Returning Home to Dublin

The Denver International Airport. I love the random metal “imprints” in the floor (top).

Flying In (14/1/14)

One of those times…when my over-planning is bad for me. My flight was schedule to leave Lubbock, Texas to Denver, Colorado at 8:45am. I set the alarm on my phone 2 hours ahead at 6:45am. I forgot that I set it two hours ahead on my calendar, so I thought my flight was leaving at 6:45am. So, I got to the airport at 4:45am.

Flying into Denver, it was pretty snowy, to the point where you couldn’t see anything out the windows until we were VERY close to the ground. There was snow building up on the windows as we were taxied to our gate. Then, we walked off the airplane and out through the snow to get to our “gate”. So, I got to walk a bit in the snow. It was fun for the short while it lasted. Then, my exploration of the airport proceeded happily. By the time my flight from Colorado left for Newark, New Jersey, the snow had shifted from a powdery snow to a pretty solid snow, falling with less density but larger “flakes”.

A cloud field from above on the way to the Newark Liberty International Airport.

On the way to New Jersey, there was a nice stretch of land with a pretty patterning of the clouds over it. In Jersey itself, it was rather rainy. I was pretty happy at the Newark airport. Though I have terrible memories of that time I had to spend 12-hours there, I got to indulge in my last American cravings before leaving for Dublin: Ruby’s. I LOVE Ruby’s Diner and its whole atmosphere. I had some simple onion rings, but I just liked sitting there and enjoying the swing music and all that jazz.

The trip from America to Dublin was interesting. I sat next to the pastor of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church of Fayetteville, North Carolina. He had brought with him 30 something people for a pilgrimage. They were all traveling to Ireland to follow the trails of St. Patrick as they were establish a new addition to their church or something like that.

The Barge: (left) bathroom entrance windows, (top right) our ginormous appetizer, and (bottom right) our coffee and caramel cheesecake.

Old Friend, New Beginnings (15/1/14)

I arrived back in Dublin at 7am. As soon as I got to my room, I slept. I slept a good long sleep until 5pm. Then, my friend reminded me that he was in Dublin for a business trip. So, we planned to meet up for dinner. We went out to The Barge where I had gone for my orientation at the beginning of the school year. We had some pretty delicious food. It was definitely nice to revisit the place and to catch up a bit with my friend.

An Early Start to The Semester (16/1/14)

Today, I did “postering” for something I’m a part of. We showed up at 7am, and didn’t get finished until 9am. First day back, and I’m already up early, crazy stuff. On the plus side, I met an Asian Irish guy. His parents are from Hong Kong, but he was born in Ireland. Quite interesting. Later on in the afternoon, I found out there was an international student event. So, I went to meet new people – and also re-met some friends from last semester. It was pretty nice to mix and mingle a bit.

The best part of my day was going out blues dancing. I had done a “taster’s” class during the break, so I decided to take my first class. It was awesome. I feel like it’s definitely freeing to be able to dance like that without 1) “grinding”, 2) people judging you for being able to dance like that; not to mention – I do have to admit – it’s PRETTY sexy when a guy knows how to blues dance – ACTUALLY blues dance.

My Flatmate & New Friends (17/1/14)

Since I was out late last night, I slept in till 2pm. My Italian flatmate came home at the time. She came in saying to nobody “Hello everybody!” She’s so cute. I love her.

Anyways, after readjusting by some grocery shopping, my flatmate and I went to a house party. We met some lovely people, mostly – if not all – graduate students. There was an Indian Canadian girl who was hosting us, a French girl who was quite lovely though quiet, and an interesting Mexican guy from Baja California. We started out pretty chilled just getting to know each other before heading out to town. We started at Fitzsimons. It was quite a nice atmosphere, with an open air terrace at the top. It wasn’t too nice or too crowded, but it was still better than an American bar.

Then, we made our way to The Quay Bar. It was quiet a lively pub with live music. It was also pretty crowded and the floor wasn’t the cleanest thing – not to mention the counter. However, the atmosphere was titillating. The best part was watching my Italian flatmate’s friend be all crazy and drunk dancing. It was actually quite entertaining.

Oolong Flower Power: (top left) a slice of lemon cheesecake, (top right) my pot of tea in a “special infusing pot”, (bottom) my flatmate’s blooming artisan tea.

Exploding Tea Balls! (18/1/14)

Tea day! So today, I went to this tea shop with my Italian flatmate called Oolong Flower Power. We went together to meet up with someone I had met previously at swing dancing in October. It was nice. I got a tea called “Pearl of the Caribbean” and she got “Shuang Long Xi Zhu/Two Dragons Playing with Pearl”, a “blooming artisan tea”. It was quite interesting. It got awkward at one point though because everyone left at the tea shop were Italians, except me.

After a day out, we watched a funny movie called The Quartet. Afterwards, we had our tea time before bed.

Some “delicious” olives being sold at the CoCo Market. (P.S. I dislike olives…a lot)

CoCo Market in Dun Laoghaire: A Farmer’s Market (19/2/14)

I’ve been to Dun Laoghaire many times. Each time, I’ve been wanting to go to the CoCo Market on Sundays in the People’s Park, but somehow or another, I always end up doing something else on Sundays. Today, I finally got to go. It was pretty nice, minus the Irish weather. There were so many goods on sale, and so much food. My flatmate found some Italian booths that sold homemade pesto and some good quality olive oil the way she likes it. I found some Medjool dates to have, as I enjoy dates every once in a while. We also got to drop by the charity shops there, which usually tends to be closed when we go down to Dun Laoghaire. Good thing too, I finally got myself a hat. I can tell you it’s my first casual winter hat I’ll actually wear. I’m glad my Italian flatmate was with me to approve of how it looked.

On an end note: it’s the beginning of the new semester tomorrow, here we go…

A panoramic of the Dun Laoghaire view of the ocean.

Things I Learned “today”

People from Quebec, Canada speak a version of French, with idioms and everything, that only they understand.

Words/Phrases of the Day

  • Brack = short for “barmbrack”, a bakery thing that’s a cross between a bread and a cake, often with sultanas or raisins in it. It is a traditional bread used in Ireland for Halloween “fortune telling”.
  • To post = to send (a letter) by post/mail
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