Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Flying Over and the First Day

Saying goodbye to my family wasn't as hard as I'd imagined it being as I passed through to security. Our US Airways flight left the new Indy airport at 10:20am yesterday morning. Betheny and I had connecting flights at Philadelphia and Boston, and I can say they were pretty smooth and easy.  When we landed at Boston Logan International, we were able to see the many boats from the air in the harbor. There were beautiful sleek sailboats, speedboats, and even larger ones that looked like cruise ships. Boston really is a beautiful city from what small part I saw of it, and the ocean was so much bigger than I imagined it looking! We changed terminals and sat at gate E5 for a good three hours watching our big Aer Lingus jet sitting at the end of the loading ramp and listening to CNN on the television. There were so many people who would walk by talking on their cell phones with accents. That was one of the first times that it started to hit me that this was all really happening. 

They called for our rows to start boarding, and I noticed there were a few nuns in champagne-colored attire and black habits. I continued looking around at everyone in line and still seated waiting, wondering who they were and what their reasons were for leaving the country. On the plane, there were three young Irish girls, the youngest being probably 2 and the oldest maybe 6. They had the most adorable little accents when they talked to and yelled at each other, and their mother was giving them carrots and cucumbers as snacks. They were watching Phineas and Ferb on the television screens that were on the backs of the seats, which was another first for me. I'd never been on a plane with those before, but George texted me and said they were for letting us know the speed, time, distance, and flight map during the flight. He was right, except there was a lot more than that. There were movies of all types, games, and music. I took several pictures out the window as we left Boston in case it might be the last time I saw land. As we gained altitude, the sun made the clouds look gorgeous. We eventually got up to almost 40,000 feet, and on the climb up it was like the ground was made of clouds, and I was left to wonder what lay below. It was a very strange feeling to watch that little airplane on the screen in front of me leave the land I knew as home and see it heading on a path across a big blue patch into a place I knew nothing about. Other firsts for me included being served a meal, choice of beef casserole or chicken and rice. I stuck with the chicken, and was surprised at how much they actually served. It wasn't half bad. I also got to experience the airplane bathroom later in the flight. It was different, that's all I've got to say. 

As we were coming in to land at Dublin (around 5 am their time) I noticed the cars driving on the opposite side of the roads and highways. I could see the rain streaking across my window and the lights from the city and the runway were green, blue, red, white, purple, and yellow, making it look like Christmas. We landed and got everything situated and were ready to go through customs, where they asked for my passport and letter of acceptance to UCD. I got my picture taken and chatted with the woman, who had a daughter who was a freshman attending UCD as well. We went to collect our baggage, I exchanged enough money to get a bus ticket, and we were on our way to the college. The drive through Dublin at 5:30 am was incredible. The sun was just starting to rise, and what a way to be introduced to the city. It was absolutely amazing seeing the light of dawn reflect off the buildings and the river as we crossed the bridge to the south. The streets were surprisingly narrow, but that didn't seem to slow down the regulars and taxis who sped right along without a worry. When it came time to get off at UCD, the driver got our luggage out of the underneath compartment and we were on our own! We didn't know which way to go, so we followed a couple other guys who were going as well. That trip from the main entrance to my residence hall, Belgrove, was a very miserable and hot, tiring trip. I eventually got checked into my room after a few headaches, and met my two roommates. Jessica is from California and studying sociology, and Vanessa is from Germany studying business management. I think we will get along well. 

Betheny and I have already made plans to go to Cork (RyanAir had tickets for 14 euro a piece!) September 25 to see the Blarney Castle and kiss the stone. We are both pretty excited about the deal we got on that one, and plan on going down to Blackrock, Dalkey, and Killiney Beach this Saturday. They are supposed to be good sight seeing spots, and we need to keep busy so we don't get to thinking about home too much. I'm just excited to get to GO places and take pictures of everything. 

Well, I feel like I haven't slept in days and this is probably getting progressively worse as the night goes on, so I will end this for now and update it as I can!

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