May 21, 2012

the disney princess castle has been located

Good afternoon to all of my "lovely" American friends & family!

So today marks the end of my second full day at Cork University here in Cork College's music school in the beautiful, yet always humid, town of Cork, Ireland! Well that was a mouthful, eh? Waking up today I attempted to dress prepared for the insanely fluctuating weather and found myself at a loss of words.. the forecast read: 100% humidity. SERIOUSLY!? That's more unpredictable than Boone weather! Just waiting for that snow.. But anyways, no rain so it's been a rather "grand" day!

 My wonderful Cottage Pie & potatoes and Claire's local smoked salmon sandwich

As I am writing this, I am multitasking getting ready for a delicious dinner on Dr. Meister's dime at the most wonderful Italian restauarant, Milanos. It is in the city center and afterward we will head to another great pub session, this time filled with Cork College's own music students! I can't wait to hear them in action, we heard them practicing today in the practice rooms at school and it would send shivers up and down your spine to hear their folk music.

Drawn to the Flame - my favorite band here!

Last night, in the pub session, I fell head over heels in love with a band by the name of "Drawn to the Flame" which is made up of 2 brothers and the sweetest, always smiling old drummer by the name of "Johnny Bongos". I knew it was true love by the opening song, "Catharsis" which happens to be my ALL TIME FAVORITE Natalie Macmaster fiddle tune.. but this time.. on Irish flute. It brought me to tears and stirred so many feelings down deep I could of sworn God himself had his hands wrapped hard around my heart. I have never felt so moved in my life, not even on a sailboat. This trip has already given me more than I could've ever expected, or asked for. I bought the cd and had them autograph it.. they were so flattered and shocked, what a thrill to see such talented local artists still humble while moving their way up. The main player in the band, who could play all kinds of wind instruments and bagpipes, actually has his PhD in Marine Biology and chose to play music for a living instead. His brother was on guitar and friend on the drums. The drummer's whole family came to hear him play, including his at LEAST 70 year old mother with her dance shoes on JAMMIN in the back and cat-calling like she was born to see him play. What a beautiful sight, best "people watching" bar in the town. Needless to say, Mom & Dad, I couldn't be happier and you were totally right and I owe you always for this experience. (Call out.)

Blarney Castle!

But, before I go any further about this band and all of the wonderful people there, I need to explain what put me in such a good mood beforehand. I kissed a legend. That's right, a legend. At least.. that's what EVERY t-shirt at the Blarney Stone calls it. :) (Sorry Sig, no worries though.. it's a cold, inanimate object! :) ) Our group got to go to the BEAUTIFUL Blarney, Ireland today via bus and explored the dungeon, gardens, trees, random flower fields, Blarney Castle, and Blarney House (Disney Princess mansion) all before kissing the Blarney Stone. The actual stone itself sits on the VERY top of the castle roof hanging over the ledge.. you have to lay down on your back and be lowered off the side of the rock by this random guy while you kiss the stone and he whips you back up. I'd be curious as to how many people have been dropped off the side of the castle... But anyways, a lot of people ended up chickening out at the top and I, Kate Lucas, was not one of them. That's right, I kissed a rock and I liked it... :)

What ELSE do you do when you find the Disney princess castle? (The Blarney House)

Well, that's all for now, we are headed out to the pub! Summer school is miserably hard.. :) More to come later! Enjoy the States!

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