Monday, October 17, 2011


Petra, Jordan was one of the most stunning places I have ever been. It baffles me how people so long ago (sometime in the 6th century BC) carved such beautiful and intricate artwork into the side of a stone mountain. This is a picture of the largest facade in Petra. I know you can't tell from this shot but the entrance was a couple feet taller than me. We wanted to go inside but there wasn't steps. It is 164 ft high x 147 ft wide... thats a little more than 13 stories high!!! It really puts you in your place standing in front of it. I rode a mule up the mountain to see was about 800 very steep steps. It was too dangerous to ride the mule back down so we walked. We did so much walking... so much. The first day we climbed about 750 steps to the 'High Place' to see the sun set, so needless to say I was happy about the mule ride the next day.

The entrance way to the city is enclosed by these towering rocks. There was such a cool echo while we walked many people chatting and horses, mules, camels, and donkeys makin' all sorts of noise. It was also one of the few places with shade. There was a cool and much appreciated breeze here as well. We stopped to have lunch here. Before we went into the city we stopped and got's an Arab sandwich like wrap with shaved lamb, goat, chicken, turkey or beef. I got chicken.

While we were in the car ride to Amman, we saw this Bedouin man walking with his camel and he so kindly smiled and waved. The Bedouin culture is very hospitable. In most every shop we entered someone offered us sage tea and cookies.

Ahhh, the Dead Sea. It made me feel like a kid again. You got to rub mud all over you and then get in water that made you float! How cool?! We had the best time. After I got out, my skin felt so nice and smooth. I recommend a Dead Sea mud bath for sure!

This trip was very special. I appreciated being somewhere so old and full of culture. Jordan is definitely somewhere that I am going to revisit. I met so many great people.. including one very handsome man in Petra who gave me a cd of Arabic music (that I am listening to as I post this). Also, I got to go inside this woman's house and hold her 3 month old baby! Most everyone was sincere and inviting. I was very lucky to have such a safe experience. I found this poem about Petra that I absolutely love. It was written by John William Burgon in the mid 1800's...soon after Petra was rediscovered.

It seems no work of Man's creative hand,

by labour wrought as wavering fancy planned;

But from the rock as if by magic grown,

eternal, silent, beautiful, alone!

Not virgin-white like that old Doric shrine,

where erst Athena held her rites divine;

Not saintly-grey, like many a minster fane,

that crowns the hill and consecrates the plain;

But rose-red as if the blush of dawn,

that first beheld them were not yet withdrawn;

The hues of youth upon a brow of woe,

which Man deemed old two thousand years ago,

match me such marvel save in Eastern clime,

a rose-red city half as old as time.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm venturing to Jordan!

I am very excited for my journey to the middle east. While I am a bit nervous...I keep telling myself, "Everything will be ok as long as you get to ride a camel." Seriously though, I have been researching and familiarizing myself with Jordan customs and culture. I registered with the US State department for the STEP program. The Smart Travel Enrollment Program allows me to inform the US Embassy when and where I will be staying in Jordan. I also have the number and address of the US Embassy. I have taken precautions and am ready to bath in the Dead Sea, see the city carved out of stone; Petra and of course ride a camel!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down.

I am just now getting around to posting pictures and blogging about Amsterdam but that doesnt mean it wasnt completely just means I am behind on publicly displaying my life.
I know the title of this post may be a bit ironic if you know me at all.. I am always on the go and always planning the next adventure before the current one ends...however, this trip was relaxing and slow paced. very zen and mindful. calm.

We took a boat tour through the canals and it was by far the best way to see the city. I have not had a vacation that was this relaxing. ever. You know how when you go on vacation it always or usually has a little stress to go with it... or you are so worried about having a good time and doing as much as possible that when you get home you need a vacation from being on vacation? This trip wasnt like that at all. We didnt plan anything ahead of time (other than the hostel) and just calmly and pleasantly strolled around seeing what we could see. I really hope to make it back before I come home.

Lisa and I were talking about going back before we leave Ireland because we were so laid back about not worrying to do every tourist attraction or walk through every museum that there are some things that we would enjoy doing if we were lucky enough to go back. Namely, The Anne Frank House and The Heineken Factory. I think we will skip the Red Light District next time!

Blogging about it now makes me remember how awesome it was and sorta makes me want to book a plane ticket right now. hahaha but I have a few other places up my sleeve I wanna visit first. Not to freak anyone out but all I'm gonna say right now is I am about to get all Middle Eastern up in here. ;)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I miss the show Friends.

Since the first Post fiasco I have picked up TWO lovely packages. Thanks to my wonderful friends Jena, Andrea, and Jordi I have lots of goodies including mac n cheese and hotel soap! haha Jordi knows I love those cute hotel bars of soap! I miss my friends back home but I have really enjoyed making new ones. My roommate Lisa and I are going to the Netherlands this weekend..which should be CRAZY!! I am so lucky to have found such a cool roommate to live and travel with. I saw my sweet friend Sara Lee off last night..she is moving back to the States. She and I traveled through Europe and Ireland together.. and it is very sad to see her go. It's the story of my life.. making friends and then missing them. Speaking of friends I miss.. I miss my dear friend Tiffany. She has had a weird couple of weeks in DC with the earthquake and hurricane (which my loves Sofia and Andrea have had to deal with also because they work at an insurance company... but get that OT!) Good thing I am real good at Facebook and keeping in touch! Where would I be without it? So cheers to all my beautiful friends.. I love you all and miss you dearly.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Irish Post System

well.. so far my blogs have been upbeat, positive, and for the most part happy...but as well all know thats not always how life goes. --- I checked my mail today and received a note saying I had a package to pick up at the Post Collection point. Since my apartment building only has slot mail AND our buzzer is broken by the front door to call up we always have to walk to get packages. To the collection point and back is a 40 minute walk. 20 there. 20 back. I don't have to be to work until 6 so I thought, hey, why not? *I will update more about work later if it works out* To my dismay I arrive at the Post only for the man to say that it would not be available for pick up until the next working day, Monday. AHHHH!!! The whole reason I went today was so I wouldn't have to wait in anticipation all weekend. I was so excited that I did not read the fine print on the note that said my package would not be available until Monday. Why even put the notice in my box then? Why not just put it in on Monday?? know I was gonna be all excited and junk that one of my lovely friends or family mailed me a care package!! sooo, I will be returning on Monday to collect what I hope are lovely goodies. Thank you to whomever sent me a parcel. I shall reveal the contents on Monday...the next working day.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Days like today...

Today was a Saturday to remember. I didn't run off a Swiss mountain and paraglide, jump out of a perfectly good airplane in Florida, or eat octopus in the Dominican Republic, but I did leisurely walk around Dublin with two really great friends. We met up and went to a couple of local bars that on Saturdays (during the day) are flea markets. We also walked to some charity shops (thrift stores) and did some browsing. On the walk I stopped on the street and bought a nectarine that was dangerously delicious....way too delicious to have only costed 40 cents and was probably the forbidden fruit everyone is always saying Eve ate. Note: When the fruit tastes better than normal you know you are enjoying yourself! That happened to me in France with Sara when we had a fruit spread of dried pineapple and peaches, strawberries, and blueberries.

We walked a good way down Camden Street stopping in probably 7 or 8 shops and ended up in Rathmines. That is where I stayed in 2008 when I was here studying. We found the college I stayed at and tried to take a picture (to capture the insane difference in my appearance 3 years later in the same spot) but the gate was closed. I will most assuredly get that picture before I leave.

Days like today are so special. I didn't have a skydiving adrenaline rush or spend half my bank account on a plane ticket but it was equally as enjoyable. I am so thankful for meeting such wonderful people to experience days like today with.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cyber Granny

My wonderful Grandmother figured out how to use Skype and Facebook chat! I am so proud of her!! :) It was so neat to video chat with her..I hope that now she can set up a time so I can chat with my brothers when they are at her house. I miss them. we should have done this while I was in Florida too.. oh how the world evolves. I love it.

I need to go to the store to get some envelopes and crayons.. I feel like writing letters and coloring the pages. * readers test* >> if you want a hand written letter with crayon scribbles send me an email, message or whatever with your address. if I dont get any responses.. I will send them anyway, haha.