Thanksgiving and Sports

I’ve been busy the last few months. The last time I wrote I was preparing for a whirlwind week of work and travel, and in the excitement for things to come I actually forgot to post about some cool things I did in November. Yes, it’s January now. But first, November!

I spent a lot of November trying (and failing) to find a job. As a result of that I spent a lot of time on my laptop frantically searching job websites, but I did manage to go on a few fun adventures to save me from the monotony of job applications and cover letters, and being turned down simply because employers don’t want to hire a temporary employee.

I visited the National Botanic Gardens, which were beautiful in November so I can only imagine how great it is to visit in the summer. The tropical greenhouse was my favorite because it was warm, and the heat and humidity made me feel at home.

img_8520

Hanging out in the tropical greenhouse to escape the frigid November cold

I also went back to Malahide Castle in November. I love getting on the DART and going to the smaller villages that surround Dublin because you feel like you’re on a day trip somewhere, but you’re never really more than 8 miles from your apartment.

 

img_8458

In November I also went back to the Aviva after deciding on a whim to go to an Irish National Rugby match. About 2 hours before kickoff (is it kickoff in Rugby? I really don’t know) I asked Grace if she wanted to go see Ireland play Canada, and she said yes so we both raced to Lansdowne Road and got there just in time. I had no idea what was going on, but I love the atmosphere of a big game and it was a lot of fun.

img_8497

Ireland beat Canada 51-21

Now to update you on the things I mentioned in my last post…

The job opportunity didn’t work out. However, a few weeks later I began working in the law office I’m currently employed at and I’m loving it. I’m not sure how much longer I’ll be kept on for, but at the moment it’s going well!

Next came my trip to Durrow for my second annual Irish Thanksgiving. I think it was the biggest Thanksgiving meal I’ve ever attended (there were around 20 people), and it was pretty great. I did less of the cooking this year, which was nice, but Tara managed to pull off a huge meal and a fun evening while I am thankful for. On the day after Thanksgiving I woke up and watched the first episode of Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life and then had a nice lunch with Tara at a cafe after dropping a slightly hungover Jason to school for an exam. That evening I took the bus back to Dublin and hunkered down in my bedroom to watch the final 3 episodes of Gilmore.

The next day I woke up very tired (I had stayed up ’til nearly 2am watching Netflix) but excited to get on the train to Belfast with Grace. We hadn’t really planned what to do when we arrived in Belfast so we walked to our Airbnb and then set out to get some lunch.

We ended up at the Belfast Christmas Market which was basically just a mecca of international street food. It was great. We walked around all the stalls trying to decide what delicious food to eat first, and after seeing the enormous line for exotic gourmet burgers (kangaroo, buffalo, etc) we settled on some German bratwurst.

img_8576

Donegall Square

After eating our giant sausages we set out to find the perfect dessert. I got mini donuts, and grace had mini pancakes. After stuffing ourselves we stumbled upon the German beer tent. Let me remind you that this was about 1pm, but that didn’t matter because the beer tend was PACKED with drunk people drinking out of steins and wearing Christmas sweaters. It was fantastic. We both got our own stein and spent a good 15 minutes posing for pictures with them. They were a bit heavy, but we rectified that by drinking the beer. It took us nearly an hour to drain them.

Next, we wandered around a shopping center (I need to get back up to Belfast for a shopping trip, the exchange rate is pretty favorable at the moment) before deciding we should go back to our Airbnb for a bit before heading out for dinner and the hockey game which was our reason for visiting Belfast in the first place. After scanning menus we settled on Zizzi’s for dinner, which led to a very stressful but delicious dining experience. We only had about an hour set aside for dinner, and it took them about 20 minutes to seat us and then the food took more than 45 minutes to come out. We were worried we would miss the beginning of the hockey game, but we did eat some delicious cheese fondue. Finally they brought us our food and I managed to eat an ENTIRE pizza in 6 minutes. I timed it. Then we literally ran to get a cab, hopped in someone else’s uber, bribed the driver with £5 (taxis are much cheaper in Belfast than Dublin) to take us to the hockey arena, and we made it just on time for the game (match? My hockey vocabulary isn’t extensive) to start only to find out that the game was delayed because of the other games in the tournament. The more I type hockey game the more it sounds wrong, but I can’t be bothered to look up the correct terms because I have a lot to write about!

fullsizerender3

Getting into the Christmas spirit in Belfast City Hall

Grace’s team, Vermont, won and I really enjoyed watching the hockey. After watching hockey we were exhausted, but we wandered the streets of Belfast looking for a place to have a nice pint before bed.

The next day we woke up and popped into St. George’s Market on our way to Titanic Belfast. I enjoyed the museum, and it did occupy our entire morning, but I enjoyed the tiny Titanic Experience in Cobh just as much. For lunch we went back to the market and then we headed back to our Airbnb to pack up and catch the bus back to Dublin.

This now brings us up to the beginning of December when I started working for Sherlock Law. Initially my contract was just going to be up until December 20th, which is the day before my parents were due to arrive for Christmas, but they asked me to stay at least through January so for now I have a job.

Those first few weeks of December were filled with work and anticipation of my parents’ upcoming visit. It was also filled with me getting a cold, and spending an entire weekend in bed trying to knock it before my parents arrival. I want to go into detail of their visit, so I’ll do an entire blog post on that!