Even though I am still new to life at Trinity I haven’t had a moment yet to feel like “the new girl.” This is because every week since I’ve arrived in Dublin, we, the Holy Cross girls at Trinity, have been entertaining guests. The day I landed in Dublin we had two visitors from Holy Cross, then the new Holy Cross students studying at University College Dublin (UCD) arrived, and then last week two more Holy Cross students came for a quick visit. Although it has been wonderful to catch up with other Holy Cross students and show them around Dublin, the best visit so far was from my friends’ dad, who was in Dublin for an overnight on business. It was a nice change of pace to be taken out instead of showing people around. Because I live so far from Holy Cross and I only go home for Christmas and summer breaks, I am often the orphan that my friends adopt when their families come to visit Worcester. I have come to love these family meals because even though I can’t be with my own family, it feels so homey. That’s what was great about dinner with my friend’s dad. We went to an amazing restaurant called Matt the Thresher and I had the best meal I’ve had since arriving in Dublin. I definitely plan to take my family there when they come to visit in March.
My dinner out was Thursday night and then Friday night was when the HC Trinity girls hosted two friends, one from St. Andrews and one from Galway. Saturday morning, a group of Holy Cross students from both Trinity and UCD hopped on a two and a half hour bus ride out to the west of Ireland to visit Galway. We all have friends from Holy Cross who are studying there and it seemed like perfect timing to make our first trip west. I had been to Galway two years ago with my parents, so I really wasn’t too focused on sight seeing. My two goals were to see my friends and to replace my Claddagh ring. The last time I was in Galway my dad bought me my first original Irish engagement ring, called a Claddagh ring, but last semester in Argentina it slipped off my finger and was gone for good. I waited months for the day when I could return to that same Claddagh shop in Galway and get another ring.
We got off the bus around noon, headed straight for a cute little café downtown for lunch, and then I made a beeline for Thomas Dillon, the original Claddagh ring shop, where it took me about 30 seconds to pick out my new ring. Because the weather was so cold and rainy we didn’t spend much time in town, but instead walked out to the apartment complex where all the Holy Cross students live. My friends and I separated from the big group and walked back into town for dinner so we could have more time to catch up. After, we returned to the apartment complex, got ready and spent the night with the rest of the HC crew. I haven’t seen that many familiar Holy Cross faces since I was on campus last year. It was fantastic! It was so fun to spend time with my friends who I thought I wouldn’t see until senior year and to also get to know other classmates that I had never really met.
We had a great night and then left the following afternoon to return to Dublin. I’m so happy that my first European travel adventure was a success! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the rest of my travels this semester will go as smoothly.
Katie Riley '14