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Last we saw our heroine she was headed up north for a quick visit to Dublin. Now, the trip began perfectly. I found the train station without a hitch and made it in time for the good ol' 9:30 service to Dublin. Unfortunately, I had a bit of a cold, which was only exacerbated by the fact that the cars didn't have any heat that morning. So, the trip was a little sniffly but nothing too bad; I had Neil Gaiman's American Gods to keep me company so all was right with life. Aside from the crazy crackhead lady behind me who kept yelling, "How far now!?" and the oddball old man across the aisle who would respond "Ah we've just passed ____, so."

Tangent: I love the way Irish people use the words "now" and "so". I can't really come up with a comparison in "American" but nows and sos are usually tucked into sentences as space-fillers, almost. I suppose a bit like an American like, but still a bit different. Example Scenario: You're at the local Tesco, just running in to get some OJ and eggs - the usual purchase, of course. You run it through the line with a clerk because the self check out lines are just out of this world and your friendly Polish-Irish hybrid says "Now, tree euro, so!" It's just so gosh-darned cute. /Tangent.

Anyway, so the train trip was fine going up. I made it into the city without any trouble and took the Luas (lightrail tram) to the stop nearest our hostel and met up with Anna. We decided to make the Guinness storehouse our first stop (naturally) and picked up some cheap chips en route, having not eaten for the better part of the day. The storehouse was fun, even though I'd been before. This time, all of the computers and things were working, unlike last time when half the exhibit wasn't functional. I also got to pull me own pint this time, which was fun, and mine didn't turn out half bad!

After the storehouse, we wandered a bit and found a nice place to have dinner and it was after dinner that I really began to feel like crap, so we wandered back to the hostel and bought copious amounts of Halls cough drops, OJ and and kleenex, ready to tuck in for an early night. Or what we hoped would be an early night.

We were wronnnnnng. We had decided to book a shared dorm style room at the hostel, 12 beds, mixed gender. NBD, right? We'd just be sleeping there so it's not like we were too invested in who our roommates would be. Well, when it turned out that our roommates were loud, drunken Italian men in town for the big match, it mattered quite a bit. There was a bit of a bed fiasco (everyone in the wrong beds because the first people to arrive had put their things in the wrong spot, etc, etc. not that it really mattered - there were enough beds for everyone). So of course the drunken Italian men and the high maintenance English girls had to have it out at 4 AM. Of course. After much yelling and miscommunicating, everything sorted itself out.

The next morning, we went to the Hugh Lane art museum, which was AMAZING. It was free (woo!!!) and had a great collection of mostly impressionist paintings. There was some more modern stuff, too, one of which is my new favorite painting of all time, I think. It's called Garden Green by Norah McGuinness. That link is a terrible image and hardly displays the completely vivid greens and the contrast of the bright white... It was just gorgeous!
After that, we met up with the other BC kids in town, ate lunch and then I decided that the best choice for my health would be to stay in bed instead of explore more of Dublin. Plus, the places my friends wanted to go were places I'd already been when I went in March. So, I spent another lovely night in the hostel bed, sneezing and coughing and sleeping off and on. Talk about fun trips.

Since I've been back in Cork, I've pretty much fully recovered. Both of my roommates were gone for the weekend, so I spent it cuddled up on the couch with my lovely giraffe blanket and a stack of books about yea high. I finished American Gods, Kiss Kiss by Roald Dahl (a really good collection of short stories. Pretty creepy, though), My Left Foot by Christy Brown and Of Mice and Men by good ol' John Steinbeck. All in all, a good weekend - much better than the one before.

I leave Cork tomorrow night for an evening in the Dublin airport and then off to Italia! I'm pretty excited and a bit nervous too. The website for the Italian train system is complete crap, so Laura and I have just decided to wing it and buy tickets as we need them. We found a nice enough looking hostel in Florence, where I'll get to see some friends from high school! It should be a nice week away, and hopefully a little bit warmer than Cork, which shouldn't be too hard to do.

Look forward to some photos and Italian tales!
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