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Europe Trip: Part 10-Ireland; Ancestry 101 July 23, 2012

Filed under: Europe Trip 2012,Ireland — heycollegesreadthis @ 11:46 pm
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If you’re a UK reader, be sure to enter the giveaway. So far your chances are looking great at winning as no one has yet to enter!

Due to privacy reasons, I’m not going to go into much detail with this post beyond photographs.

Let’s begin!


1. This cathedral had something to do with the baptism and burial of some far off distant family members. While we were there, a handful of us talked to the historian to find more information while the rest of us(lead by my father and non-Irish uncle) headed to town in hopes of food, beer, wifi, and amusement. Above is my father “wondering when he’s going to catch on fire and burn in hell” as a result of marrying a Catholic girl despite his Jewish roots. Yay archival religious segregation and for playing Lady Gaga while marching to the car!

2.“Because it is my name! Because I cannot have another in my life! Because I lie and sign myself to lies! Because I am not worth the dust on the feet of them that hang! How may I live without my name? I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”

3. Ancestor’s castle plus a distant family member who happens to live in Ireland/the area that showed us around. The place was really cool but falling apart(crumbling stairs, thatched tin roof falling apart, so many nooks and crannies that broke at the touch).

4. This isn’t exactly family history as much as it is Irish History. I believe the house originally belonged to the British who screwed the Irish over by ratting the French out for aiding the Irish during a war. Knowing how much the original owner screwed my people over just made the house like the weather; depressing.

5. I believe this was in Bantry Bay; another place where I have family dating back to. Knowing how much of my family history is branched out due to my grandfather(they got even further back to the people that first settled Ireland while we were there) just made the city seem that much more special as I was in a way, retracing the footsteps to my ancestors. I even visited the location from which the first person bearing my mother’s maiden name was born but due to the minuscule size of the town it’s located in, would rather not share such a personal detail of my family history even if it is 5-7 generations or so back.



Europe Trip: Part 9-Ireland; Our first two days in Dunmanway

Filed under: Europe Trip 2012,Ireland — heycollegesreadthis @ 6:03 pm
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“When the cows are sitting down, that means it’s about to rain.”—The lady next to my sister on our plane to Dublin

The drive from Cashel to Dunmanway was about 2.5 hours long where I actually wait for it…FINISHED MY SUMMER READING BOOK! Granted, I managed to transform a southern dialect rich book into one where the characters rotated Scottish, Irish, British, Jamaican, and southern dialects out. And when we arrived to our home for the next five days called Sam Maguire Cottages, my sister “treated me” to having the single bed room(with bathroom; this was important later on) all by myself.

With an empty kitchen and a family tired of eating out, we planned on hitting the city to go grocery shopping. Normally, my Mom gives me about a ten minute heads up before she goes to the store but since she was following the lead of her sister and husband, they left without warning. I saw them leave. I sprinted as far as my lungs would let me sprint and eventually gave up so flipped them off to release some frustration and turned around.

Let’s just say my sprinting didn’t go unnoticed as I hopped in the car.



Europe Trip: Part 8-Ireland; Cashel July 22, 2012

Filed under: Europe Trip 2012,Ireland — heycollegesreadthis @ 11:31 pm
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To entertain myself on the ~2.5 hour drive from Dublin to Cashel, I played Nyan Cat Jump almost nonstop, took the occasional picture of the repetitive scenery, and went over my AP English Summer Assignments only when I got pissed off at Evil Waffle Cat.

We stayed at Cashel Palace which was conveniently located not even a tenth of a mile from downtown and right in front of The Rock of Cashel (basically a castle and cemetery; the first of many we visited). I really don’t think we did much while in Cashel after we hiked up to the rock and got lunch downtown. I feel like a lot of my family just sat around the hotel pub enjoying a drink and each others company as the wind attacked my hair or I magically locked myself into the bathroom by mistake.

You can now understand why.

So without further ado, I present you; Cashel!


Europe Trip: Part 7-Ireland; Guinness Factory Tour July 21, 2012

Disclaimer: Please bare in mind that I’m sixteen which is considered both underage in both Europe and the US. Contrary to popular belief, the drinking age in Europe is eighteen—not sixteen. One of the Guinness Factory tour guides kindly explained to my sister, Mom, and I about the whole underage drinking thing in Europe. Basically if a place gets caught serving to minors, they could get their alcohol license taken away AKA: they can no longer serve alcohol to anyone—even if at/above the drinking age. My sister and I kept this information running through our minds each time we visited a bar, pub, or restaurant as we tend to come off as at or above the drinking age. 

Our first night in Ireland was basically “Welcome to Dublin now go meet up with the other twelve people in your crew to embrace your Irish blood!”

With twenty-three people in our group, we opted for the private tour at the Guinness Factory which entitled for us to be educated by a Sharon Osborne lookalike.

The tour began with walking around the sweet musky scented building shaped like a pint of Guinness to learn about the five ingredients of Guinness(toasted barely, hops, water, yeast, and Arthur Guinness), distribution and manufacturing of the product, and how to properly drink Guinness with a chance to practice towards the end of the tour.

I personally had a great time on the tour as our guide did a fabulous job at integrate the science of stout making with the history behind the company. I believe it was a few euros extra for the tour guide but from what I heard from someone that went around the place without the guide, the added euros are well spent.

The tour ends with a visit to The Gravity Bar; the uppermost level of the factory surrounded with glass walls providing an incredible view of Dublin. Those with an adult ticket are “fortunate” enough to redeem part of their ticket for either a pint or half-pint of fresh Guinness and invited to enjoy their drink  while admiring the view. Those with a childrens’ ticket were allowed to enjoy a complementary soft drink or if you’re either a Celiac(my aunt) or someone who doesn’t really drink soda such as myself, the air tasted incredible.

Everyone in the bar was relaxed and just enjoying themselves while not rushing anything; a steep contrast from what we endured in five days of London ram-rod. Even my parents who were getting pretty stressed out and frustrated frustrated seemed to be having the time of their lives as they enjoyed their beloved Irish Guinness minus the US preservatives. Pure Guinness and pure happiness.

In fact, my parents love Guinness so much that they named one of our three cats after the beloved stout so when we realized they had a gift shop, you better believe we did some pretty serious damage. And as we arrived to dinner, we noticed Dublin loves the drink just as much as we do:


Europe Trip 2012: Part 6-London 5/5 July 19, 2012

The final day in London can be summed up in one picture in which I look like total crap:

I figured what better day to wear Pizza John than the day we hit the Science and History(“Collection of shit England stole from other countries”) museums and the National Gallery.


Europe Trip: Part 5-London day 4/5 July 18, 2012

[Press play, then read]

I’ve been trying to do it right;

keeping my family in eye sight

as I seek an pinnacle of independence

to bind me to my teenage years.

Freedom felt nice

as that’s where I stood;

wondering if the pictures of the royal gem my sister secretly took

will ever mean more than  likes on Instagram

or saying you shook hands with a headless man.

The only Royal Beast in sight was an employee at the London Tower

which really didn’t matter

knowing tea at Harrods was a ferry ride away

—an extended metaphor to tell the independent gal within;

lemon coconut macaroons taste better while surrounded by kin.

I could rhyme away my desires as long as I live

but knowing  that deep down inside,

I’ll always just be a little kid

doing what I love, loving what I do,

believing my parents always make the rules

even if that means there’s nothing to do

but live in the moment of ‘now’.

Don’t forget about my current give away. Details are here.


Europe Trip Part 4: London-Day 3/5 July 16, 2012

There’s information on a givaway for UK readers at the end of this post, so keep reading for more information!

Before my family and I were even fully awake, we had learned a few things:

  1. Almost nothing is open before 9am in London.
  2. Fast food isn’t always shitty.
  3. Being a stereotype has never felt so good. (more…)