St. Patrick’s Day Countdown – Part 3

Today we continue our countdown to St. Patrick’s Day with details of Amanda’s 2007 Ireland travels. On the fifth and sixth days of her journey with several fellow Franciscan University of Steubenville students, their adventures (and mis-adventures) led them to a nearly heavenly nap on the fabled Cliffs of Moher.

Day 5 of Amanda’s Ireland Trip; August 24, 2007

Amanda wrote:

So, first of all, let me tell you why my grammar and spelling is so bad. It is because the keyboards here are extremely messed up—I am not used to them and their unusual key placement. And, I am usually writing during the few “breaks” I have during the day. I am almost always rushing to complete my notes. So, yes, I have a defense. It will get better when I am at school in Austria and am back on my own American laptop. 🙂

Amanda (in the middle) with friends in Ireland

Today, nothing has really happened. We woke up in Killarney and went to Mass.
Then, we realized that we were going to miss our bus to Galway and literally had
to run with our 50-pound backpacks to the bus station, and we made it there with
like only five minutes to spare. It was great, LOL, not! I was especially sore this
morning. So, basically we have been on the bus the whole day. I slept pretty much
the whole time because I was exhausted. So, there is nothing too exciting to tell
today. We are at our hostel right now—which is super nice. Soon, we will be off
to dinner. I hope everyone is doing well and Andrew is getting to work and school on time. 🙂 You can tell him I said that. Mom—I know you miss having a girl around. I hope that the boys are not too hard on you! I am there in spirit! Thanks for the writing compliments, Dad. I really appreciate it. I am just trying to get you in the moment too. 🙂 I’ll post pictures on the Internet once I get to Austria. Then you will be able to compare the writing to the photos. Let me know if I do these beautiful places any justice. Ok, I am off. I love you all and miss you!

Amanda

Thank you for the blessings—I love them, and everyone else does too!

Dad’s reply to Amanda:
I didn’t stop to think about the laptops being different over there—I just thought you were writing “instant messaging” style. I’m sure there are a lot of things that are different that we assume might be the same. We are really looking forward to seeing your pictures.

As you could tell from our trip this summer to the beautiful Plaza in Kansas City, capturing the spirit of a special place in a picture is one of my favorite things to do. Sometimes I think to myself, “There would be so many more people who appreciated this place if only they could see it the way I see it through the viewfinder.” I think God is like that too, with places AND people. Looking though his viewfinder, or through his eyes, we are all special.

IRISH BLESSING OF THE DAY:
May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Love ya,

D@D

Day 6 of Amanda’s Ireland Trip; August 25, 2007

Amanda wrote:
Hey Parents! Today was interesting, to say the least…Ha Ha Ha! We left for the Cliffs of Moher early this morning. After about a two-hour bus ride, we got there at like 10-ish. It was crazy. It was really foggy, but the cliffs were still so beautiful. There were moments when the fog cleared and you could see the grandness of the cliffs. It was crazy! Granted, I was expecting cliffs like the Grand Canyon, but they actually were not as tall as I was expecting. Nevertheless, they were still really unique and beautiful!

We went off on this side-trail that was definitely marked “Private Property—Do Not Enter.” But, we thought, “What the heck?” A ton of other people were doing it, so we followed suit. 🙂 We hiked a good ways—and all the hiking was like literally right on the cliff’s edge. I was so scared, but it was really cool. Then, we found this one spot that had a large area to sit, but it was still very close to the cliffs. We hung out and impulsively decided to take a nap. All of us fell asleep for like 45 minutes! It was the best nap I have had on this vacation. Falling asleep to the sound of the waves crashing and the birds flying around while calling out to each other was so cool! Then, I woke up and just prayed a peace prayer (which is
this thing my friend Greg gave us). It was just cool to be in the midst of God’s grandeur—praising him for the special moment and this whole trip. After that, we went back to the main area and, no joke, we had to hitchhike back to the closest city to the Cliffs of Moher (which was like nine km away). When we got back there, we had lunch and then we hitchhiked back to Galway. It was really not as easy as it sounds with seven people! We had to travel in groups of three and four. Jagla, Becca, and I finally got a ride after about an hour to a city that was a 30-minute bus ride from Galway. We just caught another bus from there! It was really hard trying to get someone to stop—I think most people would have, but they just didn’t have the room. Darn those tiny cars! But, it was a lot of fun. Both of the people who gave us rides were really nice and we had great conversations with them. While I enjoyed hitchhiking here in Ireland, it definitely is not something I would recommend in the States. Last, we met back up with the rest of the group and went to dinner. Now, we are going to hang out! I hope all is well! I miss you guys! I hope you are printing this out so Mom and the boys can read this too, Dad!

Love you!

Amanda

Dad’s reply to Amanda:
Pumpkin: You may be overseas, but your mom and I still feel the need to be parents and say, “What the heck are you doing hitchhiking?” We would obviously sleep easier if
you didn’t do that. Moving on…today you learned an important lesson of travel and, perhaps, life. And that is: everything is relative and based on our own experiences. If you had never left Kansas, where you were born, and the deceptively beautiful landscape had never been more severe than rolling hills, I bet those cliffs would have seemed much more imposing and monumental. Spending a decade and a half or so in Arizona obviously sets a high standard for other places. It is harder for the landscape to appear completely grandiose when your frame of reference is, in fact, the Grand Canyon. Of course, it can work in reverse as well. A cool breeze and the breaking of the ocean waves on the rocks is something we don’t see every day here. Keep taking it all in—enjoy the moment!

IRISH BLESSING OF THE DAY:
The love and affection of the angels be to you,
The love and affection of the saints be to you,
The love and affection of heaven be to you,
To guard and to cherish you.
May God shield you on every step,
May He aid you on every path,
And may He hold you safe on every slope,
On every hill and on every plain,
On earth and on sea until you are home again.

Love,

D@D

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