I have always been very proud of my Irish roots. Having grown up with the culture and people all around me, I was so exctited to have the chance to come Dublin. However, I knew that while I was here, I would have to go to where my roots really are: Killarney. My grandmother was born and raised there, until she came to American all on her own at the age of 17. I grew up listening to her tell stories from her childhood there and about life on the family farm. I had always pictured it in my head and seen photos, but I always was eager to visit. I finally got my chance a couple of weeks ago when my mom and sister came to Ireland and stayed in Killarney. I traveled over and stayed with them for a few nights and was really able to explore the area. Not only did we eat dinner with my grandmother's old neighbors and cousins, but they gave us a personal tour of our family farm and it was absoultely surreal. It was so nice to hear what stories they had to share about my nana and what growing up with her was like. The next day I took a great walk through Killarney National Park with my sister, where you can get the most magnificent view of the lakes. I got myself a well deserved Murphy's ice cream cone after that!
As well, where I stayed was right by the Gap of Dunloe. My mom and I woke up early and walked it halfway which was probably on of my favorite things I have done while abroad so far. It was absoltuely stunning. The mountains, the water, the sheep, everything is so beautiful. A lot of people do it by horse and buggy, but my mom and I wanted to explore on foot. She had been there before several times so I figured she knew best (as all moms do). It definitely was a long walk but totally worth it. As well, we took a great drive through the Ring of Kerry, partially, and then up to a small town in Cork. Along the way we saw Ladies Viewpoint which was breathtaking. The story behind it is also so interesting, as it is called Ladie's Viewpoint because the Queen Victoria and her ladies in waiting loved the view so much during their visit to Ireland years back. As well, one of the most interesting parts of my visit was that Killarney had a 4th of July parade! The streets were filled completely to watch the cars, bands, and people dressed up as American historical figures walk by. It was so cool to see their interest and their perception of American culture!
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<p>Hi! I'm Kellyanne, a New York City girl taking on Dublin. Here you will find some of my everyday thoughts and experiences during my journey this summer!</p>