Be forewarned this post is long. really long. however I wanted to remember everything.
I got serious butterflies on the drive to the airport. I was nervous because I was not only going to a foreign country for a month but I was going with a group of people I had never met and all of a sudden I felt more nerves and anxiety in that moment than in my entire life. I said my goodbyes quickly and jumped out of my friends car, saying goodbye made me want to cry but I quickly reminded myself that I was going to Europe, I worked and studied everyday for months for this, it was going to be great and wonderful and everything. I pulled my suitcase to the meeting place of our group. One by one each one of us arrived and it oddly felt like the first day of kindergarten. I tried hard that first few hours to be sweet, funny, and myself- but was failing miserably (nerves tend to do this to me). Thankfully after a quick flight to JFK from SLC I got some shake shack in my system and was feeling this whole trip again. Basically food is happiness. The flight from JFK to DUB was a blur. We arrived and I felt completely exhausted yet completely invigorated. Once exiting the airport we made our way to our tour bus and for the first time I got to breathe in the perfect Ireland air. It was beyond perfect and I was in love. We drove toward Dublin and even though everyone looked and felt like death we had to tour the city the whole day. Needless to say I was feeling a little against the whole travel a whole day after that much flying but I loved hearing all about Dublin and seeing what a beautiful place it was. Every part was so well manicured and taken care of. The people were all so put together and I definitely felt like hiding my face because did I mention we were still not aloud to freshen up for lets say 24 hours- hashtag looking gross. Finally after a long and wonderful day of traveling we arrived at our hotel- a hotel with a very very popular night club underneath. We received room assignments and we all headed up. At this moment in the trip I wasn't sure how everyone else was feeling but I was really worried that I was going to be a third wheel on everyone else's fun and I became strangely aware that everyone on the trip brought a buddy. However through some grace I was roomed with Taylor Brown- basically a God send for me on this trip. Taylor and I ventured out for food with a hope of not getting lost so we stayed close to our hotel mainly because we were so exhausted. We found a burrito restaurant that was kind of like a mini chipotle. I knew when we both agreed on this as our first meal in Europe we were bound to get along. Anyone who appreciates spicy food and extra guacamole is good in my books. We sat outside chowing down and enjoying Dublin- looking at the perfect men, perfect fashion, perfect streets. We walked a few blocks and headed back to our room for an early night- 6pm. We were dead and I was not ashamed. We both took Tylenol PM and said see you later.
I awoke the next morning feeling pretty good about my nights sleep. 12 hours will do amazing things for your body and spirit. Our group headed to Powers Court about 30 minutes from Dublin. The drive alone was one of those moments where every single person on the bus was really in awe of what the scenery of Ireland was and how perfectly green the whole country was. The rolling green hills filled with fluffy white sheep and cloudy skies. It was everything I had hoped for. Upon arriving I got to meet Brittany Antoine really. Her and Taylor came on the trip together and I bet they weren't expecting me to crash in on their party but I felt at home with the two of them. Felt like I could be my self around them and that was that- #besties. We basically spent everyday the rest of the trip together and people on the trip kept mistaking us for lifelong friends. Another great reason I loved this day because I finally felt like I belonged on this trip and felt like although I am going to see some of the most beautiful things in the world I want to experience those things with people who would truly appreciate my presence and who I felt would make the trip better altogether. Anyways we wandered around the mansion for hours. toured garden after garden and climbed to the top of towers. I felt like I was on the set of Pride and Prejudice and I was about to crash Mr. Darcy's tea time. After our time in Powers Court we headed to what I can remember was a small hotel that was surrounded by hiking trails that took you to the lake, graveyard, and church. It was such a fascinating experience to see the graveyard and us girls spent a few hours going through and reading the old tombstones and reading all about their lives. We than took a quick walk to the lower lake and saw the fog and rain roll in over the lake- truly breath taking. That night brittany squared and taylor headed toward the bar scene in Dublin just to check it out and see what it was all about. We had the best burgers and rosemary fries at a small place called gourmet burgers. We sat outside and got to know each other over our food, we people watched, and we laughed a lot. Our walk home included a screaming Irish girl and shock as we walked up to our hotel. We knew it was a club but little did we know it was the most popular club in all of Ireland. The line stretched a block down but we thought we would just ask and see if we could get in- we did and for free! Us girls headed downstairs and to the dance floor. We had the best time dancing together to lots of American pop hits! We explored the club a bit and found others from our group and then the americans created a mormon circle of appropriate dancing. I was just thinking they have to know we are not Irish. But it was one of my favorite moments from the whole trip. We really danced the night away- well until a little past curfew. That I laid my head down on my pillow and felt so happy about the day and a little nervous for our 4am wake up call to take a ferry to England.
Stay tuned for the story of Great Britain.