Happy spring everybody! (Yes, it is officially spring for me, even though it was February 1st for the Irish). The weather is amazing, as it is finally starting to warm up. Unfortunately, that means it will rain a whole bunch in the next few months. Good thing I like the rain!
Last week my friend and my sister, Gracie, came to visit me for the week, and we had loads of fun! The first day was a bit hard since they had to stay awake in order to not have that much jet lag. But I kept them occupied by showing them around the city and introducing them to my friends here. They explored the city and different coffee shops while I was in class, and when I was free we would do touristy things or go back to Halls to make dinner and hang out. One day we took the DART to Howth, which is a small fishing village north of the city. It was extremely windy, and a bit cold, but the coastal views were very nice.
One day one of my Irish friends and I took them to a wax museum. I had never been to one before, but I found it super cool and at times a bit creepy. There were all sorts of different themes per room, and of course, being Ireland, they had a section for the potato famine. We also spent a lot of time trying different places to eat. Of course Gracie had to try the famous Butlers hot chocolate, the gelato, and crepes. We also went to a really good vegetarian restaurant which served vegan food, since my friend is vegan. The night before they left we walked around the Temple Bar area, which was packed with people from all over the world coming to celebrate St. Patrick’s day. There was so much live music, and so many buildings were lit up green. The outside of Trinity was completely green.
Sadly they had to leave early Saturday morning on Paddy’s day. (Here St. Patrick’s day is usually shortened to just Paddy’s day, short for St. Pádraig.) After they left I went back to Halls to nap before tackling the rest of the day. Later that morning my friends and I got our celebratory gear and went to see the parade. I have found Irish parades to be rather… interesting. They’re always full of strange floats and costumes that don’t really seem to have a theme, but it was fun to see anyway! Most of the parade was filled with American marching bands, which was a bit bizarre to see. We saw the bands from Stephen F Austin, University of Alabama, Perdue, and many other schools that we were familiar with.
The city was wild that day (well pretty much the past couple days too), so we headed back home to bake an Irish cake, watch Irish movies, and enjoy the rest of the holiday at Halls. Paddy’s day was also the day of the Grand Slam, which is the rugby version of the Super Bowl. Ireland went up against England, their biggest rival, and (thankfully) they won! Everyone was ecstatic, and the pubs were full of rugby fans watching and celebrating the game. Monday was a bank holiday (so the country had time to recover I’m guessing), so it gave me time to catch up on school work that I didn’t get done over the busy weekend and while my sister and friend were visiting.
Tuesday a couple of my school friends and I got to go to Google! My friend’s mom works at Google, so she invited us to come for lunch and get a tour of the building (which is, although not for long, the tallest building in Dublin). My friend told us that she works in sales, but she didn’t tell us until we arrived at Google that her mom has another job. The other being the boss of Google Ireland. She is in charge of Google Ireland, the headquarters for Google Europe! We were so surprised and amazed; we couldn’t believe that we got a personal tour and free lunch with the head of Google Ireland. It was a short visit, as her mom had to go back to work, but she invited us to come back sometime and talk with the engineers/programmers. You can imagine how excited we were!
That’s all I’ve got to say for now! Exams are coming up very fast (just two more weeks of school left before exam studying period!). We’ve got lots of studying ahead and lots to do before we are out for the summer. Until later, enjoy the spring weather!