I had, by far, one of the best weekends of my life last weekend. The funny thing is that we didnt even have anything serious in terms of traveling planned! Last friday night I went to dinner with my new Irish family. An Irish family here is one that sort of adopts you for the semester, cooks you traditional irish meals, takes you on tourist excursions and teaches you about Ireland. My irish family consist of a young married couple that are SO SWEET and so nice! My Irish mom picked me up and took me to her home, cooked me rice pudding, irish stew and tea, black current pie.
The next Saturday morning three friends and i decided that we wanted to go to the train station, jump on the first train leaving the station, and see where it takes us. I love being spontanious like this. I usually plan a lot of my trips to avoid confusion, but I love not knowing whats in store. I also wanted to see little towns in Ireland that may not be in all the tourist books.
We stopped in Balymena, which was a tiny catholic town with a lot of charm. We walked all through the town, and i was with Miles, Deegs, and Peireene, some of my best friends here. We laughed, sang, and had the best time. We ate lunch at a beautiful church picnic area. When we were there we met an older irish woman came out and spoke to us. She was so happy that there were some American and French tourist visitng her church, and her town that she took our pictures to put in her web page. she also told us about the VERY VERY old bell towers in the top of the church that no one was allowed to go see anymore, and she was in charge of them. She told us she could sneak us up. It took what seemed like years to climb the very steep stone steps but when we got there she taught us to use the bells, and what made them so special. She was so excited and so passionate about the bells, and it was simply beautiful to hear her speak about it. We got back on the train and stopped next in Antrim. Antrim was an adorable little town. We found a beautiful park full of trees. We played tag int he trees just like we were children and took pictures. We found a tree that was U shapped and took more pictures which i will post. the most wonderful thing was being in these tiny adorable small towns in Ireland, and knowing that no tourist would get to see how cute they were, and beign with the best company I could ask for. By the time we got back on the bus we realized we were almost to Belfast, one of the biggest cities in the North. I have a friend staying in Belfast. We decided to go visit her for the night so that we coudl see Belfast the next morning.
It was a wonderful weekend!
This past week I got a lot of my homework done for the next couple weeks because I have A LOT OF TRAVELING coming up! Im goign to London this weekend, the next week Carolines coming for St pattys day in Dublin, then Im going to Scotland March 25 for the weekend!
I also went to a masqurade ball with a huge group of irish students and international students..we dressed up fancy..it was so fun! Pictures up soon!