Friday, May 26, 2017


   Image may contain: dog

     The last few weeks of my Irish Adventure changed my life forever. As many of you know, I have wanted a dog for many years. In Ireland, while volunteering at a horse rescue, my wish came true.
     Life isn't easy. All of us go through hard times now and then. I understand this all to well. I've made it through a lot in my life, even in just the past few years. It was no wonder I fell in love with a little doggy who had been through a lot, just like me.
     We were visiting a horse rescue - 'Hungry Horse Outside' if you would like to donate - where the group wanted to volunteer. Hilary, one of the people who works at the rescue, works every single day of the year in order to care for these rescued horses.
     When she invited us into the house for tea, we met a little doggy with no name. She pawed at me, so I picked her up and put her on my lap. She just about fell asleep right there. She was trusting and loving right off the bat. Image may contain: 1 person, sitting, dog and indoor
     Hilary explained to me what poor shape this little girl had come in. She had had no hair on her ears or face, and almost died twice in the care of the shelter.
     The next time we went to the rescue, the whole group came along. We wrangled some sheep, and brushed ponies for the day. Fiona of Whitehill eco farm was determined for me to bring this little girl home, and when Fiona puts her mind to something, it happens.
     We brought her home that day, and the next thing we needed to do was give her a name. Shane, a member of the group, mentioned that 'saoirse' means freedom in Gaelic. Since my parents agreed I should name her something Irish, and everyone seemed to approve, that's what we went with!  
     The day we brought Saoirse home was one of the best days of my life. I have Fiona and my parents, and of course Hilary, to thank for that.
     In the next few weeks, Saoirse got adjusted to life in Bundrowes house. We had many walks on the beach and field trips in the bus. Saoirse even got to spend two weeks with aunty Fiona and her best friend, Puppy! Image may contain: dog, sky, grass, tree, outdoor, nature and water
     We had to say goodbye to Ireland, and now she is safely living at home with me in the USA. There are no beaches here, but she gets lots of walks and is doing her job. You see, we did not go into this lightly. She is my emotional support animal. In August, if everything goes to plan, she will even be coming to college with me.
     Saoirse is home and made my last few weeks in Ireland that much more amazing. Thanks to all the people who helped get her home! Image may contain: eyeglasses and dog

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Ireland week 7

This week we went on a ton of fun day trips and did some pretty amazing things. The week started off with a beautiful day kayaking around off the coast of Bundoran with Killian. We made it out to this place where we could go cliff jumping. I didn't jump, because my whole life I have been told not to jump off cliffs. It was good fun seeing everybody's reactions though, and kayaking was awesome too.

     On Tuesday, we went to Whitehill Eco Farm to learn about the history of Ballyshannon, which is said to be one of the oldest towns in Ireland. We went on a history walk with Bernadette and saw many cool things. We saw the oldest bridge in Ireland, St. Patrick's well and wishing tree, and a mass grave from the famine, among other things. We finished the day with a giant home cooked meal that was very good, and greatly appreciated.

     Wednesday I fell in love. Fiona and Ryan took three of us to a horse rescue center and we got to see the animals there. It is a really cool organization called 'hungryhorse outside' and they have tons of horses there that have been rescued from awful places. They also have dogs, and here is where my love story begins.
     I met this dog, and as some of you know already I am looking to adopt a dog already. Well, I fell in love with her that day. Now, after talking with my parents, I am trying to adopt her. I'll have a conclusive answer this week from the shelter, and I will keep you posted.

     We finished off Wednesday with a very fun all girls hike around horseshoe glen. I found eleven slugs and also one dead sheep. Besides the poor dead animal, we had a wonderful time! The rain decided to wait for us to finish our hike, and it was a really fun hour and a half. We came home to a meal cooked by the boys for us, which was delightful.

     Thursday we went to Dublin for the night. After a very entertaining Viking duck boat tour, we had thai food and ice cream and spent lots of good time together. The next day, Mary, Lucrezia and I went to get a guided tour of the Dublin Castle, which is not a castle anymore but a palace and is very cool. We learned a lot about the history of Dublin based on the artifacts and old structures there, and it was very cool.

     That was it for our first trip to Dublin! After the drive back we were greeted with a home cooked meal from Rita and had a wonderful night in. The trip was loads of fun.
     Yesterday we went to the ropes course here. We had buddies for the day and had to do it together. Shane and I rocked it. It was hard work, especially for those who are afraid of heights, but everyone in the group pushed themselves and achieved something.

     The week was jam packed full of things to do and every day was awesome. It's hard to believe this trip is already halfway over. Sorry there are not many photos this time, i will add them when i can. My computer is being a pain.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Ireland so far...

Our beautiful Bundrowes House
The past six weeks have been six of the most amazing weeks of my life. I have been able to explore different Irish cities, go on incredible hikes, and volunteer with the local community. It's been absolutely fantastic and I can't wait to see what the second six weeks has in store for me.
     We started off our travels with a trip to Galway, which was really cool. After having some time to explore local shops and see the sights, we were able to take a ferry to the Aran Islands. They were really cool. We learned a lot about the history of the island and got to see many different parts of it. It was awesome.
The Aran Islands

      Galway, we stayed in a hostel. It was the first time I had ever stayed in one, so it was cool to get that experience for the first time. Some members of the group even had to cook dinner in the hostel. We listened to drunk men singing for an hour one night, and one of them pulled the fire alarm and we had to evacuate. It was a really interesting place, to say the least.
playing pool in the hostel
     The next few days back in Bundoran were fabulous as well, of course. We visited a historical site called Kylemore Abbey, went to see Slieve league, and spent a day on Whitehill Eco Farm planting trees. Every day here is good fun no matter what we do. I really like working on the farm, and all the hikes we do on random days. It's all good fun.
Me and Marley working hard in the polytunnels
     We continued to go on amazing hikes and work in the poly tunnels on the farm in the next few days. The poly tunnels were so cool. It is a working farm that grows eleven types of organic lettuce for restaurants in the area. I have a lot of fun working there and I cannot wait to go back.
     Our next trip was to Belfast, where we saw the Titanic museum and got to explore the city. I learned a lot there about the history of the city, and got to see some really cool parts of it. It was lots of good fun.
The Giant's causeway, one of the coolest places ever  and the titanic museum

Getting ready for the parade
     After Belfast, it was time to work on the float. We worked with the youth group, Foroige, to build a float for the St. Patricks day parade. It was lots of hard work, but also very fun and we ended up winning the parade, gaining 500 euro for the youth group.
     After St. Patrick's day we were off to county Clare for some outdoor adventure. We hiked up Crough Patrick, explored a mine, held a lamb, hiked from a nearby town all the way to the cliffs of Moher, and just had an amazing four days. It was probably the best trip so far, because we gppt to spend so much time outside enjoying the great weather and the beautiful scenery that Ireland has to offer.
the cliffs of moher
     We just got back from that last trip, and this week has a lot in store. Now that I finally have a working computer, I will be updating this blog every Sunday.  Thank you for reading! Until next time.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Ireland Weeks 1&2

So I'm in Ireland! That's pretty cool. This is for sure my dream vacation.
Last week we were  introduced to the Bundrowes house, which is an old house in which we are currently living. We went on a reflection hike, a hike to an old grave, and even tried out surfing! I got to my knees but I have yet to stand up.
The first week was mostly introductions. We played game with the Foroige crowd, which is the youth group we will be working with over the next three months. It was goo fun.
I got to help Brian cook a meal for the h ouse. We made Fajitas. It was wonderful. I love being able to cook whenever I want.
This week we started off with a rest day, during which I was able to make ravioli for the house so it really wasn't much of a rest. On Monday we did our first group project. We met up with the kids from Foroige and cleaned up a beach! We ended up with about twenty five bag of trash. Along with a ton of rope and plastic bags, I also found a toy horse and some shoes. It was good fun getting to know some of the kids whom we will be working with. The immediate gratification of a beach clean up is also quite nice.
Yesterday is probably my favorite day so far, as we went on a very fun hike. It was raining the whole time, and the trail was closed due to a landslide. We hopped the fence and did the hike anyways, then had to climb through the landslide. It was really fun regardless of the rain and mud. We ended up at a waterfall and attempted to get in some journalling time in the rain. Now my journal looks more like a watercolor painting than a journal. Oh well. It adds character.
We travelled to Galway today where I learned that my computer will not be fixed any time soon. I am currently at a really awesome hostel using their computer to type this. Who knew European keyboards are different?
I will blog again as soon as I can! Until then, goodbye.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Out West

              This past week was incredible. We stayed at my uncle Stewart’s ski condo for a weekend, and went skiing. I was much better this time than the last, thankfully. Practice makes perfect.
              I also got to hang out with my aunt Karen a ton. We experimented in the kitchen with desserts and sauces and pretended we were good enough to go on Chopped. I taught her and my cousin Zach how to play my favorite card game, Nerts. The weekend was a lot of fun. I love being able to spend time with my family.
              Over the week, my dad and I went into Yellowstone. After a three hour snow coach ride through the snow, we pulled in to find my dear friend Mallory, or Smurf, waiting for me. While she worked the next day, My dad and I snowshoed and cross-country skied for the first time. Both sports are a lot of hard work.
              The next day, Smurf, Ritter, and I went snowshoeing for five miles. It was a lot of hard work, especially with all the fresh snow and bison tracks making the hills terrible, but it was a lot of fun. I am glad I got to spend time with my friends even on this dad and daughter vacation. I also enjoyed the best PB&J I have ever had in my life half way through the hike. Who knew those little peanut snacks could be so satisfying?

              Now, we are flying back to Minneapolis and driving back home. This month has been one of the best months of my life. It’s sad that it is coming to an end, but that tends to happen with all good things, so I might as well accept it. We’ll be home on Tuesday and then it’s off to Ireland next Saturday. Until then, farewell!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Canyon Ranch

My week at the Canyon Ranch with my Dad was a lot of fun. We did a lot of yoga and other various exercise classes, and ate really healthy, delicious foods.
              The exercise classes were a lot of fun, except for when I got stuck in yoga meant for people who are too old to do real yoga. I thought it was going to end up being something else. Instead, we did modified poses with a chair, and I was the youngest in the room by at least fifty years.
              The food was amazing! Every meal got better and better, and you could order as much of it as you wanted, because it was all healthy. There was no butter or salt on anything, so they replaced the salt shakers with spices, which I thought was interesting.

              We went on a beautiful hike, learned to make fire, and had a great relaxing week. It was an awesome time, and not something I will not soon forget. Now I am in Montana where I am hanging out with my family and skiing, which is also a lot of good fun. 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Road Trip part 1

The road trip has gone well so far. We started it off by visiting the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for some snowy off-roading, which was spectacular. Now, I’m not that into off-roading, but I still had a lot of fun.
              Some of the highlights were when one guy put a deer head on a stick and called it Hank. It was just chillin’ there in the middle of the woods. They kept it warm with a hat and some sunglasses.
              We only got really stuck one time. It took two tug ropes, another truck, and 15 men with shovels to get us un-stuck. During this hour, I sat back with my seat warmer on and enjoyed my front seat view of the show.
              After the 720 miles off off-roading in the frigid weather of the UP, my dad and I flew to Arizona to warm up. We went to Barrett Jackson, where I successfully prevented him from buying more cars. We saw lots of cool cars and trucks. It was a lot of fun. I’m learning a lot about cars, to say the least.
              Yesterday, I got the chance to visit my old school, SRA. I started the day with my good friend Lesa, who took me on a walk with her enormous pit bull, Coby. It was a lot of fun. Coby decided to avoid all the large puddles until the very last second, where he walked through the entirety of the largest puddle he could find and got poor Lesa’s car very dirty.
              After that, I got to meet lots of dogs, including one that was half cayote and some tiny little Chihuahua puppies.

              We then went out to breakfast and visited SRA. It was so strange seeing everyone from the other side of things. It was awesome being able to see my good friends and just hang out with them like old times. It was also very odd to see how many changes the place had made within the one month I’ve been gone. I had a lot of fun though. Any day where you get to hang out with your friends and pet 13 dogs is a good day.