It's not over...it's just beginning.

I'm home. Well, not technically home, but I'm back in Florida. I've picked up my car, had a Dunkin Donuts iced coffee, and have a really good feeling I'll be sleeping like a rock tonight.

Dublin wasn't all I expected. The countryside of Ireland was amazing though. Took a tour to the Cliffs of Mohor and the Wicklow Mountains, and even sat on the bridge where Holly met Gerry in P.S. I Love You. Dublin as a city though, not as impressive. I met a girl named Krista at the hostel. We had kind of a weird first encounter, trying to squeeze in introductory words as the elevator doors closed. We didn't even formally introduce ourselves until we agreed to go out for dinner about an hour later. Meeting people in hostels is always the same - usually at the breakfast table, followed by a "so how long have you been here? Where to next? Wanna explore together tomorrow?" It's always the same. I've probably told my "story" a dozen times.

With only two nights left in Dublin, Krista and I headed out to Temple Bar. A friend had told me on facebook that there was an amzing "Guinness Potato Soup" that I just had to try. We searched 3 or 4 restaurants in the area, even asked some restaurant staff, and got the same response: "I've never f*@king heard of it." At first, I thought Temple Bar was just one pub, but it's really a cluster of bars...think of it as the "Las Olas" of Dublin. Or something like that. I won't go into detail of what happened that night, other than we succeeded in getting boys to buy us drinks, and my dumb ass actually gave out my real phone number. Ah, regrets.

And then the day I dreaded came. My last day travelling, and all I wanted to do was sleep, watch movies, and nurse my mini-hangover. Krista and I had an amazing breakfast, and spent the day being lazy asses around the hostel. I was so OK with that.

By the way, if you haven't seen Vicki Christina Barcelona, watch it.

As my hangover subsided, we decided to get our grubby asses in the shower and go out for dinner. Being our last night in Dublin, we couldn't just hang in the hostel all day and night. We went to the oldest pub in Ireland, which was conveniently just steps from our hostel. They have a little tradition where guests sign dollar bills to have them hung all over the pub. I've been carrying a few in my wallet for the past 6 weeks, so of course we had to leave our mark.

I've thought a lot about how to end this part of my blog. (Since this blog is really dedicated to Sonju Photography, not just my Euro-travels) and figured the best way to end it is with a few lists. Here we go.

Things I Missed. (AKA 'Things I won't take for granted anymore')

Soft toilet paper

Showering barefoot

Hooks on bathroom doors to hold my purse

Conditioner

Driving

Moo.

Radio stations

Sleeping with the TV on

The sound of my friend's voices

Coffee. With cream, damnit!

Cheap drinks

Deoderant that isn't goopy. Ew.

LAUNDRY.

Computer mouse (thanks, Krista!)

Things I ended up throwing away:

The big ugly bag that held my laptop and camera. Too heavy. Ditched that in Germany.

Bars of soap. I'm still not sure if the gel I bought was body wash, but I used it.

My fear of boats

Caution while crossing the street. The cars will stop, trust me.

My skype credit. I think I used a dollar.

My travel towel. Ok, well, I think someone stole that.

My money pouch. I did just fine with a regular wallet.

Brilliant ideas:

Buying a mailing tube to keep all the art I bought nice and safe in my pack

Purchasing art from local artists in the cities I visited. (except the Picasso print)

Hanging a towel from my bunk to use as a "privacy curtain"

EARPLUGS.

Grocery shopping - amazing how long a few baguettes and some ham and cheese will last.

Shipping stuff back home halfway through my trip.

NOT getting a pedicure before my trip. Definitely need one now, though.

That little voice in my head that said "do it. you'll never have this chance again."

I was never pickpocketed (that I know of), I was never in danger, I walked streets alone at night, and got kissed by a seal. I flew to Amsterdam with a stranger, felt the wind in my hair on a dirty subway car, and never saw a Chili's. I smiled, slept well, met amazing people, and sang along to Mraz songs sung by foreign students. I drank wine with dinner, beer with lunch, but still craved American coffee with french vanilla creamer. I learned the true meaning of "breathtaking", and cried like a baby when the plane landed in Miami. It was the best 6 weeks of my life, and I can't wait to do it again...next year.