Friday, October 30, 2009

ireland, take 2

ok now that i am mostly awake i will post more about the wonderful country of ireland. because it really is a wonderful country. and it is really green. and pretty.

there was so much to do in dublin, we really had no idea what to do with ourselves. so we had our map out in the first 5 minutes and some precious old irish man came up to us and pointed us in the right direction. so then we started wandering. and found all sorts of fun things. then we got on one of those cheesy open air tour buses and rode around the city. then they are like, "next stop, Dublin Castle." so we get all excited and jump off because its a freaking castle and we wander into the courtyard and there is like nothing to do and it really doesnt look like a castle at all so we were a little sad. but i still took pictures of it. because thats what you do when you are a tourist.

then we just started milling around dublin. we went to trinity college and found these little english children who were precious. and then we went into the student center or something and discovered irish fanta. oh. my. gosh. i cannot begin to describe how good irish fanta is. like im gonna call ireland and ask them to send me cases of it. i basicalyl got dehydrated because all i drank was fanta. i could go on about this for hours but i won't do that. but we had fanta tonight at dinner and it was not the same because it is not made with real fruit.

basically the rest of the time in ireland we went shopping. which was funny. because we kept finding these random underground malls. and we were like oh my gosh its an underground mall. so we would stay in there for hours. and i found an awesome pair of boots. and a cool necklace. and something else... i bought a lot of things. including an irish CD set. it has two CDs in it. so its awesome. i mean i think it is. i havent played it yet though. b/c my computer doesnt have a CD drive.

but i really did love our bus driver Des. he hugged us all like 5 times when we got off the bus. i may have already said that. but he was awesome.

ireland is also land of the fried food. and its kind of like america. i mean we had papa johns for crying out loud. and it made me sick.

what else can i say about ireland? me and cherith might have had a run in with bed bugs. i am not so sure. but she was attacked by something. and i have one bite. but its not a big one. but it itches. so who really knows.

in this one hostel we stayed in there was this french family or something and they had free internet access so the kids were always on it but every time we walked by they freaked out and hid under the table. it was kind of funny.

i dont know if i talked about the queen of tarts yet because, to be honest, i have been writing this same post for like 4 days now and i don't know what i have said so far. but the queen of tarts was like the best restaurant ever. they made all kinds of pastries and what not and i had apple crumble and it was amazing.

the funny thing about hostels is that all the bathroom floors turn into swimming pools after you take a shower. or at least ours did. so thats upsetting. but we persevered. i felt so nasty after that week. because its like, yeah, i took a shower, but then i have to go lay in this nasty hostel bed where other nasty travelers have slept. so you are just completely gross. and it rained in dublin every single day. but it was fun.

oh. another fun thing we did was go to church in st. patrick's cathedral on sunday. it was cool.

i think i am done talking about ireland now.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

des, where the crap are we?

so i am on free travel right now. and somehow i have wound up in some tiny irish village called lisdoonvarna with nothing to do. but it really is fun. i took a two hour nap. which is the ultimate in pitiful especially when you are on free travel, but when the only place to go in a village is called the matchmaker bar and guarantees a marriage to someone in like 2 days, your options are a little limited on evening activities. we got on a bus to see the cliffs of moher and our driver dropped us off at our hostel (which is real precious by the way and has a great bathroom with a great shower in it) and so we haven't known what to do with ourselves at all.

but our bus driver was real precious and his name was desmond murray (but we called him Des for funsies) and he kept trying to kick me off the bus because he said i had my claddagh ring turned the wrong way. but he was just kidding... i think... i mean he eventually let me back on... after like 5 minutes. whatever.

so i love ireland. it is amazing. i want to live here. like forever. dublin is amazing. i can't even tell you. and my first hostel experience went fine, although it is strange to walk into a room full of like 12 strangers who you will be sleeping with that night. but it was fine. actually it was really fun. then the next day our showers were freezing cold, but it was funny. a lot of funny things have happened on this trip.

but the funniest is the fact that we are stuck in lisdoonvarna. but no worries, des said he would come back and get us around 1 tomorrow, maybe a little earlier, or a little later. haha. i mean i really hope he comes back.

we went to some fun irish places today and des said its where the fairies and leprauchans live. it looked like it. kinda creepy.

this post is real jumbled. but i found an awesome halloween costume so its just great.

ok well i will post again when i return from free travel, if i make it home, which i think i probably will. unless i decide to stay in ireland. which is highly likely.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

picture it, sicily, rain

so we got back from southern italy. i honestly can't exactly tell you what we did on this trip. i only remember snippets which is a sad fact since we were only there a day ago. i did have my first overnight train ride. the experience was fun. but sleeping on a train is not the funnest. they gave us some sort of odd bag to sleep in. and a glorified cotton ball as a pillow. but it was still fun times i guess you could say.

but italians don't move when you say scusi. they just stand there. so i accidentally shoved this italian woman into the window on my way to the bathroom. and she got ticked. but i was like i have to pee so youll have to deal with it. then the bathroom didnt have toilet paper. and i came to the awful realization that the pee gets dumped on the train tracks. and i felt a little disturbed by this.

but then we got off the train and everything was better.

we did a lot of on site classes. at one point, i started writing notes about how much i missed cinque terre. those were fun to go read later. then one day we went to greek temples that apparently the best preserved or something (yeah, chew on that one HUG people). and those were really cool, but it was pouring rain so half the time i had my head down to avoid getting rain in my face so the only glimpses i got where when i braved the elements and looked up. but it was still awesome.

then one night we go to dinner, and i knew we were having fish, but the fish was looking at me when they sat it down. like they cut the head off but placed it ever so nicely on the plate with the rest of the body curled around it. i was so sad and also very repulsed by this. someone had to remove the head immediately and then i had a hard time eating the potatoes because they smelled extra fishy. but someone did cut me a bite of the fish. and i cut that bite in half and ate it. so it was fun.

we went to a lot of museums on this trip. and saw some theater where the godfather was shot. and ate like 7 canolis. which were good.

i almost forgot. i tumbled down a mountain on this trip. there was this big mountain of a rock next to the beach in one town we were in (i can't remember the name, it was difficult). and so we are sitting on it, star gazing and having deep conversations like one does on big rocks. and then it was time to leave and i had on my flip flops and i had some bad foot placement and fell on my face into a black abyss. i saw the end coming. for real. but then i realized that i wasnt being tossed about the sea and hadn't hurt myself so i started laughing. i do have a lot of scratches and an angry bruise to show for it though. it just would have been sad to die in the land of the mob. because i feel like people would always want to try to connect it to the mob. and they have a bad enough reputation as it is.

we did a lot of other things. saw a lot of ancient paraphernalia. talked about how we wanted to go back to cinque terre. got on a bunch of boats.

we got on one boat and i almost tossed my cookies. so i took two sleeping pills and knocked myself out. but you know what? i would get on that boat again. i like that swaying motion. its fun times. but what wasn't fun times was feeling like you were on the titanic and then you suddenly hear "my heart will go on" playing over the ship's loudspeaker. i mean really? its ok though. me and my friend did interpretive dance to it on the deck and it entertained this old italian couple who was watching us. so thanks celine.

we went to pompeii. it was really awesome actually. they were really modern for their times. it just felt funny to walk through those streets knowing a ton of people died there. and the casts they had of the dead were very eerie.

overall it was a good trip. fun times were had. we had a busdriver named luigi, a fact that is only made funnier by the fact that we have also had a bus driver named mario. but i have to be honest and say my heart is still in cinque terre. i cannot wait to come home and shalack my rocks.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

cinque terre = love

view of some of the towns

view from the pier

Vernazza, where we stayed

i have two words for you all. cinque terre. please make room in your life plan to go here. because it is the most amazing place i have ever been in my whole life, which i realize has only been like 21 years. but i have been to disney world. so keep that in mind.

no seriously. this place is gorgeous. it is a string of 5 coastal downs on the side of the meditterranean sea. and every last one of them was amazing. we stayed in Vernazza. google it. it has this amazing pier where i would just go sit for hours and stare out at the sea. it never got old. i could have sat there for days.
as soon as we got there we checked into the most precious hotel ever. and it had a lovely shower, even though the shower curtain attacked me. it was one of those that clings to you. so everytime i got to the body wash phase of the shower i got completely wrapped up in it. but other than that it was nice. and you may think you have had good continental breakfast at hotels, but you haven't. sorry you've been lying to yourself your whole life. this place made amazing pastries every single morning. i can't even begin to tell you how good they were. and then they gave you a cappuccino too if you wanted one. and you may think you have had good cappuccino too, but you haven't. so don't tell me you have. b/c you will be lying.
so after we checked in we all started wandering around the city. every building was a fun color, like pink and green and red and all pastel colors and stuff. and then we got to the beach and there were precious boats tied together in the bay. and these big rocks that you could sit on. and an amazing bell tower. and oh my goodness it was just precious. so then i discover the pier. and i couldn't extract myself from it for hours. i cannot even begin to describe how gorgeous it was. i wish you could look in my brain. but its probably just easier for you to look at the pictures. so do that instead.

so they have a hiking trail between all these towns. so the next day after breakfast we all take a train to the first one and start hiking back. the first one was called the road of love or something. so robbie made us mack on eachother the whole way. but it was precious. and i had to stop every 5 seconds and take pictures of the view. eventually we found a beach and this is where my obsession truly began. i was just sitting there looking at the water and i noticed that the rocks were basically gorgeous. and so i started collecting them like they were seashells. and pretty soon my bag was full of rocks. and some of them were massive. but i didnt care. so now i have like 25 rocks from cinque terre. and i am going to shalack them and put them in a vase. and you will all be jealous of my rock collection.

after we left the beach we kept hiking. and then we got to stairs. and mind you there were over 300 stairs. and so we had to trudge up them. and i thought i was going to die by the time i got to the top. but there was a restaurant so we stopped and fueled ourselves so we didn't pass out. i got pesto lasagna. maybe one of the best things i have ever eaten. oh and did i mention that pesto originated in this area? yeah. so it was extra good. and surprisingly, i tried swordfish and liked it. and i hate seafood. like, i despise it. but it was really good. then we keep hiking on. and this trail is basically the trail of death with a few gorgeous views interspersed. and i had a skirt on. but it was ok. and i am glad i persevered on. like 2 hours later we made it back to vernazza and then got on a boat to the next town and people swam and stuff. and i just stood there with my feet in the water staring at the sea. i spent a lot of time staring out to the sea on this trip.

that night we spent more time wandering around. and i had pesto pizza, because i thought i should soak up the oppurtunity to have really good pesto. and spent more time staring at the sea. and we had a sunset devo on the rocks. and it was amazing. and these people from southern africa asked us to sing silent night. and it was precious.

the next day we had to do a photography assignment and then, me and andrew trekked to the top of this tower in vernazza and there were amazing views from that too. then after we came down, surprise surprise, i sat on the pier and stared at the sea. listening to coldplay's "swallowed in the sea" while staring at the water and listening to the waves was probably one of the best moments of my life. i almost cried when we left. this place was just amazing.

after that we had to find our way back on trains with our massive backpacks on. and it was hilarious. and we looked like crazy tourists. and people were annoyed with us but it was fun. then something happened on the bus and i went insane. and so the rest of the night everyone was hyperactive. but eventually i fell asleep. and it was good.

Friday, October 2, 2009


so i just got back from hours and hours of onsite classes where i fell asleep like every 5 seconds. but it was all worth it because i FINALLY got to see the david. i just stood there gawking at it. and took sneaky pics of it. i just kept walking around it in circles. i am probably going to have to go back like every day. we saw a ton of stuff today though. its all a blur.

lets go back to the soccer game though. it was so fun. italians are insane about their soccer. at one point we looked down and there was red smoke coming from somewhere in our stands. and i was like well this life has been a good run. i guess if youre going to die, its fun to die at an italian soccer game, but it was just some weird thing they do at soccer games since do one else freaked out. then we looked over and some guy had fallen over the balcony and there were paramedics everywhere. always a good time. but florence won! so yay. then some sketch guy on the bus stole a girls wallet that is here. not a good time.

this week has been full of on site classes. which consist of us gathering around statues and listening to this lady talk on and on for hours and then writing about it in our moleskins. i enjoy it most of the time. but not on days like today. when i am delirious. i really liked where we went on wednesday. it was a bunch of midevial towns and one of them had the worlds best gelato. and im not just saying that. they have won the award twice. i got banana flavored. it was good. i dont remember much about the rest of that day. but we did go in a really pretty church where i went picture crazy. and i bought a scarf.

then the next day we went and did a grape harvest. and i dont know why, but i decided to wear flip flops. lets keep in mind that there are like tons of rocks and uneven soil in these vineyards. i was sliding all over the place. but it was fun picking grapes. we didnt stomp them or anything. they weren't ready for that.

one terrifying thing about picking grapes is the amount of spiders everywhere. i was basically having mental breakdowns every 5 seconds. then as i was sitting there eating my lunch, andrew is all "meagan you have a massive spider on you." and i did. it was very large and very hairy and it was crawling all over me and i spazzed out.

the vineyard we went to was in chianti or something. and the mayor came and saw us while we were there. he had on camo. we didn't know he was the mayor. and they made us sing the national anthem. it was a precious moment.

last night we had a review of london musicals. i will probably have to see all of them. so im just gonna go to london now. then we watched hairspray. and i sang and danced the whole time even though i don't really like that movie very much. but it was still good times. ok well. i have massive amounts of homework to do since i can't seem to grasp the concept that i still have to do homework even though i am in italy.