Now its time to go home.
Our last two days in Ireland were bittersweet. Monica was gone, so that was sad. Also, of course, we were sad to be leaving Europe. BUT we were both so excited to be heading home soon.
So two days ago we slept in and it was wonderful. Then we wandered around Dublin again, getting lost a couple times (it is very clear now that Monica was the one with the BEST sense of direction). Later in the afternoon we toured the Guinness Storehouse, which was pretty cool. We learned all about how they make their beer, and then we went up to the Gravity Bar. There you get a 360 degree view of Dublin AND a free pint of Guinness! It was really neat! I was told that the Guinness tastes totally different in Dublin (before its shipped all the way to us in the US of A), and everyone who told me that was right. It was really quite good!
After our tour we tried to do a little souvenir shopping, but then we gave up. We decided it was time for dinner. Too bad the only place we could find that was cheap and open was an Eddies Rockets (Europe's Johnny Rockets). Then it was off to bed for us!
The next day was great! We went on a Wild Wicklow tour which was amazing. I'm really upset Monica couldn't join us for this one. Our tour guide was really informative, but also hilarious! He took us all around Wicklow National Park, which is the film location of movies like Braveheart, P.S. I Love You, Leap Year, and a bunch of older movies I need to check out now. He even gave us all baby shots of Jameson while we looked out over one of the lakes. (Jameson is gross.)
After our tour was over we decided we needed to check in. Here's where the fun begins. The website wasn't allowing us to check in online. Then we checked the flight status. It was said to have arrived on time... yesterday. So then I freaked out. We called our travel agent Nora and eventually got everything figured out, but we still left our hostel at 4:50AM (for a 9:45 flight) just in case. Well good thing we did since the bus that was supposed to pick us up outside of our hostel was late. Actually it was supposed to be there at 5:15 and by 5:45 we saw no bus. Also, we were being talked up by some old, racist, scary, Polish men, so we had had enough and grabbed a cab. We got to the airport and found the desk with only a little confusion, then sat and waited. Finally we got to board our flight. This was clearly an older plane, and of course, one of the 3 planes in their entire fleet without on-demand tv screen things for every seat. And the movies they were showing: Shrek: Forever Young, The X-Files, and Bedazzled. Great. I gave in at one point and tried to watch part of The X-Files... about 1 minute in the sound for our half of the plane went out. Of course. On top of that we had some pretty fun turbulence (which I don't mind so much) and also our pilot really seemed to enjoy giving us all that free fall feeling (which kind of scared me sometimes). Oh, and, there were 13 small children on board. I counted. So that flight was fun.
Now I'm sitting in the Toronto Airport waiting for my flight at 5:20. I'm in the middle of a walkway charging my phone that was completely dead (?) and finishing uploading my pictures.
I can't wait to get home!
So all in all the last 8 weeks have been amazing! I got the chance to meet a bunch of great new people, both from Cal Poly and just around Europe, and see beautiful areas of the world! There were definitely some ups and downs (much like my flight earlier), but overall it was an experience I wouldn't trade at all. I'm so grateful my parents gave me this opportunity.
Now I get to start paying off my credit card for the next year! Hooray!
Until the next trip (in many, many years I'm sure), farewell!