Happy Monday! How are you doing? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, paddle boarding, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, refurbishing furniture, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.
If you didn’t get a chance to read my last post - “my Irish love, Cork” - you can click here to read about one of my first visits to (arguably) my favorite city in the world. Otherwise, buckle up or strap on in and let’s continue this journey together! We’ll be spending the majority of this week there, so get excited to see some sights!
Mondays can be one of the more challenging days of the week. The weekend’s over, and you’re resetting back into work mode. Whenever a week resets (or whenever I feel challenged), I like to take time to find the joy in little comforts. I wrote in my last post that while living in Dublin, I tried to sneak away to Cork as much as I could. If I wasn’t overloaded with work for my Masters, playing basketball, or flying out of Dublin to elsewhere in Europe, I’d take a random day for myself to enjoy the train ride south to Cork. A lot of this had to do with giving myself a break from all the researching and paper-writing in order to continue having a balanced life.
I mentioned finding joy in little comforts. One of my favorite things to do when I’m feeling any extra stress is to slow down with a nice cup of tea and some yoga. This was very easy to do in Ireland because I regularly did yoga in my flat and tea is everywhere... and there is true division over which tea is best. But that is a post for another day. While in Cork, I did not take the time to slow down for tea, but instead, held my horses for some hot chocolate.
Recommended to me by one of my friends from Cork, the best hot chocolate I’ve had in Ireland (and, likely, in all of Europe) was from O’Conaill Chocolate. I will give an honorable mention to Butler’s Chocolate Cafe as their hot chocolate was also very good, but I found it to be too rich to be thoroughly enjoyable. O’Conaill's Hot Chocolate, however? Sinfully decadent without being too rich to finish. Delivered in a tall glass mug with a few chocolate chips on the side to either stir into your drink or just eat regularly, I became a loyal advocate for the dark hot chocolate. I’ve ordered the drink more than once and most recently with a hint of chili pepper for heat (because I am a girl who likes spice). Each time the cocoa has been consistently delicious, never wavering in quality regardless of who prepared it. If you’re ever in Cork, I would highly recommend skipping your day’s coffee and popping over to O’Conaill’s instead for a delicious hot cocoa (though if you’re someone who *needs* coffee, they have that, too!).
Do you have any secret cafés you swear by or places you go for sinfully decadent hot chocolate? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
1. Won't you join me?
2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand
3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery
4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab
5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style
6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin
7. pizza in roma
8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop
9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife
10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't
11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand
12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my
13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic
14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story
15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander
16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper
17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg
18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo
19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast
20. the world's most magical toilet
21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors
22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you
23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat
24. the next maxim cover girl!!
25. you can vote now!!
26. kindness at… the airport??
27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals
28. aren't gas stations amazing?!
29. not just mac's... supermac's
30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers
31. brown bread ice cream
32. Black Lives Matter
33. technology and theatre
34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto
35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company
36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad
37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness
38. thank you! round 2!
39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza
40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london
41. a special london edition nerd alert
42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time
43. that wanker Van Morrison
44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
45. LA girls love London green juice
46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley
47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails
48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden
49. dublin tattoo magic
51. thank you! Maxim round 4!
52. dublin bog bodies
53. dún laoghaire ice cream
54. local celeb sighting
55. 13.1 in Dublin
56. thank you! Maxim round 5!
57. every girl likes a bad boy
58. poolbeg lighthouse
59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast
60. bow to your lord mayor
61. HAPPY HAMILTON DAY!!
62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!
63. gulliver's travels in belfast
64. all aboard the HMS Caroline
65. all aboard the RMS Titanic
66. you know nothing, jon snow
67. cave-born shadow babies
68. afraid of heights?
69. giants and their egos
70. the Kingsroad
71. sunsets in Donegal
72. derry dining chains
73. Maxim Cover Girl Semi-Finals!
74. Spontaneity is Key
75. Dear Nana
75. blasket island centre
76. Nana's blue tin cookies
77. a dance lesson in Dublin
78. dublin to Royal Portrush
79. Shane Lowry's Open Championship
80. maxim and Belfast Chinese food
81. Irish beachy wild women
82. my Irish love, Cork