their valiant efforts to help in saving those that were in the water.

We than had a family dinner at the chinese restaurant inside our cozy bed and breakfast.

Tomorrow = a special kiss kiss with a little you know what ; )

Cheers!


Saturday, May 15, 2010

Dublin Tears


FREE DAY!!!!!!!!!

I woke up around 10ish to get ready for a day of working on my project with Caiti. Once we got all ready we walked around to a couple pubs to ask if we could film there and get some interviews. After that didn't really work because they were either really busy, short staffed or not even open we decided to just get the equipment and shoot some b-roll and maybe a man on the street interview.

Well I guess you could call our first encounter an interview....or a strip tease. As we were setting up the tripod and camera a man decided to take his belt off (provocatively) and than off his shirt went. He threw his shirt at the camera and I asked him politely to please stop and the camera was not even recording. He continued and it was embarrassing. OH PEOPLE!

Overall we got some great shots and our 'homebase' pub O'Sheas let us film inside and we got a great interview with a manager. I guess I should tell all you lovely readers my project. I am focusing on Irish drinking policies and how the perception of Ireland is wrong when it comes to drinking. Caiti's is comparing Pittsburgh Irish pubs and their atmosphere to the ones here. We all have some insight on that one ;)

Later in the day we were going to go to the Guinness factory but not everyone in our small group was back so a couple of us went with Aaron to see his local friends and some went to eat. David and me followed Aaron and hung out for a bit. I had to be back by 6:30 to see a comedy show with some others. BUT when we got to the theater they needed to see ID just for regulation purposes, but one person in our group didn't have one so we could not go.

Since it was our last night in Dublin everyone went out.

I still love Ireland always and forever.

Cheers!

Friday, May 14, 2010

I Left My Whistle in Belfast

Before I get to today’s very interesting day I will describe last night:

A couple of us went to karaoke at a pub near by named The Legal Eagle for only a few drinks. The first song we sang was Under the Sea from the Little Mermaid. Nicole and me were Andy’s back up singers…but he pretty much stole the show. A couple other songs were sung. Fun and relaxing night indeed.

EARLY MORNING!

We all needed to be downstairs in the lobby and ready to head to Belfast by 6:30am. Cheers for no drama in the morning! We were all ready and downstairs on time. As a group we all walked to Connolly Station to catch a train to Belfast. The train ride was a nice and smooth one. I slept for most of it while Caiti had a photoshoot with me. Check out her Facebook page to see what I am talking about. Once we arrived in Belfast, which if you don’t know is apart of the UK. We were greeted by cloudy skies and a motor coach.

Belfast Highlights:

  • Saw the Ireland’s largest Celtic cross
  • Murals line mostly every house side. The murals say things regarding war, peace, memories of people, etc. My favorite quote from one is, “Prepare for peace. Ready for war.” The amount of time, thought, and effort that people must have put into making them is immense. It is hard to believe that the people of Belfast walk past them every day and are consistently reminded of their history.
  • Catholic vs. Protestants: in previous years Belfast has had a civil war between the Catholics and Protestant people. Our tour guide said that within the last 10 years or so the trouble has calmed down greatly. To me, I could still sense the remains of a diverse community. Megan, on our trip, used the word ‘stained’ to describe how she saw the city.
  • We hiked up to the parliament building inside Belfast. It was an amazing building, high up on a hill with lots of green surrounding it. Against the blue sky it was very pretty. An interesting fact our tour guide told us about the building is that during World War II since the building was white they needed to camouflage it. What they did was cover the building in poop. Hmmmm….I guess that is a good tactic.
  • For lunch we visited the place where the Titanic was built. One of the stacks that held the ship up during the construction weighs 4 tons. You should see how many there were lining the bottom of the building site. That must have been one heavy boat.
  • Director of Digital Development at the Belfast Telegraph, Gerry Patterson, met with us for a quick lecture. His lecture was probably one of my favorites of the trip this far. He spoke with us about his job and also was very open about his personal experiences between the Catholic and Protestant feuds.

For dinner we all went to The Morning Star. It was so good. Our table split 2 bottles of wine and had a great time. Very filling.


On the walk to The Morning Star I whistled! I was so shocked because I normally can’t whistle a tune! The whole stroll to the restaurant (which was a hike) I was whistling. So happy. I can’t change my pitch yet, but practice will help.

A couple of us headed up to the pub we went to the first night and met up with a few others in the group there. We than went to the ‘touristy’ area for pubs called Temple Bar and all bonded and had a great time!

Me and Alvi shared a moment when I came in at night. It was sweet. Love you Kristina I am so happy you came on this trip!!!!

J

Ireland keeps me happy

Cheers!