King's HospitalBlarney CastleMary ElizabethTo get the gift of the gab or to not… That is thy question!

Travel days are usually quiet days and kids catch up on some much needed sleep while traveling to the next destination.

Tuesday morning, the students and ILE Staff had a quick breakfast, packed up our bags, and left the beautiful city of Dublin by 9:30 AM. Sheila said she is going to miss Dublin, but is excited to continue onto the next adventure in Ireland. Things on the ILE are definitely an adventure! As we waved goodbye to Dublin, most of us drifted into a sound slumber.

Angie eventually got on the microphone and said, “MORNING, wake up, we are here! Nudge your neighbor if they are sleeping.” Angie is usually the one that explains the destinations and gives a historical background about the place we are visiting. Today was the Blarney Castle and “Kissing the Blarney Stone.” “Now, you see…, if you kiss the stone you will get the gift of the gab. So I won’t kiss it since I talk to much already,” said Angie.

The weather was rainy, so rain jackets came in handy. The students all got their tickets, used the bathrooms, and headed to the castle where each student questioned whether they should kiss a stone that millions of others have kissed. “My dad was more worried about me kissing the stone and catching a disease than he was me traveling to Ireland,” said Olivia. It is true. Kent was even questioning the sanitation of the stone. Most of the students waited in line and made their way up to the top of the castle. On the way up, some of the students became claustrophobic due to the small stair cases. “It’s crazy that people lived and used such a small stair case,” said Cate.

Once at the top, the kids were determined to get the gift of the gab! Almost all the students kissed the stone. It was funny to watch them bend backwards and try to kiss it. Lots of laughs happened.

After kissing the stone, the students made their way around the gardens and had a quick snack before hopping back onto the bus. Everyone was expecting the bus ride to be loud, since all the students now had the gift of the gab… But in fact, it was quiet. It must not kick in until the next day.

Since we are living in apartments now-not on a school campus, the kids get the opportunity to cook for themselves like college kids. They were given a stipend and went to the grocery store and got the food they needed. Watching the students budget and pick out food was hilarious. It was funny to see them realize all the little things it takes to make meals. “Do we need salt and pepper?” asked Liam. “Yes, but what about hot sauce?” asked Johanna. “Do we NEED that because we also need cake and what’s more important?” said Cate. Kent said he remembered the days when he started grocery shopping for himself and watching them made them laugh.

The students had their groceries figured out and we made our way to Killarney. The group got the apartment rooms situated and the students were very excited to be in nice apartments. “I love this place. I am so glad we are in nice apartments,” said Kelley. The apartments are very posh and fun to have our own space to live in for the next couple of days.

The students cooked their dinner and have been enjoying each others company! “We cooked toast for a snack. Is this what college is like?” asked Julia.

Today was a great day because the kids got to relax and really bond while cooking together. The next couple days are filled with adventures!

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Trip Dates: June 30-July 24, 2024