Dublin 2017

  • Week 9 - Halloweek

    Day 59 - October 29, 2017

    We spent half the day in Howth with Bree and Austin, it was nice to show them our little beach town and they really seemed to love it.  It was sad to see them go but, we are going to see them next week so it wasn’t too sad.  From Howth, we went in the city to pick up paper for more printing for class and headed home to get ahead on homework.  It didn’t go over all too well but it was alright, we have plenty of time to deal with it this week.

    Day 60 - October 30, 2017

    We spent all day figuring out what the plan was for Halloween and trying to get ahead for the week.  Today makes the first day of Reading Week, we have the week off of school but it’s intended to give us time to work on our upcoming assignments.  Lauren and I got a lot done and still managed to make time for a movie to end the night.

    Day 61 - October 31, 2017

    HAPPY HIGH HOLIDAY TO ALL.  I am the most alive, I am excited for the day and more excited for the night.  This is once of my favorite days of the year!!! Here we go:

    In The Morning:

    We had a meeting with out book teacher because Lauren and I are both very lost (due to her critique and just because we have no clue what we want to do at this point).  It spoiled my morning a little but I’m glad we met with her, I have a new direction and I am planning on starting my third concept for this book project tomorrow.  I think I finally have an idea of what I want to do, we’ll see how it goes.


    Lauren and I got dressed and still have no clue what to call ourselves, I think Lauren is telling people we are The Spice Girls… I’m gonna go with Bratz or dolls. Before stopping at the prink, we ran out and got drinks, took the bus and wondered to the address Max’s (our Columbia friend I’ve mentioned before) friends house.  We were pleasantly surprised to see Max’s other friends who we knew there and once we got saturated, everyone greeted us with open arms. It was now time to go to the party, I was happy as a clam and Lauren seemed like it too. When we got there I was a little nervous because I had never really been to a ‘club’ before but it was so much fun! Seriously the most fun I’ve had so far!

    Problem in Ireland:

    Okey dokey folks, finding a cab at 3 a.m. on a holiday is IMPOSSIBLE. I’m not kidding, it took us TWO, yes TWO WHOLE HOURS to get a cab home.  The buses don’t run after 11:30 and Lauren and I didn’t think it would be this hard to find a cab to get home.  To say the least, we had 10,000 steps before 5 a.m.

    Day 62 - November 1, 2017

    We got up super late because we went to bed super late, it really threw both of us off.  All we both did today was shoot for our book, we both ran around the house while the light was nice, and that was only for about three hours but, by the time we were finished, we went into Lauren’s bed to edit the new images and of course watch a couple moves.

    Day 63 - November 2, 2017

    We went into school late today, thank god, I needed to sleep in.  But the tech at school told us to come in late and of course Lauren and I were more than happy to do so. We went in at 4:30 and beforehand we stopped at the grocery store to grab a couple things for the weekend.  It took us three hours to print, which it shouldn’t have because we had everything set but the printers were acting up and Lauren and I were more than frustrated.  But we ended the night with Thai food and a good nights rest.

    Day 64 - November 3, 2017

    BUBBY AND GRANDPA ARE HERE and they brought me so much American food! I am so happy they are here! Ethan is coming today too but they got here super early.

    We met Ethan in the city center, had lunch at Elephant and Castle and then went to the Leprechaun Museum… defiantly not worth the money to say the least but, it was fun to make fun of the whole museum all together.

    We then went home so that Bubby, Grandpa and Ethan could take a nap, they all seemed exhausted.  When it was time for dinner, no one could make up their minds. I mean really, it was a mess.  We had planned to go to Thai food near our house but on the walk there, we ended up going to the stake house.  We had to cross the street and Judy went first, I think she forgot that they drive on the wrong side of the road so although she looked both ways, she looked the wrong ways.  She seriously almost got smashed by a car, it was terrifying.  I think we all dealt with the fright by making fun of her, she didn’t really enjoy that but we all had a great laugh.  Dinner was AMAZING! Lauren and I shared a stake and were full as all hell but more than satisfied.  Grandpa insisted on dessert so we had a cheese plate and pie.  I stuck to my coffee and the cheese and ended up going home and running straight to my room to put my pajamas on because I couldn’t stand to be in jeans any longer. 

    Day 65 - November 4, 2017

    We spent the day at the Guinness Storehouse and it was such a fun day! Seriously we spent four hours there… the average person spends about an hour and a half there (according to Google).  But with our luck, we ended going on International Stout Weekend so along with the pint we get with going to the museum, we also got three extra tasting of other stouts Guinness makes.  I felt a little weird drinking around my grandparents, I’ve obviously never done it before, but it was nice.  They both seemed like they enjoyed themselves and Ethan was over the moon.

    We then went to The Dublin Castle which I don’t think was anything spectacular, I think we’ve seen more interesting things around the countryside and in Scotland.  Then we took a little rest because Judy’s foot was bothering her but, we got donuts and we were all very happy about it.

    Again no one could decide on dinner so Judy picked Italian.  Ethan wasn’t happy about it but no one was giving any suggestions.  The meal was great even though Ethan was a little sour.  Lauren is having a blast with the family (i think) and George has officially adopted her as a half grandchild.

  • Week 8 - The Columbia Clan

    Day 52 - October 22, 2017

    I got up at 3:45 a.m. because I wanted to make sure Eliza was awake to catch her cab that was picking her up at the house.  It was sad seeing her go but I knew that I would see her soon, her visiting gave me a better reason to go to Spain (Eliza is staring there this semester).  I couldn’t fall back asleep so I texted Gabe, we talked for a little which was nice, it’s hard being eight hours ahead sometimes so, I find myself finding every opportunity to talk to him. I fell asleep with my phone next to me.  When I woke up Gabe was just going to bed so we got to talk for a little bit again.  Now I’m busying writing the Week Six blog post and I’m about to start my homework.  Lauren doesn’t get here until tomorrow night and the house is really quite. I might go out later to get coffee or food but, it depends on the weather.

    Day 53 - October 23, 2017

    I spent all day doing homework at Starbucks, I needed some human interaction after yesterday.  I made sure I was home when Lauren was supposed to be home but she ended up being two hours late.  It as fine, I had dinner ready and we caught up about both of our weekends and went to be with no movie.

    Day 54 - October 24, 2017

    We really didn’t do much today, we got up late because Lauren was exhausted and then had to print for class.  We got home an ended binge watching the second season of Stranger Things for the entire night and fell asleep the the soft end soundtrack of the final episode and the smell of our dominos pizza.

    Day 55 - October 25, 2017

    We had a critique in class today for our book project. Mine didn’t go over so well and made the rest of my day sour.  I had thought my project was going to be a hit and my teacher didn’t like it at all… In fact she is having me start over my entire project.  I don’t want to complain too much about it but that’s all I have to say for the day.

    Day 56 - October 26, 2017

    Both of our classes felt a little mediocre today.  In our first class we ended early because he didn’t have enough material to teach us and our second class was frustrating.  When we were signing up for classes, our teacher had made it out to be this video editing class where we learn how to make videos and learn skills we can use for our careers in photography but, she was teaching us iMovie today and she has no intent teaching us Premiere (the adobe suite editing program for video making) and I may feel like this because I already know iMovie but I feel like in the industry, we need to know Premiere.  But after class was great, all of our friends from Columbia were arriving today, they all arrived in staggered time but as more and more came, it of course became more and more exciting.  This weekend we’ll have six people in the house! I can’t wait to show everyone around!

    Day 57 - October 27, 2015

    We went to the Cliffs today, the easiest way to get there was to take a tour bus.  We ended up driving for about four hours to get there.  We had to switches busses at the hour mark and the second bus we were on was like the bus we took to Wicklow, it wasn’t great for sleeping but, we all managed.  For the time that I was awake, which wasn’t much, the fog defused the sun so much, it was comfortable staring at the orb of light in the sky, it almost looked like the moon.  I was worried that the fog would stay and we wouldn’t be able to see much while we were at the Cliffs.  As the bus kept moving, and we got closer, the fog began to dissipate and the sun was shining.  It was beautiful.  Once we got there, we were all so glad to get off the bus but we were all beyond groggy.  Personally, I don’t think the cliffs were all that worth it, don’t get me wrong, they were beyond beautiful but it was everything I was expecting. The second stop of the bus was a boat tour we had to pay for, and we all decided we didn’t want to do that.  We ended up wondering around the ‘beach area’ and just hanging out with each other. Overall it was a fine tour, I would do it again because I was so tired, I wish I took in the scenery more.  

    Day 58 - October 28, 2017

    We had planned a huge day today but ended up staying in until two.  Felix was leaving today and we figured we would wait until his family picked him up before doing anything.  Now it was just the girls so, we decided to go into to city center and go shopping (shocking, I know).  It was so much fun to bop around to our favorite shops with everyone.  We went home and ordered dominos for dinner and then went out to do our own little pub crawl.  It was so much fun.  We had made a plan to leave at two and when two hit, it turned back to one.  I really thought we were in a bad dream but it was just daylight savings time.  We called two cabs to go home and once we got there, I ran to my room and fell asleep. I was so tired.  Lauren and some of the girls stayed up because half the girls had to leave at 4.  I was too tired to stay up.

  • Week 7 - Gabe Left and Eliza Arrived

    Day 44 - October 14, 2017

    We decided we were going to sleep in to let Gabe catch up and when we all got out of bed and ate breakfast, the sun finally came out and prior to this morning, we had told Gabe to make us shoot for class and he did just that.  We had planned to shoot in two locations but after shooting behind the train station, we were all really hungry and scratched the second option and went to the mall to grab snacks before dinner.  We then sat around the mall to abuse the wifi at Starbucks and then went home once we were hungry again.  I made dinner and we all shared some wine and of course, ended the night with a movie.  Gabe doesn’t watch movies as much as Lauren and me so, we thought we should watch a Halloween classic, Hocus Pocus.  I don’t think he was too into it but he flattered both of us and watched it anyway.

    Day 45 - October 15, 2017

    We went on a tour bus today, we thought it would be a fun and easy way to see new things around the country and it made things way more accessible.  We had signed up for The Wicklow Mountain bus but since we were starting to feel the effects of the hurricanes, the winds were too strong all the way up there so they canceled that part of the tour and ended up just having us spend more time in the other places.  It was beautiful and cold.  We forgot that the higher you go in altitude, the colder you get.  We were relatively fine, just gloves and a hat would have made all the difference. 

    Our second stop was my favorite, I made some really beautiful images and we all didn't speak much and we really got to take in the nature.  We began the hike with fish and chips from a little shop and they were the best thing I had eaten here! To get on the hiking trail, we had to go through a town from the seventh century and it had a cemetery in it, I was really comfortable.  We then walked and our talking subsided and all we did was observe the nature.  It was beautiful. I don’t have much to say about tit so, I’ll let the pictures I made do the talking.

    Day 46 - October 16, 2017

    I was convinced that Gabe was leaving tomorrow so I had a whole day planned but unfortunately, he left today.  There was a hurricane that was supposed to hit Ireland pretty hard so Gabe’s flight got moved up and he left even earlier than I expected.  It wasn’t as hard as I expected, him leaving but, the whole weekend felt like a dream, so maybe I was just waking up.  Our parents were a little frantic back in America so Lauren and I complied with their requests and stayed inside the whole day.  We soon learned the busses weren’t running and everything in town was shut down. As the day went by, the winds picked up.  I could hear the wind through my windows and suddenly, my room became a wind tunnel.  It was cold like the outside and if I had wet hair, it would dry quickly because of the wind.  At points it felt like I was sitting in the back seat of my grandfathers convertible.  By the end of the day, the winds died down.  I got more done than I expected myself to but there was a shadow of sadness that followed me around all day.

    Day 47 - October 17, 2017

    Everything was running normally today.  We went to school and printed contact sheets for class.  We then went grocery shopping and since we were at the mall getting groceries, we went and did some retail therapy too.  It feels like forever since Gabe was here but, I miss him more since he visited.  It’s okay though, it just gives me more of an excuse to call him more often :)

    Day 48 - October 18, 2017

    It felt like forever since we have been in class and today especially felt like we just came back from holiday.  We didn’t do much in class because Ann (our teacher) was doing tutorials (reviews of the last project) with half of the students and when she was doing that, we had time to work on our own.  An idea finally sparked and I am getting excited about my end of the year project.  For this class, we have to make a book with fifteen spreads.  I think I’m going to use the lyrics for Bon Iver’s song “Woods” from his EP album.  I’ve been listening to it a lot and every time the harmonies starts, I find myself crying.  It’s really beautiful. I really like the images that I made in Wicklow will work well with the song lyrics. I put a mockbook (first draft of the final book) together in class and I’m really excited about how this is looking so far.  I’m really glad because before this idea, I had no clue what I was doing. Our next class was a lecture and I was way too focused on my book but really tried to listen.  I realized that my presentation for his class is next moth and that’s when I really tuned in.  I’m really nervous about this presentation because the only knowledge I have about journalism is from this class.  We’ll see how it goes.  When I got home from class. I cooked egg drop soup and fried rice.  We (both me and Lauren) were super satisfied with how dinner turned out.  I remember how when I was younger, I was thinking about being a chef instead of going to art school.  That is for sure coming out during times of boredom, I love cooking.

    Day 49 - October 19, 2017

    Lauren wasn’t feeling good this morning so we stayed home from out fist class and then our second class got canceled.  It was a nice day off but I wish we saved it for a day that we actually had plans on being productive but, oh well.  What’s done is done.  I bought a dress a couple days ago during retail therapy and when I tried it on, I realized it was ripped.  I wanted to go to the mall today and Lauren was feeling better later in the day so we decided to go and return it.  Lauren had her eye on a jean jacket and she finally bought it.  She had been thinking about it for weeks, seriously I think since we got here she had been talking about it.  We had planned on going out with one of our sort of friends Max tonight, he canceled because he had things to do in the morning but, Lauren and I still went into the city center to get dinner at our favorite burrito place and then came home.  My middle school friend, Eliza is coming today but since the rain is really bad, he flight keeps getting delayed.

    Day 50 - October 20, 2017

    Its 2 a.m and Eliza is FINALLY HERE! It’s so nice to have someone else visiting and especially her! We stayed up until 4 catching up because we haven’t really talked since middle school.  We’re friends on Facebook so we virtually keep track of each other but, it was really nice having her here.  Lauren had an early flight to London today, she is visiting her friend Bree for the whole weekend so it’s just going to be me and Eliza.

    Since we went to bed so late, we decided to get up late too.  We went to the mall, the weather was cold but it wasn’t raining too hard. We got coffee first and then after shopping we got coffee again.  We came back to the house and took a nap.  We tried watching the original Blade Runner but I found it confusing and didn’t really follow it, Eliza fell asleep. I woke her up at 7 and we got dressed for the night.  We went to The Elephant Castle for dinner and it was so good! I’ve now only been there twice but it’s starting to become my favorite place. I had spicy chicken wing and Eliza had a strip dish and we both really enjoyed dinner.  It had taken a long time to get our check but while we were waiting we did some more catching up.  We then asked our server where her favorite place to go out was and she sent us to a place where all the locals go.  It’s called Workman's Club and it was a lot of fun.  We met a man who introduced us to his friends and we hung out with them for the rest of the night.  We bar hopped until our eyes got too tired.  It was so fun going out with Eliza, I thought I wouldn’t be able to keep up, because she’s a sorority girl but she made the night really, really fun!

    Day 51 - October 21, 2017

    There’s another hurricane down south that’s going to hit today but, everything is still running normally so we didn’t let that stop us from planning the day. We decided to go to the Museum of Modern Art (IMMA - Ireland Museum of Modern Art) and when we got there, we went straight to the dinning hall.  We both had forgotten to eat breakfast and I knew the food at IMMA was good because I had gone on a school trip a couple weeks ago.  Eliza was really surprised with how yummy the food was and the quality of the food. We went to the exhibits in the museum, I didn’t realize how small it was.  Like the portions in Europe are smaller than America, so are the museums I guess.  As enjoyable as the museum was, both of us were slightly confused on some of the pieces but, that was just another laughing subject for us to joke about.  From there we got more coffee.  I had been planning a photoshoot with someone I met on Instagram.  The weather was a mess today and when we met with Kate (the model from Instagram) we had planned on meeting at the bridge but as soon as I saw her in the yellow coat, the rain started again.  We sat in a coffee shop until the rain slowed down.  Kate is a wild soul and she had some crazy ideas for this shoot.  I’ll upload pictures once I’m done editing all of them but I told myself I would finish some school work before I did that so, stay tuned.  We ended the night at The Bell and then watched a movie before we both went to bed.  Eliza had an early flight so we ended the night rather early.

  • Week 6 - Alex left but Gabe arrived

    Day 36 - October 7, 2017

    Yesterday night, we had done some research on what to do in Bray.  We knew we wanted to see more nature and Bray was on the edge of the Wicklow Mountains so we thought it would be perfect.  We had found that Bray was supposed to have the fanciest Mc. Donald in the world so we had to go.  When we got there, we were pretty disappointed.  It was nothing special, to the point where I didn’t even take pictures in it.  It was a little more upscale then the normal ones but that’s just because of the decor and even then it was still kitschy. We then walked around the city, it was a total beach town.  Don’t get me wrong, it was beautiful but it wasn’t anything too special.  I would suggest gong when you know it’s going to be 75 degrees because when the sun was out for an hour, it was beautiful.

    When we got home from Bray, one of Lauren’s friends from High School who is studying at Trinity reached out and asked if we wanted to go for drinks.  We met at Temple Bar district at Fitzsimon’s and had a really good rest of the night.  We went home and watched a movie, while I was zoned in, both Lauren and Alex fell asleep.

    Day 37 - October 8, 2017

    Alex left this morning.  It wasn’t as sad as I expected it to be… It actually felt relatively normal.  When the bus left to take him to the airport, Lauren and I went to do some retail therapy and went to the mall to fix the wifi (this should be to no shock at this point).  We then went home and turned on a background movie and tried to plan a trip for reading week, unfortunately, that is one of the most expensive times to travel so, as for now, we think we’re just going to do things around Ireland.

    Day 39 - October 9, 2017

    It was a really lazy day today.  In the morning we cleaned up the house.  We still aren’t used to how fast the food goes bad here so we had to clean out the fridge.  Since we were up, we did a little bit of shooting for Lauren’s book and then we watched movies for the rest of the day.

    Day 40 - October 10, 2017

    Going into today I thought it was going to be REALLY exciting.  We planned to go to the dark room and when we got there, we were unfortunately saddened by the news that DIT only has facilities for black and white development.  Luckily Lauren had a roll to do so we did that for an hour and a half but it was sad because I had three rolls of color film to do.  I ended up asking a friend from class where he gets his done, we made a plan to do that tomorrow.  We also printed contact sheets, prints and inspiration contact sheets for tomorrows class.  We then went grocery shopping, went home, I made dinner and then watched movies until we fell asleep.

    Day 41 - October 11, 2017

    Class wasn’t great today.  Lauren and I didn’t get the critique or help we were expecting and went to our second class in a really, really bad mood.  I think we wanted different feedback to what we actually got and we both needed some direction and didn’t get it.  But, we’re still pushing through.  In our second class, we got our presentation dates for our final, both Lauren and I have dates before the last day of class so that was nice to hear.  After class we went to the local camera shop to get my film developed.  The man said it would be done in a day and I was more than thrilled; then went home to do our normal routine.

    Day 42 - October 12, 2017

    Class was fine today.  I didn’t really pay attention at all, I was waiting for the text from Gabe saying he landed in Iceland and I wanted to get my film as soon as we sat down for our first class.  I can’t really tell you what we did in our second class.  We left early because she ended early but it really wasn’t productive.  When I got my film, I nearly cried.  Everything looks great.  I defiantly know I need to work on shooting better but this is the first time I’ve seen my color film developed from this camera and I’m so happy with it. We then stopped at Subway because Lauren needed her fix and t

    Day 43 - October 13, 2017

    GABE IS FINALLY HERE.  And he brought me Dunkin Donuts from Reykjavík because they had a Dunkin Donuts??? I’m really happy he’s here.  We went to brunch right away.  On the way to the city center Gabe fell asleep on the bus but, when we got to brunch he was relatively awake.  We all ate really well, to the point where we really needed a nap and Gabe hadn’t really slept in 32 hours so we thought it would be best for him to sleep a little bit.  When we woke up, we got ready and planned on going out.  We had burritos for dinner and they were really delicious (Lauren and I have been craving Chipotle and are trying to find alternatives in Dublin until we get home - this place was pretty good but not as customizable as Chipotle).  We went to Fitsimon’s to meet the girls and they ended up not responding back to our texts so we went home.  Once we got home they explained what had happened and luckily, they didn’t arrive when we left, they had just stayed home. Gabe fell asleep in the taxi ride home and he crashed as soon as he put his head to the pillow.  I think this was the first night we didn’t watch a movie.


  • Week 5 - Our First Guest is Here!

    Day 29 - September 30, 2017

    Although to day was Yom Kippur, we had to go grocery shopping so, around noon, we headed to the mall.  We looked around in shops and abused Starbuck’s wifi for a bit and then headed over the the grocery store.  Let me tell you, shopping while you haven’t eaten all day is less than present.  I’m also notorious for getting hangry and with no food in my stomach and too many people at the store, we manage to fill our cart to the brim and knock into one too many people.  It wasn’t awful except we didn’t have enough bags for what we bought and so we took a taxi home and even then, we were still struggling to get everything into the house in one stop.  I caught up with an old friend which was lovely and spent the rest of the day watching movies until I would eat.  We decided to celebrate break fast at the bar.  We totally forgot that on Saturdays there was a DJ and there also happened to be two birthday parties going on which made our small bar into a cramped place.  The DJ was nothing special and everyone disregarded him for the most part.  His music selection was really funny and the drunk people sitting behind us were quite comical.  Lauren soon fell in love with our bar tender and the night ended with ‘I wanna dance with somebody’ and a short walk home.

    Day 30 - October 1, 2017

    We had to print something for class at a specific store so we did that today.  The store owners were unpleasant and for what should have taken 10 minutes took us almost two hours to print.  We weren’t happy so we ended up walking into the city center to do some retail therapy.  I got a cute new jumpsuit and Lauren got a really cute sweater.  We then grabbed food and went home to watch movies and think of ideas for our upcoming projects.

    Day 31 - October 2, 2017

    We were bums today, we stayed inside and watched movies and continued to look for inspiration for our book.  We finished the little homework we had and yes, ended the night with ANOTHER MOVIE.

    ***If you have any suggestions of good movies, we’d love to hear it***

    Day 32 - October 3, 2017

    For one of our main photo class, we have a book due at the end of semester and Lauren already has an idea for hers.  Yesterday we got all the materials she needed for her shoot and shot while the sun was out.  Thankfully, it stayed for a an hour and a half and Lauren got some pretty great shots out of it.  We spent the rest of the day thinking of ideas that I could do for my book and finding inspiration for both of us.

    Day 33 - October 4, 2017

    During class today, we worked more on our Indesign (an adobe program) skills.  Lauren and I are pretty proficient in the program but the other students in class haven’t used it as much as we have.  We then talked about our books and got the brief (official assignment layout) for the assignment.  It wasn’t raining today so walking to our next class wasn’t awful.  Lauren and I are still trying to find a good alternative to walking but there isn’t any bus or train that makes our commute faster.  During our second class (studies in journalism) we chose what we were going to write about for our final and then had a lecture during class.  We stopped at Tesco to grab a couple things for Alex that we forgot in our prior grocery shopping day and then headed home.  I downloaded more episodes of Game of Thrones during class so we had that to watch tonight.

    Day 34 - October 5, 2017


    I didn’t sleep well because I was so excited and unfortunately we had to go to class today but, luckily, Alex didn’t come in until 4ish so we went to our first class and half of our second.  For the first class, Lauren and I couldn’t focus at all.  I had planned on taking notes on my computer but instead, we ended up replanning the entire weekend with Alex.  For the second class we met in a gallery in Dublin to see an exhibition.  Lauren and I had to leave early and luckily we weren’t interested in it.  We got to the airport on time but got off the bus at the wrong terminal so we had to walk for 10 minutes to get to Alex.  Once I saw him, I nearly dropped all my stuff and jumped on him.  From the airport we went into the city to show him around.  For dinner, we stopped at a pizza place and it was actually really good! Defiantly a new spot we’ll be going to a lot.  We then went home so Alex could sleep because he was awake for more than 24 hours.

    Day 35 - October 6, 2017

    We spent the first half of the day in Howth, Co. Dublin.  When we got there we found a bar to eat at because we had only eaten breakfast at home and it was 3 p.m. by the time we got to Howth.  It took us forever to get the bill so we had to cut a little out of what we had planned but, after lunch we went on the cliff walk.  The view was beautiful and the walk was nice.  It was perfect hiking weather and Alex seemed to enjoy himself.  When we went back to Castleknock, we stopped at home and put our bags down and headed to the The Bell to watch the FIFA game.  Ireland was playing Moldova and the game didn’t really mean anything but it was nice to relax at the bar and watch the game.  When we went home, we watched a movie and both Alex and Lauren fell asleep in bed.  When the movie was over, we all went to our respected rooms and set our alarm for the morning.

    Step Count: 66,304

  • Week 4 - End of the Week: nothing special

    Day 26 - September 27, 2017

    As expected, we were zombies today and the though of going to class made us want to stay in bed even more but, we got up and went anyway. During our first class, I did fine.  We got coffee so I didn’t fall asleep but by the second class, I couldn’t focus and half the class didn’t show up.  When class was over, we grabbed a couple things from the grocery story and went home.  Did our homework for tomorrow and spent the rest of the day in bed.

    Day 27 - September 28, 2017

    Our theory class wasn’t anything special.  We learned out our upcoming project for our final and Lauren and I are freaking out about it but since we got in advance, we’ll do fine.  For the next class, we had to present a picture we created from a contemporary photographer.  I chose to do mine on Petra Collins.  After class, I had my visa meeting so we got a bus and went there.  My appointment was at 7 but we got there early and I tried to check in.  Thank god I did because there were 69 people in front of me, and I was EARLY.  It took me three hours to get it, THREE HOURS.  Lauren was with me so I had someone to keep me company but it was a rough day.

    Day 28 - September 29, 2017

    We spend all day at Pheonix park searching for deers.  Lauren really, REALLY wanted to find them so we stayed until we did.  Once someone guided us to where they were resting, we ran there and once we saw them, Lauren almost started crying.  When we were done, we headed back to the bus and with our luck, and no rain in the forecast, we got poured on for the whole 20 minute walk to the bus stop.  We both were cold and in pain and at the verge of crying but the bus came just in time.  We had planned on going to the mall but instead we stayed in bed and finished season 1 of Game of Thrones.

    Step Count: 39,390

  • Scotland

    Day 22 - September 23, 2017

    The day before, we had mapped out where the bus was going to pick us up and at what time because we’re nutritious for missing transportation on important days. But to our surprise, the bus was late, we were not.  When we got on the bus, the ride seemed fine until half way to the city center when three people got on.  They we’re bad people just disruptive and smelling of yesterdays alcohol.  Lauren and I were in the middle of the bus and they decided to stand right in front of us.  Being overtired and slightly sleep deprived, we weren’t happy (to say the least).  The people continued to speak loudly and at the next stop, an elderly woman came on the bus.  No one got up and although leaving Lauren with those people wasn’t the best thing for her, I didn’t want to make the woman stand the whole ride so, I got up and stood in the back of the bus.  Another elderly woman came on at the next stop and Lauren gave up her seat for her.  We found seats in the back but unfortunately we weren’t sitting next to each other.  We proceeded to text each other with our headphones in for the rest of the trip… only millennial things right? We had to transfer buses to get to the airport and this ride was much better.  No one spoke and Lauren and I sat on the top of the bus, in the front, in complete silence the whole time.  We got to the airport two hours early because in America, that’s standard.  We didn’t do our research on what Ireland is like and well, we got through security in less than 10 minutes and had more time to ourselves than we knew what to do with.  We got breakfast at a cafe in the airport and twiddle our thumbs for a while.  We didn’t get our gate until an hour before take off and once we did, we headed over.  It felt like it was on the other end of the terminal so I guess it’s good we had time.  We got there with still 40 minutes to spare so we opened our computers and did some more research on Edinburgh.  Once we finally boarded, we had to get on a bus that took us to the tarmac.  I had never walked on the tarmac before so I acted like a little kid getting their first ice cream cone in the summer time.  The plane was a two by two and Lauren and I were assigned to sit next to each other.  I was at the window, awake and taking pictures while Lauren was fast asleep.  The flight was short and getting out of the airport seemed shorter.  We didn’t get a stamp in our passport and we weren’t happy about it but, such is life.  Getting to the city center was super easy, they had a bus ready for us.  On the bus they had a screen telling you ever stop they were at with someone using sign language too.  I thought that was so innovative but also didn’t understand why every major city didn’t have it.  When we got to the city center, we went straight to the hostel to put our bags down then we walked The Royal Mile. Lauren got stopped by a street performer and she didn’t really know what to do so she played along and after when he asked for money, she asked if he accepted Euros (for those who don’t know, Scotland uses Pounds).  By the time we were done walking, it was dinner time.  We found a cute little Mexican restaurant because Scottish food isn’t well written about.  We walked back to the hostel and made friends with one of our roommates.  She told us about the other people staying in the room and unfortunately all her descriptions were correct.  She spoke about them being loud and coming in late and they did just that.  I woke up two our three times during the night because they kept coming in and out of our room and with the eight people in their group, they only had two keys to the room so they consistently left and knocked on the door until someone let them in. I finally fell asleep at 4 in the morning to the new alt-J album.

    Day 23 - September 24, 2017

    We woke up and got coffee first thing.  Nina is the name of the friend we made yesterday and we invited her to spend the day with us.  She also brought someone she had met at the hostel with so we were a cute little group wondering the city.  The first thing we did was go to Edinburgh Castle.  The entry fee was 17 pounds but we all thought it would be worth it.  The castle was beautiful from the outside so we could only image what the inside looked like.  It was indeed beautiful but nothing as to what I expected.  The views from the castle walls were spectacular and by far the best thing about paying the 17 pounds.  We had thought that we were going to get a tour of the castle but instead it was rooms of little museums of history of the city and the castle.  It wasn’t what we expected and unfortunately we were all a little dissatisfied but Lauren and I got some good pictures so it was all okay. 

    We then went to a pub to grab lunch and a drink.  We all bonded a little bit and got to know each other better. Nina’s friend went to go work out, she likes to sneak into fancy hotels and use their gyms.  We went to hike Arthur’s Seat.  We had heard from many people that the hike wasn’t bad so Lauren and I didn’t feel the need to change.  We both were in jeans and jean jackets and let me tell you, that wasn’t even close to what we should have been wearing.  The hike took us about an hour and we changed 2,500 feet in elevation.  If that doesn’t tell you enough about what the hike was like I don’t know what will.  When we got to the top, we could see the entire city.  I really do understand why people thought the world was flat because from where we were, I really though I could see the edge of the world.  We stayed at the top for about 40 minutes and then began our hike down.  We got burgers after because we were all so hungry and then after that, we headed back to the hostel.  We watched movies in the silence and fell asleep.  I was again awoken by the other people in our room but I was better prepared this time with my head phones already in my ears.  Sleeping wasn’t easy but I managed to fall asleep before the sun came up.

    Day 24 - September 25, 2017

    We got up early again and headed out, this time it was just me and Lauren. We found a cute place to eat.  We had bagels and coffee and then headed out for the day.  We didn’t do much today because we have an early fight tomorrow so we ended up just window shopping around the entire city.  We decided we wanted to see a movie at night and invited Nina to come with.  We saw Kingsman 2 and I won’t say too much but I will say this, don’t waist your money on it.  When we got back to the hostel, the people staying had left and we had new roommates, we were more than thrilled to say the least. We ended the night with the beginning of the first season of Stranger Things.  Both of us didn’t sleep but we rested in our separate beds.

    Day 25 - September 26, 2017

    It’s 5:00 a.m. and we are wide awake.  We have to catch the bus in 30 minutes to get to the airport and we did just that.  When we got to the airport, we had to pay to print our boarding passes and we were told we needed them printed. We went through security relatively fast but my bag got stopped, I was only allowed one bag of liquids and had two so, I had to compress them.  We then got breakfast and waited to get our gate.  We had to go on the tarmac again and when we looked at our tickets, we realized we were’t sitting next to each other.  We didn’t do anything about it because it was a short flight and we figured we’d both sleep since we haven’t yet.  Once we arrived back in Dublin we flew through customs and headed back home.  Once we got there, I had to take pictures of Lauren for an assignment for class but once I was done, we laid in bed all day.  It was a nice end to a really long day. 

    Step Count: 62,288

  • Week 3 - Photoshoots, Howth and Going Out

    Day 15 - September 16, 2017

    As many of you may have caught on, it’s been raining a lot here lately and when we woke up, the sky was a milky grey and we had no motivation to do anything.  We went to get coffee after two hours of laying in bed and when we realized we didn’t have much to watch when we got home, we decided to take the opportunity to do a little photoshoot.  The lighting in our bathroom is beautiful, no matter what the weather is.  It was about 6:30 when we started shooting so the light was really soft.  Lauren was shooting and I was in front of the camera today.  All went really well until we wrapped up the shoot and realized we had no clue how to drain the bath.  There was a drain, that we closed but we couldn’t figure out how to raise it.  There is a dial that is supposed to raise it but when we tried, nothing seemed to work.  After about 15 minutes of us tirelessly trying to twist the knob, we decided to just put the water down the sink and shower drain; so me half naked, wrapped in a towel and Lauren fully clothed grabbed glasses and a bowl to drain the water.  After we got about half way through, the bowl wasn’t picking up enough water so, I emptied the trash can and started using that as a vessel to empty the tub.  When were was something like three inches of water left, I took a knife to the drain head and Lauren turned the knob with all the power she could.  It still took us about 15 minutes to clear the damn thing but, the pictures that came out of it were totally worth it.  The day ended with us editing the images and falling asleep to Twilight.

    Day 16 - September 17, 2017

    We woke up early today to spend the whole day down in Howth.  We had seen that train lines go down there but we didn’t do much research until a couple days before we decided to go. To no surprise we almost missed our connecting train but it all ended up okay.  Once we got off the train at the Howth stop, immediately after leaving the train, you could smell the salt water air.  Howth is like a little beach town on the coast of Ireland and if that doesn’t spark your imagination, I don’t know what will.  It was a quant little town full of coffee shops and fish markers.  When you looked towards the sea you could see sailboats and there was no cloud in the sky.  The air reminded me of California because it was nice enough where you had no obligation to wear a jacked but still too cool for a tank top.  I only mad pictures on my film camera today so I don’t have much to show, everything added below is from my iPhone but the day was filled with pancakes, coffee, the sea and sneaking into a cemetery.

    It was all wonderful until we got home.  As we were stilling in Lauren’s room, editing pictures and watching a movie, Lauren screamed.  There was a spider the size of my hand on the wall.  We both have more than a slight fear of spiders so the house soon came filled with lots of screaming and tears.  We worked together to kill the sucker but it took us an hour to build up the courage to do so.

    I didn’t sleep well because I was scared another creeper would come into the house.

    Day 17 - September 18, 2017

    Due to the insane amount of homework we were assigned, we spent all day at The Bell abusing their wifi and doing homework.  To get you to understand what I mean by insane, we had: 60 pages of photography theory reading to do, a 10 minute presentation on 3 contemporary photographers and a word press to go along with it, and collect images we had previously created to start forming a book.  Welcome to Dublin everybody (I shouldn’t really be complaining, I have two days of school and I’m in Europe)!

    Day 18 - September 19, 2017

    Today was another easy day, we went to the mall to grab some last minute things for our weekend holiday to Scotland (a lock for the hostile lockers, shower shoes, little things like that) and then went across the street to Starbucks to abuse their wifi and download movies to watch at night.  When we got back to the house, we thought we were going to start packing but we ended up continuing our unfinished homework and watched movies until we fell asleep.

    Day 19 - September 20, 2017

    Lauren decided to put her water bottle in the freezer box because she wanted colder water then she had been having.  She left it overnight knowing it would be cold in the morning.  While I was eating breakfast and she was putting her bag together for class, she grabber her water bottle and nearly screeched, her water bottle had frozen solid.  To quote her she said “I DIDN’T KNOW IT WOULD FREEZE” and I responded “well, you did put it in the freezer, so it would make sense that it froze”. Then we both laughed and rushed to the bus.

    We sat in the top of the bus (it’s double decked) so while I was listening to my summer playlist, I was the mountains peak out in between the houses bashing by.  The sky was actually somewhat clear today so when I looked out the window, I could see everything really clearly. We got to school early so we ran to the cafe and grabbed coffee.  In class we went over things I was fairly proficient in so I finished the assignments rather quickly and helped Lauren when she needed it.  For our second class, we had a pretty long walk (30 minutes) and it was lightly raining the whole time.  It wasn’t awful but by the time we were at our next class, I was a bit damp and that was rather unpleasant.  Class was fine, we had a lecture the whole time.  I found myself staring out the window, watching the clouds go by, daydreaming about our upcoming travels.

    Day 20 - September 21, 2017

    Again we had class today, our first class was a dry lecture but ended a bit early which was lovely.  We have two hours between our classes so Lauren and I found a cafe to eat and take a last look over our presentation.  When it came time for presentations in class, we were the third out of four groups to go and let me tell you, we did not do the assignment as our teacher wanted.  I could tell as we were presenting that she was a bit dissatisfied but at that point, there was nothing we could do.  When she was giving back feedback, she didn’t seem too upset.  When class was over, we headed home.  The bus takes us to the mall which is super unfortunate because we always get sucked into walking around but, I guess that’s good for our step count.  When we got home, we started re-watching Game of Thrown.  We now started looking for places in Ireland and in the surrounding counties we could visit where they filmed scenes, it’s a lot of fun!

    Day 21 - September 22, 2017

    Today was a bit of a hot mess.  We first finally got out of bed at 11 and then decided we were both going to treat ourselves to a manicure but when we got to the mall and looked at the prices, we realized we’d much rather spend that money on going to Paris.  Yes, that’s how expensive the manicure would have been… a flight to PARIS! But it was okay because we went to the Nutella sand in the mall and get crepes.

    We then when home and checked our emails, our advisor from DIT sent us an email informing us he was preforming at a bar tonight so Lauren and I got the courage to get redressed and head out.  We thought it would be fun to invite a fellow Columbia student who we met at orientation so we did.  I’ll get back to that in a bit.  We shockingly didn’t miss the train and arrived at Temple Bar District about 20 minutes before he was going to preform.  We were both hungry and found a little pie shop so, we split a banana pie before we headed over.  Tony (our DIT advisor) never sent us the address so we wondered and tried to find him but we couldn’t.  We ended up finding a really great bar.  There was live music playing and the crowd was a riot.  There was a party of women behind us and they were singing and clapping along the whole time.  Max (the fellow Columbia student) said he’d meet us there when we got there.  We waited an hour and he still wasn’t here so we decided to get drinks. We sang along to the music and laughed while we were people watching.  Another hour passed and Max (the boy we invited out with us) finally said he was 10 minutes away, which he was.  He brought three of his friends with him who were all also international students so, that sort of made up from him leaving us hanging for two hours.  They got drinks and we all went to the rooftop of the bar and stayed until they finished their drinks.  Lauren had another with them but I was already feeling the first one so I just had a Diet Coke.  We then bar hopped for a little.  We laughed a lot and it was really a lot of fun.  Unfortunately, we had to leave early because of our flight in the morning (we also, at this point, still weren’t fully packed) so from the bar, we ran to the train.  WE DIDN’T MISS IT.  And when we got home, we realized we hadn’t really eaten dinner so, we ordered Dominos and figured out what we were packing for tomorrow.  I went to bed too eager for the morning so falling asleep wasn’t all that easy but, I put on some white noise from Chicago I found on iTunes and I fell asleep rather quickly after that.

    Step Count: 69,319

  • Week 2 - Major Movie Nights and The First Week of School

    Day 8 - September 9, 2017

    The only thing we did that was productive today was go grocery shopping otherwise we didm’t do much - to the point where I didn’t even take any pictures.  We watched half of a season of America’s next top model and stayed in bed and edited pictures from Giant’s Causeway the whole day.

    Day 9 - September 10, 2017

    We spent all day in Starbucks abusing the fact that they have free wifi.  We checked the weather before we left and it said it wasn’t going to rain so, like any normal human being, we decided that our rain gear wasn’t necessary.  Far enough into the walk where it was too far to turn around, it started raining… of course! Wile editing pictures and eagerly waiting for movies to download, once we were finally in doors, we enjoyed the sound of the rain. Since got board, naturally we started daydreaming of of places to go travel. Once everything was finally downloaded, we took a taxi back to the house because it was still raining pretty hard.  The taxi driver must have not understood us because he didn’t take us to the right place so it took us an extra 15 minutes to get home. Then naturally, we ran to our rooms, changed into our pajamas and began binging all the things we had downloaded.

    Day 10 - September 11, 2017

    Today we had a meeting with the Digital Lab tech on campus.  Not knowing where to go, we got up early and got to the bus early too.  It was our first time taking the bus and we had to clue what the expect.  There was a woman waiting with us too and she sort of explained how the bus system worked but she really didn’t want to talk to us. The bus is a pretty convent way to get to school but I got a little car sick while we were riding it.  It stops only a 10 minute walk away from campus so that isn’t bad.  Once we got to campus, we fell in love. People had told us that it was an old Insane Asylum and when we got there, I could feel all that juju - my gothic side was more then thrilled.  It so interesting being on a campus.  At Columbia the school is spread about between 15 blocks and here, we have our own space (for once of the classes we’re taking, it’s on the other side of town and it’s more of a Columbia feel but we’re on this campus for three of our four classes).  It’s interesting on campus because you need your student ID card to get into every building and every classroom - maybe they think we’re insane too (they might not be all that wrong).

    Day 11 - September 12, 2017

    We had a meeting with Tony today to try to figure out our schedule because school starts tomorrow.  We needed to add another class to make sure we had enough credits transfer back to Columbia so we’re still on track to graduate when we want to.  It was a little messy and I could tell Tony was a little frustrated.  We ended up deciding that we are going to take the regular third year photography classes and introduction to journalism studies.  When we finished with Tony, we went across the street to a little cafe and ordered sandwiches, we both were less than satisfied, unfortunately (it was one of those “you life and you learn” kind of moments). We then stopped at the quick market to grab some things we forgot and headed home.  I made dinner and we ate in bed and (to what shouldn’t be a shock to you at this point) watched movies until we both fell asleep.

    Day 12 - September 13, 2017

    TODAY WAS THE FIRST DAY OF CLASSES (enjoy the first day of school outfit pictures at the bottom).  Since we didn’t know how reliable the bus would be, we left the house 10 minutes earlier then we normally would. We got to school early but we weren’t the first students to show up to class so it was fine.  Our first class was our photobook course and with all the third years studying photography and in the track that we’re in, there are only six other kids in our class.  That made me nervous but it’s good because that means we are going to get some major one-on-one time with out teacher.  Class ended early and we had a 30 minute walk to our next class because it’s on a different campus.  We got to campus a little early so we stopped to get coffee and then headed to class.  This is our introduction to journalism studies class and thank god there are more then six people in this class. It actually felt a little bit like high school because we are in a class with out 25 students and we’re in a computer lab in the middle of the hall surrounded by other small lecture halls.  Our teacher is more in love with Chicago than I am and he made a huge tangent in front of the whole class about his love for the city.  I am very excited for this class. After class we dropped our stuff off and went to The Bell (the pub by our house) to get some food and chill out.

    Day 13 - September 14, 2017

    Our first class today was photo theory and let me tell you, this class is going to be the death of me.  I didn't realize our teacher started teaching because he went on what seemed like a tangent and then all the sudden, I realized he was actually telling us important information.  The content we went over was something we had touched on in my history class last semester so I was somewhat familiar but our teacher is so knowledgable and speaks so fast that I felt like the room was spinning.  We had two ours in between our classes and the people in our theory class are the same people in our photobook class and the same people in our next class.  One of our classmates, Alex, asked us if we wanted to grab lunch and of course, we said yes.  They took us to a burger restaurant and let me tell you, the burger was as big as my face (I couldn’t finish it).  After we were finished, we all made our way to IMMA (Ireland Museum of Modern Art) because that’s where we were having class.  One of our classmates had said how long it would take us to get there and I misunderstood him and thought he said that it would be a six minute walk when in reality it was a 26 minute walk (that was all fine and dandy but I just wasn’t expecting it).  When we got to IMMA, it felt like we were at a castle, the whole museum is a square building with an atrium in the middle and to get to where out teacher was, we had to walk through the atrium, it was beautiful even though the sky was an ashy grey.  When we found our teacher and everyone arrived, she told us what we had to do in the exhibition and we all split up to do our assigned work.  Walked towards the exhibition was a faint smell of fresh paint, it took a big deep breath to try to fill every second with the air.  That’s one of my favorite smells so I tried to make that last a while.  When we got into the exhibit, I didn’t really know where I was going and to get to where I needed to be, I needed to walk through most of the exhibit.  I acted like a horse with blinders and didn’t pay any attention to anything but my path.  My assignment was to watch two short films and I was the only one watching who ended up staying the entire time (everyone else was just spectators of the museum).  I wish I was them because that was one of the weirdest things I had ever watched, I wanted to leave the entire time.  I didn’t really understand what the artist was trying to portray and even after reading their comments and background on the two pieces, I still had no clue.  When all of the students were done with their assigned work, we met at the cafeteria of IMMA and all of us student came to a consensus that the questions our teacher asked were too vague, we were confused by the exhibit and half of us didn’t like it.  After we were dismissed, we walked 20 minutes to catch the bus and headed home.  We had leftovers for our early bird special and in the middle of our daily movie night, we ordered Dominos because it was the only thing open and who doesn’t love shitty pizza at 10 at night.

    Day 14 - September 15, 2017

    Lauren finally got her shoes she ordered from the mall and with our luck, they were half a size too small. Once we actually got out of bed, we grabbed our laptops and the new shoes and headed to the mall and yes you guess it, it rained on us when it was too far to go home.  We exchanged the shoes first and then shopped a little bit. Lauren has been looking for a yellow turtleneck sweater for about a week now so, every chance we get, we stop into a store we think would have something like it and look through the entire store.  We still haven’t found anything she wants.  We then went across the street to get coffee and yes, abuse Starbucks’s free wifi situation to download more movies.  We stayed for a long while and tried getting our homework done but we had no motivation to do it.  We went home, watched movies and fell asleep.

    This Weeks Step Count: 35,864

    ***If you have any movie suggestions, feel free to put those in the comment section!***

  • Week 1 - Dublin 15, Dublin 2 and Belfast

    Day 1 - September 2, 2017:

    We landed totally fine and smooth and getting our bags was pretty easy.  When we got out of the airport, we had the option of taking the public transportation and figuring out how to get home with all of our stuff or just jump in a taxi and if you know either Lauren or me, you’d probably guess right in thinking we grabbed a taxi to the house.  I didn’t check my phone and I assumed Lauren knew the house number so when she gave the driver our address, I figured the house number she said was correct.  When we got out of the car and knocked on the door of 42, the woman who answered the door was beyond confused and we knew we were at the wrong house. I then proceeded to check my phone finding a text from my mom telling me the address.  The house number was 46 not 42… oops! When we walked over to the correct house, our land lords greeted us with open arms and once we got situated kindly offered us coffee or tea. After they gave us the lay of the land, we walked to the near by mall and shopped for the necessities we then had dinner at a place in town and went home for bed.

    Day 2 - September 3, 2017:

    We didn’t have a set time to wake up today but when we did, we all decided to figure out how to get to school.  We got dressed and headed to the train.  We then went into Dublin 2 and walked to campus, it was only a 10 minute walk.  Once we found where we were going, we hit Starbucks to abuse their wifi and plan the day. We did a few touristy things and went back to the house. Lauren and I put on our pajamas while Jessie went to the local pub (The Bell) and when she said there was live music there, we put on cloths and headed over.   The music was great and Lauren and I had our first legal drink in Ireland.

    Day 3 - September 4, 2017:

    We got up rather early to head to orientation, Lauren and I were total zombies because we went to bed rather late and had to get up at 8 to catch the train to get to orientation onetime.  Jessie came into Dublin 2 with us and bopped around while we did our school things.  Lauren and I went to the wrong building and had to ask directions twice before we found the right place to be.  Orientation was nothing special, it was more that they just talked at us and we were so tired it was hard to pay attention but, there was a coffee/tea break. We saw a woman sitting by herself and thought we should see if she wanted to sit with us.  She was from France and didn’t speak great English but I knew if I was in her situation I would rather sit with someone then alone.  We had a small conversation with her.  At the end of the break, Lauren saw someone wearing a Cubs hat! I hesitated and then screamed across the cafeteria.  He ended up bring from Columbia also! So as you can imagine, Lauren and I were more then thrilled. He then introduced us to ANOTHER Columbia kid.  It was so nice finding people from school.  After orientation was over, we met up with Jessie and went to the famous Temple Bar.  We only saw the outside because we figured we would be there more then often and headed a couple blocks away to get pizza for dinner.  Then we took the train home and headed to the equivalent to Best Buy to add more wifi to our hotspot.  The man helping us said it should work right away but when we got home, it wasn’t working.  Since we couldn’t figure it out, we decided to deal with it and leave it for after we came home from Belfast.

    Day 4 - September 5, 2017:

    Each morning seems harder to wake up when there's no sun in the sky. My room is filled with dim light and the sky is painted a sad gray. As I wake up to my soft alarm, I roll over and hit the snooze, then again, and again. I finally decide to roll out of bed. I stare out the window a bit, waiting for the thick grey clouds to pass so I can see the morning light and the more I seem to stare, the thicker the clouds seem to get. Originally we had planned to go hiking in the Wicklow Mountains after Lauren and I did our required school things but when I walked in her room, she looked as tired as I felt and we both decided to save that trip for another day. Jessie decided to do her own thing and meet up with us later so today was the first day Lauren and I had to get to school by ourselves. I was a little nervous but it had to happen eventually.  We got there with no problem other then heavy eyes and a perpetual hunger for more food. As we were walking to school, the sun came out and when the sun hit Lauren's face, she shined with a smile from ear to ear.  Feeling the warm embrace of the suns rays soak into my body felt so new and I welcomed each and every ray with open arms.

    When we got to school, we went to the cafeteria to pick up our ID cards for school and as we walked through the halls, the temperature rose and when we finally got into the cafeteria, we had to take off our jackets and layers because it was so hot. We waited in a line we thought was for the IDs but a worker saw us in line and must how known we were international students because they guided us towards the place we were supposed to go. Getting our ID cards was simple, we had to recite our student number, sit up straight and smile. The woman who took my picture zoomed into my face. Lauren reassured me that we're only here for 4 months so it doesn't really matter what it looks like. We then waited for a fellow Columbia student because we all had a meeting to go to.  When he stopped responding, we decided to go without him. Tony (our advisor) was on the phone when we arrived so we waited in the empty halls. When he finished, we hesitated to knock on the door but when we walked in, he welcomed us warmly.  We spoke about what to do about our classes while we're studying here and while we were worried about how it would transfer correctly, Tony assured us he would work with Columbia to make sure everything went smoothly. When we finished working out our schedule, we began asking Tony about all the places he enjoyed taking pictures, because he's a photographer too. We ended up speaking with him for an hour and he gave us a hefty list of where to go and what to do. By the end of our conversation, Lauren and I were so hungry. We wondered around the city a bit and ended up finding a cute little Crepe restaurant. When we finished eating, the sun was still out so we wondered the city some more, I found a jacket that was one of a kind and I had to have it. We also picked up some candles to make the house more homie and we got student bus cards to make it easier to get around. When we finished all of that, we met Jessie at home and then went straight to the mall to get our wifi fixed. When that was all sorted out we decided to have dinner at the pub near the house and play bingo. The atmosphere was filled with nervous anxiety. When each number was called, you could feel the eyes on everyone's paper lock into scanning to see if they were one more check closer to the jackpot. Lauren and I had a couple false alarms because Irish bingo is very different from American bingo but, we all very much enjoyed ourselves. Once bingo was over we stayed at the pub a little longer just  to use the wifi. When we got home I went straight to bed, turned on the rest of Stand By Me and slowly drifted to sleep.

    Day 5 - September 6, 2017:

    Like most days, we all got up late and when we ran to the train station, we missed the train we intended on taking but, we caught the one right after that and it came to the platform at Pierce Station just in time to make our connection at the station but, when we got to the station, we barely had time so Jessie ran to get the tickets while Lauren and I hauled our bags to the train, and with our luck, we made it on the train.

    The train to Belfast was like being on the train to Hogwarts, the seats are in fours and we had a table for our things and a man came down the isle asking if we wanted an assortment of food or coffee or tea. I love how obsessed with coffee this country is. As the landscapes quickly rushed by, I tried taking all of the scenery in. I was riding backwards so to my left was the sea and to my right was the land. And then when I looked back left, the sea had vanished and then came land again. As gloomy as the day was, the greenery of the country was so vibrant. The ride was smooth and easy, like spreading softened butter on fresh bread.  Every so often they would announce the stops before Belfast, once in English and then repeated in Gaelic. My eyes felt tired, I don't think the grey skies helped with that. I managed to keep busy by staring blankly out the window, trying to take in as much of the country as I could as it rushed through the window. When we got into Belfast, we went to a cafe because it was too early to check into the hostile. We made sure all our camera gear was working. The cafe was small and the conversion to dollars to pounds was unfortunately no great so things seemed extra expensive. If you told me the cafe was in Logan Square, I would have believed you. Prior to getting to Belfast, we came up with a plan of what we wanted to do during the day but unfortunately didn't do quite enough research on the subject.  When we checked into the hostile, I asked where to pick up the bus tour to The Giants Causeway and the woman working at the front desk looked at me blankly and said, “this tour only runs in the summer”.  Disappointed and concerned I told Lauren and Jessie and laughed a little because she was no help.  I went into a room with another woman sitting at a desk and asked her what the easiest way to get to Giant’s Causeway was, she gave me options that wouldn’t work with our schedule and when I recited what she said back to Lauren and Jessie, I knew we were in a little bit of trouble.  We ended up taking an Uber all the way from Belfast to The Giant’s Causeway.  I fell asleep rather quickly because I got carsick and when I woke up, we were there. I added two more pins to my collection before we walked to the site.  As we walked down the long path, I realized I have never seen grass this green.  Even with the gay skies, the green was as bright as granny smith apples.  At the site of The Giant’s Causeway, I felt so small.  We were surrounded by water and huge cliffs. The Giant’s Causeway is the aftermath of volcanic crashing, burning and cooling, an epic 60 million year old legacy to lava. Over 40,000 basalt columns. Interlocked.  Not only did it make for beautiful pictures but it was a nice way to reconnect with nature.  We knew there was a bus at 18:25 that would get us to the train back to Belfast at 19:20 but Jessie had offered to get us all an Uber if we wanted to stay longer so, Lauren and I took her up on that offer but, when it came time to find an Uber, there were none in the city and the only thing we could do was have the hotel on the property call us a cab.  Usually when they want to go into town, they have to call a cab the Wednesday before so, we were lucky enough to have one be in the city.  We got to the station 5 minutes before the train was going to leave and made it back to the hostile in one piece.  Nothing was open for food so we ended up getting Dominos and hang a heart to heart.  It was really nice being able to be so open with Lauren and Jessie.  We went to bed relatively early because we had to catch the train at 9 in the morning.  

    Day 6 - September 7, 2017

    Like yesterday, we woke up late. I know you’re thinking “oh great” and let me tell you, we were all freaking out!  We took a cab to the station and made it there three minutes until 9 and found out there’s no such thing as a 9 a.m. train to Dublin, its 10:20.  Is with that we ended up sitting at the station, twiddling our thumbs for an hour before the train came.  When we got back into Dublin, it was 1 o’clock and Lauren had an appointment at 2 so, we taxied back to the house to grab her things, taxied back to her  appointment and even though we were late, everything was totally fine!  Afterwards, we bopped around the city and later that night, Jessie got a tattoo.  We then went home to have dinner at the local pub and we got there 30 minutes after the kitchen closed so we went to the store next door and got Pringles to hold us over and then went home to eat and go to bed after we abused the wifi.

    Day 7 - September 8, 2017

    Jessie left today and Lauren and I were really sad.  She was like our mom for the week and having her gone made us really venerable. We had a meeting with our advisor Tony and it went so well! We spoke about our class schedule and got so off topic we ended up talking about the best places to visit in and out of Dublin.  We’re still figuring out our schedule but it looks like we are only going to have classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays! After that, we ended up bopping around Dublin 2 and found a cute place to eat and then sat in Starbucks so I could download a bunch of movies for us to watch.  We then ended up grabbing dinner and going home.  It was a short day but it was nice.  The house is weird without Jessie but we’re managing okay

    This Week’s Step Count: 104,724 Steps