Tuesday, December 18, 2012

There's No Place Like Home.

There is definitely no place like home, although Tallaght has become one of my many homes! I have been dreading this blog. It is bitter sweet really. I really can't believe it's time to head home already. My short time in Ireland has taught me a lot about myself. I have lived on my own far from home  before but this was different, I felt as though I had to learn a new type of independence. I was very far out of my comfort zone and I couldn't just pick up the phone to call friends and family whenever I wanted or needed to. I learned to rely on Jehovah in a whole new way! I think that is one of the most important things I will take with me from this experience. I have a long list of things in my journal of other things I have learned but I won't bore you with all of them.  I will never forget my new Tallaght family. I don't think they know how much of an impact they had on me. Last night they made a really nice announcement at the meeting that I was leaving and that they appreciated my visit. "It was nice of you to drop in" were the exact words. It got a great laugh. After the meeting the whole congregation got on stage for a group photo. I was amazed at how quick and organized they were. I have shot weddings with slower bridal parties! Jane and George were such great hosts. I will miss them so much. They will be added to the many parents that I already have..yet they are the first that I have in Ireland! I am so glad I was able to take this amazing journey. I recommend traveling to anyone who has the circumstances, especially if your traveling somewhere to expand your ministry. It may be a bit scary, and expensive...but it is so worth it and you will never ever regret it!

Thank you all for reading about my "amazing adventures." I hope I made them sound as amazing as they really were. It was really fun to share them with so many people that I care for. Honesty I must say  I'm surprised anyone even read it, (blogspot may still be lying to me about the actual number of readers) but I'm glad you did! I will post a few last photos for those of you that don't live close enough to see them in person.

Until next time.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Currently seeking qualified blog post titles..apply within.

I'm back in good ol Ireland. My last day is Rome was great. I soaked up as much as I could. Touring the Colosseum was something I will never forget. Along with the entry into the Colosseum you get to tour the forum which are grounds nearby full of old ruins. I found myself repeating throughout the day "I am in Rome!....ROME!!" It was also the only time I could say "when in Rome"...in Rome. Pizza was a staple for me throughout my visit to Rome. It is cheap and you can take it with you and go. When you walk into a pizza place you have a plethora of rectangular slices laid out before you to choose from, once you have looked for 5 minutes weighing your options and you finally decide  they throw it in the oven. I will definitely miss the pizza. My last day flew by and before I knew it I had to be to the airport to head back to Dublin. I met a nice girl from Minnesota who is going to a catholic college in Rome for a semester. We had a really nice conversation about religion and the Bible, I was able to witness for nearly 3 hours. I find young people to be more open minded and reasonable when discussing the Bible .  I'm happy to be back in Tallaght. It feels nice to be back in the company of people. I missed my Tallaght family. I'm staying with George and Jane...they are not of the jungle but they are the sweetest.

Things I've learned

- Italian people (meaning one man in Rome) really do say mama Mia.

- When I heard  police sirens in Paris I had to remind myself I was not in any of the Bourne movie chase scenes.

- I will always be caught and questioned by the owner of the bicycles I am photographing.

- 10 days without proper tea and biscuits was 10 days too many. 

- Black cats love me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

I'm the Map, I'm the Map, I'm the Map.

I want to apologize for my blog on Paris. I just retread it and it was very negative. I wrote that blog on the train to Venice at 7:20am  which was after the full night train I had just taken. I wasn't in the greatest state of mind. I really did enjoy Paris though. The art, the style, the culture, and the food was great.  I would highly  recommend visiting Paris if you haven't. Just go when it is warmer..and maybe take someone along with you....it's definitely a city you want to have someone to share everything with. Today we started our day at the Vatican. The paintings on the ceilings of the Sistine Chapel  were amazing. I was so happy to have company today. It felt like I knew Chantel, Ryan, and Krysta forever. I will definitely be visiting Vegas..not too soon though..I need a break from traveling. They were headed on a 10 day cruise today so we headed back to the hotel around 1. I felt so sad after they left. It was pathetic. I picked myself up though and tried to see as much as I could with the rest of my day. I first headed toward the Spanish Steps. I absolutely loved that part of Rome. I roamed the streets while I ate a slice of pizza. Next I headed towards Trevi Fountain, and then the Pantheon. I stumbled across a square with a small carnival which only added to my plethora of photos. I love that word...plethora. My trusty map escaped from my pocket. I called for it like Dora the Explorer calls for her map yet it never came back. I got a bit lost but being lost gives you an opportunity to see things you may not have if you weren't. I must say I am really proud of myself for how well I get around without ever asking for directions. I am patting myself on the back with my nontyping hand. Tommorow I will tour the Colosseum and try to make to the gardens of Villa Borghese. I am headed back to Ireland a bit early. I wanted to spend a bit more time with all my new friends before I leave.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Buongiorno from the Hive.

Hello there! I'm back to the land of internet. I unfortunately had to pay €3 for an hour at my last hotel so I was very limited on Internet usage. I arrived in Rome today. But first let me tell you about Venice. Venice is as beautiful as you would imagine it to be. There is a photo waiting to be taken around every corner and down every alley. I didn't know where to start. But I found a place and eventually couldn't stop. I really  liked Venice a lot, it was fun just wondering around and getting lost. There wasn't tons to do in Venice besides boat rides and a few cathedrals. It was very touristy there. I think i saw more Asians then Italians. They really really like taking pictures....of everything. All I did in Venice is walk around and take lots of photos. I was definitely content with that. The people in venice seemed much more friendly then the Parisians..I don't think that's too hard though. It had snowed the day of my train ride into Venice so the country side was glittering with fresh white snow. It was gorgeous. Train travel may take longer especially on the cheaper slower trains but the views are definitely worth the time. I left Venice this morning and was off to Roma. Another beautiful train ride. I am staying at a really cool place called The BeeHive Hotel. Half hotel half hostel. It's very homey feeling and super clean and modern. There are three witnesses here from Vegas and we are spending the day together tomorrow. I really needed that. It gets lonely doing EVERYTHING on your own. I find myself being very nosey in restaurants...I tend to place myself in people conversations even if I cant understand them..who thought I could be anymore nosey. 

Important numbers to remember.

5- the number of times I tripped going up stairs at museums, up metro steps, and in doorways.

3- the number of men I saw peeing in public places (metro, side of busy roads)

7- the number of people in my dorm room besides myself.

2- the number of  "Hotel Florida's" I have seen in Italy so far.

Sunday, December 9, 2012


Well it has been awhile. I had very ad Internet connection in Paris so I wasn't able keep you up day by day as I would have liked to.  I will try to break each day down the best I can. 

Wednesday, December 5th.

I took the Eurostar from Ashford (where Rachel and Adrian live) directly into Gar Du Nord. After I put my big back pack in a locker for the day I took off to explore. I must say I was very very overwhelmed. If I am being honest I felt a bit overwhelmed the whole time I was in Paris. I seemed to be walking in circles, or squares, or ovals... But I felt like I wasnt getting anywhere. I did a bit of shopping but didn't buy much. The rain came in the late afternoon and that was that. I was wet and very cold. The bright side was only my right foot was soaking wet. I didn't see anything super substantial that day. I felt kind of like Forrest Gump most of my trip... When he starts running and growing the beard..he says I just kept running and running...well I felt that way except I was walking. I just kept walking..and walking. I stayed with a couple outside of the city. They are related too sister from congregation in Tallaght. They didn't speak much english but they were very kind and sweet.

Thursday, December 6th

I started my day off at  the Louvre. It was as big as I thought it would be so I did my best to see the things I could in just a half a day. Of course I saw the Mona Lisa but it was a bit disappointing. It's a lot smaller than you think it would be. I found many other paintings and exhibits  to be far more interesting and beautiful. When I walked out of the Louvre I saw the Eiffel Tower for the first time (this trip) and it never fails to take my breath away. It is so iconically Paris. I had a hard time with the language barrier. I felt very stupid and very  American the whole time I was there. You may think you have style or that you may even be up on a certain trend ...not in Paris. You will most likely always feel under dressed or out of style. Parisians just carry themselves in a way that screams class and style.

Friday, December 7th

This was a Modern Art kind of day. I went to two modern art museums. The second Centre Georges-Pompidou was my favorite thing in Paris. The exhibits were on the 4th and 6th floor so it gave me  great view of Paris. The exhibits were really great. The creativity of the artists really blew  me away. There was also an amazing Dali exhibit... That man was cray but he had talent. My plan was to get the lift to the top of the Eiffel tower on my last night... But of course it was closed. Probably the continuous lovely rain.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Music to my ears

Hello there! I have had an ample amount of time to listen to music while on public transport or walking. These are just a few songs on my iPod I have been listening to and one song i just recently heard and really liked.


Monday, December 3, 2012

One Potato. Two Potato. Three Potato...Four

Coming to you from Dublin airport. My backpacks are full and I'm ready for part two of my trip. I am headed to to England today! I will be staying with Rachel and Adrian for the next two nights. I didn't take the weekend trip to Galway. I went just for a day with Michelle, Phillip, and a brother named Simon. He is....very English. We were meant to see the cliffs of moher on the way out to Galway. The cliffs of Moher are better known for there debut in The Princess Bride as "The Cliffs of Insanity". We had no chance of seeing them though...we could barely see ten feet in front of our faces because of the lovely Irish fog. Saturday we went to Glendalough. Its a quaint  little place in the mountains with medievil ruins and amazing views of the the many hills and valleys. One of my favorite places so far. You must google Glendalough (or wait to see my photos) Saturday night we went to Johnny Foxes the highest pub in Ireland. All the locals don't like it because they say it's touristy and loud...I must say that I loved. The Guinness was great and the atmosphere was very inviting and cozy on a cold wet night. I ran into a couple that is here for two months from Orlando... Praybin and Jasmine...they say hey hey Koronda!!

Things I learned this week.

- If you own a television you have to pay a yearly TV license. This fee is due whether you have cable or not. There are vans that drive around neighborhoods searching for TV owners that don't have a license. This made me very confused and distraught.

- In Tallaght (and maybe many other places) contact solution is not sold in grocery or convenient stores. Only in pharmacies that close at 6pm. No Rub solution costs between €11- €18.

- The whole potato thing is not a stereotype.We ate dinner at a pub in Galway. The meal consisted of turkey, veggies, and 3 different types of potato. (fries, mashed, and mashed potatoes in a fried cylinder type thing.)