Week 7: Dublin

Ciao Ciao!

I’m back from my 2 week hiatus to update all my fans on the latest and greatest of my abroad adventures. Last weekend I stayed in Florence, and the only thing worthy of reporting is that I successfully climbed the 400+ steps to the top of the Duomo (and I didn’t even need my inhaler WOO). Now I’ll move on to Dublin which was actually the greatest weekend. Once again, there isn’t so much that took place outside of the bar, but I’ll do my best to keep it entertaining.

Wednesday night we left Florence and flew to Dublin, and I knew right when I stepped out of the airport that I was vibing with Ireland. I cannot describe how relieving it was to see english everywhere – on street signs, stores and being spoken, even though it did take some adjusting to get used to the cars driving on the opposite side of the road. Next we arrived at the Fleet Street Hotel and were pleased to find a TGI Friday’s attached to the hotel (score). Lucky enough, our hotel room ended up being handicap accessible and the bathroom was bigger than my room in Florence. Once again, Europe did not fail to present the most bizarre shower…this time there were no shower doors whatsoever and the shower head had some mood lighting (which made it real interesting). Enough about the shower, though, and I’ll get to the real good stuff.

Thursday morning comfortingly reminded me of an Ann Arbor gamed – we woke up around 8:30am and headed to Carroll’s Irish Gifts (my new favorite store) to purchase some shamrockin’ accessories. We then had some breakfast, got all Irish-looking and hit the hotel terrace for a pregame full of Jewish geography and reuniting with friends of friends. Once I was sufficiently full with some Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey, we head out to the Temple Bar area to Fitzsimmons, where I would basically spend my entire weekend. Fitzsimmons is basically a 4 story bar and the terrace was the place to be. It took about 20 minutes to get a drink from the bar, but it was fine because I am great at mooching off other people to get them to buy me drinks (that’s for you mom – budgeting!). After a few more hours in the bar, it was time to head home for a nice nap and the first of many trips to Fridays for mozzarella sticks and french fries. Somehow that night I was 1/3 roommates who made it out to rally even though standing in a bar again was nauseating.

The next morning was basically the same deal, except it wasn’t officially St. Patrick’s Day anymore :(. We woke up, went to breakfast and head back to the hotel to get dressed and pregame. When we arrived to the terrace, we realized everyone was still wearing green, so we ran back to the room to quickly insert our green hair extensions and of course some shamrock tattoos. Seriously though, what’s a day drink without a Michigan face sticker or tattoo under the left eye? It just makes it fun, ya know?! Moving on, of course we also went to Fitz on Friday and I left early to take a nap and eat some snacks. Confessions: I may have visited Friday’s twice on Friday. Then again, it’s called Friday’s for a reason, right?! Even though that day I drunkenly took a nap in the hallway of the hotel on a buddha statue, that night we went to sleep early because we were exhausted.

And now comes the touristy stuff! Despite having woken up at 7:30am with my girl Sammy Silverman (shoutout, as promised) to catch a bus to the Cliffs of Moher, we were ready for an awesome day. The bus ride to the cliffs was much longer than I expected and with the multiple rest stops we made it took close to 4 hours to get there. I guess I was thankful for the built in nap time, though the tour guide was slightly irritating and felt the need to pretend that leprechauns were real. When we arrived at the cliffs it was a little chilly, but was really awesome. I found out while I was there that Harry Potter was partially filmed there, which is awesome. It was slightly terrifying that everyone was stepping over the safety wall to take cool pictures, but I guess it’s fine because I made it back to tell the story. I’m sure by this point you have all seen my mom’s photo of me captioned “My beautiful jewish girl on beautiful Irish cliffs!” – so thanks for that mom! Hope you all enjoyed that lovely publicity of my weekend activities. After the cliffs, we went to this small pub for a weird lunch and then had one more stop at the mini cliffs, which were basically lots of rocks looking over the water – your classic pretty view. After the next 3 hours of riding the bus, we got back to the hotel and prepared to go to the bars yet again! We went to Welshed where everyone was watching March Madness, and then (of course!) ended the night at Fitz for one last final hoorah of every Jew and their friends socializing with their friends’ friends.

Friday morning we woke up and went to a tasty bagel shop, which obviously didn’t even compare to NY bagels in the slightest, but were sufficiently satisfying. We then explored the city a bit and made our way to the airport to return home. All in all, Dublin was really an awesome city and one of the places I would recommend as a place that anyone studying abroad in Europe has to visit. I have a newfound appreciation for St. Patrick and I’d like to thank the Irish for some great potatoes and even greater St. Paddy’s day accessories which I will admit I will be sporting in Michigan next year, wishing I was celebrating the big day in Dublin. Lucky for all my readers, after my final midterm at 9am tomorrow morning I leave Thursday for spring break! Get pumped to hear about my adventures in Santorini (@Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants fans #dreamcometrue), London and The Amalfi Coast. Let’s hope I have a nice golden tan to write about next weekend because at the moment I am suffering from an ear infection and look like a pale ghost. Hope you didn’t miss me too much last week, and can’t wait to update you all on my exciting spring break plans after I explore some more of the world. Until then, feel free to stalk my pictures on Facebook or follow me on snapchat/instagram to stay up to date with my exciting life.

Ciao for now!

BCow

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Week 5: Barcelona

Ciao ciao!

I’m going to start this post off by admitting that I did not do the cultural thing in Barcelona, so apologies to all the haters but a girl has to have fun sometimes. I’d like to give everyone a warning in advance that everything I talk about from abroadfest is quite basic but please don’t judge me for it. Overall, the main thing I learned this weekend is that Barcelona is a real party.

Side note: from now on if you are unfamiliar with college lingo I encourage you to visit urbandictionary.com for any assistance in understanding what I am saying.

Anyways, we arrived in Barcelona Thursday evening and the first thing we did was pick up our tickets for abroadfest. After I had seen everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life, we went to a bar and ordered unreal Sangria and nachos. Obviously this was the ideal way to start off the festivities in Spain. We quickly learned that people in Spain eat dinner ridiculously late to the point where it’s actually considered weird to get dinner before 9pm (but considering what time people go out, I guess it makes sense). Night 1 we went to Razzmatazz and saw Chainsmokers. Razzmatazz was a huge club with a weird bathroom that had a DJ on the line to pee. In between the boys and girls bathroom was basically a mixer and just real odd. The club was disgustingly sweaty (to the point where I had to shower when I got home), but the Chainsmokers were awesome so it made it worth it. They killed it and played Roses like 3 times which I definitely didn’t mind. They really do know how to do things right in Barce. A+ for Razzmatazz.

Surprisingly I was the only one who woke up without a hangover (#blessed). We finally made it to brunch at Brunch & Cake by 3pm (I guess at this point it was more of a Linner?) and I had some real tasty avocado toast before heading to The W to pregame for the darty* with Barrett and Jordan (I promised them a shoutout this week so here you go guys!). Let’s just say that it didn’t even compare to my lovely hostel with bunk beds. The W is straight luxury. When the pregame with the gorgeous views and disgusting vodka shots came to a close, we made our way to Shoko where the darty was happenin. After overly enthusiastic reunions with camp friends I had never actually spoken to at camp, people I hadn’t seen in years, and many games of Jewish Geography, the sun set and it was time to prepare ourselves for the night ahead. We went to a quick dinner, napped, and then made a quick turnaround to go back out and start pregaming yet again. Night 2 confirmed my fears that Opium is > Space. As much as I love all the great times space has provided, opium was LIT. The club was legendary, ridiculously large, and you could definitely find a section of the club for the vibes you were feeling: outside for more a chill and relaxing experience, in the center of the club for a rave, or inside on the outskirts of the rave for more of a classic, space-like experience. It also felt like home because the Florence promoters were there.

The next morning we went to brunch at Federal Cafe, which was good but standard. We then went to Park Guell (confession that this may have been the only touristy spot I visited but whatever). We didn’t go to the famous mosaic benches because they cost 8 euros to sit on and the next available time for ticket admission was almost 2 hours later, which was pretty ridiculous. Instead we just walked around the park, which was full of beautiful Gaudi Art. After a pit stop at Happy Pills for some candy (sorry for scaring you with the credit card charge at Happy Pills mom!), I decided to go darty (wearing my tourist clothes and what my friends like to refer to as my “mom bag”). I arrived sober so naturally the situation called for some tequila shots and in no time I was dartying like a champ. The darty was at Opium again, and only made me love that place even more. It also didn’t hurt that my beloved Florence promoter, Brian, gave me a bottle of champagne (unless I dreamt that one). After that I got an amazing but pretty gross dinner at Wok to Walk, since the wait for the Tapas place was too long. That was how I ended my “uncharacteristic” weekend of partying in Barcelona. This weekend I’m staying in Florence to recover and prepare myself both physically and mentally for St. Pattys in Dublin. I’m sure that post will be thematically similar to this one, so if you had fun reading about my partying adventures get pumped for that post. I hope you enjoyed living vicariously through my Barcelona club tour, and hopefully my weekend in Florence will be exciting enough to write about. Thanks for reading my blog for so long, and sorry if this post made you not want to read it any more.

Ciao for now!

BCow