Well, I’m updating my blog and NOT on my way to the airport… Most of the flights are actually back on and only a few have been canceled out of Belfast International but my flight to Amsterdam was one of those few. Surprisingly, I was able to reschedule it for Friday [I figured all the flights would be booked up for the next week from the backlog] so I’ll get one night in Amsterdam before I go to London. I would have just got the refund, but they wouldn’t refund me for my flight from Amsterdam to London [“This flight is unaffected” what??! am I teleporting to Amsterdam to get the flight?] and even though one night seems a waste, at least I’ll be able to pick up with the rest of my traveling as planned! None of the other 3 girls are going, but a friend I met in Barcelona 2 summers ago lives in the Netherlands so he’s meeting me there, so I won’t be wandering the city alone.

The extra two days to finish work isn’t such a bad thing, because I slacked off in that area since I had sort of given up hope on the trip going on time. We had a revision class in my global marketing course on Tuesday and I was really shocked by it. I know that some of my professors at home are pretty direct about what’s going to be on tests but this was too much. The exam itself is 6 questions and we have to choose 3 to answer. In our revision, she gave us SIX specific topic areas and then went through each one and told us which diagrams we should use and how to structure our response. And, when someone asked if the questions would be similar to the old exams [there’s a database of all past exams in the library that students can access], she said, “Absolutely!”, as if to say, “Yes, if it covers the same topic area, it will be the exact same question.”

I’m not complaining really, I just can’t believe how much information she handed to us. She kept pointing out that you could “pass the exam with just the lecture slides” but kept saying how we’re all aiming higher than that… Obviously she isn’t aware that my grades don’t transfer back to the states; I just need a pass =) Let the revision begin!


run, stop. run, stop. run?

Needless to say, packing my running shoes and running clothes into my 10kg carry-on over the holiday wasn’t my highest priority… So I didn’t run. For almost 3 weeks.

I ran two 30-35 minute runs this week and went on a 50 minute run today. I’ll admit, the first couple runs were really rough but I was surprised how easily I could run the 50 minute run today. It helped that I finally found the walking path along the lough [I’m an idiot, it’s this awesome paved biking/walking path that follows the shore for miles… why did I just find this now?], so the view was enjoyable the whole way and the weather is beautiful today!

I could feel my legs getting sore by the end of it, and now that I’ve been sitting down for a bit I can feel it even more but all-in-all I deem it a success. It’s amazing how the body can bounce back… hopefully I’ll be pleasantly surprised when I start really training in June and won’t be as far behind as I think I am.

Trying not to think about the impending flight cancellation… Nothing to do but wait and see, but I have my fingers crossed. A friend did point out, and I must agree, how ironic it is that we are enjoying amazing blue skies and yet all these flights are getting canceled on account of a big dust cloud that no one can see [I even spent a good portion of my run squinting north into the sky to see a sign of it… no luck].

Volcano, please stop erupting. Thanks.

travel plans… grounded?

I am crossing my fingers that the volcano eruption in Iceland doesn’t mess up my travel plans… They keep pushing back predictions of when flights will resume and even though I’m not scheduled to go to Amsterdam until Wednesday, it still makes me pretty anxious.

My thoughts are with Sarah, who is currently stuck in Scotland and attempting to make her way back to Belfast by ferry or some other way of transport… Two more of my friends were planning to go to Italy today but their flight was canceled as well =(

paris, madrid, granada

Despite my complaining, I had an awesome time traveling for the past week or so. Seeing the sites in Paris was nonstop, so by the time we got to Madrid I was exhausted [see previous whiney post] and ready to just sit around. Spain pulled through and, unlike Paris, was very relaxed and the pace was much slower so it allowed for more relaxing time. So, here goes my recap…

Continue Reading »

am I allowed to whine?

So, in the last two weeks, I’ve been all around Ireland, to Edinburgh, Paris, Madrid, and I’m heading to Granada tomorrow. I’ve been to see more famous works of art than I can count in the Louvre, Orsay, Prado and others.

But I really just want to go HOME. Like, not for real homesick or anything… I’m having an awesome time and am loving that I’m doing all this traveling, but I’m really craving a routine, some normalcy, a comfortable bed and a hot shower. MY room.

Okay, done whining. Back to traveling the world.

I’m not sure that I really have the time/motivation/energy to be writing this up, but I’m afraid if I don’t document as much as I can remember at THIS point, there’s no way I’ll be able to write up anything coherent when I get back from the rest of my holiday next Sunday.

So, here goes the story of my mom and sister coming to visit me in Ireland! It was my mom’s first time out of the country, and she was a trooper! Even though I’ve suffered from the effects of jetlag a few times in my life, I’ve never been in the position I was with my mom and sister. Here I was, all chipper on Thursday morning ready to welcome my mom and sister, and when they got out of the taxi they were… rough. I mean that in the best way, honestly, because I’ve been in that position myself. But, being that it was only roughly 9 in the morning and we were staying in a hostel that night, we all agreed ahead of time that they were going to try to rough it through the day and then we’d call it an early night and they’d be able to pass out in bed, regardless of what the condition of the hostel was. This idea worked out, more or less, but I really just felt like the bad friend all day for dragging them around and trying to keep them awake and entertained when I knew how miserable they had to be feeling after traveling for so many hours.

Anyway, we made it through first day somehow… Continue Reading »

By 11:15 this morning, I had already run 6 miles. Okay, 6-ISH miles. I ran the Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Mile in Belfast, so it was a mile loop in the center of Belfast ┬áthat I had to run. six. times. The repetitiveness wasn’t as bad as I thought [except I know that area pretty well so it was kind of boring in that sense] but it was a nice, easy run in good weather for a good cause. I guess I can’t complain! The reason I say it was 6ish miles is because I’m fairly certain the “mile” loops were short. I ran my 6 in 42 minutes, including the walk/jog I had to do for the first mile because there were so many people. The start was goofy… you had the option to do a mile, 3 miles, or 6 miles, and it was up to you whether you walked, jogged or ran it. Yet they started us all together in this huge LUMP, so when the starting horn went off, I was ready to start running but there were people of all different levels around me [including school kids and women pushing strollers].

I ran the “race” with a girl from my course and one of her friends, and afterward we went to a restaurant/diner in Carrickfergus for brunch. And can you guess what I ordered? The “American Breakfast”!! I guess it was called that because it included 2 fluffy pancakes and syrup because nothing else seemed particularly American to me, except maybe the hashbrowns patties. I have never once had a breakfast with a sunnyside up fried egg, sauteed mushrooms or a fried tomato. Oh well, it hit the spot anyway =) I haven’t had a proper breakfast like that since I was home!

It’s been a relaxing weekend for me… I haven’t ventured from my room much because I am DETERMINED to get tons of my coursework done. I have a test in one class tomorrow, but I think I should be okay in it. It’s marketing research and I’ve already taking statistics at home so it’s about half review, half new. Plus, the professor gave us 5 “sample questions” that are pretty much straight definitions from the book, multiple choice, and look pretty easy. I have high hopes. Nothing else is due until after Easter Break but I really want to be done/nearly finished with as much as I can so I don’t have to worry about it while I’m traveling. My tiny to-do list is getting smaller and smaller!

I can’t believe it’s already the 21st of March…! I have been in Northern Ireland for over 2 months, and have just over 2 months left. My mom and sister arrive in less than 4 days, so I have been getting everything finalized and sorted with that and CAN ABSOLUTELY NOT WAIT. As much as I love Facebook and Skype, nothing can really compare to hugging your family or just sitting around and chatting. It will be really cool to have them here and be able to show them where I’m living, the places I go, MY little part of Belfast that I frequent, all of those things. It’s gonna be a great 10 days!