My favorite picture of the Irish countryside

24 April 2011

Happy Easter!!!

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you had a good day.
Side note: Sorry if this blog gets a little off topic every once in awhile - I haven't been sleeping very good lately (I don't know if it's the time change or end of year stress, either way it's annoying!) and last night I literally didn't sleep at all so I've found I tend to get a bit chatty when I haven't slept!
My friends and I started out the morning going to Christ Church Cathedral for their Easter Service. I decided to wear my heeled boots (not a big heel, but enough to know it's there) - flats would have definitely been a better option! After church, we went to Gallagher's Boxty House in the Temple Bar (ironically, none of us got boxty) before heading down to Grafton Street (about a kilometer from Christ Church). We then decided we were going to go to Phoenix Park, and we were going to walk there. I really need to go back when I have the appropriate footwear as the park is gorgeous, but I was very focused on trying not to fall this time! I figured it up when I got home, and I walked 10.8 kilometers (almost 7 miles!) I feel like those boots (and my feet) should get a gold medal! I'm thoroughly impressed with the boots I was wearing because they honestly didn't hurt my feet until we were halfway through the park (probably around mile 5) and I don't have any blisters! I will be keeping these boots around for a long time!
And now - I am going to bed! Goodnight!

17 April 2011


Sorry, I didn't get this up yesterday, but I was waaaay too excited to write. Even my personal journal just has written I MET JOSH GROBAN!
I found out last week that Josh would be doing an album signing at the Celtic Note on Record Store Day. Naturally, I went out the next day and bought his new album, Illuminations (I would highly recommend it if you haven't bought it yet!) When I got to the checkout the man said, "And how would you like to meet this fine fellow on Saturday?" I managed to contain myself and replied with a simple, I would love that (but I was really shouting uh, YES! in my head!) My flatmate, Matt, and his girlfriend, Lenna, were very entertained with my enthusiasm for the whole event. I kept telling them that we didn't have this kind of thing in Kansas, but they still laughed (I'm sure I was very entertaining.) So at 11:45 yesterday morning, I arrived at the Celtic Note on Nassau Street and realized that Josh is a little bigger in Ireland than I thought! The end of the line was all the way around the corner (I think I had flashbacks to standing in line at the Garda!) I stood in line for a little over an hour before I got to the front and had the surreal experience of seeing one of my favorite singers about 10 feet away from me! OMG!
The line snaked its way through the store (it's not very big at all) and finally it was my turn! I believe this is what I told my mom afterwards:
Did you get that?
If not, here's a translation:
We shook hands, he signed the inside page of the little book, then he put his arm around me and we took a picture. It was very exciting.
I didn't really know what to expect since I'd never met a famous person before, but I have to say I was thoroughly impressed with Josh. They had a professional photographer there so you could go online later that day and download your picture (it made everything go much faster and it was free). In every picture I saw, he looks genuinely happy - no fake smiles or anything. Every person I heard him talk to he said nice to meet you and thanked them for coming before they walked away. Such a nice guy!
So that was pretty much the highlight of doing grad school in Dublin - completely validated the whole experience! :)
If anyone would like to go to his concert in KC on 25 May, please come along! We have a group of 6 or 7 already and would love to have more!
In case you haven't seen my Facebook lately, here's a couple pics from yesterday:

Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite (can't pick an absolute favorite) Josh Groban song:
Hidden Away
Over mountains and sky blue seas
On great circles will you watch for me
The sweetest feeling
I've got inside
I just can't wait to get lost in your eyes
And all these words
That you meant to say
Held in silence
Day after day
Words of kindness
That our poor hearts crave
Please don't keep them
Hidden Away

Sing it out
So I can finally breathe in
I can take in all you say
Holding out for something I believe in
All I really need today
I want to free your heart
I want to see your heart
Please don't keep you heart Hidden Away

You're a wonder
How bright you shine
Flickered candle in a short lifetime
Secret dreamer that never shows
If no one sees you than nobody knows
And all these words you were meant to say
Held in silence day after day
Words of kindness that our poor hearts crafe
Please don't keep them
Hidden Away

Sing it out
So I can finally breathe in
I can take in all you say
Reaching out for someone I believe in
All I really need today
I want to feel your love
Will you reveal your love
Please don't keep your love
Hidden Away

I want to free your heart
I want to see your heart
Please don't keep your heart
Hidden Away

12 April 2011

Coalition of the Willing

I'm not sure how many readers are still out there (hello? ECHO, ECho, echo)but, if you haven't jumped ship, take a look at this video:

It's a video on how we can all play a part in fixing the world (in a nutshell anyway). Enjoy!

24 March 2011

I love Oxfam

Last night, we had our Oxfambooks "Christmas" party. (It's an Irish Christmas ;) One of the volunteers owns a Mexican restaurant up in Malahide so we had our dinner there. I have found decent Mexican food in Ireland!!! So excited!!! He said the cook was from California so I think that probably has something to do with it. I discovered that they're as fascinated with American accents as we are with Irish accents which was very entertaining for me. All in all, we had a grand time and I thoroughly enjoyed everyone's company.

21 March 2011

Last Day of Spring Break

It's the last day of my 3 week Spring Break. I had all kinds of plans for what I was going to accomplish during these three weeks, but I don't think any of them were achieved! I have a feeling today will be spent doing lots of reading for Medieval Dublin.

17 March 2011

St. Paddy's Day

It's been a wonderful day with a surprising lack of all things stereotypically Irish! Dublin is definitely a lot crazier than Galway on St. Paddy's Day. Dublin was definitely an experience, but Galway still holds my vote for the best place to be in Ireland on 17 March! I started the festivities last night by going with one of my friends (who is also from Kansas) and some of her friends from Trinity. We found a pub with E5 cocktails (really exciting!) then went to Dame Lane where we met up with some of my friends from UCD. We ended the night at the Mercantile, which, of course, was PACKED! It closed around 2:30 and it took Laurrie and I until between 4:00 and 4:30 to find a taxi. I was soooo tired by the time I got back to my flat! This morning, I forced myself out of bed around 10:00 so I could get into town and get a good spot for the parade at noon. Turns out, I really didn't need to get there that early since the parade didn't actually start until 1:30 (a.k.a. an Irish noon). The parade was very strange, but really cool! It was based on a book written recently (I honestly don't know which one) so each section of the parade was a chapter from the book. Some of the creatures looked like they belonged in the Neverending Story! After the parade, our group went for lunch and I learned, yet again, that there is no such thing as authentic Mexican in Ireland. We went to a burrito place that had signs saying their ingredients and chef were all from Mexico. I'll give them points for spice, but that's about it. Dublin has carnivals come in for the St. Patrick's Day Festival, which lasts all week so we walked around those this afternoon. Unfortunately, they wanted E4 for one ride so we didn't actually ride any rides. We all decided to part around 4:00 so I thought it would be easy to get the bus since everyone was probably staying in town. Not so much. After two of my buses passed me because they were full, I decided to walk up to the next bus stop. Fortunately, I was able to get on there and made it home in record time since we were too full to stop and pick anyone else up! I don't think you could pay me to go back into town tonight, it's soooo crazy there! I realize I love being a tourist and encourage others to travel, but it's days like this when tourists really annoy me! Maybe it's because I can't convince people that I actually live here when there's so many tourists around or maybe it's because my daily life is slightly disturbed. Either way, I never realized how easy it is to spot Americans walking down Dame Street.

Irish quote about St. Patrick's Day:
St. Patrick - one of the few saints whose feast day presents the opportunity to get determinedly whacked and make a fool of oneself all under the guise of acting Irish.
~Charles M. Madigan

07 March 2011

Henri-Chapelle Trip

I posted a few pictures of Henri-Chapelle in my last post and I put all of the pictures up on Facebook, but I realize not everyone has Facebook, and I know my mom has sent my blog address to her Carlton cousins so I'll repost the pictures here. I apologize as this is going to be a very long post!

The main entrance from the road.

Every state's seal was engraved on the pillars at the front of the cemetery. Here's Kansas!

The U.S. seal is on the floor of the main entrance.

You can's see them very well, but the names of those MIA are engraved on the pillars at the front as well.

The guardian angel statue stands at the front of the cemetery.

I saw a grave with a poppy on it.

The top picture is the engraving on the back wall of the cemetery. The bottom two pictures are close ups so you can actually read what it says: "In Honored Memory of Those Who Gave Their Lives for Their Country."

The graves surrounding James'.

Almost 8,000 men are buried in this cemetery alone.

The maps show the routes of the different armies throughout the war.

The countryside surrounding the cemetery.

The main entrance.

Without the sand rubbed in - you can tell how much of a difference this makes!

You can order flowers to be put on the grave. When they receive an order, they put the flowers out on the date specified and rub sand into the grooves on the stone. They then take a picture and send it to you.

They rub sand from the beaches at Normandy into the grooves so the inscription shows up on camera better.

James was killed in action near Lucherberg, Germany, while his unit was trying to take a bridge.