Last week, I was lucky enough to have my family journey across the Atlantic and visit me for a few days! My parents and two of my brothers (sorry Chris) came to Maynooth to see me, but I think they were more excited to see Ireland…
They all landed at Dublin airport around 10 am on Wednesday, and I greeted them with open arms…at their hotel! Being a typical lazy college student, I favored my sleep too much to journey to the airport that ‘early’ in the morning. We all caught up for a bit before catching a bus into Dublin.
Of course the first stop I took my family was the Guinness Storehouse. I could tell they were all a bit jet lagged, but they were all troopers throughout the entire ‘experience’. My little brothers claimed they were missing out on the entire experience as my parents and I drank our complimentary pints of Guinness. Still, both boys seemed satisfied with their sodas at the end of our tour.
After the Storehouse, we came back to Maynooth so my family could nap away their jet lag. I spent some time doing school work before meeting up with them for dinner, where we planned out the rest of their stay.
We started Thursday with a small tour of Maynooth. I showed my family my campus, like where my classes are, where the gym was, and where my apartment is. I was relieved when my parents approved of how clean my room was, and my brother made sure to test out my tiny bed before we took a small tour of the town.
After a short walk through my college town, we all took a trip to Trinity College. We decided to see the Book of Kells, an ancient manuscript of the Gospels from the 300s AD. It was so cool to read about, and then actually get to see the pages preserved behind glass shocked me. Those pages were thousands of years old, but they were still in great condition. It was amazing those colors were still so vibrant after those thousands of years.
The famous Long Room followed the Book of Kells. The room was beautiful, with all different books stretching up towards the sky and filling the entire room. I think me, my mom, my dad, and my brother accidentally took pictures with the flash on, but thankfully we were not publicly humiliated by any uptight security guys.
We ate dinner in the famous Temple Bar District, and got to listen to some cool live music. We all joked and laughed over good food and cold drinks (thanks for paying Dad!) We all laughed a lot when my little brother was excited to read the restaurant name across the street, “Badass”. He thought he found a loophole to say a ‘bad’ word, but a stern look from my parents quickly made him shut his mouth. Still, he would snicker at the sign every time he looked out the window.
Friday quickly turned into an adventure when we all stepped off the train at Howth. I had previously written about hiking up some of the cliffs in this little town, but this time was different. Instead of just dipping my toe in the cliff walk, my family and I walked the entire loops around Howth. We hiked all the way to the lighthouse, where the winds were pushing us back towards safer ground.
I learned exactly where I got my fear of heights from when both of my parents were shouting ahead and me and my brothers “stay away from the edge!” We were all careful, but laughed as we saw my dad get more nervous the closer the path got to the steep drop off of the cliffs.
We had a nice lunch next to the harbor, and every time I ate with my family it made me more excited to come home in December. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in Ireland. If you haven’t caught on from this entire blog, being in Ireland has been a dream come true. However, my family is back in the USA. I have been missing being in New Jersey (something I really never admit) but I know it’s waiting for me in December.
Saturday was spent in Dublin again. We walked around the docklands, and saw the memorial dedicated to the victims of the Famine. We decided to get cultured and visited the National Gallery of Ireland, looking at some Irish art before going to the Natural History museum of Ireland. That hall was full of all these different animals of Ireland, and I was shocked at how many deer could fit in one room!
Of course, a family ‘vacation’ is not complete without getting a few souvenirs. On Saturday my 12 year old brother made sure to get himself a shot glass that said “Dublin” on it to our family’s confusion. I just laughed as we watched him pay for his new glass and afterwards made our way back to Maynooth.
We all ate together for the last time on their trip Saturday night. I had a pint with my parents, then said our goodbyes before their flight early Sunday morning. I hope they saw what I see in this great country. I’m so happy they were able to visit, even if it was just for a short time. I didn’t realize how much I had missed my family, so I am looking forward to
eating my bagels reuniting with my loved ones!
Finally, I do still have some travel plans brewing before finals come up, so be on the lookout for more posts in the next few weeks! I’m looking to do as much as I can before I have to reserve a spot in the library for a week during finals. Hopefully study won’t be too bad, but we’ll see! Sláinte!
And to Timmy who asked multiple times throughout the trip, “Is this going to be in your blog?” I hope this answered your question.