I was so happy to see my family for a few days earlier this month! Mom, Mommom (my grandma), Aunt Pat, and my two cousins all flew out for a long weekend spent in Dublin. Spending this time with them could not have made me any happier. It's not that I'm homesick for my actual home, I'm more homesick for the people I don't get to see all the time. Having so many people that I love so much here at the same time made this one of the best weekends so far.
They flew in early Saturday, so we walked the shops on Grafton Street for a little and then got a nice brunch on the way back. Then we decided to have a relaxing start to the weekend by spending the early afternoon at Temple Bar. Little did we know that they came on the very weekend Dublin and Wales were playing a huge rival game of rugby at Croke Park. The place was packed with Welsh people and the live music was amazing. Definitely a good start to the weekend. I wanted to show them some main touristy parts of the city after that, so we walked along O'Connell Street and window shopped a little. My cousins and I checked out the Brazen Head, the oldest bar in Dublin, and then met up with everyone for dinner at a really good Irish restaurant on Dame Street (a street near Temple Bat area with really good shops and restaurants) . After that, we ended the night by going to my favorite night tourist spot in Temple Bar area called the Quays. There's always great live music and the place is super crowded every time I go, but in the best way possible.
On Sunday we got a quick brunch at Queen of Tarts (I go there a little too much) and then did the Guinness tour (you can never go too many times). We hung out at Guinness for most of the day, drinking and listening to live music and watching some Welsh guys attempting to dance. Then we got dinner at a really cool restaurant that overlooks the city, called Sophie's. We got a few drinks at the bleeding horse on the way home and watched the super bowl for a while, too!
The next day was super touristy, which was great for them and me! We started at Dublinia, a museum that tells all about the Viking and medieval history of Ireland in a super interesting way. And then we went on a hop on hop off bus tour with another one of Ireland's infamous sarcastic and hilarious tour guides. A short walk from one of our bus stops took us to the Book of Kells and Trinity College's campus after that (absolutely beautiful). We ended the day back at the Brazen Head for some authentic Irish stew and brown bread! The atmosphere was really relaxing and I couldn't have been more happy talking and laughing with my family.
The last day I took them all for a day trip to Malahide to see a beautiful historic castle and gardens there. Then we stopped at a little fishing town called Howth, which I mentioned going to with IES Abroad before, to get fish and chips. The weather was a little windy, but the views were still amazing. I could really tell my family was starting to see all the different reasons I love Ireland so much.
Overall it was a relaxing and fun trip. I had the best time showing my new home to the people I missed so much. I definitely miss them already, but saying bye to them made me realize how comfortable I am in my new home! I can't say how much I love it here enough, and I know that they left with a little bit of that love for it, too.
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<p>Hi! My name is Rachel Marini and I am a Junior at Penn State University. I'm majoring in Elementary Education (with an English focus) and plan to minor in special ed. I am a huge book nerd, but when I'm not reading I like to hang out with my family and friends, go to the beach, and just spend time outdoors. Traveling has always been a big part of my life, because I love exploring new places. Going to Dublin is something that I know I won't regret, and I can't wait to share my experience with all of you!</p>