Weekend Wanderer

WWW: Day 11 – Magic at the Monastery

7-28-13

Today’s quiet beginning laid the foundation for a crescendo into spontaneous greatness.

The morning was spent in pleasant preparations for, and execution of, a church BBQ. I love barbecues, but I’m unused to the Irish version (re: wet. and indoors).

While it was still great hanging out with the locals, I still missed that summer magic that sizzles with the heat of the grill.

To cheer us up, my good friends Jonathan and Andrew invited us out for ice cream.  “Follow us!” They said, in a casual way that disguised their true intent:

One Hour Later…

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Welcome to our ice cream destination: Port Stewart, a seaside town. The seaside is, and will always be my favorite place, no matter what country I’m in.

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Like so many things in life, Ice cream is sweeter when you’ve had to wait for it. #deepthoughts

We ended up driving to the tiny resort town of Port Stewart. It was equal parts seaside and carnival, and the whole place seemed alive with holiday spirit – in fact, we stumbled upon a seaside celebration that included live music:

To this day, I don't know what this celebration concert was for, but it was awesome! *Blurriness attributed to shivering.

To this day, I don’t know what this celebration concert was for, but it was awesome! *Blurriness attributed to shivering.

My favorite thing about this concert, besides being right next to the Irish coast? When a drunk man came up and slung his arm around one of our team mates for a quick hug! The look on his face was PRICELESS.

“You’re my beeesssssttt friieeeenndd…” He slurred. Where was my camera?!

It was blustery cold, the sea was roaring, the sky ominous, and my heart was never lighter. Being part of a crowd often does that to me – I react strongly to the emotions of my surroundings (a blessing and a curse). When the concert was over, the boys took us on another adventure:

Cliff Walking!

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A good storm was brewing at this point…still we journeyed on!

There was something more powerfully thrilling about exploring after dark, despite the elements. The weather gradually got worse until the skies split with a deluge of rain. We shivered, we ran, we laughed, and I’ve never felt more alive.

When we tumbled breathlessly back into town at midnight, the sky suddenly exploded with fireworks! It was almost as if they were celebrating our safe return from the cliffs, and it was magic. The fireworks were set off behind the monastery that overlooked the town, illuminating its Gothic glory for all to see.

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The austere monastery that overlooked the town

I was breathless with delight (and I was winded from running back). The whole world seemed to shimmer and sparkle as the fireworks were reflected in the fresh rain.

IMG_2031This night will always stand out in my mind for all it’s impulsive, spontaneous, exhausting glory. These are the moments that live on past the tourism, because they made their mark on me.

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hello, farewell

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