I know I have been a neglectful blogger this past week, but I am just so darn busy now that my internship is in full swing. That being said, I just wanted to pop in and say hey.

Today, I have officially been in Ireland for one. full. month. WHEREEEEEEE did that month go?! It literally feels like maybe a week since I touched-down in Dublin, wide-eyed and eager for my own little Irish adventure. Well, quite the adventure it has been. I know I still have an entire month here, but a month seems like 5 minutes considering the astronomical speed with which this first month flew by.

I don't want to leave. Like, never. I want to a billionaire (so frickin' bad...) so I can travel around Europe for at least a year and see all of the places that I don’t have time to see this summer. As y’all know, I’ve been to Galway, Amsterdam, London and of course, all over Dublin, and I have fallen head over heels in love with Europe. The people, the culture, the architecture, the accents, the food, the fashion—all of it! Such charm, such importance—so modern, yet so rich with history. I love it all, but my Americanness is very evident. Strangely though, as much as I adore all things European, I love being American here. I love the looks I get when I say something in my evidently “excruciatingly hick” accent (thanks, coworkers). I love the smiling answers I get when I ask a question that seems painfully obvious to locals. Mostly, I just love that everything is new to me. I feel like a small child in that the most mundane and minute things never cease to delight me. Every time the phone rings in my office, my heart flutters and I crane my neck just so I can hear the “cheers, brilliant, thanks-a-million” uttered in that irresistible accent before whoever it is hangs up the phone. Every time I see my bus coming around the corner, I cannot suppress a smile, for I look forward to the bus driver’s always enthusiastic and complementary greeting when I step on and tell him hello.  I love sitting at Insomnia, my favorite little Dublin coffee shop, and simply watching the people walking by, guessing where they might be going based on their attire, companions, and general demeanor. I’ve always loved people watching, but Dublin has taken it to a whole new level because the people here are so damn cool. Yep, I’m never gonna wanna leave.

Some of you might be wondering what I actually DO at work. After all, the whole point of me coming here was for this internship, but I’ve barely posted anything about my job. Well, I guarantee you I have been doing A LOT. My favorite part of the job has been interviewing people and writing feature stories about them. I’ve interviewed a sculptural and architectural bamboo artist (read that interview HERE), a ballet dancer/choreographer (read that interview HERE), and an adorably charming actor (read that interview HERE). Though I have always loved to write, deciding to major in journalism is a brand new development in my life; thus, prior to this internship, I hadn’t had hardly any experience in the actual journalism work setting. My thoughts so far? I’m totally into it. It marries my social, outgoing nature (interviews) with my creative, intellectual side (writing) in a way that I can absolutely see myself making a career out of. After two decades of having no idea what I want to do with my life, this is a very exciting thing. And if anyone tells me one more time that “journalism is a dying field,” I think I might punch them in the face. Literally, I will. There will always be media. There will always be writing. Sure, times are changing but guess what? Journalism is changing to fit the times. Hackneyed as it may sound, I firmly believe that you are much better off and much more likely to achieve success doing something you love and are passionate about than by doing something just because it seems lucrative. But that’s just me. Anyways, moral of the story, I love being a journalist.

But it’s not all fun and games. Work, fun and exciting as it is, is exhausting and can, at times, be kinda boring. Some days I have loads of work—interviews, theatre previews,  and music reviews galore! Buuuut other days, especially when my coworkers have impending deadlines to worry about so that they don’t have time to worry about the pesky little American interns, all I have to do is listings. I know listings are a necessary component of any arts-based magazine, but MAN they really, well, suck. Cinema listings are the worst. Imagine staring at a screen and uploading every single showtime for every single movie playing at every single cinema in all of Dublin for hours and hours on end. It’s exhilarating. Luckily, that happens rarely, and the exciting work that I get to do most of the time makes the not-so-glamorous work totally worthwhile.

I’m going to save my profound “these are the groundbreaking things I learned in Europe” spiel for after the summer is over, but I do want to talk about some exciting things I have coming up. Firstly, as y’all all know, this weekend is 4th of July weekend, a cornerstone and favorite holiday for anyone with even an inkling of American pride. Well, it looks like the Irish have some American pride latent in them somewhere because there is a whole slew of 4th of July-themed events that would enthuse and excite even the most hardcore, down-south, boot-wearing, beer-drinking cowboy. Just you wait. Here are some photos taken at The Comet, the host of this delightful American celebration:
casual wednesday outing
friends on friends
american flags on american flags!!!
 On Friday, the first day of the “4th of July Festival” (it actually exists!), there is a hot-dog eating contest followed by a special appearance from none other than DJ USA. Enough said. Immensely looking forward to that playlist. But not as much as I am looking forward to Saturday. The day will start off with a bang with some casual live pig racing because everyone in America loves racing their live pigs, obviously. This delightful little event will be followed with some country cookin’ at the Down South Barbeque (including 200 free ice pops…don’t know why they felt compelled to include this tidbit in the flyer, but hey, I’m into it). However, all these festivities only pale in comparison to the musical guest that will grace the stage in the evening: A Garth Brooks Tribute Band. Take a moment to let that sink in. I swear, I’m in Ireland. Finally, on Sunday or as they refer to it “Stars and Stripes Sunday” (I KNOW!), we will be treated to a day of guitar hero “on the big screen” followed by Las Vegas Casino Night. Apparently the Irish are pretty in-tune to American culture. So into it, so stoked. Obviously, though I may not be getting sloppy and setting off fireworks at someone’s beach house in Galveston, Texas (nothing against those 4th of July weekends, can’t deny my roots), I will be enjoying a thoroughly American weekend all the way in Dublin. Can’t freaking wait.

The following weekend is Oxegen, which I am BEYOND excited about. Check out the website and swoon over the lineup. ‘twill be magical. And all the more magical because I have a visitor coming!! So stay tuned for a surprise guest :)

Besides Oxegen, I plan to do a lot more exploring of Dublin and befriending of Irish people (still prowling for my Irish husband…) and a bit more traveling (Barcelona in July...GET AT ME). Basically, I gotta lotta (dub) livin' left to do (dierks bentley, anyone?).

Since this post was lackin' in the photo department, I'll leave y'all with some of my favorite tunes as of late. I do a LOT of jammin' here since I spend so much time walking and riding on the (double decker party) bus, which does wonders for my mood. Does music affect y'all as much as it does me? My mood can literally change from song to song...it's kind of bizarre actually:

For some strange reason, I've been on a huge country kick lately. My theory is that being so far away from my southern roots makes me love them even more. So naturally, I'm really into this song:

I just discovered this song andddd it simply rocks:

I challenge you to listen to this song in the morning and NOT have a good day:

On that note (ha), have a great day friends! 

Cheers, y'all


Oh PS London recap post is coming tomorrow I promise!!! 



I am exhausted. My body aches, my feet throb with blisters, I am dehydrated, and I still feel sleep deprived even after a full 8 hours last night. Some might say, I've been Amsterdamned. Was it worth it? Absolutely. Let's start at the beginning. Friday morning, I popped out of bed energetically at 4:30 am (jokes..) to catch our super early flight to Eindhoven. From there, we took a bus and a train to Amsterdam, arriving at about 11 am. We were exhausted, delirious, and completely clueless on what to do since none of us had any idea where to go (not to mention everything was in Dutch, which might as well be Chinese). But we were SO excited to be in Amsterdam. We made our way to our hotel, which might as well have been paradise compared to the hostels that we considered staying in. Clean rooms, privacy, private showers, and comfortable beds are rare luxuries when traveling parent-less throughout Europe.
things got a little emotional
So after sobbing with joy and hugging each other repeatedly as we walked around our hotel room (kidding...kind of), we met up with the rest of our crew, along with some fellow Trojans studying in Madrid, at Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam--naturally, the most American place we could find.
Dubliners+Pat !!

Post-lunch, we meandered around Amsterdam and ventured into the Bulldog, one of the famous coffee shops. For anyone who lives under a rock, coffeeshops in Amsterdam don't sell coffee. Well, they might--I'm not sure actually, but people don't go there to drink coffee. Unless it's laced with marijuana. Hmm...caffeine and weed...an interesting combination. Anyways, being in Amsterdam, we HAD to at least check out one of these famous coffeeshops. It was dark, smokey, and frankly, pretty sketchy. Metal music was playing, accompanied by trippy visuals on several television screens throughout the bar. Shady people were huddled in corners, ceaselessly and dazedly smoking and rolling joints like it was their job. Honestly, the environment alone sufficed to induce the effects of marijuana without even smoking it.
coffeehouse from the outside

on the inside...random sailor statue?
After curiously observing the place for just a few minutes, we headed back to our hotel (aka paradise) to get ready for a night out in Amsterdam. Oh wait, first we went to a candy shop because we all have ADD and subconsciously gravitated towards the bright colors and sugar, without really realizing what was happening. Okay, so we did realize, but maybe after being in such a...corrupt? dirty? mature? (whatever) environment as the coffeeshop, I think we needed some place innocent. And we just wanted candy.
caffeine and sugar...healthy habits!

kids in a candyshop
 So then we went back to the beloved hotel, got all glammed-up, had a spontaneous girl-power pregame accompanied by the sweet sounds of Hilary Duff, circa 2003, and met up with the rest of our crew at a pub crawl (supposedly, "Europe's biggest pub crawl"). Twas spectacular. And foggy?
note the hand-holding

just partyin'

the point...
With a handful of USC kids in Amsterdam, it's pretty much impossible to NOT have a good time. Maybe even a great time. Something to ponder...

Sooo the next morning, or rather afternoon since we didn't actually make it out of our enticingly comfortable hotel room until almost 3pm, we ventured out to do some more Amsterdam exploring. We saw the Van Gogh museum (awesome) and then headed over to the Heineken Brewery. Well, we didn't actually go on the tour or really see any of the inside of the brewery, but we DID go to the gift shop to get matching jackets and hats because we wanted to be 100% sure that every person we passed on the streets knew with absolute certainty that we were American tourists. Based on the amount of gawks that we received, I'd say we were successful. We were quite popular with a group of Spanish men who were on a gay bachelor weekend. Not kidding. They insisted on taking the following photo with us:

3 american chicks and a gay spanish bachelor

They liked us so much that they started a "USA" chant in the middle of the street. I swear, we were just innocent bystanders...although it was pretty fantastic. We met up with guys, excited to roll up in our matching jackets and super cool hats, only to discover that they had the same idea we did...anticlimactic. But then we realized the photo-op potential at hand and quickly remedied the situation.
Heineken Drinking Team-suited up
Prof pic? Duh. Soooooo then we hustled back to our hotel to pretty ourselves up for another raucous night in Amsterdam. We started with a (party) boat tour through the Amsterdam Canal, which was a magical experience. In all seriousness, it was a fantastic way to see the city. A microphoned tour guide told us about all the places we were passing, which was a great way to absorb a little Amsterdam history and culture along with our bottles of wine. See, this was an educational trip. I promise. We saw Anne Frank's house, which was surreal. Just a small, simple, inconspicuous house, but so rich with history. We passed through the infamous Red Light District, which was...bizarre. Rows and rows of windows with scantily clad (haha) women just standing there, posing and pointing at passersby, hoping for a "customer." It was fascinating, in an eerie and disturbing way. 
lovely canal

"can i please have a glass of white wine"
"can i please have a bottle of white wine"

cant escape the rain

friends on a boat

the crew

the crew+our beloved bartender, ryan
"you guys drink too much"
party time
All in all, the boat tour was possibly my favorite amster-tivity (Amsterdam+activity? Did that work?). So, after the boat tour, we hit the town for another night out in Amsterdam. As per usual, fun times were had all around.
outdoor urinals...not normal

more usc friends!


get it

Soooo...then I sort of insisted that the crew check out this place called "Paradiso" that our hotel concierge urged us to go to because it was the "hottest club in Amsterdam." I swear he said that. Either he had a skewed idea of what our definition of the "hottest club" was or he was just messing with us because this place was a full-blown gay club. We literally walked in the door and were greeted by a charming bunch who insisted on dressing us up in ostentatious garb for photographs. We weren't allowed to smile either. 
tyra would be proud
Don't get me wrong, I thought it was fabulous and hilarious, but we were with a big group of guys who were not so down to party in such a...flamboyant atmosphere. Sorry, boys.

Afterwards, we wandered the streets of Amsterdam for a while, which I'm sure was a really safe activity, and then headed back to our hotel, excited to crash for one last night in our oasis of a hotel room with its cloud of a bed.

The next day was a travel day, involving more modes of public transportation in one day than I think I've ever taken in my life (cab to train station, train to bus station, bus to airport, plane to dublin airport, cab to HOME!). The weekend was absolutely incredible, but I was thrilled to get back to Dublin. We all agreed that though Amsterdam was one of the most exciting and unique cities we've ever experienced, Dublin is still our favorite thus far. Like I said in my last post, the Irish are the friendliest people I have ever met, and Dublin is just a much more comfortable, homey place, while still being wildly exciting. I've only been here for three weeks, but it already feels like home, and I know that I am going to be kicking and screaming when I have to leave. This upcoming weekend, we are headed to London, which shall be extraordinary, but I am also really looking forward to spending some more time exploring Dublin and Ireland. Stay tuned for more! 

In the meantime, I'll leave y'all with this super-Irish photo I snapped while riding the double-decker (party) bus on the way into the City Centre after a rainstorm:
just add a leprechaun and a pot of gold
A rainbow in Ireland? Get a little more cliche, Dublin. Geez.



Musings: The Irish Way

I love LA. I really do. I love going to school there, and I will most likely end up living there one day. It is exciting and vibrant and the perfect place for me to flex my creative muscles and make a life for myself in the industries I am passionate about. I would not trade my life in LA for anything. But that being said, one of the things I miss most about my life back in Texas is the people. Don’t get me wrong—LA, and USC especially, has been extraordinarily kind to me in the people department. I have met some of the most amazing people there and have made friends that will be by my side for the rest of my life. But in the general sense, there really is no comparison between the people in Texas and those in LA. Texans are just…nicer. In Texas, Southern hospitality permeates every aspect of peoples’ lives. You walk past someone on the street, and you smile. You put your blinker on in rush hour traffic, and someone lets you over. It’s refreshing and uplifting, and though I adore LA, I do miss the friendliness of my Texans back home. Now that I have reaffirmed my affinity for southern hospitality and love of all things Texas, I am going to say something that I never thought I would say. There are people even friendlier than Texans. And not just a few people—a whole country in fact. That’s right, the Irish reign supreme in the friendliness and compassion department.

People in Ireland are just nicer than Americans. In America, competitive spirit pervades everything we do—it is not about being your best, it is about being the best. Sure, growing up, we were all taught that as long as we do the best that we, ourselves, can do, we are good enough. But let’s be real here. Americans are conditioned to believe that we have to be better at everything than everyone else or our self-worth decreases. If our SAT scores are not as high as our peers, we don’t get into the best college. If we don’t go to the best college, we don’t get the best jobs. If we don’t get the best jobs, we won’t make as much money. And we all know that people who make the most money are superior to the rest of humanity, right? Well, strangely, most Americans foster the subliminal belief that that is true. As an American, I subconsciously expected the rest of the world to share this competitive spirit, but after spending only a few short weeks here in Ireland, I am coming to realize that that is not the case. In Ireland, there is a much greater attitude of camaraderie rather than competition. Sure, everyone wants to succeed at what they do, but they also want other people to succeed. “Workaholics” by American standards are few and far between—if they even exist at all—in Ireland. Don’t get me wrong, I am not expressing by any means that the Irish are lazy or blasé about work. Quite the contrary. They are extraordinarily passionate about what they do, but they are even more passionate about the people they work with. My coworkers and boss are not just coworkers to one another; they are friends. They chat with one another as they work, laughing about the crazy party over the weekend or what their evening plans are, but despite the colloquial and jovial aura in the office, they all continue to produce excellent and intelligent work. Seriously, they are brilliant writers as well as brilliant…well, people.

And it’s not just in the work environment that this notion of Irish friendliness and compassion is evident—it’s everywhere. Cab and bus drivers, for example. Consider cab drivers in America. Sure, there are the few diamonds in the rough, but for the most part, taxi drivers are abrasive, curt, and often completely silent the entire ride. They are there for one purpose: to drive you to where you need to go so they can take your money. Nothing against American cab drivers—it’s just the average American working attitude. Perform the job—nothing more, nothing less—and get paid. In Ireland however, things are different. Every time I hop into a cab or step onto a bus, I am surprised and delighted by how friendly the drivers are. I have had copious conversations with my cab drivers about a vast array of topics. They are astonishingly knowledgeable and eager to offer advice about anything and everything. Sure, they are there to drive you, but they are also there to help you—to get to know you.

And another example: there is a dingy little pizza shop right around the corner from where we are staying, and hanging in front of the shop is a banner that reads “Probably the best pizza in Dublin.” We Americans found this hilarious, accusing the restaurant of lacking confidence and automatically assuming that because the sign did not say “The BEST pizza in Dublin,” the pizza must be, for lack of a better term, really shitty. But then one day in the city, I noticed a sign for a little coffee shop that read “Probably the best coffee in Dublin.” Odd, I thought. I started to pay closer attention. Before I knew it, I had counted 11 restaurants or shops that advertised as offering “probably” the best of whatever they were selling.  No, it’s not that Dubliners lack confidence in their product or that they don’t wish to market successfully. They simply have confidence in the products of others as well and wish for everyone to market successfully. Unlike Americans, it is not in the nature of the Irish to want to have the best of this and the best of that. They are perfectly content asserting that there is a certain degree of probability that their product is the best, but that there is certainly a chance that it is not. If you were to storm into a shop and aggressively declare that their product is shit and another Dublin vendor sold a product that was 100x superior, the shop owner would simply smile and say “hey, cheers to them.” Well, probably.

PS: check out my first published interview HERE!!!

Stay tuned for a first few weeks at work recap plus a recap of my trip to Amsterdam this weekend!




Vikings Take Galway!!!

Anddddd she's back. Sorry for the delay...it has been a WILD few days in these Irish lands, so this post will be a long one. Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to start...what is it with me and these sound of music references?). So, Saturday. Saturday was a magical day that made me very thankful for two things: the Vikings and America. See, we started our day with a Viking Tour that basically represented everything Europeans hate about Americans. It was fantastic. We rallied our USC crew and basically took over one of the tour buses. Decked out in horned viking hats and our American finest, we hit the town, immediately befriending our hilarious tour guide who affectionately referred to us collectively as "America."
We were having plenty of fun in the company of just our tour, but the real magic happened whenever we passed someone looking at a map, holding a cup of coffee, or looking distinctly like a tourist--basically all of us, if we were the ones on the street and not the bus. When we passed these lucky individuals, our gem of a guide would quietly count down from 3 and then we would all scream at them and shake our viking fists. We got WAY too into it and loved every minute. Oh, I should mention that we spent some quality time on the party bus on the way to town, so the tour was especially enjoyable after that. Fun times were had all around.

Then the bus pulled a serious Jedi move and turned into a boat. Badass. We looked SO good in our viking hats and life jackets, especially when we did closed-mouth smiles.
God that's attractive.
Post viking tour, we cried a little bit because it was over. Then we got over it and went prowling the streets of Dublin, in search of a fun pub to eat lunch/dinner at. Then this happened:

That, my friends, would be Captain America. We were walking down the street, fully intending on finding some grand ole Irish pub, but upon sighting the sign for "Captain America's"...well, the rest is history. Dinner was fun, to say the least. I'll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Good ole American fun. 

As joyous and blissful as Saturday was, we decided to get back into the Irish spirit and take the train to Galway on Sunday morning since Monday was a bank holiday. Despite a painful 6 am wake-up call and a nearly 3 hour long train ride, Galway was magnificent. I fell in love. After checking into our delightful little hostel Snoozles (so European of us), we caught the noon ferry to take us out to Inishmore, one of Galways beautiful Aran islands. Though we were exhausted, the beautiful Irish countryside invoked a burst of energy and adventure in us, and we rented bikes for a 7 mile (effing hilly) bike ride along the coast. I have no words for how impossibly beautiful this bike ride was. Luckily though, I do have photos, though they really don't do justice to the splendor of the Irish countryside.

Though breathtakingly beautiful, the bike ride was HARD. My thighs were feeling the burn, but we all pressed on, determined to do something active and wholesome after a pretty crazy week. Success! The long ride really reminded me that although experiencing the nightlife is crucial to getting the full experience of a new country, I am here for so much more than partying. Ireland is such an amazingly beautiful, cultural, and fascinating place, and I want to experience every facet of it--no matter how badly my thighs may burn in the process. That being said, the first thing we did after our commendable, eye-opening, and wholesome activity was head to the nearest pub and order pints of Guinness. Hey, when in Ireland, do as the Irish do. 

post bike-ride hydration at its finest
After our island excursion, though every inch of my body was imploring me to rest, we all rallied and got ready for a night out in Galway. I am SO glad we did. I'm sorry y'all, but the Americans have nothing on the Irish in terms of having a good time. On a SUNDAY night, every bar we went to was completely packed with Irish folk enjoying themselves immensely. It was fantastic. The first place we went was called Fibber Magees, which were lured to by the promise of free drinks from a Blonde Irish bartender prowling the streets looking for gullible Americans who looked to be more sober than they wished. I guess we fit the bill. I am actually glad we obliged because although those "free drinks" were nowhere to be found, the bar was bursting with craic (Irish for fun) and they were playing hilariously American party songs (think Like a G6 and Umbrella). Ali, Jennie, and I however started getting a little creeped out by these two old Irish guys posted up at the bar with their eyes glued on us American girls. Not chill, Irish dudes.
creepy men in the background!!!
So we left and headed to a supposed Galway favorite, The Front Door. So. Much. Fun. This place was much bigger than the first and much more...Irish? They even played the song "Galway Girl" (PS I Love You, anyone?), which literally made my life. I actually got up and started dancing and singing by myself, which turned a lot of heads, but not in the good way. This bar also reinforced the notion of the uh...boldness of young Irish gentlemen. I am a sucker for those accents...

So after a raucous night of Irish fun in Galway, we crashed hard at our lovely little hostel, Snoozles (which I actually highly recommend) and caught a morning train back to Dublin. I LOVED Galway but was so glad to be back in my own little room in Shanowen square--it's really starting to feel like home! 

Well, this post, per usual, is a novel, so although I have loads more to tell, I'll save that for another post. Stay tuned for a recap of my first couple days working as a journalist intern for Totally Dublin! 

Later y'all,



Interviews, Guinness, the Palace...Oh My!

Quite the exciting place, this Dublin. Quite the exciting place indeed. Let's rewind to tomorrow, eh? So I finally had my interview, which went gloriously--even the transportation! I feel like a proud little schoolgirl to tell y'all that I caught the correct bus this time and got off at the correct stop. It turns out it's only about a 5 minute walk to my office from the RIGHT stop. Not a 45 minute walk like I attempted yesterday...baby steps. Anyways, my office is small but adorable--very bright and open air. He conducted our entire interview sitting outside on the ground so he could smoke a cigarette. He is a boss (literally and figuratively). I don't want to get too in-depth about my internship until I actually start working there next week, but I will say that there is a 100% chance that I am going to swoon over this job. Basically, I will be writing (my favorite thing to do) about theatre, film, music, bars/pubs, and fashion (these are a few of my favorite things...sound of music anyone?). He told me that I will likely be spending several days a week just walking around Dublin, a city that I am falling more and more in love with each day, just exploring and talking to people. Yeah, I think I might like this job. Check out the website Totally Dublin because my first project is to write online! I'll try and snag some pics of my office and coworkers (who all seem awesome) once we become besties. It's happening.

Post-interview, it was time to get ready for our tour of the Guinness Brewery. We left a little early so we could walk around the city for a bit. We started, naturally, with grand ole time on the party bus.
hombres chillin at the bus stop

and the ladies

finally on the bus...red cup in hand

When we got to the City Centre, we had plans to grab some quick dinner and drinks at The Church Bar, which turned out to be totally packed--totally awesome, but packed nonetheless. So we forwent those plans, and decided to just stroll around Dublin to kill some time pre-Guinness tour. It was about 7 pm when these pictures were taken and still completely bright outside. Evidently, it will stay light until around 11 pm in late June and July. This is excellent news for the nocturnal party animals in us, but not such great news for the responsible, early-to-bed working adults that we also must become. I'm confident we will cope. Oh also, it was warm yesterday! I mean like seriously warm. It's been pretty chilly the past few days, but nothing unmanageable at all. Yesterday though the sun was shining all day, and I was completely comfortable in a tank top. Plus, according to the cab driver, this summer is going to be a "scorcher" and cab drivers here know all. Summer!
fight on

downtown dub
Come 7:30, we promptly scurried over to the Guinness Factory. They enticed us with the promise of a free pint of Guinness at the end of the tour, so naturally we were the first ones there. We were greeted by the legendary Tom Kelley (program manager...what a guy) and went on our merry way through the brewery. It was very, very cool.
times at the Guinness fountain

brewers got skillz

chair times

some contraption

barley...smelled like coffee beans!
Then we made it to the top!

real bartenders...ginj...naturally

jennie and some gingers


i just want to enjoy my guinness
I thought I would hate Guinness. I even had a sip of it the other night, and well, I did hate it. But since I'm fully committed to becoming as Irish as I possibly can short of dying my hair red and changing my last name to O'Burdine, I decided to give it a second chance. It really grows on you! A few sips in, and I actually started to enjoy it. It is definitely an acquired taste--dark, thick, and rich, which is a far cry from the light, cheap, watered-down natty lights that plague fratty fridays at USC. Now, I'm not saying that I'm going to be throwing back pints every night, but a glass here and there to complement my dinner? I could totally do that. Irish win. 

So after enjoying our Guinness and mingling with our program-mates (thanks Jennie), a huge crew of us hit the town for another crazy Dublin night. The first pub we went to, Flannigans or Flannerys or something like that, was fun but totally filled with Americans. Literally EUSA kids completely invaded it. 


i like to party

paybacks a bitch

new friends!
We had a great time, but I was craving some Craic (Irish for "fun"), so heeding to the advice of the bartender, a few of us headed across the street to this place called The Palace, which evidently has quite a reputation of being THE place to go on Thursday nights. Wow. This place was unbelievable. Three stories of rowdy Irish fun. The bars in Dublin are nothing like American bars, in the best way possible. They are much cleaner, better organized, and more spacious--basically the exact opposite of the 9-0. Plus, this place had a dance floor! We danced our faces off. I wish I had taken more photos because this doesn't do it any justice, but I'm sure we will be back.
It was here that I got my first taste of how...bold Irish guys are. I actually had to start inventing made-up stories about myself to fend some of them off because evidently if you respond "no thank you" to a drink offer or dance invitation, Irish guys take that to mean "yes, I REALLY want to, but I am just playing hard to get." So they try harder. It can be cute and charming, especially with those darn accents, but it can also be annoying. I actually told one of them that I had a husband back home, and he still offered to buy me a drink. I had to give that one credit for his persistence. But don't worry, my cab driver on the way home gave me some excellent advice on how to deal with Irish guys, so I am fully prepared for our next outing. I'm tellin' you, these Irish cab drivers know things.

Well, it's after noon now, and I am itching to explore the city. Today we plan to do the "touristy" tour of Dublin, and we may try to do some traveling around Ireland this weekend since we have Monday off from work. Stay tuned for more!

Later y'all,