Sunny Trip

After finishing up classes and most of my finals I took off to Lisbon, Portugal with my friends Grace, Gracie, and Sidney. The weather was absolutely beautiful when we arrived, it was 80 degrees and we checked into our Airbnb right away and began to explore. First we went to Praca de Comercio which is the main square in Lisbon right on the water! There were cute little stands with handmade jewelry and different items!

We then did a sunset boat trip which was absolutely stunning! It was a great way to see more of Lisbon. There is also a bridge that was built by the same businesses that built the Golden Gate bridge so they look very similar. This was very neat to see as well. 

The next day we had a delicious breakfast, I had the best açaí bowl! Then we went to the Castle de Sao Jorge which was beautiful and had amazing views. Then we went to the TimeOut Market which had all different kinds of foods. I had Thai food and it was delicious! We also walked around Rua Augusta Street which had tons of great restaurants. 

Our next day we had a jeep safari tour that brought us outside of Lisbon. We saw the beautiful gardens at Seteais Palace in Sintra, Portugal. We then stopped at Quinta da Regaleira, Rua Barbosa du Bocage which is a castle in Sintra. We also stopped at the Casa da Adraga Rua da Adraga, Almocageme where we walked along the beach and we went to Guincho Beach in Cascais, Portugal. This was a great way to see more of Portugal while having a tour guide.

For the last day we had a relaxing day at the beach! It was so nice to get some sun and take in the views of Portugal. It was also really cool to watch the skilled surfers at Tarquino Beach. 


Visit From The Whole Family!

After catching up on schoolwork and sleep from my trip to Amsterdam I was lucky enough to get another visit from my family! This time my parents were coming with my brother, his fiance, my sister, her boyfriend, my cousin, my aunt, and my uncle! I had been looking forward to their arrival since I landed in Dublin. 

We got to do a lot of exploring of the city like walking up and down Grafton Street to see live music and shop. We spent some time in St. Stephen’s Green and did a day trip to Howth where we did some of the cliff walk! My family also toured the Guinness Factory and the Jameson Factory, two of Dublin’s most popular spots.

We did a day trip to the Wicklow Mountains which was absolutely beautiful. At the beginning of our trip we stopped at the forty-foot which is where people go swimming all year round in Ireland, even if it’s freezing! This day was not the day for swimming but I plan to go back for a swim before the end of my trip abroad! We also stopped at the Powerscourt Gardens along the way where we ran into the famous singer Zach Bryan which was super cool. Although the weather wasn’t great it was very neat to see the gardens and Glendalough valley which is in Wicklow National Park.

Next I traveled back to London along with my family where we spent three nights! Here we explored Covent Garden, Borough Market, and Notting Hill! Notting Hill had the cutest outdoor market with stands full of food and clothes for sale. We got to see Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace as well. We also visited all of the signature spots like Big Ben, the Tower of London, the London Bridge and we went in the London Eye! It was amazing to get to explore the city while being with my family! It was sad to see them go but we definitely made the most of our eight days together! 



Last Thursday I flew to Amsterdam with my friends Gabbie and Gracie! We got in late at night but Friday we had a day full of adventures planned! In the morning we explored the fascinating city while doing some thrifting and shopping. They have the best thrift stores and vintage clothing shops! Next I went to the Heineken factory which had a very cool interactive tour and a roof deck with an amazing view of the city! 

After this I tried Amsterdam’s famous Fabel Friet which had the most delicious french fries! They had tons of different toppings and sauces that you could choose to put on your delicious fries. I put cheese and garlic truffle sauce on mine and it was amazing! 

Next we had tickets for the Anne Frank House which usually sell out weeks in advance but I was lucky enough to get them. This audio guided tour was very well done and it was breathtaking to be able to see the actual space where Anne Frank hid during World War II. I feel so lucky that I was able to see inside the house and learn so much about Anne Frank and her family.

After the tour we had a quick bite to eat and walked around the city some more before heading to our boat tour. We had a nice cruise along the water while getting some information about the city, it was great! Something I did not know was that there are some boat houses that people have docked in the canal and they actually live there, which I thought was fascinating. 

Our next day we took off to Keukenhof which is “The Garden of Europe” located about 45 minutes outside of Amsterdam. Let me tell you it was absolutely beautiful! The pictures I included cannot do it justice but the tons of tulips were gorgeous. This was the perfect time to go because they are in season. We spent the day wandering around and taking pictures, it was quite relaxing! 

Unfortunately the next day we had to leave the amazing city but we got back to Dublin in time for an Easter dinner at our favorite restaurant The Hairy Lemon!


Italy Trip

For the second half of spring break I went to Italy! Having been to Rome before, I was very excited about this trip. My roommates and I spent the first four nights in Florence. I had heard countless amazing things about the city of Florence and had tons of recommendations from my cousins who studied abroad there! It most definitely lived up to my expectations.

The first day we wandered around the city, stopping by the duomo and trying an amazing sandwich at Pino’s. This was a delicious deli that had a variety of sandwiches and food. It is a hotspot for study abroad students with college pennants all over the walls. We then walked around the Uffizi Art Gallery which had tons of breathtaking pieces. For dinner we tried the restaurant Osteria Santo Spirito. This was another recommendation from my cousin and it was very good! The bruschetta and pasta are to die for!

The next morning we kicked off our day at the Accademia Museum where we saw Michelangelo’s David. This was very cool to see in person as I have seen so many pictures of it before. After walking around the museum for a bit we went to the famous sandwich shop across the street. It is called All’Antico Vinaio and it was amazing! Luckily we beat the rush because supposedly people will wait hours for these sandwiches.

Afterwards we walked to Piazzale Michelangelo which has the most amazing views of Florence. The weather was beautiful and sunny, it was so relaxing to sit there and take in the views. Next we did a cooking class with some of our other friends from Holy Cross! We hand made pasta, raviolis, and gnocchi. This was such a fun experience to learn how to make these dishes from an Italian, I will say getting to eat the dishes afterwards was probably my favorite part. They also gave us the recipes to take with us which was very neat. 

The next day we did a vespa tour at a winery in the countryside of Tuscany which was beautiful! Although I did not pass the test to be able to drive the vespa (which was not surprising) I got to ride on the tour guide’s and take in the amazing views. Later that day we watched the sunset from the Ponte Santa Trinita (a bridge right by our airbnb). Then we got dinner with my friend Erinn, who is studying abroad in Florence, and her roommates. It was another 10/10 restaurant and it was so fun to hear about their experiences abroad. 

On Friday, our last day, we hiked up the stairs in the duomo before we headed to Venice! There were a lot of stairs at 8 in the morning but the view was well worth it. We then walked up the stairs in the clock tower next to the duomo which had an even better view. After getting tons of pictures we went back to our airbnb, packed up our stuff and went to the train station. We got to Venice in the late afternoon and checked into our airbnb which was so adorable! It had a nice outdoor balcony.

Saturday we got lost in the streets of Venice and popped into different little shops. I had a delicious cannoli that I had been looking forward to trying in Italy. It was so fun to go into the leather stores and different jewelry shops. Then of course we had to go on a gondola through the canal! This was so cool and the weather was beautiful again! We really lucked out. We finished off our trip with a nice dinner out (although the food did not beat Florence’s). Then of course we had to have some yummy gelato.


Sunday morning we flew back to Dublin after a successful trip! I think Florence may be at the top of my list for trips now!


Spring Break in Spain

To kick off spring break I went to Spain for 5 nights! I started the trip off in Madrid where my family friend Rocio goes to school! I was lucky to have her as my tour guide! Our first day we grabbed some delicious breakfast by her apartment and went to the palacio de cristal which was very cool. The perfect spot for a good mirror picture!

Afterwards we walked around in the park and rowed a boat which was so much fun. It was very sunny out and around 60 degrees which was perfect. Rocio then took us to try a popular Spanish food called sepia in the Plaza Mayor. The next day we walked around the food market: Mercado de San Miguel. I had my favorite Spanish dish, tortilla de patatas. It was so neat to walk around and look at all of the different options. 

We then took the train to Valencia where Rocio is from! The weather was even better there which was a nice change from rainy Ireland. It was in the 80s while we were there! We got to go to a soccer (fútbol) game which was such a fun experience. Valencia was playing Club Atlético Osasuna and they won which made it a very fun atmosphere. 

 The city of Valencia was preparing for their Fallas Festival while we were there so we got to see a lot of their preparations. I also got to try paella which I was very excited about, it was great! We then sat at the harbor and watched the sunset to finish off the night!

On our last day Rocio showed us around Valencia more and we walked around the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, their museum of arts and sciences. Then she took us to her house where we got to lounge by the pool and get some sun. It was a very relaxing end to the trip! For dinner we went to Rocio’s favorite restaurant Voltereta Bienvenido a bali which had delicious spanish food and was very cute inside! 


Next I will spend the week in Italy!


Weekend in Paris

Last weekend I finally lived out my dream of going to Paris and it exceeded my expectations! I departed with my friends Sidney, Grace, and Gracie and we tried to fit in as much as we could into two full days!

Our first day started off with a bang at the Eiffel Tower. We climbed the stairs halfway and were able to look out at the beautiful city.  Although it was chilly, we were lucky enough to get a sunny day.

After taking thousands of pictures we walked along the River Seine which was beautiful and made for another amazing photo opportunity. We also got to try some delicious crepes which was something I was looking forward to. I got mine with Nutella and strawberries and it was delicious. 

Next, off to the Arc de Triomphe where we climbed some more stairs for yet again an unreal view. We then got some bread and cheese (a french staple) to munch on while we waited to see the Eiffel tower in the dark. Although we did not get to see the twinkling lights, the tower was lit up in blue in yellow in solidarity with Ukraine which was very special to see.

Then we headed to dinner where we obviously had to try escargo. Which after many years of taking french in middle and high school, this is something I knew I had to try. I will say it was different but I enjoyed it!

Saturday we took on the Louvre to see the famous Mona Lisa which was a lot smaller than I anticipated. But nonetheless it was something I had always hoped to see so I can check that off my bucket list! We then spent the next few hours looking at various pieces of art work.

Afterwards we took a train to the Palace of Versailles. Unfortunately they were sold out of the tickets but the outside was beautiful as well. We were able to again enjoy the sun and admire the beautiful architecture and gardens on the outside. We finished off the night with dinner and one last look at the Eiffel Tower in the dark! 


Check back in soon to hear about my trip to Spain!


Reunited With Family

Last week I was lucky enough to have my parents and grandparents visit which was the perfect opportunity to explore more of Ireland. One of our day trips was a trip to Howth. This is a beautiful Irish Village on the Howth Peninsula less than an hour from Dublin. We also stopped at Malahide along the way which is another cute city on the water. Here we got out and walked around the Malahide castle, which is beautiful and we were lucky enough to get a sunny day to see it!

The views at Howth are breathtaking, it was the perfect spot to show my family! Their last day they came to the UCD campus and I showed them around the campus (and convinced them to buy me a sweatshirt). They were very impressed at how large the campus is.

Another spot we toured is the Kilmainham Gaol Museum which was fascinating. This is a former prison that is now a museum. Several movies have been filmed here like Paddington 2 so this was very cool to see! It was great to see some new spots in Ireland and to show my family my new home!


Trip to Vienna and Prague

Last Thursday I took off to Vienna, Austria which is somewhere I never imagined myself going! I had the opportunity to explore the somewhat quiet city for a day. We started our day by visiting the Hofburg Palace and the Schönbrunn Palace which had beautiful architecture and then we walked around the Kunsthistorisches Museum which means art history museum in German! We could have spent hours roaming around looking at all of the different pieces of art! 

The next morning we took a train to Salzburg, Austria where we got to see where The Sound of Music was filmed! Although it was cold, there was a gorgeous snowfall while we were there which made for some great pictures. We got to see inside of St. Peter’s Abbey and take a tram up the mountain to get an amazing view of the city. We ended the day with delicious pretzels and a warm cappuccino!

Sunday morning we hopped on another train to head to Prague for the night! The architecture in Prague was unbelievable. Everywhere I looked there were buildings of different shapes and sizes. We climbed the Old Town Hall to get amazing views of the city and toured a few more cathedrals with breathtaking art and details. We also came across the Prague Castle where we got to see the changing of the guards. Last but certainly not least we tried the most delicious dessert called trdelnik which is something I will dream about having again!

First Trip out of Ireland

I made it through my first week of classes and then prepared to fly to London! Classes were definitely different then what I am used to. Instead of a 20 person class with all familiar faces, my classes consisted of a hundred people I had never seen before (besides a few Holy Cross students). Even though this is completely new to me, I enjoyed it because it put me out of my comfort zone. I surprisingly can make my way around campus already and still manage to run into people I know. With no classes on Fridays, I was able to depart on Thursday night to London.

I had never been before so I was beyond excited and it fulfilled my expectations. I got to see Buckingham Palace, the London Bridge, Kensington Palace, and in typical Holy Cross fashion we ran into some of our classmates that are at NUIG in front of Big Ben! After seeing so many pictures of these different sights it was amazing to finally get to see them in person. 

Covent Garden was one of my favorite spots! Here there were a variety of restaurants, shops, and street performers. The crowds and chaos of it all was a fun change of pace from the peacefulness of Ireland. It was here where I had one of the best avocado toasts of my life along with a warm and delightful cappuccino! I’m looking forward to exploring London more when I return with my family in April! 


Check back soon to see where I head next!

Getting Settled

I have made it to Dublin and am excited to report how my first week and a half went! After landing, we hopped in a taxi and lucked out with a taxi driver who almost immediately began sharing his favorite spots in Ireland. As someone who grew up in Dublin, we asked what he liked most about it. He replied with no hesitation, “the people.” 

Even though I have not been here for very long, I can already tell why this answer was so easy for him. Everywhere I go, the Irish natives are more than happy to give recommendations, directions, and advice for what to do in Ireland. This has made me feel at home almost immediately.

I spent the first few days getting to know Dublin’s city center. Shopping and trying new restaurants was the perfect way to kick off my first weekend here. Then I was reunited with many other Holy Cross students as we toured the Guinness Factory. Then I spent some time getting to know the huge University College Dublin (UCD) campus. It is definitely going to take some time to learn my way around! At least I’m getting a break from the hills for a semester!

The following weekend I traveled out of Dublin with some friends to Galway! Only a two and a half hour bus drive away, this was the perfect first trip! I was able to see more of my friends that are studying abroad at University of Galway (NUIG) and the beautiful sites of Galway like the Dunguaire Castle and the Cliffs of Moher.



Check back next week to hear about my first trip out of Ireland!