Well, I’ve made it. I’m in Ireland. You’ll have to excuse my apparent lack of enthusiasm as I’m running on like two hours of sleep for the past 36 hours. Anyway, I’ll take a second to recount how I got here.
So, we left yesterday, February 12th, (with us being a group of 33 American students coming to Dungarvan to study for our spring term). We arrived at the Pittsburgh airport at 10:30 am, and I’m proud to report that my spiraling mother did not cry (Yay, momma!). We checked our bags and got in line to go through security.
Now, I’m one of those people who gets real nervous going through security even though i have no reason to, so imagine my fear when the TSA worker checking my passport and boarding pass stamps my ticket and asks me to follow him. Heart attacks ensue. Yes, there were more than one. But, to my surprise, I get pulled into the TSA free line where I got to walk right through without taking off my shoes! Best start to my travels!
We all get through security and have a layover until 1:40 pm. This involved us sitting around staring into space for several hours. Eventually, we board the tiniest plane I have ever been on. It was a one seat, two seat plane where I couldn’t stand up fully. So, we buckle in and take off. Now, this little puddle jumper jumped around so much I thought we were going to fall from the sky!
Luckily we didn’t, and we landed in Newark around 3:40 pm. And had to wait several more hours to board our plane to Dublin. I called mommy dearest to see how she was doing. She said she was doing fine, and they were all heading out for my cousin’s birthday party. I’m glad she had a distraction. So, at 6:45 pm, we start boarding and I got the window seat! We take off and I expect to promptly fall asleep and sleep away the whole 6 hour flight. I was wrong. I remained wide awake through the whole flight (but got to watch good movies so I think it was a fair trade besides the exhaustion that is slowly sinking in now). Being a 6′ lady, I like to stretch my legs when sitting for long periods of time, but I couldn’t on this plane. So, I silently wished the plane would crash so I could be put out of my misery as both my knees cramped up and I lost all feeling in my derriere.
We landed in Dublin at 6:45 am, their time. We waited around the airport until 8 am then hitched around to Dungarvan. The drive is about 3 hours but our driver was a wealth of knowledge and loved to serenade us with traditional Irish songs. The countryside was stunning. I’ve never seen such green green grass. I of course passed out basically as soon as we got on the highway and woke up as we approached the town.
We unloaded and were met by some of the locals who will become like a second family to us all: we have Gertie, our very own Nanny McPhee, as she calls her self, and Tom Keith, our castle tourguide, to name a few of the wonderful people who came out to greet us. We were given our houses and moved right in (yes, I have the single room! But it didn’t have a king bed like I thought it would). My roomies seem nice, and hopefully we will all get along as the semester goes by.
We were rounded up after lunch and taken on a tour that was cut short by the pouring rain and freezing wind. Tomorrow we’ll explore more. Easy night for us. Went to the Park Hotel for dinner. I got pasta with bacon and veggies! Then, we retired to good old Townhouse 3, where we have remained lazily watching the hours go by and trying to keep each other awake so jet-lag doesn’t make us all her bitches in the morning.
And on that note, I think it’s bed time. After a shower. I just have to figure out how to work the immersion… Night all!