August 8, 2018: Final Day in Edinburgh
Sadly today is our last full day in Edinburgh. I started my day off around brunch time going to The City Cafe with a group of teammates. After brunch, we walked around for some last minute shopping and to take in the gorgeous city of Edinburgh one last time. Next, we traveled to play the Scotland Bravehearts for our last game of the trip, which we ended on a winning note. To celebrate, most of the girls got together for a drink before heading back to our hostel to pack. Going on this tour has been an amazing opportunity given to me by AIST and recommend by former Coach CJ and I wouldn't trade the experience or new friends for anything!
August 7, 2018: A Hike Up Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh
For today's adventure in Edinburgh, I decided to challenge myself with a hike up to Arthur's Seat. This mountain peak is made up of an extinct volcano that rises over 800ft above the city. Although I am not a fan of heights, the talk of how breathtaking the panoramic views from the top were good enough to convince me. Walking through Edinburgh to get to one side of the mountain, all the way across, and back down through the city was how my entire day was spent and it was one of the most gorgeous things I have seen on this tour so far.
August 6, 2018: Touring Edinburgh
Today has been a long but fun day. We began the day with a guided tour of Edinburgh where we learned about some of the city's history and got to see places like the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where the Queen resides while visiting Edinburgh and Greyfriar's Kirkyard (a.k.a graveyard). While this may seem a bit strange to tour, it was incredible because it holds some of the inspiration behind J.K. Rowling's names throughout the Harry Potter books such as McGonagall, Moodie and even Tom Riddle, behind this graveyard is a castle-like school that is even said to be what Rowling based Hogwarts look off of.
However, the Harry Potter sights didn't stop there, we visited places like Victoria Street which was the inspiration for Diagon Alley and even a few stores and pubs that inspired places in the book for the alley. This tour ended with a visit to the Edinburgh Castle. The Edinburgh Castle contains so much history and sights that it was hard to keep track of where I had been and where I needed to go, but seeing panoramic views of the city and the castle up close was amazing.
August 5, 2018: Travel Day to Edinburgh
After about four hours of driving, we have finally arrived in the city of Edinburgh. Once we got settled into our hostel we had free time to go out and eat and do some shopping to kill time before our Ghost and Torture Tour. During this nighttime tour, we walked through the catacombs and learned the history of how overpopulated Edinburgh used to be. At the end of this tour we got to see the breathtaking St. Gile's Cathedral and then parted our separate ways. Seeing as how it was late I visited a few shops and then headed back to the hostel.
August 4, 2018: Four Games for the Stars and Stripes
Today is the biggest lacrosse day for us; all day tournament that consists of four short games being played. First on the Stripes schedule was to play our other USA team the Stars, next we played Jngla, a game against North was to follow, and lastly, we versed Oxton's team once again. Out of the five teams the Stripes placed 3rd due to some international rule adjustments that didn't work in our favor during games. However, all in all, this day has been an amazing experience getting to play with so many different people both from the USA and those in England. Tomorrow we are headed to our last stop in Edinburgh, Scotland.
August 3, 2018: Travel Day to Liverpool, England
Sadly this morning we departed from Dublin via the Irish Ferries to move on to our next destination. After a few hours, we reached Wales, England where we had a short pit stop in a town with about 58 letters in its name. From there we drove to Liverpool, England where we have the most lacrosse games. Once in Liverpool, we had some free time to get settled, eat and look around before our scrimmage against Oxton tonight.
August 2, 2018: Sightseeing in Dublin
Today we started our day off with some free time for breakfast before heading to the countryside of Dublin for a mountain bike tour. While I will admit that I felt as though I was learning to ride a bike all over again and it wasn't particularly easy, it was totally worth it for the breathtaking views along the way. Once our bike tour had ended we traveled back to the heart of Dublin for some more free time until dinner. Personally, I used my free time to get something to help me remember this trip forever, a new tattoo of a four leaf clover. Shortly after it was time for dinner at The Arlington Hotel where we saw performances from both singers and Irish dancers. After this fantastic show, everyone split up for a night on the town seeing as how it was our last night in Dublin.
August 1, 2018: Day Two in Dublin
Day 2 in Dublin was full of activities. We started the day off at O'Sheas for a full Irish breakfast followed by a bit of free time. Our next adventure included a self-guided tour through the Guinness Brewery which takes you through the whole brewing process along with some Guinness history. Afterward, we all split up for some free time and lunch before our very first game! At first, I was really nervous to play because not knowing how the chemistry will be on the field with girls you just met and not knowing anything about the competition. However, playing with a Dublin lacrosse club team was one of the best experiences of my life. While we were all competitive, everyone mingled and had a great time with a BBQ afterward. After a long day, I got together with some girls from Gannon University to have some gelato and check out the Molloy's pub next to our inn.
July 31, 2018: Arrival in Ireland
We have officially arrived in Dublin! Even though it is 10:00 a.m. here and 5:00 a.m. back home I am still excited to see the city. After successfully not losing any luggage, both the Stars and the Stripes team headed to our bus for a guided tour of Dublin. At the end of the tour, we had some free time around Trinity College to get some lunch and do some shopping. Trying to find a place to eat that had something everyone was willing to try was the hardest part but we ended up eating at the Porterhouse. Once lunch was done we checked into our hostel and took some much needed naps before enjoying a night out in the city. A few other teammates and myself walked around and tried a few places like the Temple Bar before finally settling in at The Celt for some drinks with some others from our tour. Overall I think it was a great first day and we are slowly adjusting to the time difference!
July 30, 2018: Preparation for Trans-Atlantic Flight
Today I have been running around doing some last minute packing for our flight that leaves tonight! Getting to the airport was a little nerve-wracking because I have never been through security alone and I just kept thinking how I wouldn't know anyone besides Newbury's former coach CJ. However, our flight to Dublin, Ireland got delayed by about an hour so it gave us time to start getting to know each other.