Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Walk in the Park

I had a great weekend here in Dublin! It was the perfect combination of chill and socializing! It started out with me discovering that I'm really going to like my Friday schedule! I have two one-hour lectures back to back starting at 9. So I'm out of classes by 11am. I think my dad is eating his breakfast about then? So then I have the rest of the day with that light-hearted, the weekend is ahead of me feeling that puts an extra pep to my step. I used this extra little motivation to do a good workout, some studying and laundry! And I think I've already told you about my story in the laundry mat, which led to meeting more people and playing frisbee. So I won't repeat myself anymore other than by saying Friday just set the tone for the rest of the weekend I suppose.

Slept in on Saturday :) Woke up to another unusual sunny day in Ireland! I went and rescued my phone that decided to stay the night in a friend's purse and took a nap for the next few hours and then got ready to meet my friend Sarah J for the evening :) We had a great dinner, once I figured out how the hob or the stove-top worked. The company of my roommate Josh didn't help matters much as he was just hanging out for the sheer amusement of seeing me fuss with trying to cook spaghetti. It wasn't even like a 4-course meal or anything, but to be in a kitchen with two fellow Boilermakers in Dublin, felt pretty good :) Dinner was tasty once it was finally done, and after that, Sarah and I hit the town! First stop was her place to drop off my stuff as we decided to go to church in the morning together and it would be easier for me just to crash at her place.

We walked down to the Temple Bar area and finally decided on a pub that had some good live Irish music. It was a fun little place and I tried a new cider. It was pretty good and cheap! With more emphases on the cheap side! We enjoyed the atmosphere for awhile and just had a good time catching up and feeling pretty proud of ourselves for making this huge step for the both of us to study abroad.

We fell asleep listening to the Purdue-Oregon game being streamed on the Internet. Unfortunately, we woke up in the morning to hear the final outcome was slightly different than what had played out in our dreams. But my spirits were soon lifted as we set out for church to yet another gorgeous sunny day in Dublin! This is where we walked through St. Stephan's Green instead of around it and it was fabulous! The park was very pretty and just peaceful. There were plenty of people there, but mostly families or couples just out for a Sunday morning stroll. It was the closest thing I've gotten to being outside of the city, even though it is in the very heart of it, so I was very happy.

Sarah and I attended the Lower Abbey Street United Methodist Church. To our surprise, the store-front church actually had a pretty cool traditional sanctuary to be found once inside its doors. We were immediately leached onto by an old Irish man named Richie, extending his warmest welcome. He showed us to an empty pew and about 5 minutes later the pastor's wife came up to us and started asking 20 questions in a very motherly way to make sure we were all set as far as places to stay and what not. Very sweet indeed.

The congregation would be one that my pastors at the Wesley Foundation back at Purdue would love! It was a very ethnically diverse congregation, with very few native Irish people actually. The main minister was not there, but the lady that filled in his absence was really good. She's an actress actually by profession and just got back from filming a BBC show. So, it was kind of cool to meet a local celebrity as well. Sarah has been invited to another Methodist church in town that we're going to check out next week before we make any decisions. Today's church was a sweet little church with some great big, loving hearts! The music was a wee bit rough, but it was beautiful at the same time knowing the joy that those who were off-key were singing to the Lord.

The rest of today entailed us walking back and stopping at a little cafe to have lunch. Once again, it was nice to catch up with Sarah and have a confidant while exploring this big old city, which I finally feel comfortable navigating. Which showed when I hopped on a new bus and made it back to campus without missing my stop! :) I had a great run, made up for a day off and scarfed some leftover spaghetti. Sounds like a great Sunday right? Don't get me wrong, it was, but it was made even better by catching the last quarter of the Colts-Jacksonville game with a little help from a friend. I'm not going to go into anymore details, but thanks friend, you know who you are and yes, I am slightly spoiled to have such good friends! I chatted it up with my two Irish roommates as they were returning from their weekends home and now I'm all ready for bed. Monday is my extra long day- 4 classes and my workout class with Shay! :)

All in all, I'm starting to feel more relaxed over here. I'm just hoping the rest of the semester will be as pleasant as today's "walk in the park."

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