#22 a lot of “lasts”
For this memorable moment, I am going to take a break from packing up to recount the happenings of my wonderful last week in Cork. This past week, I completed a lot of “lasts” to finish off my time here abroad in Cork, Ireland. Each night was filled with something special: laid back Monday at the Franciscan Well, dancing Tuesday at Reardens (after our wonderful Christmas party, of course!), Wednesday at The Bailey and Reardens, and Thursday at The Star, The Bailey, and The Old Oak. As much as I love staying in and quieter nights, I will miss the Irish pub scene. Everyone is so lively, and the music always has the power to make you want to move your feet. And, you sure can’t beat the people watching! Bulmers, my favorite cider beer, will be missed as well!
Thursday was my last official night out here. Sam, Maddie, and Megan, my amazing roomies here and I prepared a hodgepodge dinner by throwing all of our leftovers in a pan of pasta and prepared a giant salad. We played a few games of rummy before blasting our favorite songs as we got ready for the night (there may have been a Backstreet Boys I Want it That Way singalong as well…)
The highlight of the night was my favorite Irish lad, Ollie, spotting us as we eyed the giant line forming outside my favorite night spot in Cork, The Bailey. Wielding his managerial powers, he called me up to the front and let our large group in, free of cover charge! I told him I wanted to say goodbye as I was leaving soon, and he gave me a fabulous Christmas present as my farewell: two shirts that the bar staff were rocking; one Bulmers polo and one “Merry Christmas from the Bailey” V-neck. After inquiring after the rest of my time in his country, he wished me well and said he was sad to see all of us go. That is one Irish friend who sure went above and beyond to make sure we were more than welcome and comfortable! Thanks Ollie, for everything!
After last night’s girls’ night in with Maddie, spent painting our nails, watching Friends with Benefits, eating dark chocolate, applying face masks and de-stressing, I woke up refreshed and ready for my last day in Cork:
- Went to the gym one last time (they just opened a beautiful new cardio room with fancy machines…right when I am leaving of course!)
- Did my last High Intensity Training class- Lisa, I will miss you and all you can do to torture me in the best possible way. I can’t WAIT to discover my abs (post abroad weight loss).
- Ate my last Wholly Grain sandwich (turkey, cranberry, stuffing, goats cheese. YUM!) with Hannah and Maddie
- Made my last walk through the English Market, buying a loaf of my favorite Health Nut bread to bring home to my family (my breakfasts will never be the same!) and a delicious Cork Chester Cake for the plane ride
- Did a last little look around City Center
Tonight I am looking forward to a dinner party with some good friends here, followed by a tearful farewell or two. My suitcases are (almost) packed up and my flight to home departs at 7:30am tomorrow!
Goodbye Cork, it really has been amazing. I am at a loss of words right now and having difficulty explaining just what this experience has meant to me and how it has changed me. What an overwhelming feeling this is! I am so excited to go home but there is a part of me still not ready to leave. I guess that is usually how goodbyes are, huh?