So it’s safe to say I’ll never be able to trust myself when it comes to booking a plane, train, or bus. From now on I refuse to let myself make that click, and will have other people do it for me…even if it’s a stranger in the school library. Before the Almost-Dublin-Disaster, I had never messed up like that, and now I have 0% confidence. I can’t talk to women, go to parties without being socially anxious and awkward, play a game of lacrosse without questioning my every step, or even talk to the cashiers at supermarkets and shops. I’m forever scarred, and doubt that I’ll ever regain the shining confidence I had before…
Of course I’m only kidding about my confidence shattering. But it does make me question my ability to book a flight, hell I might even end up accidentally flying to Lebanon instead of San Diego when I book my flight back home. Guess we’ll find out when that day comes.
Anyway, I’d like to add a few tidbits from our trip in St. Patrick’s Day. For the most part Mike told the whole story in his blog post about the trip. But I’m pretty sure we started hitting that wall around 12:30 am rather than 10:30 pm. At least that’s what I remember. Who knows, it’s probably the Guinness making that part of the day a bit blurry for us. As for when I dashed back into the pub while Mike and Tom chilled outside, I did hit that wall with them, but I thought to myself, “Screw it, I’m going to keep going. When’s the next time I’ll be in Dublin for St. Patrick’s Day?” and off I went. By chance I bumped into a few Americans at the bar while I was buying my drink, and we gave each other a few rounds of shots. One of the Americans and I got into a deep conversation about hostels and the app AirBnB. I have no idea why or how we got into that, but it was hilarious regardless.
Speaking of Americans, earlier in the day we bumped into two girls who happened to go to University of Wisconsin. What was trippy about this was that they knew my good homie, Jake Kream, who I met during the summer 2012 voyage of Semester at Sea. It’s moments like this when the world feels way smaller than it really is. Shout out to Jake and the rest of the crew, still can’t believe it’s almost been two years since that epic summer.
So back to the bar at the end of the day, an hour or two later, if you read Mike’s recap, you know what happens. Then I remember hoping into a cab roughly around 2:30 am. At the airport, it was hysterical how many bodies of passed out people were spread throughout the place, but eventually I joined the ranks with an hour power nap…I think it was an hour. Later on Tom and I made our way to the Starbucks to get some coffee, and we chilled for another hour or so while wired out on caffeine and staring at the TV screens waiting for them to announce the gate for us to go to, to get on our flight back to Manchester. Finally at 5:30 am, the gate went up and we made a beeline for it. When we got there, Tom and Mike sat down in the seats waiting while I took another quick nap on a kiddie ride with a giant bear in it, while also wearing my sunglasses. Pretty sure I looked ridiculous but I didn’t care cause it was really comfortable. At 6:30 am we finally boarded our flight, flew for an hour, landed, got into a cab, and made it home at 8 am. I passed out with my clothes on the bed, woke up two hours later, changed, and went back to sleep until waking up again at 6pm in the evening.
Safe to say, the 24-hour trip was well worth it. We met so many different people from different parts of the world, a couple of them being the Lithuanian girls who Mike and Tom were convinced were trying to marry us for green cards. The anarchy going on in the street at night was both fun and insane to be a part of, and I’m already looking forward to the next time I get to visit Ireland and explore the rest of it.
Two days after St. Patrick’s Day I had my 23rd birthday. It wasn’t crazy like Dublin was, but definitely a good day. I cranked out “Today Was a Good Day” at the end of it, it was that good. Our homie, Alex took me to his place in Golborne to watch the Man United vs. Olympiacos game with some of his friends. There was also a dank pizza place nearby called Q’s Pizza, which was hands down the best pizza I had in England so far. United ended up winning 3-0, and turning over a 0-2 deficit and moving onto the next round of the Champions League. Even more so, I was graced with the honor to wear a Man United jersey that was signed by Sir Alex Ferguson. Honestly, I felt like a damn Power Ranger putting that shirt on. After the game we had some good brews (in the UK brews refer to tea rather than beer), and played tons of FIFA.
Two days later, Tom and I were inspired to make an Epic Meal Time sandwich, or at least try to. The end result was a massive sandwich with the following ingredients; cheese, mushrooms, onions, peppers, avocado, bacon, meatballs, a chicken sandwich, ham, eggs, and beefs. Yes you read that right, a sandwich inside a sandwich. Safe to say, it was epic deliciousness. The following week was the last week of classes for us, and it caught me by surprise as I thought we had one more week to go. I definitely had a weird moment where I realized I was done with classes for the rest of my life. Although this week and next week we’ve got two projects to complete and turn in. One of them Mike and I turned in already, and we have our presentation for it tomorrow morning. Of course, we’ll kick ass at it and our professor will give us a standing ovation. Coming up in the next month, we have the Easter 8’s tournament where your boys will compete on the LTP team. Even more so it’ll be on 4/20, which will be epic cause…. anyone want to go guess why? Because it’s Tom’s birthday! That day will be a bundle of fun for sure. After that, on May 1st, Mike and I have our last exam for our International Branding class and we’ll be done with school, minus our dissertation, which is due by Sept. 8th.
At the moment it’s weird mix of emotions, as I’m eager to be done with school already, but I’m also wanting each day to go by slowly so that I enjoy my time here in the UK as much as I can. One things for sure, everything would be much better if I could bite into a danktastic burrito from San Diego, but alas nothing in this world is perfect and I’ll have to wait until I make my return to the Best Coast…er I mean the West Coast *coughbestcoastcough*.
Until next time, high fives for everyone!
Alberto Gonzalez LTP ’14 (aka still the Dark Horse aka your favorite Mexican aka the 0% confidence guy aka I don’t know why keeping aka’ing)