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DreamTravelerJess

Ireland Trip

IRELAND | Wednesday, 7 April 2010 | Views [699]

My trip to Ireland, only a short week, but I learned so much. This is my trip in full detail, along with some side bits of interesting things I learned, ate, and started collecting.

Friday, March 5th
I left my own little small town in New York, to travel to Montreal. Where I caught a plane to travel back to the states and land in JFK. In the Montreal airport the Marriot is located so conveniently next to the airport, and they had a beautiful restaurant that had modern french deco. And the food was good too! Once I arrived at JFK (which at the time was the biggest airport I had seen) I had a nice wait until my plane left for Dublin. I am an uneasy flyer, so I took some Dramamine, which helped, and I listened to soothing music. It helped.

Saturday, March 6th
I arrived! I had made the long 6 hour flight, and landed alive. I had bought an international cell phone through telestial, so first thing was first, I called home (even though it was 4:00 am). Since this was my first trip alone overseas, my parents were uneasy about me riding a train two hours to Waterford (where my host family lived). So, they hired a driver. His name was Marvin. He was supposed to take me on a tour of Dublin, and then bring me to Waterford, but because of miscommunications and time, I was driven past all the sites, which resulted in many blurry pictures. So out of the gate, I saw Marvin (he even had a sign) and he carried my bags for me to the car, and it was a surprise to me that he went to the right side of the car. I do and did realize that the steering wheel was on the other side than American cars, it just threw me off. I arrived in Waterford at 2:30 pm and met my host family, Catharina and Ollie (the parents) and Emma and Kate. Also, I met Kavya who is my host sister Kate's friend from college. Kavya is originally from the U.K. and moved to Ireland to go to school. That night, I had my first cup of tea (in my whole life) and had a true irish meal pork and potatoes. After being up for over 24 hours, I finally had to sleep.

Sunday, March 7th
I woke up to the smell of an irish breakfast or irish fry. An irish fry is sausage, baked beans, toast, eggs, ham and tea, of course. It was delicious, my friends from home would have been in heaven. After breakfast Catharina, Emma, Kavya, and I (Kate had to work) went to the JFK Park in New Ross. It was beautiful, and everything looked so green to me, after being buried in snow for the past few months at home. I met a lot of family members, and they all had a picnic at the park. That night I had a turkey dinner, and some of the family joined us. I learned that pie is called a tart, jam is what jelly is to me and jelly is jell-o. And I had a vanilla slice for desert, along with Cadbury and Aero chocolates, which you can't find at home.

Monday, March 8th
For breakfast, I had blaa and tea, blaa is only found in Waterford. It was almost like a biscuit with butter on it. But, it was very good. Today I had the day to myself, so I went into town, and got my hair died red at Karl's. First thing I learned is, they don't tip in Ireland, as much as the States anyways. Also, they offer you tea or coffee, when your getting your hair done! I had given the hairdresser a tip and I received funny looks. But she was so nice, she deserved it. After my hair was done, and I was finally a red head, I went to the Cathedral in Waterford, and I prayed for my return journey home. (Normally, I would have just taken pictures, but like I said, I'm an uneasy flyer). I went to the tourist agency on the Quay (pronounced Key) Discover Ireland, and the tourist guide handed me a few maps, and then I ate lunch there. I had shepard's pie and tea. Shepard's pie is made differently in Ireland than the way I am used to it, there is no corn. After my lunch, I decided to take a tour of the Waterford Musuem. The tour was an hour long, and afterwards I decided to shop. I shopped at a store called Occasions. Before, I left I already had a list made up of what I wanted, and for who (it was helpful, since I had allocated funds for it). I spent an hour in that tiny store, shopping and talking to the shop keeper, who was so friendly. He even helped me shop and gave me a free magnet. (Because he gave me a free magnet, I started collecting magnets of every place I went to in Ireland). Ollie picked me up after I was done shopping and took me to his mothers. She was the most ideal irish grandmother to me, she reminded me of my own grandma. We had tea, and Madeira cake with jam together, while an Irish soap opera played. For dinner I had Salmon (for the first time) and potatoes. It was a fun day.

Tuesday, March 9th
Emma and I took the 7:10 train to Dublin, to spend the day in Dublin. From the train station, we walked to National Museum of History. We were there too early, so we went into the cafe and had tea and a danish (a croissant with chocolate chips). After the museum, we took the Luas to Dublin Castle, and took the tour there. After the 12:00 tour at Dublin Castle, Emma and I went to Temple Bar, and ate at The Quay. After a good meal, and apple crisp for desert, we walked to St. Patrick's Park and Church. Of course, we fit in shopping before we had to go back to the train station. I bought the rest of souvenirs at Carrolls, Easons, and then we went to Penny's. Pennys is now my favorite store I have ever been to. I bought a nice pair of jeans for 9 euro! It was very cheap, but with many stylish clothing. After our day in Dublin, we took the train back to Waterford, and watched UP! It's a good movie.

Wednesday, March 10th
We went to Mahon Falls (pronounced Man Falls), where I saw sheep, and the most beautiful sights I have ever seen. We drove along the South Eastern Coast of Ireland, where we stopped at numerous places for pictures. For dinner, I had my first "chipper" experience, and we ate at the boardwalk.

Thursday, March 11th
Emma and I went into town, and I visited her school. Schools are mostly gender separated in Ireland, and all schools where uniforms. This was a shock to me, as I come from a public school system. For lunch we had popcorn chicken that was put inside french bread like it was a sub. I have been trying to find some place ever since to do this for me in America. Emma and I shopped some more at Pennys, and then went to Reginald's Tower. That night I was an honoerd  guest to watch the Cubs (like the girl and boy scouts) perform their talents. And I also visited Ollie's sister, and her children after the talent show.

Friday, March 12th
Ollie took me to New Ross to see the Dunbrody, it was a coffin ship that sailed Irishmen to America during the famine. After the fun and interactive tour, Emma and I decided to have a lazy day, and we watched the tele for the rest of the day. It was my last day in Ireland, I left the next day, and was finally in Montreal at 11:00 pm.
**I did an independent homestay program through Greenheart Travel. They were amazing to work with, be sure to check them out.
Also check this out:
http://greenhearttravel.wordpress.com/2010/04/06/an-emerald-isle-education/
Thanks for reading,
DreamTravelerJess

Tags: greenheart, homestay, host family, ireland

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