Sunday, November 30, 2014

November 30th

Brad and I are reading My Immortal. So I can't post photos tonight because Volxemort is coming and we're all in danger. Brad said we have to wait for Dumblydore to come help us, but I know only Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way can save us.

I hope you're all doing well, my loves! I can't believe November has come to an end. I'm so excited for December! Christmas, yay!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

November 29th

Work was really good again today! I met a new coworker and she's really nice, so that's exciting. I meant to take a nap when I got home but haven't been able to sleep so I'm really, really tired right now. 

In other news, Legend of Korra is fucking beautiful. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

November 28th

Happy Black Friday, my loves! I actually had a really pleasant day at work today, and I'm really happy and grateful for that. My cold is also a lot better today! Yay! Thanksgiving gratefulness, a day late!

I've become quite sleepy though since I didn't nap after work, so I'm not sure if I should sleep until my blog alarm goes off, or just go to sleep now and sleep through the night, or what. I'm Skyping with Brad right now though!

I want a puffy cookie so badly but I'm too sleepy to go get one. But I really want one...I may have to go get one.


Thursday, November 27, 2014

November 27th

Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! I am still feeling quite sickly, so I'm watching Holiday Star and then going to bed. My nose isn't so sniffly, but my cough is much worse and I do have to work tomorrow and Saturday. I wish I had one more day to rest and get over this cold! 

I'm not sure now when I'll get around to posting pictures and such from my trip, but I promise they're coming! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

November 26th

You guys, I have a full-on horrible cold. Like, congested but runny nose at the same time, coughing, sinus pressure, all that fun stuff. Would you be mad if I pushed back the photos another day? Because of the meds I'm on, the only "cold" medication I can take is actually allergy medication (Benadryl, which combined with my meds will make me RELLY tired so I'm putting off taking it), because normal cold medication has an ingredient that can give me...serotonin syndrome. And having had that a few months ago, I now know that I definitely don't want to possibly go through that again. Plus, I work in a few days! Like, two days! Black Friday! I really hope I'm feeling much better by then, because this is not how I want to return to work, all sniffly and sore. I'm so congested that I can't taste food at the moment, which I hate, so I've been eating mac and cheese for like and hour now (the same little bowl of it) and it's gotten cold but I can't taste it anyway, so I don't even care. Eating when you can't taste is super lame.

Stay well, my friends!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

November 25th

Photo dump shall come tomorrow, as I am currently sick and sleepy and Skyping with Brad. I hope you're all doing well!

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24th

I am back home at my apartment! I'm currently trying to import the photos I took on my phone onto my computer, but it's being weird and lagging a lot. Sigh. But that means starting tomorrow, you'll all get to see some photo-heavy posts with commentary and all that fun stuff! Tonight I'm still feeling pretty tired though.

I bought myself a present when I was in Ireland. Not like, I went to Primark and bought a headband sort of thing (which I did do), but a genuinely nice, pricey present. I've never done that on a trip before. I was in the Dublin airport looking through the duty-free perfumes, which is always hard because buying perfume without testing it on your skin first is risky, but you don't want to spray perfume on yourself before flying because that's not always nice for the person sitting next to you. I had my eyes on one of the Alien flankers, but I'm already planning on getting a different flanker at some point, and it was right at the top of my budget. So I wandered over to the Jo Malone store. I'd never been in one before, and the only other Jo Malone scent I'd owned was one I received blindly in a swap but didn't like. Now, Jo Malone scents are very hard to come by and very expensive, so I knew I couldn't buy a full-size, as they were way too expensive for me. And even the small 1oz bottle are pricey- normally it's about $60 for a 1oz/30ml bottle. That's a damn small bottle. However, they had 1oz bottles for 40 euros, which is just under $50. Plus no tax! So I smelled everything they had a bunch of times, sprayed them all on paper, and finally decided on one that reminded me most of my trip- Wood Sage & Sea Salt. It's a woody aquatic scent, and my skin always likes to bring out the woodsy notes, so on me it's a light, slightly masculine woody scent with a bit of salty air. I finally put some on tonight (I'm trying to use it very sparingly) and I'm falling more and more in love with it the more I smell it, so I'm really happy that I bought it. I love that I have a fragrance that will always remind me of Ireland. The funny thing is, even though the first time I visited Ireland, I only brought my Lolita Lempicka perfume with me. But when I got home, my Van Cleef and Arpels Feérie reminded me of Ireland for some reason. I brought the Van Cleef and Arpels and the Lolita Lempicka with my on this trip, so now it's like I have three scents that remind me of Ireland. Really, the Lolita reminds me of a lot of things because I wear it so often. The VC&A reminds me of my first trip to Ireland. It reminds me of the lush greenery and the countryside. And now my Jo Malone can remind me of all the time I got to spend by the sea on this trip, especially up in Northern Ireland as well and Dún Laoghaire.

The Wood Sage and Sea Salt smells like something else too, but I can't put my finger on it. I like it, though. So I'm happy.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

November 23rd

I am absolutely exhausted. All my flights went well enough, despite some anxiety and nausea that have since faded (I think it was a combo if being tired and hungry). Anyway, jetlag says it's 2:30 AM and I've been flying all day, so I'm going to bed. Cheers!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 22nd

I'm being very naughty and taking a nap before I pack. I'm just so tired though! I did get to go to Trinity College today though, so I'm really happy. Just like last time, I stayed in the Long Room for a Long Time and then almost cried when I had to leave. I really love that place. It's gorgeous, it smes amazing, and it's just lovely. I could stay in there for hours. 

But now I'm going to nap, and then pack when I wake up! I'm so worried about packing, my hotel room is a mess and I already overpacked when I came so I'm worried about things fitting...ahh. Here's hoping it goes smoothly!

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 21st

I'm up very late tonight, and I'm feeling it. I felt it when I tried to go out tonight and then started feeling ill and anxious. So it's off to bed with me now, and then souvenir shopping tomorrow. I didn't do much of anything today unfortunately, but I think that was for the best. I needed to slow down a bit.

I hope you're all doing well!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

November 20th

I currently seem to be on the world's weirdest sleep schedule. I'm not sleeping like I'm at home or like I'm here...I don't know what time zone I'm in. I'm also extremely tired for a good portion of the day.

Now, the Game of Thrones tour. It was incredible. I'm so tired right now that the idea of typing out all of the details seems really daunting, so I'm going to be brief, and then at a later date I'll post photos with more details.

After struggling to find where on earth I was supposed to actually start the tour (thank goodness Belfast has the best cab drivers in the world, no joke), I arrived, was checked in quite easily, and boarded the bus. I immediately knew I chose the right tour company because they were playing the soundtrack on the bus while we waited for everyone. (That, and the company is actually the company that works for the show so they take the cast and crew to the locations and have all the inside details.) Our driver and guide were both fantastic.

We started off with a scenic route which led us by where there was actual filming happening right then and there, but it was on the other side of the bus and I didn't get a great picture. But I did get to see "the Wall" sort'll see when I post my terrible picture of it! It was pretty sweet though. Our guide told us all sorts of Irish folklore and actual history as well, which was great. The drive never seemed long.

Along the way, we stopped at the locations where they filmed Ned beheading the Night's Watch deserter, the cave where Melisandre birthed the shadow baby, Renly's camp, and the shores of the Iron Islands, which doubled as the place from where Arya departs at the end of season four. We also went to the Giant's Causeway for lunch - nothing to do with Game of Thrones, but it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site and it's really gorgeous, albeit an arduous walk. Our final stop was the Dark Hedges, which are neither dark nor hedges. But they are really gorgeous, especially as the sun starts to set, which is when we arrived. We then took a main road back into Belfast while our guide told us behind the scenes info about nearly all of the actors, as well as secrets about the costumes, weapons, and even the books. (I'm going to be respectful of his wishes that this info not be spread around everywhere, but Lexa, if you're reading this, hit me up. I'll fill you in.)

Overall, the tour was amazing. It was extremely picturesque, and Northern Ireland really is a lovely and diverse place. We passed hills and valleys, loads and loads of livestock, and gorgeous seaside views. It was very typically Irish in its landscape, from the farms to the houses to the cliffs.

And this leads me to my next point...

Tomorrow I'm taking an even longer coach tour. This time I'll be visiting the Cliffs of Moher, as well as a few stops along the way. It's a 12 hour tour though- I'm supposed to depart at 6:50 AM and get back to Dublin between 6:00-7:00 PM. And it's looking like there might be a fair bit of walking around the cliffs. Normally that wouldn't turn me off, but on the Game of Thrones tour there were two occasions where after walking uphill for a not-too-long (half a mile to a mile) period of time, I felt literally sick to the point where I was lightheaded. And yes, I kept up with eating and drinking lots of water! I think I've just become massively unfit.

So my dilemma is this: I just took a nap. I'm still really tired. I have to be up at 5:00 AM. I'm worried that the Cliffs are going to entail a lot of walking and it's going to be really hard for me since my body apparently doesn't want to do too much walking. (I also hate being on a forced schedule for eating...and since this tour covers when I would normally eat breakfast, lunch AND dinner, and I know we won't stop for all of those things...what to do?) At my hotel in Belfast, they served breakfast starting at like 4:00 AM so I was able to have a big buffet breakfast before the tour. Here? Tesco won't be open until 8:00, and this hotel charges an obscene amount for breakfast, so I'm not sure.

I really want to go on this tour. But if I wake up in the morning feeling exhausted, I don't want to over-exert myself. Plus, on the Game of Thrones tour I did already get to see some gorgeous scenery that typified a lot of Irish landscape in my I'm feeling really conflicted about the whole thing. I guess we'll see how I feel tomorrow!

If I opt out of the tour tomorrow, I'd be able to have a full day in Dublin to do as I please. I'm open Saturday as well, but I have to pack and such. I've also done something to my neck, it seems- on the train ride back from Belfast today (which, by the way, is the quickest two hours ever. Seriously. Both times it felt super short, plus it was a really smooth ride and fairly scenic outside, although today it as foggy), I noticed what felt like possibly a pulled muscle, probably from carrying around my too-heavy weekender bag I brought up to Belfast.

I wouldn't mind going back to Trinity College, and there are still some places in Dublin I haven't seen. I can also always hop on a train like I do to get to Dún Laoghaire and head up to one of the other cities recommended to me, like Skerries. On top of all that, the weather is a factor- if it's pouring down rain, that changes things. The weather has been really pleasant for me so far though! Only rained as I was leaving Dún Laoghaire.

I wish I'd had another day to shop in Belfast, and to explore the city a bit more without feeling rushed. (You know, like how I felt about Dublin last time I was here.) I still haven't had a day here to really get around Dublin much, and I'd also like a rest day, so I feel like I'm talking myself out of the tour tomorrow here...I don't know.

I guess I'll just have to see how I feel in the morning. A 12-hour tour is a big commitment and I wouldn't see any of Dublin that day, and I'm sure the next day I wouldn't be up for doing too much other than chilling at my hotel all day. I'm so conflicted! I guess I'll have to sleep on it. :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 19th

I am exhausted. I can barely keep my eyes open. I promise I'll write an awesome post tomorrow about how amazing the tour today was. But for now, sleep.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 18th

I knew if I took a nap at 6:00 PM, I'd wake up at 10 to blog and still be tired and ready to sleep some more, and also hungry. Alas, that is the case.

Anyway. The train ride up to Belfast was really chill, and there was so much livestock along the way! Cows and sheep and all those fun animals. And Belfast...I like Belfast a lot so far. It's like a mix between London and Dublin. It's an Irish London, but much smaller. I visited the Titanic Museum, which was actually smaller than I'd expected. I opted out of the boat ride simulator because that sounded nauseating, but the rest of the museum was fairly interesting. I was hoping there would be more artifacts though, and there were hardly any. After buying some sweet socks and a scarf at the gift shop (reasonably priced, actually), I tried desperately to find the docks they visited on The Amazing Race but I ended up somewhere else and my poor feet were tired and I wanted to hit up the mall before it closed (things close so early here!), so I gave up on that. I think I actually know where it is now, but I don't think I'll have time to go back.

The mall was all right...I grabbed some more Barry M nail polish and, again, a concealer I've heard good things about, though this time it wasn't the Rimmel Wake Me Up, it was the Collection Lasting Perfection. We'll see! I only buy concealer in the UK, it seems.

I also bought some dinner (very yummy roast chicken sandwich and Naked juice), and then headed back to my hotel here, which I actually like quite a bit. It appears to only have one electrical outlet though, which is really annoying.

Tomorrow I have to get up super early and eat a really filling breakfast and shower and all that, then be at the tour check-in at like 8:25. That's a lot for one sleepy Kate to manage, but hopefully if I sleep now, I'll be okay! I'm excited for this tour! GAME OF THRONES WOOHOO.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17th

Hello lovelies! I'm going to try and be better about blogging today, even though I'm completely exhausted...and just woke up from a nap.

As per jet lag, I woke up at the very strange hour of about 3:45 AM. Luckily, Brad also happened to be awake (time zone difference BONUS!) so we got to chat for a bit. Then, when things finally started to open here - namely Tesco - I showered then walked over to get some breakfast and snacks and such.

Then I wanted to get back to the city centre. I knew taking a cab would be expensive, so I bought a Leap Card. Buying the Leap Card and topping it up was just as much as a cab would have been, but it's also refillable so I used it later in the day as well.

I'm still totally confused by the bus system here. It's not clear (to me) which buses go where. So I went to a bus stop where there was conveniently a man who worked for the bus company waiting as well, so I asked him my stupid foreigner questions about how to use my Leap Card and if this bus was going where I was going.

Luckily I made it made to O'Connell Street, which was my main stomping grounds last time I was here. I stopped into Primark and bought some super cozy winter leggings (pajama bottoms?) and I love them! I was feeling a bit dizzy then though, so I decided I should try and find the Tara Street train station (which was very hard last time I was here, though I don't recall if I blogged about that) so I could get myself back to Dún Laoghaire.

(I briefly stopped to have a snack at this point and was greeted by a very eager pigeon. I tossed one of my crackers to him, and suddenly a ton of pigeons swooped in and hung out with me for a bit, so long as I occasionally gave them crackers. They were so nice! The first pigeon even hung around for a bit after the others had left, so I think he and I became friends. I named him Ryouta.)

There was a Subway at the station so for old time's sake, I ordered myself a sandwich to eat on the pier. I topped up my Leap Card again just to be sure, and that was my ticket. Leap Cards are cool, you can use them for a bunch of things!

Despite a delay at the first stop (A "signaling error"), I happily made my way to Dún Laoghaire. The weather was actually quite nice - very windy, only slightly chilly, and most importantly, not raining. I stopped into the same shop I'd stopped in last time to use the toilet since I knew it was there (so much deja vu) and then set off toward the east pier. The pier was exceptionally windy, but it was so lovely. Even without the armada of sailboats floating in the harbor, it was wonderful. The sea was gorgeous, it sounded gorgeous, it smelled was really, really great.

I knew I wanted a picture of myself similar to the one I have from the pier on my last trip, but since I was alone this time, I had to find someone to take one for me. That's always a little intimidating, and I took some good old selfies in case I had no luck, but I did in fact have some fantastic luck. The first person I approached was a sweet older woman who was very chatty and more that happy to take some pictures. (She seriously took like five, a couple candids.) She was so kind and friendly and I feel so lucky to have come across her! And I got just the pictures I was looking for.

After pausing a few times to snack on my sandwich, I made it to the end of the pier, where the lighthouse was unfortunately closed off. So I took the upper route back down the pier (quick note: the pier is nearly a mile long) and found a sort of secret back way to go which would take me behind the pier and close to the sea, the rocks, all that fun stuff. There was a real sea breeze back there, the good salty kind, and it was amazing.

I wanted to walk around Dún Laoghaire some more, but my feet hurt really badly and it started to rain just as I left the pier. So I went back to the train station, and back into the city centre I went!

It was raining pretty badly by the time I got back, and with my minimal bus knowledge, I decided I'd just get a cab. Luckily, I not only found one right away, but had an amazing cab driver. (The two best cab drivers I've ever had have been Dubliners.) We talked the whole way back to my hotel, and he gave me some tips about getting to the airport and so on, and he was generally just a really pleasant guy. We talked about how I was really enjoying the weather here because it was warmer and less snowy than where I'd come from, and he told me he could barely handle six weeks of snow per year, so I advised him not to visit Minnesota in the winter. :)

Back at my hotel I was bombarded with the headache that had been hanging around all day as well as incredibly sore feet and legs, and a wee blister on the bottom of my foot to top it all off. After being unable to find my ibuprofen for ages, I finally found some, talked to Tom a bit (bit ironic), and fell very soundly asleep.

So I've just woken up to my blog alarm and wanted to update you all on my first real day of doing things here! It was a really lovely day overall, and tomorrow I'm off to Belfast! It seems like that came up really quickly, and I've not packed yet, so I'm going to get up early (since I want to go back to sleep now) so I can pack and then get a cab to the train station, since I don't know where the station is. Then it's a shopping day in Belfast and a visit to the Titanic Museum, then the next day is the Game of Thrones set tour!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 16th

I am in beautiful Ireland, and I am sleepy! I was expecting that, which is why I decided to arrive on a Sunday- there's nothing to do on Sundays in Ireland anyway. Everything is closed! I left the airport at about 9:00 and got to my hotel shortly thereafter, and they couldn't get me in until 11:00. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to get breakfast until 10:00. So I walked around my new area (I'm in a completely different part of Dublin than where I stayed last time - not as nice of a place, farther away from everything, but less expensive) for about an hour, walked around a pretty college campus (I always seem to do this when I travel) and then finally got to go get breakfast at the one place in the area that was open. So I thought, what the hell, I'll get the breakfast option that comes with black pudding. It doesn't actually taste that bad, but knowing what it is made it taste worse in my mind. The rest of my breakfast was excellent though- very traditionally European with lots and lots of meat, plus eggs and toast. And some amazing orange juice.

And then I went back to my hotel and fell asleep! I was just awoken by some music, maybe coming from downstairs, or possibly across the street? But what's Ireland without music coming from unknown places?

So now I'm snacking and watching TV. I got upgraded to a king-sized room for free so I feel very luxurious. I'll let you all know more about the plane rides and travel bits and bobs tomorrow! Hopefully the weather tomorrow is as nice as it was today so I can get into town and explore familiar stomping grounds, and maybe even head down to Dún Laoghaire for a bit! And shop. Definitely shop. (Though I know I'll be doing that in Belfast too.)

I hope you all are doing well!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

November 15th

Whoa, almost forgot to blog before getting on my flight! I've been at JFK airport for longer than my flight to Dublin is going to be. I love NYC, but the airport is less great. 

Time to board! See you tomorrow in Ireland!

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 14th

Okay! I'm all packed! (Except for my toiletries that I need to use in the morning!) I'm ready! I'm flying tomorrow! Woo! Let's go! Let's do the thing!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

November 13th


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 12th

I'm so tired today. I didn't get to sleep until after 5 AM and then had to wake up and move my car so they could plow our parking lot. Then I came back and slept some more, but I'm still sleepy. I'm leaving my apartment around 4 PM tomorrow, so everything needs to be in order by then, which it mostly is. I need to do the dishes and clean up a bit and then pack up my things to bring down to the my dad's house where all my travel documents are. I'll be staying there two nights, then Saturday morning I fly out to New York City, and leave for Dublin Saturday night. I feel like I have more to do than I probably actually have to do, and I'm stressed about the plane rides as usual, so I'm just trying to stay calm. I also keep getting sad about leaving Cas because I haven't been away from him for this long since I got him, and I'm really going to miss him. I worry about him too, even though the person taking care of him is a really good guy and I think Cas should be okay. 

I'm going to take a nap now and then wake up whenever I wake up so I can finish cleaning and packing. 

I can't wait to actually be in Ireland!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

November 11th

Today was more of the same- shopping for my trip, worrying about my trip, commenting on the ridiculous amount of snow that has amassed here, cuddling with Castamere.

I've set myself a very early bedtime for tonight since I need to move my car tomorrow morning so that they can plow our parking lot.

More catching up on YouTube now! Sorry the blog has been kind of repetitive and boring lately, but I promise once I get to Ireland it will be very exciting! Even if it does rain every day. :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10th

It's looking like my trip is going to be a rainy one, except for maybe a bit of my first day in Belfast. (Which is good, since I want to shop that day!) Luckily the forecast says a lot of the rain will be light and/or not last all day, so that's good. As long as I can do everything I'm schedule to do and not get totally soaked, I'm good! Plus I have a new raincoat! And waterproof boots!

Speaking of weather, we got about a foot of snow here today. Hello, winter! It's so chilly and white all of a sudden! So Cas and I are cuddling together inside, as per usual.

I'm currently trying to work through my Watch Later playlist on YouTube, which I let get up to 100+ videos again. Naughty! It's down closer to 60 now though, which is good.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

November 9th

I did some shopping for my trip today (TSA-approved sizes, yay!) and mostly just lounged around. I'm trying not to get too anxious and to take every step I can to make sure I have a good flight (or flights, rather) out there and back, but being more anxious than usual doesn't help with the fact that I'm already not a big fan of flying, or that packing for a trip is quite stressful.

Luckily Cas is a good cuddle buddy so we're hanging out together tonight. :)

Saturday, November 8, 2014

November 8th

I slept basically all day today. Last night I started feeling anxious and just generally unwell, and I'm pretty sure it might have had something to do with my many 5+ hour Skype dated with friends this which, most of which lasted into the wee hours of the morning. So I caught up on sleep today, and I'm going to try and get to bed quite early tonight as well. I am going to try and watch The Amazing Race and Legend of Korra first though! (I had a dream last night - or rather, sometime this afternoon - that I was on The Amazing Race. I've had dreams like that before, and they're always so bizarre.)

Happy Saturday to you all, and I hope you're enjoying your weekend! Make sure to get plenty of rest, stay hydrated, and be healthy!

Friday, November 7, 2014

November 7th

I'm starting to get stressed about packing for my trip! My room is in disarray and I'm not sure where some things are, and I don't like long flights or long layovers anyway, so...uff da.

I've also decided I need one of those "weekly pill box" things because two of my medications are "take up to [#] pills per day" and I always lose track by the end of the day. So if I just put the max amount in for every day, I'll always know if I can take more or not! I also need to buy a pill cutter. Medication drama!

I might have secured a really nice perfume swap though, which is really exciting! I love when there's a situation where two people really want each other's scents and there's not need to talk about evening things out or including extras because it's just exactly what's wanted. Come to me, Flora Nymphea!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

November 6th

I will be in Ireland in TEN DAYS you guys! Whee!

Tonight is another My Immortal Night, this time with Mike. It was also a HATOFUL BOYFRUEND HOLIDAY STAR STREAM NIGHT and I literally screamed aloud on multiple occasions. Oops.

Monsieur Michael is back, so I away I go! Hope you all have a love weekend!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November 5th

Brad and I are reading My Immortal. Good times. Good memories. 

I had a good day today! Nice lunch and nice skyping. Some non-fun night/rainy driving, but My Immortal makes everything the best. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

November 4th

I'm Skyping with Brad again. Oops.

I have a lunch date tomorrow, whee!


Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3rd

My meeting went well this morning, and Brad very kindly gifted me with my very own copy of Hatoful Boyfriend! But Steam is being an idiot and it isn't recording my achievements or time logged, so it's like I haven't played at all. And you need to log time/achievements to unlock later vents and endings! Grr!

I'm a sleepy Kate tonight. I shall sleep in tomorrow!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

November 2nd

I'm in a Skype call with some lovely folks right now! Brad, John, Michael, and Kasumi are all such great people. I'm having such a Skype-y week.

I'm going into work tomorrow morning! But just to meet with one of my managers. We'll see how that goes. Fingers crossed that it goes well!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

November 1st

Happy November! Just two weeks til I'm back in gorgeous Ireland. In the meantime, here's my Halloween costume from this year!