My Trip to Ireland’s Game of Thrones Tour

I’ve been dying to do something Game of Thrones related since I arrived in Europe. I missed the exhibit in London (and Amsterdam), and I even missed this tour when I was in Dublin last time for St. Patrick’s Day. And then a miracle known as  “booking the last seat to the GoT tour three days before I have to go” happened and my life’s dreams were realized.

My UNCW friend Tess is studying in Limerick University and invited me to join her and her friend on the tour. Me and Tess went to London for the Harry Potter Studio tour together back in February and ever since we became friends she’s known how passionate I am for GoT (I was the one that got her into the series). No way in hell was I missing this trip.

The GoT tour bus met at 7:30am and a by 8am the bus was packed with 30 show enthusiasts. The tour guide immediately starts giving a speech about our full day of sightseeing, but then threw a curveball right at the end. Tour lady said there would be a trivia contest. Whoever wins is crowned “King of the North” and get to hold Robb Stark’s sword for the day.

This, my friends, is called destiny. I don’t take pride in being a walking GoT encyclopedia for nothing. There was another fan on the bus dressed as Danaerys Targaryean with three different colored rubber duckies sticking to his shoulders who kept trying to get the rest of the passengers to start chanting “Mhysa.” I knew this would turn into the Trial by Trivia Contest deathmatch I’d always dreamed of.

Is it a surprise to any who know me that I won? I’ve officially reached the level where I can beat a bus full of Game of Thrones fans in a knowledge contest. I am a nerd! I am a KING! The CUBAN King in the North! I was instantly given Robb Stark’s sword on our disembarkment for our first stop: Tolleymore Forest Park. The tour dressed all of us up in Stark costumes and trekked us through the woods.

And please just look how stoic as fuck this shot is

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The park was gigantic and beautiful. If there’s one regret I have it’s I wish I could’ve gotten to stay here and enjoy the woods more. Woods which were used in the opening scene of the series where unknowing Night’s Watchmen got ambushed by the deadly White Walkers. I also saw the pit used for the decimated Wilding camp. Click on the picturess for a link to the scenes!

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A quick walk took us to our next scene: the ground where Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow made camp in the second episode of the show as they headed towards the Wall.

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The last stop in Tolleymore was the bridge where Ned Stark and his men and children find the corpse of a dead stag. The dead direwolf and her six pups were sprawled along the nearby stream. I could see why they chose this place for the scene, the stream was mystical.

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We ate lunch at Paddy’s Bar, a local pub the tour enjoys visiting. As we started eating, our tour guide told us two stars were on their way. I finished my meal while only mildly hyperventilating. The stars turned out to be the best actors of the series: Grey Wind and Summer, Robb and Brandon Stark’s direwolves! And OH MY SHIT THEY WERE ADORABLE

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After lunch was the big destination: the home castle to the Lords of the North, the much beloved Starks of Winterfell! But to be honest… it was a bit of a letdown. The area looked like some old-ish looking buildings amped up with CGI walls to create the grand Winterfell we all know and love. Just goes to show you real life sucks kids. Here’s some areas with their appropriate scenes:

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“Winterfell” had some great leftover props from the beginning of the series. You could pay to dress as a Northerner or go shoot archery in the same yard Brandon Stark did before he became a cripple. They also had a metal Stark shield and the Hound’s helmet around for show.

A few other random scenes were filmed in the area. Below is the “hanging tree” from the Season 2 Episode 10 where Brienne found three hanged Lannister women after they were brutalized by three Stark men. Brienne kicks ass and kills these guys, even stabs a man up through his groin. Awesome scene. Link (of course) is in the picture.

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Next came the castle of any GoT fan’s nightmares, The Twins of house Frey. Known best for the infamous Red Wedding scene. The castle looks a little different without the CGI dam extending over the water.

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We departed back to the bus for the final stop of the evening: Inch Abbey. A ruined castle where Robb Stark himself was crowned the King of the North by all his men at the end of Season One. I tried to look as heroic and kingly as possible. Episode link on the castle below:

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It was truly the greatest day ever. Even if I met the same fate as the King of the North (shot with crossbows, stabbed in the heart, and beheaded) I’d die content with life. Below is the promo video for the tour. If you ever get the chance to, I would definitely recommend stopping by.

Until next time, Valar Morghulis muthatruckas

PS – since this seems on topic: Kristian Nairn, aka Hodor, stopped by Swansea a couple weeks ago to party it up in Fiction. Sadly I didn’t hear any sick Game of Thrones remixes or “HODOR!” bassdrops that I’d hoped for but that gigantic man of fan favoritism knew how to DJ. And yes I wore my Game of Thrones shirt to this as well #nerdlifeisalllife

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Four Days Pretending to be Irish

Praise be to the land of saints and scholars. Stating this trip to Dublin, Ireland for Saint Patrick’s Day is one of the highlights in my abroad experience is an understatement. My pale skin fit me in perfectly with the country and I felt more accepted here than I ever could be in any native Spanish-speaking nation (or Miami). Ireland made me wish my family roots were descended from the green country, minus that whole great famine thing.

Anyways, I was one of the many Swansea students who left the University last Saturday night at 11pm full of eager hopes and dreams thinking about the next couple of days spent in Dublin. But an overnight 10 hour coach and ferry ride quickly crushed this wishful thinking and filled everyone around me with despair as they sleeplessly sprawled out across the hardwood ferry floors, plastic couches, and uncomfortable wooden chairs in order to steal an hour or two of sleep on our endless journey.

The best part had to be making it to Dublin at 9am Sunday morning, where we were all told our hostel rooms wouldn’t be ready until 2pm. Our escorts shooed away the 50 something hoard of sleep deprived zombie students for the next five hours.

Me and Jake the Explorer knew exactly what to do: head straight into the heart of Dublin and start the 4-day binge drinking right at the Guinness Factory. Seven stories of the best museum I’ll ever go to that only raised my appreciation for the magnificent black lager.

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The rest of the day (after a quick 2pm nap in the hostel) was spent exploring the city. At night I met some friends who were going the Cliffs of Moher at 7am the next morning. Spontaneity is the only way I live my life.

Cliffs of Moher

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Going to the cliffs started off as usual as any of my other adventures: completely disastrous. Since I’d signed up the night before I was an extra on the sold out bus tour. If anyone didn’t show up I could go on the trip, but if everyone came I would be sent to the streets. And yes, I did miss the bus that had an extra seat just for me!

So here I am, sprinting across Dublin chasing down taxis and chucking Euros at the drivers 10440845_10206617968314605_6222521456514389720_nuntil I was taken to the last Cliffs of Moher bus stop. I barely made it and thanks to my natural “good” luck, no one had taken the extra seat. Once again I was off to see the Cliffs.

It was worth the effort. The natural beauty of the Cliffs of Moher was stunning. Viewing the endless expanse of the four hundred foot drop was one of the many instances of my life where I noticed how tiny humanity really felt compared to the grand size of the earth we occupy. Gazing out into the abyss, I breathed in the salty air and allowed myself to resonate with the environment around me. I don’t mind feeling so small next to something so endlessly vast and old that it has no age. In comparison to nature, humans are nothing. And to me, that’s just fine.

I’m happy to write this sight off my traveling bucket list.

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St. Paddy’s Day

The prophesied day had finally arrived. After decking myself out in full green attire I went off to the great O’Connell Street in search of the perfect viewpoint for the annual parade. The streets were a sea of green with barely any standing room, offering no spot to witness the parade. So I aimed higher, with my sights on the O’Connell statue in the middle of everything. Perfect.

10559682_10206618017035823_2942826743401265964_nHere I met a Canadian elderly couple Anne and Don who helped me climb up the statue. The parade finally 11060845_10206618018435858_9006080415522805326_nstarted amidst the green spectators and it was out of this world.

And by out of this world I mean it literally made no sense. It’s hard to find any sort of Irish spirit in the random assortment of floats that traversed down O’Connell Street. My favorite had to be the largest green top hat/ trampoline float that was filled with partying leprechauns. It was one of the only Irish themed parts of the whole parade. The giant rubber ducky float was pretty cool too. Who knows what everything else was. At least there were marching bands.

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Once the parade ended it was only a countdown til we could hit Temple Bar area at 4. If Dublin was a large family with different sections of the city representing the opposing family members, then Temple Bar area would be the youngest and craziest child who belligerently warmed the hearts of all those around him. We quickly became best of friends, especially on the legendary evening of St. Paddy’s Day.

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Performers lined every intersection, cans of Heineken and Guinness were drained and thrown in the air, people stood in winding lines to get their faces painted, and everyone was kissing each other. There are very few things better than crowds of joyful drunk people come together in celebration and I was quick to join them.

I must’ve stayed out til about 2 or 3, where I went through fazes of 150779_10206618034516260_3379957339051090609_nlosing and meeting people. I lost everyone I knew by 11 and wandered/stumbled/danced my way through the cobbled Temple streets. I then hear, “Do you know Leo?” What!? I turn around and I am introduced to two Germans, Leo and Jonas, who are going around Temple striking up conversations with anyone who was willing to talk. We go to a nearby pub and talk about the meaning of life, the world’s current disastrous circumstance, and everything else in between. They then went around asking random people, “Hey, do you know Joel? He’s a real cool guy.” Leo, Jonas, you guys were awesome and some of my favorite people I met on this trip. I hope to see you German bros again soon.

St. Patrick’s Day was a dream come true. But there was still one last day left…

Phoenix Park

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Wednesday morning may not have been one of the proudest moments in my life. Maybe I woke to everyone glaring at me with sinister, judgmental stares as I stumbled through the hostel lobby, hoping to continue some post-celebrations from the festivities of the previous night. Luckily years of childhood ridicule, embarrassment, and self-deprecating humor taught me how to not give a damn what anyone else thinks of me.

I joined Jake the Explorer on another trek through the city before the University coach left at 5pm. As we mulled over our nights we found ourselves at the Jameson Whiskey Distillery, where Jake decided to leave me and enjoy the day sober. I decided to not spend my last day getting blacked out by myself in a foreign city and went off on my own solo journey in Dublin.

I wandered across the city until I found my unknown destination: Phoenix Park. The expansive green park caught my adventure seeking eyes from afar. At the entrance of the park sat an Irish man who kept calling me “amigo” and rented out hundreds of his bikes for the day. 5 euros later and I’m riding through Phoenix Park looking for a spot to sober up.

My adventure took me to a shaded conglomerate of trees off the side of the path. I rode into the heart of it and laid down on tree roots as my eyes closed listening to my favorite band Lord Huron lure me into the perfect nap. When I woke, I noticed for the first time how absolutely gorgeous the day was. Rarely do we ever stop and feel everything to be at peace in our lives. Strangely enough, this nap easily became the best part of my trip.

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I made it to the other side of the park when a twig sprung out straight from Hell and jammed itself into the spokes and chain, destroying the rental bike. An elderly man named Daniel tried to help me fix it but we both came to the same conclusion: the bike was fucked. I shouldn’t be surprised at my life anymore but it seems to always catch me off-guard. Thankfully Daniel gave me a lift and I got to know yet another random person in Ireland. I traded my bike for another one that I hadn’t destroyed yet and finished my stay in the city of dreams smitten with self-exploration.

Until next time Dublin. Stay classy you magnificent green gem.

The Best Things in Life are Free

Last Friday night I was stuck home with nothing much to do besides hanging out with my roommates and devouring the Welsh cakes I’ve become addicted to, when my roommate Megan came downstairs asking if anyone wanted to go hiking around some waterfalls Saturday morning. The trip there would be free with our bus pass.

And just like that I found myself joining a group of 10(ish) other Americans who love to go exploring across Wales. The group is fun, and while I may not know all of them very well I do look forward to getting to know them. I actually just booked a cross Europe three weeks spring break trip with them tonight! Spontaneity is my life. Oh and I’m one of the only two people in the group from Wilmington. Every other American in this group (and in Swansea) is from Iowa State University. Go figure. Here’s the group. There I am in the back doing whatever the hell it is I’m always doing.

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Brecon Beacons Waterfall Trail

I’d heard of the waterfall trail before but never had an opportunity to go. Now that I was tagging along with the group I was thoroughly enjoying the experience. The trail wound alongside a stream that nature made some beautiful little waterfalls out of. Here are a few of the shots I got of them

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See that spot on the left picture where the girl is standing? The one spot that any normal person with balance could easily stand on? I fell there. Twice. At least it was only two times, even if I was the only one who fell that day…

Cirque Berserk

That Monday night was a free circus show UNCW managed to pay for. When life gives you free circus tickets you’d better damn well go. And it wasn’t one of those “animal cruelty” circuses but more like an “acrobatic orgy of death defying stunts” kind of performance.

Trapeze girls in skimpy outfits, gigantic gorilla men tossing each other through the air, a clown (that didn’t look like he wanted to eat your soul) who couldn’t get his life together, four dirtbikes racing in a cage, a knife throwing act that came straight out of AHS Freak Show, and did I mention the Megatron robot that shot sparklers out of its arm?

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Basically it was the best thing I’d seen on stage since The Book of Mormon.   Circus Berserk you rocked.

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Three Cliffs Bay

And now comes this past weekend, where that same group I went off to Brecon Beacons with went to Three Cliffs Bay along the Swansea coast to see some great beautiful scenery. Another awesome free trip with our bus passes.

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First we traveled along the cliffs in the picture above, looking down at the steep grassy hills that vanished into the rocky death along the water. I wished I could roll down them, but decided my death will have to wait for a much more stupid opportunity.

Past the cliffs came the wide expansive beach. This area was endlessly flat with the exception of large rocks jutting into the sky along the cliffs and hills surrounding the beach. Look back to the featured image up top and lay your eyes on the beautifully sculpted work of art nature has created. I’d also give a look at the beach and rocks behind me, they were pretty cool too.

Underneath one of those huge rocks was a cave with a little blue lagoon. Instantly one of my favorite spots I’d ever seen. I mean look at it! This place is magical.

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On the other side of the cave we played on the beach. We kicked around a football we’d found in a nearby bush and played with the dogs people were walking around the area. The water was beyond freezing so of course I kept my feet in until I went numb. Once our beach trek had finished we continued onto the last leg of our journey: the ruins of a castle atop the steepest sandy incline devised by Satan himself. It wasn’t a fun climb but it was well worth the sights, which offered a magnificent view of the beach valley and the winding river that ran through it.

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With our final pictures taken and the mandatory group picture we were off back home to rest. Because the next day was…

Big Pit National Coal Mine

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No this is not a Welsh concentration camp (although some ex-miners might disagree). Just another free UNCW trip for all its transfer students in Swansea to a closed Welsh coal mine turned museum. We were given hard hats and sent 90 meters below the earth. Nothing with a battery was allowed underneath so no “inside-the-planet” selfies for me or anyone else. Which is fine, considering I spent most of my time down there crouching in tunnels meant for dwarves.

Being underground was a really cool experience, even if it was 10am on a rainy hungover Sunday morning. Our tour guide made the trip worth it. An older, large Welsh ex-coal miner who now makes a living giving tours and cracking jokes on everyone in his groups. But not in the obnoxious way, just the hilarious banter of a man making the best of his time until the shift ended so he could go grab the nearest pint.

I’ll add some Welsh coal mining history in here for anyone interested. Coal was Wales’ primary export for a few centuries, until all the mines got officially closed in 1992, leaving (I believe) about 12,000 people unemployed. This is still a huge deal for the nation and holds a variety of mixed feeling for everyone involved in mining. But at least the closed mines have been re-opened for tourism!

Overall I’m pretty happy to have found a way to go on so many great free trips recently. Next week is St. Patrick’s Day on the school trip to Dublin. I’ll be doing something incredibly wrong if I can’t make a good story out of that.

Until next time. And remember: don’t drop the soap.

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London Adventures and a Harry Potter Chinese New Year

It all started out with an idea. Neither me nor my friend Tess had been to London yet and we couldn’t find a reason to make the trip. Almost magically, Tess got us both tickets to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Seemingly overnight it looked like we were off to become wizards in London for the weekend.

Tess is a friend of mine back from UNCW and is currently studying in Ireland. We decided it’d be best to decide where to stay during our London weekend when we were together. But we didn’t completely realize that by the time she came in on Thursday night we had little more than 24 hours to find a weekend home in the largest urban society of the UK.

As a surprise to no one all of central London was booked. I already started thinking of the positives to sleeping on cold public benches when an ad from an elderly woman named Jenny popped up on the computer screen like a life saving angel. Her rules included “be nice to the cats” and I instantly booked our rooms. Our Saturday morning consisted of traveling to London from Swansea and finding our way to the outskirts of the city in hopes of finding the area we both sounded incredibly American trying to pronounce: Walthamstow.

Jenny’s home was very neat and cozy, giving just the right amount of space we needed for the weekend. She didn’t want her picture taken (yes I asked. I DO IT FOR THE BLOG!!) but here is her beautiful home/bookshelf and her cats Minnie and Pickles.

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Our next goal was an aimless wander across the city while sort of aiming for the London Eye and Big Ben. On our way to the two largest London attractions we stumbled upon another great tourist grabber: Chinatown in preparation of Chinese New Year. Sure the actual New Year may have been on the 19th this past Thursday but this whole sector of London waits until SUNDAY to party and celebrate. Godbless the Chinese and the year of the goat. Here are a few pictures gathered from my night along the Thames

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Chinese New Year 

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Happy year of the Goat! Pictured above is the centerpiece for one of Chinese New Year’s biggest customs: The Lion Dance. Two people act as the head and body of the lion as a large procession of drums, cymbals, and gongs create a beat for the lion to dance to. It’s customary for the lion dancers go around the block finding businesses that have cabbage strung above their doorways from a fishing pole. The lion then “eats” the cabbage and scatters the it across the floor to symbolize a fresh start to the year and spread good luck.

We went around Chinatown trying food on the streets, taking pictures with anything interesting, and bought our souvenirs. Mine included a haunted dragon poster and a Spongebob Japanese lantern. Here’s a few pictures of our day.

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Then the London weather hit as the sky turned grey and sprinkled rain onto the city for the rest of the day. We made our peace with Chinatown and left to see some other sights. I contacted a family friend who has been living in London for the past eleven years who we managed to meet at one of the oldest pubs in London The George. It had been built sometime in the 1500s and reconstructed after a fire in 1677. The pub was older than my home country by nearly two centuries and I had to down a pint to that.

And just like that our weekend in London was over. Now all that was left was our Harry Potter Tour that sparked the whole trip.

Warner Brothers Studio Tour

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I’ve been reading and watching the Harry Potter series since I was a kid and sure I like it but I’ve never been fully obsessed with JK Rowling’s magical world like so many others I know.

I was stunned by what I saw on this tour. I don’t think it really hit me that this old WWII airplane hanger could hold such large iconic sets from the films. Walking through the actual Great Hall and Diagon Alley made me feel like I had leaped out of Rowling’s writing and into the movie screens.

The tour had props, sets, costumes, and just about everything you could ask for from the eight major motion pictures. Even Hedwig, Crookshanks and Fang made an appearance. I realize now how much it took the film studio to bring the books alive on the big screens. I can appreciate the great work they made that will last for generations on a new level now. No one will ever re-make the Harry Potter series and that fact just shows how well done the movies will always be.

I have to say one of the top moments that stuck out for me was seeing a bloo10998655_10206430006575679_8211861588400804970_ndy Dobby mannequin in his glass box. A lot of thoughts raced through my head as I looked at the dead fan favorite. The most prominent one being punching through Dobby’s glass container and flinging him across the room screaming “DOBBY IS A FREE ELF! DOBBY HAS NO MASTERS NOW!” but Tess wasn’t a fan of the idea.

And now for my favorite part of the tour and possibly the whole trip. Here I am in all my Cuban glory flying across London and Hogwarts on my own CGI broomstick. Let the jealousy commence.

Let’s not ask how much this video cost me and move on.

If anyone is interested in more photos of the tour they’re all on my Facebook page. Here are a few before I end this overly long post. And be sure to go to London sometime! The adventures are endless.

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11021168_10206430014015865_1949013644729327411_nOne last thing: I found my own Sorting Hat and it put me exactly where I’ve belonged all along. I had a plastic pint of the best drink in the world to celebrate.

#TheNorthRemembers

#SoDoesThisCuban

 Until next time fam.

Losing Everything and Gaining Experiences

In the (almost) month that I’ve been in Swansea I’ve managed to lose my keys, my bus pass, and have me debit card get eaten by an ATM. I own the Struggle Bus and I can’t even get on it.

Onto happier news, I’ve (un)officially joined the Swansea Lacrosse Team. After a few weeks of emailing/Facebook messaging people I finally managed to get in contact with a player who told me to come out for a midday “session.” It sounded like a meeting to me so I dressed casually.

Wrong. Session = THREE HOUR PRACTICE. All of my Lacrosse equipment is still in the states so like the pathetic under-prepared sop I am I had to get everything from an injured player who couldn’t practice. Everything. This is the first time I meet the whole team and here I am stripping down to my boxers in 30 degree weather.

But honestly, once practice started I didn’t look half bad. The team is really laid back and I was one of the few with the most experience. I hadn’t played with a short pole for over three years and I still managed to score a few goals. The players even told me they’d need me for the season. Me! LNCS’s starting benchman is now proud to be a part of a (sort of) real team! Who would’ve thought. I should’ve seen it coming, just look back at me in my high school prime and tell me I’m not a champion.

The team liked me enough to invite me out to the bar they go to every Wednesday night. This week the team was playing a huge beer pong tournament. Oh my good holy gracious god. Beer Pong. How I have missed thou. I haven’t gotten to play since I left America. I don’t mean to talk myself up but I have been known to transform in my most inebriated hours and turn into a higher being that demolishes those red solos.

Last night wasn’t one of those nights. My partner was a pompous ass who introduced himself as Sausage who never played a game of pong before but thought talking big enough would make up for it. And the UK has these weird lame rules I’d never heard of before. Whatever, first rule of pong is house rules so I can’t complain too much.

I won the first match single-handedly in a performance so American it would’ve made a bald eagle roar with pride. Even Sausage for all his big talk was thoroughly impressed. And then the UK rules got to me and I lost the next couple of matches to the injured guy who lent me his gear. Whatever. I lost to a cripple. I’m not salty about it…

But the Lacrosse team was really cool, especially after we all downed a few pitchers. I liked hanging around with them but I knew I had to call it a night early on. After Saturday night’s catastrophe (getting stranded on Wind Street, losing my debit card and pleading strangers for a ride home in the freezing cold) I wanted a quiet and safe night for once in my life. And I have no cash until my new card comes in from America. The team wanted me to stay out with them but I knew I had to go once the drunk hiccups started and I fell up the stairs trying to get to the bathroom.

What can I say, I’m an all-star everywhere I go.

Lastly, I tried Joe’s Ice Cream today. It’s the one thing every person from Swansea has been telling me to go try since I’ve landed here. It was worth the hype. Only vanilla ice cream and it was in every aspect cheap and delicious Swansea culture. If you ever come here: go to Joe’s. If not for the ice cream for the experience.

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I know a lot of this post has been about being intoxicated which is all great fun but I’m prepared for something else. This past week I mapped out Wales and all the big attractions the country has to offer. Did you know there is A WHOLE ISLAND OF PUFFINS IN WALES?! I’m going to cross a few of these attractions off the list before I leave in July and hope to feel the excitement of real adventures very soon.

Until then, peace out girl scouts.

Swansea, Football, and the Hodor Rave that Almost Happened

Hello everyone!

Nearly every American I know that goes abroad has made a blog and now I guess it’s my turn to do the same. I’ve had a wide variety of adventures since I’ve been in Wales and I absolutely love being in a new country. There’s been a lot of changes in my life, the most important ones being:

I now cook my own meals! It’s like I’m finally growing up. I’ve also joined a gym so I can be swole again and break the 10 point scale with my (soon to be even more) chiseled form. And I have been writing a lot more than I had in Wilmington, which has made me a lot happier.

Onto my adventures: I’ve been all across Swansea. From sober treks through Mumbles to drunken stumbles across Wind Street, it’s been a good time in all memory and lapses of it. Except the night some drunk idiot threw up all over my cab on the way home from Wind St and ran away, forcing me to pay the whole tab. Have you ever felt like you could kill a person? I have.

As much as some moments have sucked, I’ve had my shares of amazing times. I’ve grown close to nearly all of my roommates, with the exception of the Chinese speaking girl who hides away in her room and everyone calls Cabbage for a confusing story that isn’t worth mentioning here.

My British roommate James is a die-hard Sunderland football fanatic (and a DJ!). James got me and six other guys together to go see a “real” football game against Fulham in London this past Tuesday night. That’s a 10 hour bus ride round trip from Swansea, and the game didn’t start until 9PM.

But my god was it worth it. The away section was fully packed with Sunderland fans who not once sat down the entire game and shouted obscenities at the Fulham section as if they had just insulted every Sunderland fan’s mother. Nearly every fan had to drive eight hours away from home just to see this game. On a TUESDAY NIGHT. Now that is dedication to your team. I’ve dearly missed sports while attending UNCW and this is exactly what I’ve been needing. Here are the seven of us right before the game decked out to death in Sunderland colors (provided by James of course)

And here all are the fans with yours truly.

Our seats were three rows away from the field and every Sunderland goal (3-1 final score!) was on our side. I hadn’t had as much fun watching a football game since watching the World Cup at Courts N Sports this past summer in Wilmington. We nearly broke the bar to pieces that day and not even a fire marshal was able to calm the raging crowd. If this game had been indoors I would’ve expected the exact same.

Each goal had the packed away section throwing each other in pure ecstatic joy. James stayed in London that night because he was alive with invincible energy after his team had won. The rest of us journeyed our way home on the worst bus ride I hope to ever been on. A five hour ride that started at 1AM. Absolute hell. Was it worth it?

Undoubtedly.

Here’s a good shot of how close our seats were. Fulham side kick against Sunderland in blue.

As fun as that day was, the next one was a bust. Hodor was supposed to come to Wind Street to DJ at Fiction, the best club on the strip. If anyone knows me even slightly then you know that the Game of Thrones show and A Song of Ice and Fire book series is all I currently live for. Kristian Nairn (aka Hodor) is a DJ in real life and is currently going across the globe on his Rave of Thrones tour. But, at last minute, Hodor cancelled because of an operation he had to go in for. He might come back at some point, but until then I am slowly dying inside… I’d give him one of my kidneys if it meant we could party together. I hate/unashamedly love this series for it’s impact on my life.

Anyways, these past few weeks have been really exciting. I love the new experiences I’m going through and believe it or not I feel like I’m on the way to getting my life together. But don’t worry, I haven’t stopped doing completely idiotic and awkward things that you would expect from me. I hope everyone in the states is doing well, I do miss you guys.

Until next time, peace out!