Pioneers in Ireland: Day 8

Day 8:

Today we ventured to the National Museum of Ireland. On the way there we passed the Dublin Castle, which was pretty cool. Once we arrived, we were instructed to be very cautious when crossing the street because Dwayne parked our bus right next to tram tracks. This time we had to watch for trams coming from both directions. When we entered the museum we were a little confused because all we saw was a big opened courtyard, with a plane and four building surrounding it. Was this a museum? If so, it looked pretty small. We later learned it wasn't the museum, and we were directed into one of the buildings. We split up into two groups so that we could tackle the whole museum more quickly.

In the museum, we saw the clothing and fashions of the early 1800's that many Irish people wore. We found it very cool to see how much clothing has evolved and how different it was in another country. We also saw the furniture and bedrooms of people from Ireland during this time. Can you believe that some of the beds were so small that people slept sitting up? We also saw the military clothing and artifacts from Ireland. Some of our teammates even dressed up in the war clothes from the past. We also got to hold a gun and pretend to shoot at targets.

Since we were all pretty hungry after our museum tour, we all went to Leo Burdocks, the famous fish and chips restaurant. After receiving our food we went on a wild goose chase for ketchup! After about three restaurants we finally found ketchup at a bistro, which was right across the street from the lovely park we had lunch at. After finishing our delicious lunch, we loaded up the bus and headed to the world renowned Guinness Brewery.

When we first walked into the Guinness Brewery, it looked like we had walked into some type of amusement park rollercoaster line. Unlike the other tours we had been on, we were able to be on our own and go at the pace we wanted up the six floors of the brewery. We learned everything from how the seeds were planted to the type of water used to brew the beer. As we went to the upper levels of the Brewery, we were able to take fun pictures and some of the team even Tweeted their loved ones back home for a national Twitter board. We ended the tour with going up to the Gravity bar where you can over looked the city of Dublin and enjoy a complimentary Guinness beer or in our case, a nice white lemonade-aka 7up.

After doing a little souvenir shopping at the Guinness Brewery store, we loaded up the bus and headed back to the hotel, where we had some much needed free time to roam the streets of Dublin, do some more shopping, and grab dinner of course!

Today we learned a lot about the history of Ireland, and what it takes to make the famous Guinness beer. For our last evening out in Dublin, we enjoyed spending time with each other.

Love,
Enjoli Bland and Johanna Lopez

 

 

Day 7:

First and foremost, we would like to take this opportunity to wish freshman, Victoria Blackburn a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 

We woke up this morning comfortable in our Fitz William robe & slippers, before realizing we had 137 steps to the elevator for breakfast. (our room is so far)  We headed down to breakfast and found this red & orange juice. Of course Coach Smitty had to try it; the result, fresh beet & carrot juice. She followed up by getting Shelby & Adaysha to try some since they were feeling a little under the weather! Great start to the day! 

We began our tour with a trip to the largest city park in Europe, Phoenix Park. The only two residents are the President of Ireland and the US Embassador.  The 700 acre park is also home to the Farmleigh House, originally the Guinness family country home. President Obama, Queen Elizabeth and many other dignitaries are recent visitors to the home. For security reasons; and because we were not interested in visiting Irish jails, we were unable to film inside the Farmleigh House.  The most memorable part was in the study there were two books that when pressed, opened up the bookcase to a secluded stairwell which led to a secret vault.  

Tonight we faced DCU Mercy, who has one of Coach Smitty's former players on the team. They made it to the championship game last year and it was nice to be on a college campus again! We played our best half of the trip, pouring in 51 points. The birthday girl, celebrated by dropping in 12 points and one flagrant foul for good measure. 

Once we returned to the hotel, the birthday celebration really began. We had our traditional birthday line in the lobby where everyone was able to join in. Coach Mannetti also surprised everyone with cupcakes…DELICIOUS! Coach E promised a Dora the Explorer cupcake to Coach Smitty, although she has never seen it!!! 

Till we meet again!
Dora aka Coach Smitty
&
Coach E

 

Day 6:

After many days of touring and traveling, we haven't had very much time to sit down and relax. Luckily, after and even a little before our walking tour of Dublin we had a lot of down time for ourselves. Upon our arrival to the great city, we grabbed some lunch at American restaurant most of us know and love. T.G.I Fridays. Although the name sounded familiar, when I ordered a lemonade, I found out that I was actually ordering a 7up instead. Disappointed? A little. Right after we ordered food, we had just enough time to get back to the hotel and get ready for our walking tour in which we learned some history of Dublin, and of Ireland as well. We walked around the main city of Dublin for about two hours. We travelled in a big circle, stopping to talk about the major landmarks that we passed. Dublin is a very historical city and it seemed as though we stopped at nearly every building. We stopped at places like the history museum, the Oliver Wilde statue, and the Merrion Square Park where the famous Michael Collins statue lies. Another interesting fact about the park other than the statue, is that after the city recently replaced the street lamps, the old ones were placed in this park, thus creating a grave for the old lamps. In accidental excitement, one of our teammates screamed out LLAMA! not realizing we were speaking of lamps the entire time. But then again, that's alright, a little excitement is better than none!

Furthermore, we stopped by two intricate art pieces that displayed the famine of the 1840s, and ended at Trinity College.

One of the coolest things that Gabby and I heard about was the coloring of the doors. Every door of the houses in Dublin are different in some aspect and color. The story is that, one, Ireland has 265 rainy days and definitely needs some color to the streets. More importantly, the men of the time of Queen Elizabeth had a tendency of walking into the wrong door after late nights at the pub. The wives, being the independent, smart women that they are, decided to paint all the doors in specific colors so if the men continued to find themselves in the wrong house again, the women could become even more independent. Lastly, we visited the world renowned University Of Trinity College to end the day. Overall we had a wonderful time, and are looking forward to future trips, and tours in the days that follow ahead.

Gabby Washington and Shelby Hickey

Day 5:

Hello SHU followers!

As we woke up on our fifth day in Ireland, everyone was excited to see the very expensive crystals at the Waterford crystal factory!  As we walked into this spectacular factory, we saw extravagant, hand-made crystal pieces.  We then were taken on a tour where we learned how the pieces were made.  The first stage in making the crystal pieces was heating of the raw materials, which to us looked like burning lava, and we were all happy to be safely on the other side.  The pieces were then placed in the kiln, washed, shaved and rinsed off to be cooled down.  After that step, we walked into the marking room, where the pieces were marked for cut placement. Luckily we were able to see the skilled craftsmen mark up the pieces two feet away from us! They all had very steady hands and at the end of the tour, our team was able to see the finished pieces that to us looked flawless.

Our team's favorite piece was the crystal football, which we all acted like quarterbacks when we picked up! We also saw beautiful grandfather clocks, American flags, and $30,000 crystal bears.  Surprisingly throughout the tour our team managed not to break anything and most of us left with crystal shamrocks and ring holders to remember our great times at the factory!

After the factory, we were all starving and were provided with healthy snacks, but when we arrived at our hotel, we received the most delicious pregame meal.  The meal, which we all wolfed down, consisted of rice, chicken, green beans, carrots and bread.  It was nice to have a little American food, because let's be honest, we have all been missing it!

Soon after, we were able to rest for a little bit before our game, which we anxiously awaited.  We arrived at the gym and everyone was pumped up to play against the Waterford Wildcats.  After our great win, we met up with the other team and ate the most delicious sandwiches and cookies! We then went back to the hotel and had another meal, because apparently, traveling really works up an appetite. Finally it was bed time, but most of us could barely sleep, due to the fact that we were traveling to Dublin the next day!

We hope you enjoyed hearing about another one of our fascinating days in Ireland!

Best regards!,

Hannah Kimmel and Caitlyn Abela 

 

Day 4:

Today we woke up to our first sunny day in Cork, Ireland. We headed downstairs to the yummy breakfast buffet that the hotel provided for us and quickly filled our stomachs with all different Irish cuisine. After we finished breakfast, we headed onto the bus for a morning full of sight seeing. 

As we started on our way, we had intended to go to Blarney's castle, but apparently there are many castles in Ireland, and we might have gone to the wrong one. I guess that happens here often, because no one seemed to think it was that out of the ordinary. As we headed along we appeared to be on our first highway in Ireland too. Most of the time our big tour bus is battling other cars to fit on the same small back roads and we always have to slam on the brakes in order to avoid collisions. So we were definitely excited that we knew we were in for a much smoother ride today than in the past days of our trip. After many detours, we finally ended up at our intended destination of Blarney's castle.
As Blair and I walked off the bus, we spotted the most gorgeous thing we've seen all trip, a cute little kitten. (For those of you who may not know, we both love cats!) After almost attempting to put the kitten in our bags and bringing it back on the bus, we were forced away and headed to see the castle. The kitten definitely was cute, but the view after we climbed the 127 steps to the top of the castle was priceless. 
Most of us then waited and hung upside down to kiss the Blarney Stone for good luck. Some girls, like my SHU sister Blair chickened out at the last minute. We then proceeded back down the tight staircase because  we had planned to take a picture spelling out S-H-U on the ground that our tour guide Todd was supposed to take of us from the top of the castle looking down on us. This was our trainer Shannon's idea and just as we were all excited and in our positions and looking up at Todd, his camera died. We were all bummed out but were quickly excited when we were given free time back at the hotel to shop for a few hours.
As we returned from exploring the city and shopping, we then remembered why we were here and started preparing for our game. We ate our usual pre game carbs of chicken and pasta, and then had some time to squeeze in a nap before we left. We were then ready to leave and go play the Glanmire Basketball Club. As we got ready for our game we exchanged t-shirts with the opposing team before tip off as a quick gift exchange and souvenir.
Even though we air balled some threes, and were still getting used to the European rules, we stilled pulled through with the win. The other team was so friendly and hospitable that after the game they had made dinner and dessert for us. It was a great experience getting a chance to spend time and talk with the girls from Ireland. One of them had actually played college ball in America and now is headed to Spain to play professionally. We then proceeded back to our hotel and are ready for our last night in Cork as we move to Waterford tomorrow! We can't wait to see what the last two cities of our trip have to offer and we can't believe our trip is almost halfway done! 
Written by the best SHU sisters ever,



Day 3:

Cairde Dia duit agus Teaghlaigh! (That's Irish for Hello Friends and Family!)

Today began another day in the beautiful country of Ireland! We woke up to the pleasant sound of Irish summer rain. Some of the team decided to take advantage of the complementary horseback-riding lessons at the hotel before breakfast. After packing up our luggage, we headed to the gourmet buffet style breakfast at the hotel…can you say blasta! After breakfast, we checked out of our luxurious hotel and made our way to the Dingle Peninsula.

When we first got off the bus at Dingle, it was exactly how you see Ireland in all those tour books. The weather was your typical Ireland weather, misty and a bit windy, but the town of Dingle was very personable and quaint. In case you don't know Dingle is known for its fishing and dolphin. Yep, you read that right; Dingle is home to a bottlenose dolphin named Fungie. It is believed that Fungie migrated to the area in the 1980's and has lived in Dingle ever since. Unfortunately, time did not permit us to go out onto the boat to visit Fungie but we did get to see the bronze statue of him in the town square. Fun Fact: One of the players on the team, Johanna Lopez, is deathly afraid of dolphins. We won't go into how she developed this phobia, but let's just say Dingle was not her idea of a fun time.

While in Dingle we also got the chance to visit our sister school for Sacred Heart University. Students at SHU have the opportunity to study abroad in Dingle for a semester. Although none of us on the team have studied aboard, we got a quick idea of what it would be like if we ever decided to study aboard in Dingle. After a quick tour of a couple of the classrooms, we grabbed some local grub, hopped back onto the bus and made our way to Cork. 

A nice two-hour nap later, we arrived in Cork. Our first stop in Cork was at none other than a basketball court (You might have been wondering when we were going to pick up a basketball in Ireland, since it is a basketball trip, well don't worry, we did in Cork!) We had a quick hour-long practice in order for us to get some shooting in and also to get used the baskets in Ireland. Once that wrapped up, we headed back to our hotel, did a quick change and then walked down the road to Captain Americas for dinner. There we all enjoyed some good ole fashioned American cuisine. That about summed up our third day in Ireland! We are all looking forward to the coming days and hope that we get a little sunshine along with a "W" tomorrow night in our first game.

Stay classy SHU!
Elise Lorenz and Lerae Ettienne

Day 2:

Hello SHU followers!

As we head into our second day in Ireland, we were greeted with some traditional Irish food for breakfast like black and white pudding.  After we finished eating, we embarked on our journey on the route of the Ring of Kerry. 

During the long bus tour, we encountered many different Irish sites.  The first being rocks on the mountainside overlooking pastures of sheep and stone walls.  We took team pictures and then decided to create our own Sacred Heart University rock sculpture.  Climbing up the mountain, on both sides, we saw hillside upon hillside and even the Atlantic Ocean caught our eye.  We passed towns dedicated to Charlie Chaplain and 99s on our route through the Ring of Kerry. 

Next on our agenda we would venture through the Killarney National Park.  We stopped to see the "Ladies View," which overlooked a Killarney lake and various mountainsides.  Another landmark that we uncovered was hidden in the forest called Torc Waterfall.  Also featured in the Killarney National Park were trails and horse-and-buggy rides.

We rode on the bus a bit longer to get to our last destination for the day before dinner: the Muckross House.  The title is deceiving because the tour guided house is a castle with a ton of acres hosting traditional farms, horse-and-buggy rides, gift shops and parks for everyone to enjoy during their visit. Once we returned to our awesome hotel, a lot of the team took advantage of the pool, spa, and horse riding opportunities before getting ready for dinner in downtown Killarney. 

The second day proved to be even better than the first, once we started to get adjusted to the time change.  Everyone is definitely looking forward to what we have in store the rest of the trip!

Best regards,
Adaysha Williams and Ericka Norman

 

Day 1:

Greetings Pioneer Fans!

The last 24 hours have been quite a whirlwind with the time changes, and change of scenery. After leaving Sacred Heart on Monday evening, we made our way to JFK airport to fly to Shannon, Ireland. With a few struggles at the quick check-in kiosks, such as a struggle with the bag weight limit, a fried system, a shared ticket, and some forgotten bags, we finally boarded the plane and departed across the Atlantic. Most of us were dead asleep, while there were a few that didn't sleep for the five-hour flight. We'd feel that decision later in the day.

Upon arrival, we made our way to one of Ireland's most historic landmarks: the Cliffs of Moher. These 700-foot high cliffs overlook the ocean. It is an incredible view, especially for the first experience we had here.  It's not just the view that made the experience incredible; we met people from all over the world at these cliffs, some of them even from our home states. 

After the Cliffs of Moher we went to our amazing, five-star hotel that is breathtaking. The views from this place as well as the countless activities we will be able to do, I know we are all very excited. Exploring the hotel as well as dinner just down the road would conclude our first night in Ireland. This country is absolutely amazing and I know that the entire team is looking forward to the rest of our journey. 

Sincerely,
Katie Shepard and Tori Blackburn