Ireland: Never Let the Truth Get in the Way of a Good Story
Currently wishing I had the energy to tell a great story about the remaining time I had in Ireland. The Irish all seem to be delightful storytellers, and to be honest, I have zero faith that anything they told me was the truth. But that's okay with me. Made for a ton of interesting conversation. As much as I'd love to paint a picture of the most wild, adventurous time I've ever had, that unfortunately sounds exhausting so I'll only share a much shorter version of what I was intending; and then leave you with a 15 minute long video I compiled of the entire 10 days. I cry pretty much every time I watch it.
So after we departed Clonakilty, our beautiful new Irish friends, Marie and Christina dropped Madison, Brittany, and I off at the Cork airport where we picked up a rental car (in a pretty sketchy location). Despite the sketchiness of it all, we ended up with a really nice car and we drove off in full panic mode; now realizing that we have to drive across a country on the opposite side of the road while sitting on the opposite side of the car. Luckily, I was a pro. I'm a terrible driver everywhere else, but in Ireland... not too shabby if I do say so myself.
We made a stop at Blarney Castle where we kissed the Blarney Stone and walked the gorgeous grounds for almost two hours. I almost wish we had more time, but we were definitely trying to be off of the road before it got dark. I didn't have THAT much faith in my driving skills. On a drive through the country, just a bit before we got to our hostel near the Cliffs of Moher, we pulled over and watched another stunner of a sunset. We blasted the music and danced on the country road that seemed to stretch for eternity, so perfectly lit by the warm oranges and pinks filling the sky. It was one of the more magical moments of the trip. Or maybe even my life if I'm being fully honest.
That night we attempted to go out in the tiny town where our hostel was, but there was not a ton of action. It almost had an eery, horror movie vibe with how empty the streets seemed. We found a couple pubs but called it a relatively early night.
We arose in the morning much later than we had wanted and then by noon found out that checkout for the hostel was 10am. The day was off to a rough start.
Madison wanted to give driving a try and she somewhat successfully (and slowly) drove us up to the Cliffs of Moher, the moment I had been waiting for the entire trip... a moment I have been waiting for much of my life, actually. The first time I ever saw pictures of these Cliffs, I felt called to them. I just knew it was something I needed to see in person. And now it was happening. Needless to say, I cried.
While at the Cliffs we noticed a small gate where people put locks or other memorabilia with their names or a message, so we did the same. Brittany put a hair tie she had worn the whole trip and Madison tied a Carmax to it because it reminded her of her grandfather, and then added a little flower that was sitting there. I found a rose quartz crystal that was in a pink bag that had been sitting in my purse since Valentine's Day. I thought it was perfect so I tied it to the gate. That was the crying moment.
We all Facetimed our families and then drove off to our next destination: Dublin. Brittany gave the driving thing a quick try and sadly that did not go as well as hoped. She drove on a curb and we decided it was time to switch back. The drive to Dublin was long but we had a solid road trip playlist to keep us alive.
Once in Dublin we got to our hotel (that Brittany and Madison's parent got for us (bless their souls), and we rushed to get ready to meet everyone that we were already missing so much from the workshop. Almost all of our Irish actors made it out and the few of us Americans that were still there made it as well. It felt like such a nice reunion, but it definitely felt like that was going to be the last night I'd see them of them on this trip. We all drank a lot more than necessary and said our goodbyes for the millionth time.
The next morning with our raging hangovers, Brittany, Madison, Kevin, Jake, and I all went to the Guinness Factory. I'm not sure about them, but it was a challenge. It was fun and interesting and cool or whatever... but a challenge. We then met with Marie and Christina for lunch said our final goodbyes to them, cried, and then took a nap before I final, FINAL night in Ireland. We drank and danced the night away. I will remember that night forever. It was magic. Just magic.
The next morning we parted ways with Lenn and Einne, cried some more and then were on our way back to America. It was bittersweet. If I said I didn't contemplate "missing" my flight, I'd be lying. But at the same time, I knew it was time to get back to reality. Back to take what I learned from on this trip and apply it to life. This was definitely a trip of a lifetime and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.
Now here's and excessively long video capturing everything that words wouldn't be able to convey.