Cue up “Carter & Cash” by Tor Miller. Now you’re ready.
Before we fly on over to Ireland, let’s highlight a few of my Scottish experiences from the past week.
This is an incredibly low quality picture of an incredibly high quality meal that Cora and I mastered together. That is chicken parmesan with a side of steamed broccoli, whipped up by the worst cooks in all of Edinburgh. Yes, we may have started to dig in while the chicken was still uncooked (and Cora wouldn’t stop diagnosing herself with Salmonella) but after a bit more time, we had a real work of art on our hands. Slowly, very slowly, we are becoming self-sufficient adults.
To celebrate, we took advantage of one Edinburgh’s best student societies.
Ah, yes. Wine Tasting Society. So pure, so beautiful, so fulfilling.
Spanish wines were on the menu and I was thrilled to begin.
Now if you’ve read my earlier blogs, you may recall that I made a single showing at the Whisky Tasting Society’s event and I absolutely loathed it. The wine tasting event was on the opposite side of the spectrum; I could have spent hours sipping from the bottles themselves and listening to the charmingly-awkward Scottish man discuss varying vineyards.
This is also the location where my flatmate, Ajay, excitedly informed me that “I know you are from Iowa because of the corns!” And there you have it people, I and the good state of Iowa are equivalent to corns.
It’s also been a big week for both my adrenaline and stamina.
After six total hours of sitting in a tiny room together and discussing subjects ranging from the Scottish Referendum to his hens, Matt Curtis finished up my gorgeous thigh piece. I’m beyond pleased with the way my 1920’s gypsy girl looks on my skin and I’m looking forward to her healing up in a month’s time!
If you’re interested in checking out Matt’s work (he also does paintings of dogs!!) you can find his Facebook page here or his Instagram under @mr_curtis_designs.
TIRRA TAKES IRELAND
There’s this really rad girl who is studying in Cork for a semester and she thinks I’m cool enough to be her friend. Her name is Arianna (but I refer to her exclusively as Air) and she let me stay with her for a weekend. Thanks, homie ❤
Journeying to Cork is an adventure in and of itself.
In the Edinburgh Airport, I witnessed roughly 10 men wearing kilts. Where were they going? Who knows. Were they comfortable and stylish? Hell yes. More power to the Scots!
The 45 minute plane ride is a piece of cake; if you doze off even for a second, you’ll wake up in a brand new country. To my amusement, the plane was filled with very chatty Scots, including a hen party (British bachelorette party). There was a single girl in front of me whose voice was loud enough to drown out the sound of the plane engines. Unfortunately for all of us, she was very far from her friends. “WOULD YOU LIKE A SWEET?? ISABELLA, DO YOU WANT A SWEET? ASK JENNA! JENNA, DO YOU WANT A SWEET??” Charming, really. I have also never heard the words “lassie” and “mate” used so many times in one concentrated sitting.
After making it through customs, I waited outside the terminal for the bus to Cork. I’m not one to judge, but the five of us waiting in the shelter were an odd group. A young Irish boy ran in literal circles around the pavement while staring at his mom until the bus showed up. I wasted half an hour watching him. Who’s the real weirdo in this situation?
The girl next to me carried only a purse and what appeared to be a wrapped didgeridoo. The kicker here is that she was Facetiming a woman in a foreign language and would move the screen so that I was in the frame every few minutes..? I’m not sure why I was aesthetically necessary but I was flattered.
Finally, there was a nice Scottish guy who attempted to make conversation with me. Being from Glasgow, his accent was much thicker than what I was accustomed to hearing. After a five minute conversation, all I could understand was that he called my muffin “cake” and that he was getting REALLY tired of me asking “What?” after each of his utterances.
Anyway, three and a half hours later, I made it to Cork.
I then spent three hours in an adorable coffee shop waiting for Air and trying to subtly let the baristas know that I was not, in fact, homeless and taking up residence on their couch.
Spending the night getting to know her amazing host family (s/o to Air’s adorable housemate Paulina), meeting her many friends, and drinking responsibly (notice the measuring cup to ensure that she would not consume an improper amount) in the city made for a fantastic evening.
Because Air is an awesome host and fellow adventure-junkie, she had us sign up for a trip to the Cliffs of Moher. Cool trips and pleasant Irish weather hardly go together but we lucked out. In all honesty, I think it was the universe’s way of making it up to us for getting up at an ungodly hour.
Our first stop were the mini cliffs where we got a glimpse of the Atlantic.
At this point, we were completely jazzed. The weather was gorgeous and the views were impeccable; Air practically jumped out of her seat when she saw the ocean.
The quick pit-stop in Doolin for an Irish lunch gave us the energy we would need for what was ahead.
A 700 foot drop doesn’t sound too terrible until you’re standing on the edge.
Nothing can compare to the feeling of standing on the edge, looking out into the unending ocean, realizing that your very existence is nothing compared to the grandeur of nature.
As the sun shone brilliantly on the sharp edges of the cliffs and the cresting water, it suddenly didn’t matter that we woke up early or trudged through mud to get there. The sublimity of the moment took my breath away.
The following photos are courtesy of Air’s talent with a camera. Check out her blog to see more and experience her take on the weekend!
With sadness in my heart, I left behind a piece of myself on those cliffs and returned home to Edinburgh.
But for the very first time in my life, I was able to experience a brand new Air. An Irish Air.
Sending my love ❤