Friday, February 29, 2008

Emerald Isle

Hi everybody,

Well I just got home from a three week trip to Ireland and IT WAS GREAT! I had so so so much fun. We spent a few days in Dublin, then 10 days traveling around the country, and then another week back in Dublin. We went on a tour of an old prison in Cork City, saw a bunch of monkeys and other animals at the Fota Wildlife Park, went hiking to a cool waterfall in Killarney National Park, and spent two nights on the Irish speaking Aran Islands which has three thousand year old ruins and amazing cliffs dropping off into the Atlantic. We mostly stayed in B&Bs with some really entertaining owners, but splurged a few nights for nice hotels, and ate and drank A LOT. It was such a blast! Back in Dublin we went to the Guiness brewery and Christ Church Cathedral, St. Stephen's Green and Trinity College, where we saw the Book of Kells. I even changed my flight to spend two extra days because I was having too much fun to leave. I'm telling ya, if I didn't have to come back to finish school I'd probably still be there! Steve's family was really nice to me and one night we cooked them a "real american dinner" of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn, tomato soup and apple pie! They'd never had meatloaf before! Well, I hope everyone is doing well. How was the baptism? Sorry I missed it!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Bon Voyage

Hey Friends and Fam...

Well, I'm leaving again. (What's new, right?) I'm actually leaving three times in the next year. First of all, I'm leaving on Thursday night to spend two weeks in Ireland. Woo Hoo! I'm staying in Dublin with Steve but we're also going to travel around a little bit to places like County Cork, County Kerry and Galway. I'M SO EXCITED!! I'll definitely post pics when I get back.

Next, I'm leaving June 12 for Venice to spend six more months working on ships. I'll post my itineraries when it gets closer and you can see where I'm sailing.

Finally...and this is the big one...I'm leaving in February 2009 to spend two years in the Peace Corps. I've been going through the application process for almost a year now, writing essays and getting recommendations, going to interviews and reading up on possible posts. Finally, my recruited called me last week with my potential placement options. They offered me a youth development post in either Africa, Eastern Europe or the Caribbean, and I chose the Caribbean. I had been planning on going to Africa, but after a lot of thinking, I decided the Caribbean is a better match for me...easier to get home for visits and easier for you lovely people to come visit me! Plus the guarantee of gorgeous white sand beaches didn't hurt. I won't know which island I'll be on for a few more months, but it could be Jamaica, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, Grenada, Antigua, St. Vincent or the Grenadines. So, if you want to know more about the Peace Corps and what I'll be doing, you can go to and fill your brain with info. Right now I'm just waiting for my welcome packet and then I'll spend a few months getting medical clearance, legal clearance and waiting on my country assignment.

Sooo...that's all the big news I have for now. Yesterday was Susie's 50th B-day and we had brunch at LePeep. She got lots of fun gifts, like a spa day with me and Linny, candy, slippers, lotion, a nail buffer and other assorted stuff. J.T. picked up the tab since he's such a high roller.

Everything else is good, Linny is in school full time again and taking loads of classes, Dana is working long hours as usual and Toulouse is lazy as ever. I'll have finals when I get back from Ireland and then just one more set of classes before graduation.

Hope everyone is doing well and surviving the snow if you're reading this in Chicago. Cross your fingers that my flight gets out okay on Thursday night!