Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Goodbye, Dublin

I've been home in the States, back and forth between my house in Ocean Grove, NJ and my apartment in Philadelphia, for the past week and a half. The adjustment back into the fast-paced atmosphere, 90 degree weather, and less adventurous lifestyle has been a tough one, to say the least. Part of me is glad to be home, but I'm also yearning to be walking the streets of Dublin once again. My trip ended with a visit from my family (Mom, Dad, and twin sister) who then flew back to Newark with me. Here's a sneak peak into my travel journel from my final day in Ireland to show you how the transition back into American life first began:

"It's my last day in Dublin and I don't know what to do with myself. I've walked down my favorite streets, had a picnic lunch from Dunnes in St. Stephen's Green, made a final purchase (striped nautical dress), ate soda bread, took my last Luas ride, got my Toms wet in the rain, and sat in the park behind Dublin Castle. The only thing left to do is pack, nap, and go to Brazen Head, the oldest pub in Ireland.

I have mixed feelings about leaving after an exceptional 6-week experience, but I'm so thankful that I got to end this journey with my family. They got to experience some of my favorite foods, places, and memories alongside me. I got to visit the Cliffs of Moher again, and had a surprise 45 minute adventure in Galway. I kissed the Blarney stone for the second time, and visited another section of The Burren. I brought my family on a day trip to Howth, my favorite seaside town in Dublin County, as my trip came full circle. Here are some images from my last week in Ireland, maybe they can express my love of this country better than my words can."
After living in Ireland for  5 weeks, seeing the country through my family's eyes gave me a fresh perspective. They were particularly impressed with Dublin Castle, which for me, was just another beautiful park. My sister's favorite part of the trip was our day-long excursion in Howth, a fishing village north of the city, but still in Dublin County. Sharing my favorite places, foods, and scenery with my family made my trip more meaningful, and I did my best to pass along my newfound knowledge from my Irish Studies classes to enlighten them on some of the quirks of Irish culture. I feel so lucky to have gotten to impart my studies onto them as an unofficial tourguide of the Emerald Isle, becaues it helped my journey to come full circle as I ascended from student to teacher.

Can you tell my mom is jet lagged?

My sister admiring the flowers on Grafton St.

Looking over the bay in Howth

Climbing the Cliffs of Howth

My sister discovering the flora of The Burren

Eyre Square in Galway

Family Kodak Moment in front of Dublin Castle

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