Why Tralee is AMAZING

Hi guys,

OK so I just wrote a post but I’m sitting here in bed with a damaged hamstring and sleep is nowhere near and I’ve Kelly Clarkson on Spotify to  keep my company… ANYWAY, I decided to let you all in on a few secrets as to why Tralee is the best place in Kerry and why it will always have a special place in my heart!

So if you have read my summer blogs, you will know that I lived with my Grandparents in Tralee for the summer (If you haven’t read them, you should be ashamed and go back and read them IMMEDIATELY after finishing this post xoxo). So during my summer, I experienced the best of Tralee.

  1. The Food
    There are two places in Tralee that I would absolutely, 100% insist on that people visit. The first one is a daytime restaurant/ café, open between 9 am and 6 pm every day. locally it has the reputation of being the ‘burritos place’ but it does soo much more! DISH (the name of the restaurant) does amazing coffee, I called in there every morning on the way to work to get my morning dose of caffeine and honestly it couldn’t have been better! In addition to amazing coffee and burritos, they make  and serve dishes varying from Bacon and Cabbage (an Irish staple) to Nachos to Lasagna to quesadillas. The owner is in fact from Tralee, not Mexico despite what his menu may suggest and he will frequently be the smiling face behind the counter when you first go in. Dish also offer an amazing range of gluten-free options that actually taste good as opposed to the cardboard that you can be served in some places.
    The second place is a French bistro called Chez Christophe. This place is where I went to celebrate my 21st birthday! The food is to die for! It would be more expensive than Dish but worth every penny. If you are looking for somewhere nice to go for an evening meal in Tralee, Chez Christophe is where to go. My suggestion: Have the cassolette of prawns and crab claws!
    Dish: Russel Street, Tralee, Co. Kerry (across the road from the Bróg). 0667185544

    Chez Christophe: 6 Courthouse Lane, Tralee (Soon to be 11 Courthouse Lane) 0667181562.

  2. The Beaches
    So once again if you have been following me for a while, you will know that the beach is my happy place. There are two main beaches for me that I want to tell you about, the first is Fenit. Fenit is  famous for being a harbour and also being a blue flag beach, meaning that a beach, marina or sustainable boating tourism operator meets its stringent standards. Fenit also has a lighthouse that looks really pretty (trust me, I have it as the lock screen on my phone :P)
    Banna Strand is a historically famous beach in Irish history, particularly in relation to the 1916 Rising. Roger Casement who was involved in arms trafficking during the  rebellion, was arrested on Banna Strand as he was landing weapons from a German U-boat for the Rebellion. (Sorry trying not to go too deep into the history of it..)  In addition to being historic, its my happy place. Whenever I was having a bad day or needed to clear my head, Banna is where I would go. Walks there and swims there made everything seem ok. I have some great memories from this summer based in Banna.

FenitBANNA

4. The Rose of Tralee

So the Rose of Tralee is an international festival that is held in Tralee (duhh..) every year that celebrates women. The women come from all over the world to celebrate their Irish heritage. The festival also brings with it street entertainment, carnival, live concerts, theatre, circus, markets, fun fair, fireworks and Rose Parades. For the local people my age, the festival is an excuse to go out on school nights and have a bit of fun! 😛 So Kathy did as Kathy does and made some questionable decisions over the course of the festival.. My aunt even made me go out two nights in a row 😛 This was my first year being in Tralee for the festival and it was one of the best weekends all summer.

ROT

 

So I hope you now realize why this small town in Kerry means so much to me. It is close to both Dingle and Killarney for day trips (and more reasonable accommodation). A friend of mine told me ‘Tralee would be a great town if it wasn’t in Kerry’, to which I disagree, Tralee is a great town because it’s in Kerry.

Ok, write soon,

Thanks for reading,

Love always,

Kathy ❤

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Staying active is key

OK, so apparently I’m really good at writing posts a month apart. I haven’t written sooner  because there has been nothing exciting happening in my life for the last month. Brief update, I finished my contract for the summer on the 18th of August and have been looking for jobs since. People keep asking me hoe the job hunt is going, my answer, it’s killing me slowly.. I have never been the most patient of people and  I like to be doing something, otherwise I get cabin fever..  So in my attempt to combat this, I have started to be active.

So I don’t want to mislead you with the title of this post, I am absolutely no expert when it comes to exercise.. But I’m gonna pretend I know what I’m talking about.. OK?!? 😛 So since moving back home, I don’t leave the house all too much because there is actually very little to do around here. One thing I have starter though, is rowing. I don’t know if I mentioned this in my last post, probably not but I’m not gonna check till after I’m done writing 🙂 I started rowing when I was 16 and not to sound up my own ass, I was good at it. I ended up stopping because life did what it does and got in the way. I am far from a jock and tend to be really bad at team sports, especially ones that involve balls.. I even managed to give myself a black-eye playing badminton. For a few years I went through phases of going to the gym and running but to be 100% honest (because that is exactly what this blog is about) I haven’t been in as good shape since I was 16 and this girl wants that figure back!

When I moved home after my summer of adventures, my sister decided that she wanted to start rowing so I said I’d go too for emotional support. There are times when I’m dragged kicking and screaming (not literally, I’m not 5) out of the house and there are times when I am the only one out of the three of us (We also have a Spanish student living with us who has started rowing too) who get their ass out of bed and put myself through two hours of pure torture.. I have found that the exercise has helped me. I might not be showing any signs of toning up and what-not but I know I will. I enjoy going to the gym and pushing myself and my sister. (she loves it…) On the days when I’m not rowing, there is a walk along the lake where I row that is almost 6 km long that I like to do with my mum. I have always been close to her but I think the walk gives us something to do together which is nice. Last weekend I did the walk along with my mum and best friend and my mum told us the story of her and my dads relationship, from the very start. Yeah I’d heard it before but in bits, it was really special to hear it from start to finish.

Ok, I think I have babbled on for long enough.

Will write again soon (with actual interesting content…)

Thanks for reading,

Love always, Kathy ❤

NRC sunsetGreenway

Life Update : 3 weeks on

Hi Guys,

I was so much better at updating before I moved to Kerry… But I’m back home now for the time being so here’s to more posts, with more interesting content than what has been happening in my life…

So, I am home. Back with my family after spending the most amazing summer working with the most INCREDIBLE group of people. I turned 21 a week before I finished there, turning 21 is a big thing in Ireland, I’m not so sure about the rest of the world though.. On the morning of my birthday, we had a staff meeting,  the usual stuff, I hadn’t had enough coffee yet so I was all picture no sound, when out of one of the offices came one of my managers, with a cake and 21 birthday candles. The entire place started singing me happy birthday. I genuinely nearly died of embarrassment!! It was one of the nicest things that could have happened me that day, I was away from my family and feeling a little bit lonely and that made my day. In addition to getting me a cake (with my name on it for the first time EVER), they all chipped in and bought me two beautiful Pandora charms for my bracelet that my parents bought me for my 18th. I still don’t have the words to describe how much it meant.

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Birthday at work

Since I have decided not to go back to college in September to finish my degree, once I finished my contract, I am looking for a job. People keep telling me that the world is my oyster, I know it is but it can be hard to believe it sometimes. If you have followed my blog for a while, you will have gathered that my mental health can be questionable at times and waking up on Monday morning knowing I didn’t have a job to go to was incredibly tough. I am the type of person who loves to be working, I am well able to relax when I have my time off and I really do enjoy my nights out but I like work. I think it is the routine that suits me. While in Kerry, my Grandad would wake me up at 7.15 every morning, telling me it was 7.30.. I’d then get up around 7.45, get myself ready and go to work for the day. My evenings could be spent on the beach, hanging out with my grandparents, hanging out with my aunt and cousins or cuddling the dogs on the couch.. It depended on the evening. My existence for the last 3 months may seem like  a quiet one but it has suited me down to the ground.

I have applied for a number of jobs over the last few weeks and there is one in particular I really want, based in Belfast and doing something I think I’d excel at. If you believe in God, send me your prayers, if not, any good luck wishes would be much appreciated as I try to figure out where I go next.

I promise my next post will be more exciting!

Thanks for reading,

Love always,

Kathy ❤

Life update

Hey guys,

By my clock, its been exactly 30 days since I wrote. I have meant to sit down and write so many times and have realized for once, I don’t have some drama or struggle to document. I am having the best summer I have had in years, completely different to previous years and yet the most liberating. I haven’t felt so much myself in a very long time.

This time last year, I was suffering big time with my mental health, I was in a bad relationship, was going through some family stuff and was attempting to study for my repeats, all while on a family holiday in West Cork. This year, I am writing this from my bed, snapchatting videos of myself singing and dancing to one of my best friends (Yes, I’m talking about you Mairtin), despite the fact I need to get up in 7 and a half hours for work..

Getting away from my life is exactly what I needed to do to see what I want to do with it.. I still have absolutely no idea what I want to be when I grow up, or where I’ll be living in a months time, but this time, it doesn’t scare the beejsus out of me, I am terrified, but its an excited terrified.

This evening I came in from work and sat down on the couch with the dog curled up on top of me, when my Gran suggested we went out to the beach with the dogs. As soon as we got there, it started to rain. She went for a paddle in the sea while I took the two dogs up the beach. When I was walking, I realized I was walking away from the rain and towards the sun on the beach. It reminded me of the song Chasing the Sun by The Wanted. It was myself and my friend Ciara’s anthem of the summer yearsss ago and I threw it on on Spotify. This resulted in my singing and dancing my way back down the beach, looking like a crazy person and being totally in my element!!

This lighthearted person who isn’t afraid to look like an eejit is who I am and due various reasons, I lost sight of that… But  I’M BACK BABYYYY.

Thanks for reading,

Love always,

Kathy ❤

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A letter to my future self

Hey guys,

So this morning as a form of procrastination, I re-read all of my posts to see if there were spelling mistakes etc as I was probably too lazy to do it when I first published them (I am going to work on this). I came across my post, A Series of Unfortunate Events, where I wrote about a bucket list I wanted to achieve before I turned 20. I am going to be 21 in August and I just realized that I had done very few of the things I wanted to get done for last summer. So here is me ticking off another thing on my list.

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

Dear future Kathy,

As you write this, you are sitting in the basement of the ORB in UCC. You are listening to Ed Sheeran’s Castle on the Hill and smiling at the lines, “But I was younger then, take me back to when We found weekend jobs, when we got paid We’d buy cheap spirits and drink them straight Me and my friends have not thrown up in so long, oh how we’ve grown But I can’t wait to go home”. I don’t know when you are going to re-read this. I hope you have achieved all that you want to. I hope you got that summer job in the bank that you wanted to. That you made it to Alicante.

I hope that you are no longer sick, that despite having a rough start to 2017 that now you are ok. I hope that you have stopped hurting yourself, remember that scratch you got off the briar in Gran’s house about 10 years ago? That scarred you. you scar too easily to add more to your collection yourself.

I hope that no matter where you end up after this hellish year of college, you are happy. I hope that the people you want to support you do, without questioning it. I hope that you do you, you can do this. Remember, you are who you choose to become. Don’t let anyone change your mind and tell you otherwise. As I sit here and write this, my minds is all over the place, I don’t know where I’m going to be in two weeks time. I don’t know if I’ll be living at home for the summer, if I’ll be in Tralee or if I’ll be in Cork. Wherever you end up, whatever you do, remember you got this girl.

No matter what you’re doing, go outside, take a walk. Ring Mum for a chat, then ring Anna. Tell them you love them. Live every day to the full. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Don’ ever let someone hurting you change how you look at love and relationships keep wearing your heart on your sleeve and don’t let anyone change that. Oh, and finish that bucket list of yours. 😛

Ok I think this went in about 15 different directions, this is a prime example of what you were like at exam time.

Lots of love,

20-year-old Kathy.

 

 

Favorite March Music

Hey guys,

So I decided that I was ready for some commitment in my life and took the grown up plunge to invest in Spotify Premium.. Yay meeee! 😛 Since I took the plunge, I have gone through 3 pairs of earphones (anyone have any recommendations for good ones that don’t break?). In fairness none of the earphones were all that expensive and I could probably do with buying a proper pair but ain’t nobody got time for that.

So in addition to me suddenly having endless music at my fingertips and having an immense amount of college work to do I have spent A LOT of the last month plugged in. Here are some of my favorites from the month of March 🙂

1. ÷ (Divide), Ed Sheeran

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t completely obsessed with this album. I fell in love with ‘Castle on the Hill’ when it first came out and couldn’t wait for the rest of the album. He has such a variety of types of songs and music on the album that you never get bored listening to it. I also love Galway Girl (it night be the Irish girl in me) and Nancy Mulligan (this definitely appeals to the romantic in me). Way to go Ed, this album is fantastic 😀

2. Water Under the Bridge, Adele. 

I think all of Adele’s stuff is great but I love this song!! It’s a song about fighting for what you want and who you love. Plus its really catchy..

3. El Mismo Sol, Alvaro Soler.

I came across this Spanish gents music while in Madrid last summer due to his single Sofia being played EVERY.SINGLE.TIME the radio was turned on. That said I love Sofia too but some things can be slightly overplayed (I think my family will agree with me on this one seeing as they all know the words to it and they don’t speak Spanish…). My 5-year-old in Spain taught me the words and I have video footage of her doing it 😛 She never failed to entertain. Anyway I went slightly off topic.. but yeah.. El Mismo Sol is great. The title  translates as ‘The Same  my interpretation of the song is that it’s about unity and how we are all under the same sun.. there are bits about love in there too but I like the last line, ‘Aquí todos estamos bajo el mismo sol’ meaning “Here we all are, under the same sun.”

4. Phil Collins.. In general

So I’m a big Phil Collins fan. My music taste is quite varied and probably slightly weird but as my good friend one told me, when it comes to music, everyone has different tastes 🙂 I love the music from Tarzan and that is how I fell in love with more of his music 🙂

5. Take A Bow, Rihanna/ Love Song, Sara Bareilles

Some serious throwback songs that ended up on my discover playlist 😀

 

So this was a bit of an unusual post for me but I have been writing an essay for college all day and this is what I was listening to.. 😛

Hope you enjoyed,

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

(P.S. here is the link to my March playlist on Spotify… https://open.spotify.com/user/11141787897/playlist/56tSudORfEJYMmldcrZihY)

 

My top 5 things to do in Belgium

Hey guys,

So my last few posts have been more about the disaster that is my life and not about the traveling adventures that I originally started this blog to post about. There will probably be more personal posts but this one is all about Belgium 🙂

When I was in school, I studied French and I wanted to improve it so I thought about going to France for a summer to work when I was 16. I did some research and discovered that I wouldn’t be paid for working in France due to employment laws so a friend of my mums, a French teacher, suggested that I go to Belgium. As it happens, the place where I worked for the summer when I was 14 had a sister place in the French-speaking region of Belgium so off I went. I spent 3 and a half weeks working in the kitchen of a hospitality/ residential conference center about 45 mins outside Brussels. I  worked hard and I was working 5-5.5 days a week so I didn’t get to travel enough as I would have liked.. So I went back for longer the following year 😛

I will always have fond memories of Belgium. I made some amazing friends there, some Mexican, Guatemalan, Spanish and even a really good Irish friend. I also had my fair share of accidents there 😛 I had one really accident prone day when,in the morning, while cutting an onion, I nearly took the top off my finger.. That afternoon I then had an argument with a gate and the gate won, thus resulting in me getting a spike of it through my foot.. Fun times 😛 There was no major damage, just crutches for a few weeks, serious antibiotics and painkillers.. Twas grand 🙂 It happened on a Sunday and I was planning on flying home the Tuesday so I was grand.

Despite my spending so much time working, I got to do a significant amount of traveling. Here are mt top 5 places to go in Belgium.

  1. Grand Place, Brussels.

Both times I was in Belgium it was in June/July, Grand Place was one of the first places I visited and I was blown away by how beautiful it is. It is surrounded by Gothic buildings, including the town hall. Every two years in August, an enormous “flower carpet” is set up in the Grand Place for a few days. A million colorful  flowers are set up in patterns, covering the entire square.

Grand Place

2. Manneken Pis

My friend Ruth really didn’t like this guy but I’d recommend checking him out, especially if there is something going on in Belgium at the time. When I was there the second time, it was during the last soccer world cup so he was dressed up as a soccer player. In reality, he is a tiny bronze statue who pees into the fountains basin.

3. Bruges and Gent

These two towns are absolutely spectacular! I only managed to get to them both once but they are stunning. Both are on built on canals and they, much like Venice are used to get around on.The streets are narrow and cobbled and old. They are both just so beautiful.

4. Leuven/ Louvain

The thing about places in Belgium is that they have names in both French and Dutch. Louvain is a university city much like the one where I live in Ireland. It is quite easy ti tell when the hour is up as the streets get busier with students moving from class to class. Myself and Ruth spent about 3 hours sitting in McDonald’s in Louvain next to the window on the first floor just watching people move through the streets. It is another lovely city, possibly my second favorite, my all time favorite is still to come. 😛 It was Louvain where I finally found my Yves Rocher shop that I had spent weeks looking for. Yves Rocher is a French cosmetics company that I came across in France. I love their stuff but you can’t get it in Ireland so I always make sure to stock up when I’m abroad.

Leuven city hallLeuven

5. Antwerp

Antwerp is where I want to be proposed to. It is my favorite place in Belgium. The first time I was there, I was walking down the boardwalk with my Mexican friends Isabel and Nancy and I saw a couple in front of us with their kids and it was at that moment when I decided that I wanted that to be me. Me and my over active imagination saw that man proposing to his girlfriend on that same boardwalk, them going there to have their wedding photos taken and then going there with their kids. As their two little girls ran ahead of them, with us still walking behind then, the couple wrapped their arms around each other and kept walking. Yes, I am a completely hopeless romantic but I wanted that. My friend Blaithin has been told to inform any future men in my life of this wish of mine 😛 Antwerp is also famous for its diamonds. When you come out of the train station (which is spectacular as well) there is an entire street of diamond shops. The best place to window shop 😀 In my opinion, it is a must visit for anyone going to Belgium.Oh and they have a chocolate shop that sells ‘Chocolate Pills’ because.. Duhh chocolate fixes everything.. 😛

antewrp docAntwerp Choc pills

So I think I turned my top 5 places to go in Belgium into a ‘why I love these places’ but i hope you enjoyed reading it. I had so much fin looking through all my old photos and re-reading my travel diary to remind me of all my adventures. The most important thing I took away from my trips in  Belgium are my friendships. I was working with Isabel and Nancy. They are both from Monterrey, Mexico and I am still in frequent communication with Isa who is currently studying a semester abroad in Santiago, Chile. I knew Ruth before we went away together, we had met a few times but we wouldn’t have been friends. Her french teacher (the friend of my mums) encouraged her to come with me and now I know, no matter what, Ruth is there for me. She will be at my wedding.

Ok I might have gotten too deep, but hey, I’m an honest person,

Thanks for reading,

All my love,

Kathy ❤