Ok, it’s not quite “travel” per se, but last weekend we went to Cork.
I grew up in Cork since I was about 4 after we moved from the USA. I always loved it but I was always the “American girl”. I was never considered a true Corkonian. When it came to choosing my college course when I was 18, I realised that I needed to get out of Cork. It was not in an effort to ruin the good name of Cork, but I needed to just grow a pair and leave. By that, of course, I mean wings. I needed to grow a pair of wings.
That was nearly 7 years ago now and I have lived in Dublin ever since. I love Dublin and I immediately got stuck into everything that I could get involved in in college: class rep, Cumann Gaelach, D.U. Players… oh the latter was what really stole me from Cork, and probably from my studies for the most part!
In late 2009 my parents moved from Cork to Dublin because this is where they’re really happiest and it’s where the family first grew, before I was born. This was a massive strike to my identity, however, because I realised that I hadn’t spent any time in Cork in 3 years at that stage and now I no longer had a home there.
So the last time I was in Cork was 2 years ago. Since then the majority of my Cork based friends have emigrated. However, the mutual friend that introduced my boyfriend and I invited us to his wife’s 30th birthday party last weekend and I got ridiculously excited about it.
*Click* – Attending!
We drove down sometime after Frank finished school (he’s a primary school teacher) and arrived at around 8.30pm at Jurys Inn in the city centre. The place was empty. I couldn’t believe it! There seemed to be nobody out on the street. Frank assured me that this was because Cork still has a town culture, where the town empties out for an hour or two while people go home to get ready to go out. It’s like I had just forgotten this, or had gotten too used to Dublin.
I was excited to use my new makeup (mentioned in the previous post) so I got ready:
While Frank sent me photos from the bar:
We then went to The Bowery for the party, and arrived just before the birthday girl was presented with her cake. We met a few people who we had worked with in the Irish College on Cape Clear where we first met and it was so nice to catch up. We also met some people who we had met at the wedding in Kilkenny in December so it didn’t feel like I was completely removed from Cork. The party was great, and in true Cork tradition, we ended the night with some very unhealthy food from Hillbilly’s on the Grand Parade before getting a taxi back to the hotel.
The next day we awoke to some stunning weather!
We checked out of the hotel at 12pm and left our stuff in the car. We then walked over to Scoozi’s restaurant, which had a big queue as always! Frank had a chicken dish and I had a little pizza. It was just as delicious as I remember and was exactly what I needed to wake me up.
We took a walk all over town. We went to Opera Lane, which I still hadn’t seen. Then on to Paul Street and French Church Street. I bought Frank a t-shirt he’d been wanting for a while.
The English Market seems to be thriving since the Queen’s visit. Even for a Saturday the place was absolutely buzzing. There was a great little outdoor market on the Grand Parade too where we got some lovely juices.
Sadly we had to leave after that. I really wish I could have spent longer in Cork and maybe seen more people but it just wasn’t possible on this trip. I will definitely have to get another weekend in Cork before the year is out.