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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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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My happy place

Hey guys,

Ok… So my life may or may not have done a total 180 since my last post. I have been meaning to write for weeks and before this weekend, this post would have gone an entirely different direction.

So I started a new job in Tralee, Co. Kerry, about an hour and a half away from where I live with my family. Due to the new job I moved in with my Grandparents who live in Tralee. It has been so much fun living here. As some of you may know from my previous posts, my mental health can fluctuate.. A lot. Recently it hadn’t been good. I had a lot going on between finishing exams, work, changing job and moving out. I was very stressed out and had one MAJOR meltdown.. My eyes were swollen going to work the following day (classy right?).

Since moving to Kerry, I have stared to come back to being myself. I am relaxed. I am in good form. I am sleeping (when not writing blog posts at 11 pm). I am eating healthy and loosing weight (that said I just finished a bag of mini chocolate eggs… :P). I feel more myself now than I have in a long time.

My grandparents are great! They are actually the most adorable couple in the strangest of ways. My Grandad is 86 and my Granny is 76. There is 10 years and 4 months between them. Age really is just a number 🙂 My Grandad is very deaf, which is a shame because he really likes to  be in the middle of things. He uses a hearing aid so he is still able to have the craic and is great at telling me to pace myself when it comes to work 🙂

The other evening when I got home from work, my Granny suggested we go for a walk out on one of the beaches near us, I was all for it seeing as I had been wanting to go to the beach all day. I went for a walk with the 2 dogs and my Granny stayed sitting by the car. I walked in the water and took photos and I was completely in my element.

When I was younger, I used to spend my summer holidays in Kerry with my Grandparents, and then in a house with my family. Since I moved to Cork 8 years ago, I probably see my Grandparents more often but I didn’t get to spend the same amount of time with them. When I was younger, I always loved being down here and that really hasn’t changed.

I was so stressed out about the move down, my head was all over the place (whats new?), I had boy problems, I was stressing about starting the new job and I was stressing about college. Now I have no boy problems (well there are still some but I have chosen to ignore them until they can be fixed but who knows when that will be), I have started my new job and couldn’t ask for better people to work with. I have also decided that I am not going back to college in September and have just applied for a job in Sydney, Australia…

Knowing me, all these thing shoulf be making me freak out and stress out but no. I think being away from home for the summer is the best thing I could have done for myself. I am so happy I did it and excited to see what happens next. 😀

Ok write soon,

Thanks for reading,

Kathy xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Sometimes you just need to get away

Hey guys,

So I had been on a good track of writing once a week but alas due to on thing and another I haven’t written in a few weeks. Today marks my 1 year anniversary of starting this blog. Where has all that time gone?

So, over the last few days there have been some pretty drastic changes to my life. I quit my job in the hotel where I worked. At long last. I loves the job I had but I began to despise the place where I had it. During my first week there,  two chefs  left along with two managers.  This immediately had alarm bells going off in my head and I remember saying it to my mum who encouraged me  to stick it out until I found something better. And I really did. On Monday, I start working in one of the biggest banks in Ireland for 10 weeks as a summer student. This is an amazing opportunity for me as I am studying Commerce so it is practical work experience in an industry that I might end up going into one day.

So due to getting this new job, I am also moving. I’m moving in with my Grandparents as they live near to where I will be working and I will be able to walk to and from work everyday. I haven’t spent a summer at home since I was 13 so the thought of the possibility of doing it this summer didn’t sit well with me.. at all.. especially with my Instagram feed being full of pictures of people on J1’s (In the USA on a student summer working visa) or on amazing trips to places like Thailand or Malaysia. As it is it’s still kinda depressing to be working for the summer but I will be surrounded by family who I am really looking forward to spending some quality time with.

Another big thing for my was passing my  theory test so I can FINALLY start learning how to drive 😀 In Ireland, you first need to do a test detailing the rules of the road and that kind of thing. You are given 40 questions out of a possible 900 (I think) and you need to get at least 35 right. You then need to do 12 driving lessons before you can attempt to do your driving test and be allowed drive by yourself. Basically its a money racket but alas I can’t do anything about it…

Some people may be wondering about the state of my love life after my last post. My answer is I don’t know what is happening. I went of to that going away party and I realized how much I was going to miss the guy who is moving to Dublin. I wanted to have a proper conversation with him but it wasn’t the time or the place to pour my heart out.. Add vodka to the mix and I would have ended up in floods of tears. What we did manage to talk about was him having a lot on his mind, me being one of those things. When I was going home, he kissed me and that was the last contact I’ve had with him. And I miss him.. A lot. Before I developed feelings for him, we were friends who spoke all day every day. There is a big difference between speaking all day everyday to having no contact at all and I miss my friend.

That being said, I had a lot on my mind so I took off for a few days. More like a week, When I quit my job in the hotel, I told myself that I would give myself 2 weeks off to just be able to catch up on missed sleep and have some time to myself before starting the new job. So last week, I went on an adventure 🙂 I went to visit two of my best friends who live in different parts of the country. I went to Monaghan first where I visited my friend Grace. Myself and Grace have been on many adventures together and I miss her when I don’t get to see her. When I went up, we took it easy and drank A LOT of wine… But sure when on holidays I might as well 😛Snapchat-2011600122

A few days later, I traveled back to Meath, back to my home town where I lived until I was 13. I stayed with another really good friend of mine there, Ciara. We have been friends since we began primary school. That was 16 years ago. It had been a long time since I had gotten the chance to spend proper time with her so we really enjoyed our few days. We went on an adventure into Dublin where Ciara introduced me to scrumdiddlys ice cream and an amazing cocktail bar in Rathmines called Copan, where all the cocktails are €5. It.was.awseome.

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So I hoped you enjoyed this post, I felt guilty for not writing but I had no laptop with me on my  travels and it was nice to disconnect for a while. 🙂

Thanks for reading,

Love, Kathy ❤

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.

 

 

Killing headphones, shopping and haircuts

Hey Guys,

So this could technically fit into My Alicante Diaries seeing as I did buy stuff for Alicante but there is other stuff in here too 🙂 So this morning, I accidentally met my friend John for breakfast. We both just happened to be in the same place on campus at the same time and I needed food.. 😛 When we were eating, I got a snapchat from a mutual friend of ours and took a picture of John but when I put my phone back down, I accidentally dropped one of my earphones into the bottom of the fruit cup I had just finished, thus drowning one of my earphones. This is the 4th pair this semester I’ve killed.. At least the 4th pair anyway. Because its exam season I can’t survive without earphones… So I may have gone and bought a new pair 😛

Buying a new pair of earphones now is just another thing to add to my list of things that I bought over the weekend. So on Friday, I spent €53 in Boots, a drugstore. I then spent €45 on a suitcase, because everyone needs a suitcase 😛 Whenever I traveled previously, I was never gone for more than a few months at a time so it was fine to take luggage from home but seeing as I’m moving to Alicante, I might need to leave some bags with my family.. The suitcase is pretty cool for a suitcase in fairness, I shall have many adventures with it 🙂

So today, I am getting my hair cut, I have just below shoulder length brown curly hair. It was really long the last time I cut it, but I cut it just after a breakup and decided to cut it all off. BIG MISTAKE. Today I’m not looking to make any major changes, a trim and some shape is how I described it to one of my friends, he is a guy and had absolutely no idea what I was talking about 😛 Another one of my friends tole me not to cut off too much of my hair because my hair defines me.. My hair most certainly does not define me but it is part of who I am. There may come a time when I grow it out to cut it off and donate it to charity,  that being said, I’d look slightly scary with my hair really short. But hey, all for a good cause.

So this post is kinda short and sweet, I wanted to write something because with it being exam season, I will do just about anything to avoid study, especially when that study is Accounting..

Anyway I should go do some work before my bank account takes another hit, write soon.

Thanks for reading,

Kathy ❤

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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 ❤