Last row, aisle seat is where I currently reside. My body is sore from an utterly magical, outrageous weekend. On Friday I flew to Ireland for the American football match where I was rooting for Notre Dame to defeat Navy. This game was sold out and brought in more American visitors than the London Olympics. The airport itself welcomed visitors for the game with balloons on every corner.
After a quick flight to Dublin, I met a dear friend, Christian, who is studying in Germany for the year. Our first stop was our hostel, The Kinlay House. The hostel world is something very unique and new to me. Young travelers were making new international friends in the common room, planning backpack excursions, and cooking meals in the kitchen. The music was hip and the beds were surprisingly comfortable. Now I may have had a bit of luck from the Irish, but this certainly was an awesome hostel.
Now there are many important facts about Ireland, but the one that is most true is the fact that Guinness reigns king over all the land. No joke. As the group of twenty of us danced and laughed throughout Temple Bar, a Guinness pint could be spotted in all hands.
Game day arrived and the festivities started bright and early in the streets of Dublin. Back to back, thousands formed a parade-like party down the roads. Each individual chanting and cheering for their team, toasting to the day, and talking smack to opponents. We looked one way and saw men marching in Navy uniforms, another direction and a band playing down the road, boys walking in kilts, and leprechauns frolicking around. The streets were alive.
As we made our way to the stadium, our eyes lit up in front of the architecturally magnificent building that is Aviva Stadium. Our eyes lit up even brighter when we saw our seats. Third row on the Notre Dame side. Every single one of us couldn’t believe our lives, our luck, and our happiness. I have chills just thinking about it. Navy put up a little fight, but let’s be honest…we were in the home of the Irish. Victory went to the Irishmen of Notre Dame.
Every person we had the blessing to meet in Ireland was so helpful, gracious, and caring. After visiting Ireland, I can truly say that as a whole they are the nicest people I have ever met.
On Sunday our group dragged our feet out of bed on our fading stamina and pushed through an outstanding tour of the Guinness Storehouse. We couldn’t possibly leave Dublin without seeing how Arthur Guinness created the best stout in the world! As we walked through the fantastic tour, we kept attempting to wrap our minds around how lucky we all were for this weekend. How did we deserve such an amazing trip? And how was this only the beginning? As I am landing in Paris right now, I realize that those questions will forever be in my mind throughout this entire journey.
Till next time,