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First semester

The last post was almost 3 months ago, that, I am ashamed of and I will save you the excuses, as busy and crazy as final year is I am really...

Thursday, 27 August 2015

The rocky road to Dublin


What better way to see what this beautiful country has to offer than pack up the car and go on a ROAD-TRIP. First stop Dublin (obviously). Within a couple of hours of being in the city we landed ourselves in the Guinness storehouse (they call it a factory, personally it wasn't a factory it was just an old store house and you got to pour your own pint) non the less it was a good experience and nice view from the bar on the top floor.

 Wonder how many miles these shoes have done...?

The weather was absolutely perfect in Dublin, no sign of rain and what better way to see any city than on foot. Aidan and Shane joined us on our week long road trip, a combination of all three of us (mostly Aidan) we managed a pretty decent tour.


I had never been on the tour at Croke park before and it was something that I have wanted to do for some time now, since the sun was still shinning, we headed for Croke park GAA stadium. The entire visit was brilliant, I would highly recommend the tour to everyone, wonderful history of the sport and the history of both the country and the city; plus our tour guide Cian was absolutely fantastic both entertaining and knowledgeable for young children, students and adults who were all in our tour.

Hill 16

Cusack stand and Davin Stand

Next stop Co.Kerry

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Heart of the glens; Take 2


I had the next two weeks all planned out. Packed full of things to do and places to show Emma and Ander; along side Shane wanting to run Cushendall's Lurig run again this year, I wanted to bring the guys to the Antrim coast, show them what it has to offer as well as Emma wanting another tick on her bucket list; with a visit to the Giants Causeway.

Along side all the excitement and build up to my guests arriving, Shane was also arriving home the same time. He was returning from Norway where he took part for the second year in a row in the Tromso Sky-race, a gruelling 45kilometres with an elevation of 4400m; overall an outstanding ability to first of all consider taking part in and secondly beat his time from last year. His decision to take part in the Lurig run was with an outlook of simply having fun and he had no preconceived idea of pushing himself since he was only home a couple of days and was recovering from injures.

With that as his outset from the beginning of the race, we cheered him on with excitement has he set off with a strong confident pace that would exhaust me if I attempted to keep up. Non the less he blistered in at a time of 30:25 coming out No.7 overall improving his position from 10th last year. Just goes to show the strength he has, some times he doesn't even realise his own ability.

After all the excitement that Cushendall had to offer we headed north along the coast and decided to add a stop to our tour that we didn't do last year, Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. I had not been here since I was in the scouts and that was quite a few years ago. Summed up very well by Ander "so its a rope bridge out to a big rock surrounded by water?"... eme Yes. Thats about right. Fun Fact, not far from the rope bridge there is an old quarry that was used to film scenes from 'Game of thrones'.

Next stop the Giant's causeway as Emma says 'Finally'. I was surprised as to how good the weather managed to be, with the past two months showing signs of winter rather than summer conditions, we got a mostly dry day with good visibility over to scotland, allowing us to tell the guys an old myth of Finn MacCool the giant.

I was having such an incredible day yet I couldn't stop myself from becoming somewhat nostalgic. Exactly this day last year, mum and I had watched Shane's race, walked the interlocking basalt columns of the giants causeway and as we done this I was constantly thinking of how many days I had until I was leaving for america; I had already left my job and in my final week of preparations. 
So much has happened in one year, so many decisions have been made; so many people I have met that formed into friendships. As I watched Ander plod around on the rocks and Emma smiling from ear to ear as she pinched herself in relation to where she was, I couldn't help but close my eyes and cherish this moment. The idea had never crossed my mind that I would be standing here in exactly the same place a year on with friends that I had made in Colorado. Woooh does life move quick.

2014                                                                         2015

With some extra stops on our whirlwind tour including a drive through Bushmills town, a sneak peak at Dunluce castle and the cherry on top; fish and chips in Portstewart by the sea.

Next american ninja warriors in training

If you thought that was everything, think again. To round this 'relaxing' day off nicely, we had to get the guys a sup of the black stuff especially since Guinness tastes best in Ireland. Fact!

An unexpected view


The perfect weather conditions along side the right timing equalled to a beautiful first flight for myself in over a year and a smooth first flight for both Emma and Ander. Theres just no words to describe the feeling of sailing over where I call home; I don't take the opportunities and experiences that I get for granted and to have the chance of sharing this gift with close friends, I'm simply speechless (that doesn't happen often).

Maghera 'Hall street'. Photo cred. Ander



The day has finally arrived. Quite some time talking about it, a few months of planning, a couple of weeks of anticipation and it's finally all coming together. Emma and Ander are here. The feeling of a long prepared planning working out is extremely satisfying.

It began back in December over Christmas, both Ander and I decided not to go home for the holidays (instead my family were travelling out to visit) whilst I was resting my broken foot we started thinking about what would happen when it was time to go back home, would we like to meet up and would it really happen. Without another thought the preparations began; first choosing the month of August (best chance of good weather) and secondly the all-Ireland Feadh is a sight not to be missed. From then on it was set.

Safely arrived and ready to see what the beautiful emerald Isle has to offer.

Hiking An Carn

Whats a more typical thing to do on your first visit to Ireland, than go for a walk up a mountain; through fields full of sheep, jumping over rock walls and gates.
They managed to get a really taste of what Ireland is all about, all in one day.