I know the subject of my last post was not very upbeat or happy- but it was definitely a good reality check for me, one I needed to appreciate the right things in life for the remaining time that I am here in Ireland. A month from Monday!
I'm sitting in my hostel in Galway enjoying the free Wi-Fi and figured I would take this opportunity to catch y'all up on the Tetrathlon in a little more detail, my week and then this fabolous weekend so far!
Tetrathlon- So I know I gave y'all the just in my last post, but it was truly an amazing weekend. I was so proud of myself for competing and finishing! The scores came in and it turns out I did not do that shabby for never of hearing of this competition until about 3 months ago. I ended up 21st out of 53 girls that competed- respectable in my book. Don't forget that 6th place finish in the shooting :) And just the overall 'craic' of it all- including rocking out the cowboy boots! Pictures keep surfacing from the weekend and its great to see them all :)
Quick funny story about the shooting though- you get a 4 minute practice round before shooting your two rounds of 5 shots. My first practice shot I took- I hit the light bulb above the target and must have hit some sort of wire as the rest of the 14 or so targets' light bulbs went out as well! Great start! Obviously needing help, one of the senior members on the team that was acting as a coach came over and gave me some pointers that were obviously very good as I was the best female shooter from UCD! :)
The jumping was absolutely thrilling! Every jump was such a rush! I was pretty excited to go over the last jump though and still be on top of the horse. There was a medic team there all day and I just about introduced myself first thing in the morning- you know, get the awkward 'get-to-know you stage' over with :) But that was unneeded and a lot of my teammates thought I did pretty good for my first time, the captain of our team found out after the fact that I have never jumped and said she didn't even realize! So I must of done something right :)
This week was good- just tried to get a lot of work done so I could take off for the weekend. I have a media project due for my Equine Industries class and I did my article on an Irishman that moved to America to become a reining horse trainer! Perfect! I really like how the article turned out and hopefully it'll get published :) Oh- this week was also used to catch up on my sleep from last weekend. Seriously, a 6-hour nap isn't normal- but it was much needed on Wednesday and the rain definitely helped sooth me sleep.
GALWAY!!! All of this leads me to where I am now! My friends Alyssa, Mariel and myself headed out Thursday afternoon to Galway. The first night we just cooked in the hostel and walked around town some and called it a night as we had an early ferry to catch to the Aran Islands. A bus ride was needed first to get to the ferry and it took us along the Galway coastline which was just the first indicator that this was going to be an amazing weekend. Then the ferry ride! Out on the open waters, which as a Midwesterner, I don't get much of that ;) Then we made it to the island, waded through all the guys trying to give us tours, found our hostel and got on bikes and away we went! The weather was perfect and we had about an hour or so ride to the other side of the island to get the fort ruins. Literally, we walked right up to the cliff's edge- absolutely breathtaking! Then we rode back along the coastline and even though we were beat- it was well worth the physical exercise!
Our hostel on the island was a bit shady to say the least, it was towards the outside of town it was basically a house that has been turned into a hostel. But it was a bed and an adventure to say the least, especially walking down the pitch-black road to go to the local pub for dinner. We were creative with our forms to find warmth as the hostel was somewhat cold. We lingered in the pub for awhile, I lit a coal fire and we cuddled under blankets.
The next morning started before the sun was even up and we enjoyed a sunrise ferry ride back to mainland! The views and the scenery just kept getting better and better. It was cold on the top deck, but totally worth it :) Once back in Galway, we met our friend Erika who came down this morning and we were off for the bus tour of the Cliffs of Moher. Again, very breathtaking and fabulous weather. As Mariel says, we are just lucky when it comes to weather- hardly a raindrop so far this weekend. Also, Mariel was playing mom the entire tour cuz I was going past those signs that say 'do not pass' and she was expressing her concern. But everyone else was doing it and I'm writing this blog aren't I? The bus tour took us to some other very scenic areas as well for plenty of photo-ops. I have had to be very conservative with my camera use though this weekend unfortunately. Silly me, working up until the minute we left on Thursday, forgot to charge my battery. So it came on very sparingly and used wisely. I still got some great pictures though, which I'll try to add later.
Alright... tomorrow morning I found a Methodist church like a minute from the hostel, so I'm going to check that out in the morning and I think us girls are just going to tour the town and then catch the bus back to Dublin at 4!
Seriously, I have been so blessed with all of these opportunities and to take in God's creation- literally this weekend, it took my breath away! A month left- still lots to do, plenty to study and then I'M HOME! :)