During my time in Paris, Krissy and I went to a late night mass at the Sacre Coeur, then listened to a guy doing covers of some of my favorite songs including Iris by the Goo Goo Dolls. Another night, my friend Lauren and I went to the best bookstore in world! It is a little English bookstore across from the Notre Dame where we read for an hour in the upstairs library before listening to a book reading and jazz concert. Then we got crepes, where the crepe guy declared his love for me within five minutes! (He was cute and only 22 :)) We also saw classic Paris museums such as the Louvre, Modern Museum of Art, and the Orsay.
After Paris was the epic field trip with my family. During the week, we got to be guarded by a an Italian with a machine gun, get rescued by an Italian on a scooter, drive on tiny crazy Italian coast, eat amazing seafood spaghetti, dip my toes in the Mediterranean Sea, tour the castle Disney World is modeled after, do a little hiking in the Alps, sing songs from the Sound of Music in Austria, pet a Saint Bernard in Switzerland, See the bears and clocktower in Bern, and drive through the exciting little countries of Liechtenstein and Luxembourg. It was so great to spend time with my parents and brother Ryan and also show them around Brussels a little bit.
From Thursday to Tuesday I was in the magical land of Ireland. I have to admit I fell head over heels in love with Ireland. It was so beautiful and everyone is so nice and all speak with the greatest accents in the world. I first explored Dublin for a day with my friend Johnny before taking a bus to Derry in Northern Ireland. Friday through Sunday morning I attended the BCA conference on divided societies where we listened to experts talk on conflicts, watch a deeply moving testimonial, and had great discussions with new friends. I then visited my friends Peter and Jenna Martin in Belfast on Sunday. I loved talking to them and spending time with people from back home. On Monday I caught a very early morning bus back to Dublin where I took a day bus tour of the county Wicklow. Here I saw breathtaking beauty and places where movies such as Braveheart and P.S. I Love You were filmed. After the long day, Johnny and I spent the night at the airport before arriving back in Brussels.
Right now I am incredibly stressed and just sick of school. Honestly, I am not enjoying my classes and the work just makes me feel literally sick. I really just want to get back to EMU. I realize now how blessed I am with my professors there and classes I just love and want to do the work. If I had more time or just weekends to do homework, I think it would be a little better, but right now it is hard. I do not regret my decision to be here and take these classes, but it is really hard right now and I am tired. And this weekend I am once again leaving, this time for a class trip to Amsterdam. I am sure it will be fine, but right now I don't want to go and take time to just relax.