So this past weekend I spent my time in Belfast. It was sponsored through Arcadia and we left Friday morning and arrived around 3pm. It was pretty rainy and dreary, but we were seriously ahead of schedule so a few of us decided to walk around. BUT before doing so we were warned NOT to go to the Royal Pub because it's dangerous. And also right behind our hostel. OH and the hostel room I was in had TWENTY TWO GIRLS IN IT. It was ridiculous and there was a LOT of estrogen floating around. And it smelled kinda funky. But a group of us walked around and saw City Hall and a giant ferris wheel. There was also a super cute shop we wandered into with all sorts of fun cooking supplies and aprons and home goods and what not. Reminded me a lot of Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie. I picked up some lotion to sample and realized it was SOLID PERFUME and I smelled like an old lady for a good solid half hour before we found a store to wash my hands. Oops! Then I went to a cupcake cafe and had a nutella cupcake and tea...yum! Then we had dinner in the hostel [chicken curry--Sorry God, I couldn't help eating meat :(] and then met my good friend from home's Irish boyfriend (I'd met him before) who lives and works in Belfast. It was so nice to see a familiar face and we headed to a karaoke bar where they wouldn't let me sing. BOOOO. Apparently I was too late signing up, but I begged and promised I was good. Oh well, their loss. So we chatted and caught up, had a lovely time, danced and went home.
The next day we headed to Giant's Causeway, and it was really cool though I thought it would be bigger. There are tons and tons of hexagonal rocks sticking out of the ocean. Pretty cool and spectacular. So we got a tour and took lots of pics. I also made a wish in the famous "wishing chair" though I can't remember it and if I did I WOULDN'T TELL YOU! Then we stopped in a beach town for lunch and got fish n chips. It was really bizarre to see all the British flags. Weirdddd. Then we got home, and I took a nap because I hadn't slept well the night before, and then met John for rugby at a pub. It was crazy to see so many men standing in one room staring up at a giant screen, screaming and jumping and cheering. But we met some of his friends, had a pint and then headed back to the hostel to get dressed for dinner. Arcadia provided dinner for us at a nearby hotel, but it was pretty meh. Soggy lasagna, potatoes and rice. I definitely don't need that many carbs in my diet, but I ate it anyway. THEN we went back to the same pub, hung out and John met up with us again! We left after a bit to go to the Stiff Kitten club but the cover was 14 pounds soooooo we headed in a different direction, and I got samosas. After searching for a pub for a bit and realizing how tired I was, I parted ways with him and headed on home to bed and slept quite soundly.
Sunday we had a lecture on the murals of Belfast which was actually very interesting. Then we had a bus tour of Belfast, saw some really cool things we wish we had known about Friday so we could've gone to those cool things, saw where the Titanic was built and then saw some of those crazy murals. Some are very creepy...armed, masked men pointing very big and scary looking guns directly at you. Others are a bit more friendly, but it was still a little unsettling. Then we headed home!
It was a reeeeaaaallly quick trip and I wish we had had more time, but I might be going back with Mom and Dad. It was interesting to hear about how we couldn't go into certain parts of the city because of the strong Unionist ties..like that pub. John was also talking about showing us a mural but decided against it because "they wouldn't like my accent in that part of town." CRAZY.
Anyway, this week has been pretty busy. I'm working hard on finishing about 8 papers before March 31. We'll see how that goes. Well, it must go because I want to get them done before mom and dad get here. Wednesday night was pretty cool...my friends threw me and my good friend a joint surprise party! Our one friend invited the two of us (me and Liza) over for macaroni and I was going to go home to do work but he insisted I go with him to watch Glee at Liza's house. He was pretty persistent so I finally gave in, thinking I'd stop by for 10 minutes. We walked in the door and there was a cake on fire and about 20 people!!!! It was really really sweet and the cake was vegan red velvet--so delicious!!! No one's a vegan, it's just a delicious recipe :) But then I had to go get dressed, naturally, and put on the LOVELY awesome new birthday outfit mom and dad sent me for my birthday in a lovely carepackage including a beautiful ring and about 8 cards, and just about everyone from Arcadia went out to a club to dance. It was so much fun! I definitely needed to get out of the house after being trapped in my room for the past few days and it was great to express myself through the medium of dance. Wa wahh. But it was perfect. Then todaaaaay the weather was ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS and I went for a run, did laundry, returned a book to the library and got an overdue book fee knocked down, and then went to a CAKE TESTING COMPETITION at the Galway museum. My cooking teacher told us about it and how she submitted a cake. The competition was intended to benefit Fairtrade, which I didn't know much about but now think is really great. Anyway, I taste tested FOURTEEN different cakes and voted on the chocolate Guinness cake with crystalized rose petals as the winner. It was delish! (the audience got to vote on the best cake and the winner got a gift basket of fairtrade stuff). THEN I went shopping and got a dress for my birthday!! My Irish housemate wants to throw me a party on Sunday for my birthday and to kick off RAG week! Rag week sounds like it's going to be out of control. It's supposed to benefit a charity but it's just an excuse for all the students to get rip roaring drunk. I don't know that I'll be participating in all those crazy things, but I'll definitely go to some events because my dear friend from NOTA Colby is coming to visit on Sunday! WOOOO!
Alright, back to work!