A whirlwind last 3 weeks

Hello all! Once again I have slacked on my blog posting, but here we go!  Two weekends ago my dad, sister and brother decided to come visit me for four days. The first day we spent around Cork City, trying to ward off the jetlag, which had hit Sean especially hard. At one point dad parked the rental car, we took all took a picture of St. Finbarr’s Cathedral on the roof, and we went downstairs only to realize that Sean was missing. After five minutes of searching and thinking he’d gone to the wrong floor of the garage, Summer found him asleep in the car, into which he had apparently teleported after our group photo.

Eventually we got back to the hotel with great consternation, as dad couldn’t see how far left he was driving and there are woefully few road signs in Ireland (something I hadn’t noticed before because I’d never had to drive anywhere). We had dinner at the hotel and then everyone crashed at 9pm.

The next day we spent touring my campus, then going to Midleton and Cobh. We spent a while in the Cobh heritage museum which was nice. The day after that we drove out to Kinsale, where we watched the boats and had a traditional Irish breakfast, and then took the Wild Atlantic Way out to Skibereen. The drive was lovely, and dad did a great job driving a car on the wrong side of the car on the wrong side of the road, shifting with his left hand.  They left the next day, so it was a quick trip but really fun.

Last weekend, I whisked myself off to Austria to visit my friend Emily and her roommate Anna. We started in Vienna, which was beautiful. We went to several Christmas markets and did a walking tour to get oriented with the city. Next was Salzburg, which was my personal favorite. Salzburg is surrounded by scraggly mountains with snowy peaks and adorable houses painted in different colors. The three of us did a Sound of Music Tour, which was a little cheesy but really fun and took us to a lot of key sights that were in the movie, including the 16 going on 17 gazebo (which you can’t get into because an old lady tried doing Liesel’s dance and broke her leg). The rest of the day was spent around Salzburg Christmas markets and trying to get warmth in our icy fingers (Salzburg was COLD). The next day we were off to Innsbruck, where I only had an hour and a half to spend before I had to be in the airport, but I spent that time playing in the snow, so it was perfect.

Which brings me to Thanksgiving! The Irish don’t celebrate Thanksgiving, although they have introduced Black Friday sales this year (shudders). But my roommates and a few more friends decided we’d attempt a Thanksgiving anyway, and we invited four Irish students to come along. We bought two chickens instead of a turkey because it was so much cheaper, but otherwise everything was fairly traditional, and between everyone pitching in we had a pretty impressive spread. The Irish kids commented that “if this had been an Irish party there would have been just a chicken and LOADS of cans, like.” There were 9 people in our apartment all together, which we were a little nervous about, but we brought out our swivel desk chairs and it all worked out.

And now there are only 12 days before I arrive home, which is absurd. On Monday Norah, Alison and I are going to Amsterdam for two days and Berlin for another two, and then I’ll have to start packing. But I’ll save he sappy farewell to Ireland post for later. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

And Merry Christmas!

XOXO Jackie

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