Well dear readers, we’re in the endgame now. May marked the final month of the Henry abroad experience, and it was a doozy. It began, as all normal months do, with a quick jaunt across the Atlantic to drop as much stuff off as possible and to finally be home during one of Isaac’s regular season Generals games. Being home was great, it allowed for me to emotionally and financially recharge and head back to Europe with plane tickets to Amsterdam and absolutely no plan whatsoever.
Amsterdam, it turns out, is a city that does not particularly require a plan to be an excellent place to visit. I arrived on Tuesday night with a list of restaurants and a general idea that I wanted to ride a boat on the canals (which I did) and see the Van Gogh museum (which I did not, because it was closed the day I could go due to a victory rally for the dutch soccer team Ajax’s Eredivisie title). That didn’t stop me from having a really fantastic time. I made it to the Rijksmuseum and it’s special “all of the Rembrandt’s” exhibit, which was pretty impressive, and beyond that spent my time roaming from place to place in search of little tiny dutch pancakes and people to take pictures of me for instagram. I also spent a decent amount of time at de Biertuin, the local bar recommended by the dad master list, and gained a new friend and instagram follower.
Before I knew it my time in Amsterdam was over and I was back in Dublin – as a host for my friend Katie. Having narrowly defeated Katie in the delayed arrival olympics I had just enough time to go home and discover (dangerously) that the coffee container crate outside my building was doing 2 euro hot drinks for it’s anniversary. By the time Katie arrived I was thoroughly over-caffeinated and ready to begin our 36 hour attempt to pack as much action into one Dublin weekend as possible. We saw the Book of Kells (which, as a student, I can skip the sixty person line for – with guests-), went to the Marker hotel rooftop bar, visited the lidl (my fav) to acquire ingredients for dinner, and then made pasta and cookies before heading out to the Brazen Head (a pub that has had a pub at it’s address since the 1100s) for a traditional pint o guiness.
The next day we continued to hit the Dublin highlights, stopping for breakfast at Bread 41 (the best bakery in Dublin) and then riding a train to Howth for a day of hiking and eating fish n chips and basically being as Irish as possible. With our apple health apps showing 10 miles by the time we’d returned to the apartment around 6 you might’ve thought we were done for the day, but you’d have been wrong. With only ten hours left in Katie’s Dublin excursion, we hit St. Stephen’s Green and St. Patrick’s Cathedral and then ended up singing karaoke in a camper van parked inside the food yard we were in.
We then headed back to the ranch so that Katie could get a little sleep before her 4 am departure, a scene that was cold and rainy and marks the end of volume one of May Abroad.