Preparing for Ireland and FAQs

Update on my room cleaning, because I know you were all dying for one: we had to move the cats out. I couldn’t use my floor for anything, because no matter how many times I swept and swiffered, they would just throw more kitty litter on the floor. It was actually pretty terrible. Now their cat boxes are in my bathroom, so they will spend most of their time in there. Actually, right now they’re on parole hanging out with me in my room, but their new home is the bathroom. I still may sleep with Joy in my room, because she’s made it overnight without a letterbox before, but I’m not sure about her brother. We’ll have to see. Anyway, it’s only for two more nights, because…

DRAMATIC BUILDUP

I leave for Ireland in just two days! Why am I so excited, you ask? Take a look at the photos I took last time I was there. IMG_0599 IMG_0525 IMG_0543

Those are three, out of dozens. And I have not seen even an eighth of what there is to see in Ireland. The place is consistently, intensely, stunningly beautiful. I’ve been twice before, but this will be my longest trip. And I am so excited.

When I tell people I’m going to Ireland, I get certain Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: Why are you going? Are you visiting family?

A: I am lucky enough to have a very good friend who is in many ways the Cristina Yang to my Meredith Grey. Her name is Ciara. We were lab partners in the fifth grade (I have yet to have a better lab partner) and the rest, as they say, is history. Her mother was raised in Ireland and still has all her family there, so Ciara and company visit often. I am lucky enough to come over with them sometimes. I am going to be staying at her aunt and uncle’s, which is next to her grandmother’s farm.

Q: Where in Ireland are you going? Are you going to Dublin?

A: We are going to be staying in a small farming village in County Cork. The nearest city will be, unsurprisingly, Cork. We will certainly visit Cork, and I’d say that it’s pretty likely we will visit Dublin this time, though I haven’t been to Dublin yet.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re there?

A: Sometimes we go to Cork, and I think this time we’re going to go on a Game of Thrones tour (?) of some castles, which sounds awesome. Honestly, though, we spend most of the time on Ciara’s grandmother’s property, either inside reading and drinking tea or outside mucking around. I got through a lot of books the last time I was there, and I hope this year’s reading list can be similarly edifying. We will probably bake something, Ciara and I, and we’re working on creating a set of Tarot cards inspired by popular culture. We have not collaborated on many creative projects before, so working on the cards should be fun. I think the best thing about Ireland is that I don’t feel rushed or pressured to do anything in particular, as one so often can at home.

Q: Who else is going with you?

A: The cast of characters on the plane to Dublin will include Ciara, her sister Julia, and their mom. Sadly her dad (or as I like to call him, “the Doc”) is not coming. I really like Ciara’s mom and sister, so it’s nice to spend time with Ciara and the both of them.

Q: Well, you’re a lucky bastard.

A: True.

Anyway, I’m pretty excited about going to Ireland, and so grateful as always to Ciara’s family for having me. I try to be a decent houseguest, but I really admire their fortitude in remaining awesome hosts well past the point where I’m sure I get irritating. So all that remains is to pack, which is a bit of a challenge. I’m putting it off by finishing this blog post because it’s so intimidating. The weather in Ireland can be… variable. Reliably, it will rain, and there will be cold days, but every other aspect of the weather is totally up to chance. Also, I have to pack up the entirety of my wardrobe because we’re moving out of this building, so anything that doesn’t go to Ireland either has to be packed for MIT or for my dad’s new place. This constant packing and re-packing of clothes does get tiresome.

I am doing some fun stuff with dad and Chris, however. For example, we went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Christopher had never been to see the U505 exhibit they have, so we spent a while exploring that and then explored the rest of the museum. We haven’t been in a few years, so the exhibit about the weather and the one about health were new to us. I especially liked the exhibit about extreme storms, which had many interactive features.

My next scheduled day to post is the day I leave for Ireland, so I may have to write it tomorrow and make it about something slightly more abstract. We’ll see!

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