What Finals Week is Really Like

When you go to a review session and no one has any clue what the professor is talking about:

After studying for 20 minutes:
college the office mindy kaling im smart dumb

Sitting in your exam like:
kim kardashian dumb clueless i have no idea what im doing college

Hour 12 in the library looks a lot like this:
coffee sex and the city carrie bradshaw satc guns

Emailing your professor asking for help like:
sorry adele im sorry music video hello

When you open your exam and see the first question:

Turning in an exam you know you killed:
beyonce flawless on fleek hair flip

Proper nutrition isn't even a choice:
pizza maya rudolph college

Coming home after taking 2 exams in one day:
falling bridesmaids couch melissa mccarthy

When someone asks you how your chemistry exam went:
football nfl houston texans jj watt not in my house

When you've hit your breaking point:
vodka done with finals party american horror story school

When your final grade is 1 point away from an A:

When it's finally over:
the incredibles finals week final exams dash incredible

Good luck y'all! Only a few days left. You can do it!


Let Go and Let God

From a very young age I have always been one to (let's see how to put this lightly...) not take it well when things don't go my way. If you ask my mom about games of Candy Land with 5 year old Tay, she will tell you stories of thrown gingerbread man pieces, scattered cards, and outright quitting. Kind of humorous now, but I know it wasn't funny at all then. Thanks to her and my dad, the habit of having meltdowns when my plan doesn't go through has (mostly) been broken.

I'm a planner. I try to reduce uncertainty down to almost nothing. I have a need to know what is going to happen and to control when it happens. I've never been one to go with the flow or to sit back, relax, and let things fall into place. Chalk it up to a fear of being late or forgetting something, but ultimately it's a desire to make things happen. I'm a firm believer that nothing works if you don't and I'll be darned if I'm going to work for something and then just sit back and see what happens. If I'm involved, I have to have a hand in the outcome. Planes can fly on autopilot, but they can't land themselves.

I don't think there's an area in my life that this applies to more than in relationships. People that come into your life are either a lesson or a blessing, and that is so very true for boys. Romantic relationships are hard and messy and complicated, especially in college. It's so exciting when you find someone that you get a long with really well and genuinely enjoy spending time with. You get that scary, butterfly, good feeling when you start to care about someone as more than just a small piece of your life. It's an addictive feeling, especially when they say they feel the same way. Then there comes a point where you have to decide: lesson or blessing? Pretty commonly, timing decides that for you, and man is timing the devil. So then you have to do exactly what I hate to do: let it go. Let the pieces fall where they may.

The truth is, God is preparing a man out there somewhere for you. He is preparing his heart, getting him ready for the biggest blessing of his life. God is getting you ready for the same thing. There is someone out there that was created just for you and that God has planned for you a future with. That man will be godly and honorable and trustworthy and kind. Maybe you've already met him, maybe he's The One that you think he is, maybe he hasn't walked into your life yet. Wherever he is, pray for him. Don't pray to be brought together because that will happen on God's time, not yours. Don't pray for God to give you a relationship with the boy that you like because if that's meant to be, it will be. Don't pray for what you want. Pray for God's plan to be enacted in your life. Pray for His guidance and wisdom to be set before you and to light your path.

If you are single, pray that your future husband is out there seeking God with his heart. Pray that he will continue to fight the good fight and that he will be blessed in his journey until you meet.

If you are in a relationship or are involved with a boy, pray that God will guide your heart with his plans and that you rely not on your own understanding. Pray that you are led by his wisdom, not your emotions. Pray the same for the lucky guy. Pray that your relationship honors Him and that the two of you honor each other. But don't forget to pray for your husband, too.

Let go of what you want out of a relationship, let go of trying way too hard for a boy who doesn't try for you, let go of trying to force something that has the wrong timing. Give God the reins and pray that your heart is open to Him. God's plan will result in an outcome that is infinitely better than one you could have come up with by yourself. Let Him guide your steps through love. He is perfect love and without Him, we wouldn't have a clue what love is. Let yourself learn from Him and let Him guide you to the one you are supposed to love.


A Letter to My Sisters

There are some things that I have learned in my 20 years on this planet that I so wish I had known when I was your age. As your big sister, I am compelled to share those things with you. See, you have it easy. Just sit back and let Big Sis make the mistakes and then do what I didn't. I don't mind though. That's what I'm here for! I don't mind figuring it out the hard way to make it easier on you. So here ya go, Taylor's secrets to school, life, and everything in between that I want you to always remember.

1) You are beautiful. Never let the world tell you any different. You were made in the image of the One who created you and there is not a flaw in you. You will look in the mirror some days and feel like you hit every branch falling out of the ugly tree. I promise you didn't. You are gorgeous on the outside, but that isn't what makes you beautiful. Your beauty comes from within. It is your generous heart, your compassion, you humility that makes you beautiful. Those traits will only enhance the outward beauty you possess. You can put lipstick on a pig, but at the end of the day, it's still a pig. Have a heart for God and a deep love for your friends and family and you will always be gorgeous.

2) Disconnect from your phone. I can promise you that there are few times that what is going on online is better than what is going on in person. Take your eyes off your screen and observe that is going on around you. Talk to your friends, watch the sunset, pay attention in class, be present. Not everything has to be documented. I love Instagram and Snapchat as much as the next person, but stop being so obsessed with capturing every moment. Keep some memories in your mind, for yourself. I was lucky to not grow up in the world of social media. I see so many girls and boys your age looking for validation through "likes" and "favorites." Selfies are not real life. Post meaningful pictures - candids of you and your friends, the sunrise over the ocean - and do it infrequently. Relax on the selfies; I promise no one wants to see 3 pictures of your face on their Instagram feed. If you are looking for compliments, go read Proverbs 3:15.

3) Talk with respect to Mom and Dad. Yes, they drive you crazy. Yes, they nag you. Yes, they don't let you do things that you want to do. But there's a reason for this. We too often forget that they weren't born adults. They grew up like we did. They made the same mistakes we did. They only want what is best for you and what we see as annoying and unfair is only an act of love. They changed your diapers and bathed you and fed you and love you unconditionally. They love you even when you yell at them. They love you even when you do what they told you not to do. That doesn't give you an excuse, though, to do those things. Stop for a moment and think about why they might be telling you to do (or not do) something. Consider their feelings instead of immediately snapping back. You only get one Mom and Dad and we're pretty lucky to have the ones we do. Appreciate them.

4) No boy is worth it. Worth what? Anything. The tears, the bad grade, lying to your parents or friends, abandoning your values. If you feel like you have to do any of those to make him stay - let him go. I promise one will come along that will make you realize that all the others were stupid and not worth it. The world is full of boys so be picky. Never settle, never think to yourself "I don't like it when he does X, Y, and Z, but I don't have a reason to leave." You don't need a reason. People grow apart and a lot of the time, people just aren't meant to be. Never chase a boy. What is meant to happen will happen on God's time.

5) Find a good group of friends who will be there for you no matter what. This honestly may be the most difficult piece of advice to follow. Friends are tricky. You can be friends with someone for 5 years before realizing they are not truly your friend. When you find a good one, though, you'll know. Those are the friends that you will stay in touch with when you are married and have kids. Find friends who will stay in the library with you until midnight, who will bring you doughnuts when you are upset, who will constantly make you laugh, and most importantly, who will push you to grow and be better and trust in God. Those friends are worth more than their weight in gold and just as God will bless a relationship with a good Christian boy, God will bless a friendship with a person who challenges you and constantly supports you.

6) Always trust in God. This has obviously been a central theme in everything that I've written, but it is the most important thing I can stress to you. When you go to college, your relationship with God will be tested and it will either A) tear it down or B) make it stronger. Unfortunately, A happens for many people. For me, however, my relationship with God has grown so much since I've been in college. Being on your own for the first time pushes you to find something to cling to, something constant and secure, and God's love is just that. But even being at home, there are challenges you are going to face, things that you can't deal with on your own. No matter what, God is there for you. Pray constantly and about anything and everything. There is nothing that God won't answer. You'll either get a yes, a no, or a "Wait, I'm planning something better." Tune your heart to God. At first you may think it's hard to hear him, but sometimes he speaks in opportunities and choices you have to make. He is always there for you, even when the world has seemingly turned its back on you.

7) Find your own happiness. This one is incredibly important. You can't rely on other people for happiness. No friend and no boy can make you happy. That is something you have to do for yourself, otherwise the world will swallow you whole. Find the little things in life that bring you joy - painting, listening to music, going for a drive - that you can do by yourself. I struggled for a long time with being happy in my life. I thought I needed things to be happy - a boyfriend, good grades, the cutest clothes, friends. Even when I had those things, I didn't feel fulfilled. Happiness comes from within and starts with a strong relationship with God. Finding happiness is a journey. Sometimes it involves doing unpleasant things - cutting people out of your life, making big changes, taking a leap of faith. Don't let any of those things scare you. When you are happy with yourself, you can be happy with another person, with your friends, with your family. They will notice a difference in you. Happiness radiates from within.

Love, Taylor


10 Things That Happen When You're An Animal Science Major

1. Your friends think what you do is completely disgusting.
I can't tell you how many times I've posted a picture of what I've done in lab, only to hear, "OH MY GOD TAYLOR, that is sooooo gross!" from my friends. Some days it annoys me, but most days I laugh and tend to agree. What we do is kind of gross, but someone has to do it. So why not us, those students that have a passion for the care and study of those animals.

2. There are a pair of muddy (and poop-covered) boots by your front door.
No matter how hard you scrub, they don't come clean. They are caked in material that should never make it past that designated spot on your floor. They're an essential part of your wardrobe, however, and are probably loved more than your favorite wedges.

3. Your hand will inevitably wind up in... various places.
I have pulled piglets, given pregnancy checks, practiced artificial insemination, and sampled rumen fluid from a cannula in the side of a cow. There is no longer a place where I hesitate to put my arm, for better or for worse.

4. You forget that not everyone at your school does what you do.
One of my good friends was telling me a story the other day of a trip she took to the dining hall on campus. She had just come back from one of the university's farms and before getting in line for food, she said to a friend, "Oh, I better go wash my hands first. There's poop on them!" Needless to say, weird looks came from all angles! We forget that everyone's first thought isn't animal poop. Something so typical to us is shocking to everyone else.

5. You have conversations that seem crass and crude if someone didn't understand the context (which they frequently don't). 
When I was taking reproductive physiology last semester, anyone who walked by the table my friends and I were sitting at in the library any given night were probably in for quite the earful. Discussing clinical reasons behind infertility in a bull probably isn't typical public conversation material, but for us conversations like that occur everyday. Almost.

6. You perfect the "strip down at the washing machine and run to the shower in your bra and underwear."
When you come home from the farms, especially the swine unit, your clothes go right in the washer and you go right to the shower. Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Don't even consider getting in bed without washing your hair first because it gets in your follicles. If you have to be somewhere before you can shower, those clothes get washed as soon as possible, as well.

7. You will be jealous of your non-science major friends. But not really.
Sleep becomes a luxury and studying organic chemistry gets old fast. The communications major life begins to look realllllly nice. Until you help deliver piglets. Then you realize all the stupid hard classes and all nighters are 100% worth it.

8. You find yourself apologizing to people for smelling like a dairy farm.
Or a swine farm... Or a goat farm... You get the idea. I once had to attend a presentation for the physics department after being at the beef unit. I brought a different pair of shoes, but wasn't able to change clothes. It ended up being very fancy with appetizers before and all that. And then there was me. Needless to say I got a few looks.

9. Everyone asks you if you're going to vet school.
And when they do, I just laugh. The pre-vet life just wasn't for me. So, PSA: not all animal science majors want to be vets! Some want to be nutritionists, professors, teachers, extension agents, and so much more!

10. You completely fall in love with your major.
Being an Animal Science major isn't just about the school... it's a lifestyle. You spend your days in classes and labs, only to go to various club meetings that night. Most likely you're passionate about agriculture and the future of our industry. It's a stressful life, but you wouldn't have it any other way because despite all the late nights spent in the library, your days are full of laughter, exciting new topics, and Instagramming adorable animals.


Ireland Day 2: Glaslough

It has been soooo long since I posted about our first day and soooooo long since I got back from Ireland. But better late than never, right! I left off when we got off the plane on Monday morning, May 11th in Dublin.

It took a little while to get through customs. The lady asked us how long we were staying and what we were doing there, stamped our passports, and then we were officially in Ireland! We waited outside customs for a few girls who were on different flights. While we were waiting, some of us grabbed a snack/breakfast from the little store. The cashier called me "love" and I think it was then and there that I fell for that country! An Adam Levine song was playing which struck me as funny. I guess I never thought about how dominant the American music industry is and how our artists are pretty much known worldwide.

When the other girls got off their plane, we trekked across the airport parking lot to our bus. It was a lovely day, bright and sunny and I got a little warm in the sweatshirt I was wearing. We got on the bus and driving on the left side of the road was really strange. The whole driving situation over there was pretty scary. You couldn't pay me to drive in Ireland. If you think Americans are bad drivers, you haven't seen Europeans. Everyone had a Ford which was pretty cool, too. We were heading to County Monaghan to the estate we were staying at for the first two nights... or so we thought!

We drove through a couple city blocks, residential-type areas. The houses were adorable, Notting Hill-esque apartments (a little less colorful, though!). We pulled up to a gate that I thought for a second the bus might not fit through. There was a large parking lot in front of a gorgeous, old building and there were people walking horses a little bit away from that. The sign on one building read "Army Equitation School!" The Irish Army has an equitation school, founded in 1926, with the goal to promote Ireland and the Irish horse through participation in International competitions. The soldiers that ride are all officers that have been through Cadet School. The horses are all Irish-bred and are most often named after places in Ireland. They are either bought, leased, or donated to the Equitation School. We got a tour from Lieutenant David Power and also spoke to another officer. They were easy on the eyes, and those accents probably just added to it!

An adorable little Irish duplex in a suburb of Dublin

One of the Irish Army Equitation School's horses
Lt. David Power and his show jumping horse. The picture doesn't do him justice (; The horses are stabled in the old infirmary barracks.

After our tour, we hit the highway to Glaslough! We stopped at a grocery store called Tesco and it was pretty cool. I bought a hair dryer and a pay-as-you-go cell phone straight out of 2005!

The drive there was beautiful and scenic and I tried so hard to stay awake to see everything. Jet lag, however, got the best of me. The exhaustion made me feel bus-sick and sleeping was just way too tempting. The few times I woke up, I snapped some pictures. I really wish I had gotten more, though.

We were running super late to Castle Leslie, so right when we pulled up, we jumped off the bus and ran to change into our riding clothes! We were assigned horses and they were already tacked up for us, so we mounted up and took a little riding evaluation. I was very self-conscious because I hadn't been on a horse in a long time before that, but it all came back pretty easily. I rode a little pony who was possibly part Haflinger, named Tigger, and boy was he named for a reason! Can you say 'bouncy?!' He was precious and once our evaluation was done, we headed out for a hack around the estate. It was an absolutely gorgeous day. A pair of riding pants and a light sweatshirt was so comfortable and it was sunny and just lovely. We rode through the woods, cantered up a hill, and then walked/trotted our way around their lake and down paths. Our guide pointed out Northern Ireland across a field. I didn't take my phone on the ride, unfortunately. I definitely could have and most certainly should have - the scenery was insanely gorgeous.

My riding group after our hack across the Irish countryside!
Tigger and I!

After riding we popped into the tea room and had scones with jam and cream and Irish tea. I honestly felt like a princess! We then drove up to our cottages that we were staying in. They were probably two blocks up the road from the entrance to the estate. We walked in and it was just incredible - they were so quaint and cozy! I don't have a picture of my room, but there is a picture of another girl's room. They were all different, but had very much the same feel. There was wifi, so I could text my mom that we had arrived at Castle Leslie. I got a shower/bath before dinner. We had a gorgeous claw foot tub but I couldn't quite figure out the best way to wash. There was no shower curtain so I effectively soaked the bathroom floor. I didn't particularly want to sit down in the tub (I'm so weird about that kind of thing) so an awkward shower it was. The tub was super deep and I almost slipped trying to get out of it. If I had the ability to Clorox it (germophobe problems) and some bubble bath it would have been amazing.

Y'all haven't lived until you've had these scones...
We headed to dinner shortly after. We walked to the estate through the little town of Glaslough and it was so cute. There was one pub in town (The Olde Bar), a pizza place, and a few really cute houses. Dinner was at the restaurant in the estate. They had a select menu for us. We had soup and this amazing bread followed by sandwiches of many different varieties and sherbert for dessert. Most of us ordered some type of drink and it was so fun passing them around and trying a bunch of different stuff! I got a Bulmers hard cider and that's pretty much what I drank the rest of the time I was there. It was delicious! I was kind of afraid to try the Guinness because dark beer and I usually don't get along, but I took a sip of someone else's and I was sold!

We headed back to the cottages shortly after and pretty much went right to bed. Jet lag is no joke, y'all!

That brings me to the end of Day 2 in Glaslough! I will definitely have a Day 3 post up before another 3 months passes, ha!

Ireland Day 1


Why I Don't Eat Chipotle

I love food. I really love Mexican/Southwest style food. Bring on the burritos, guacamole, and tortilla chips. I'm also a pretty basic (I might as well just own it) sorority girl. "This girl must love Chipotle," you're probably thinking to yourself. Or rather, since you more than likely read the title of this post, you are probably thinking, "Why doesn't this girl like Chipotle?! She totally fits in the Chipotle-demographic!" The reason I don't eat Chipotle boils down to this: as much as I love the type of food served there, I love agriculture more.

You have probably heard of the controversies surrounding Chipotle's advertisement and strong views on agriculture. They released the ad below in 2013, and have since released others justifying their views on the products they serve.

Update: The video has since been removed from YouTube. (2018)

The video is centered around the horrors of "factory farming." One term I despise is "factory farming." Agriculture is a business, it earns money, but no other industry has to be as individualized and scrutinized as agriculture. Factory farming is defined as "a system of rearing livestock using intensive methods, by which poultry, pigs, or cattle are confined indoors under strictly controlled conditions." The way animals are raised is for their benefit. Sure, chickens and pigs may be raised in houses, but chickens and pigs raised outdoors suffer from temperature-related stress and disease due to lack of biosecurity measures. The connotation of "factory" indicates machinery, robots, automatic production. While agriculture may be a highly technological field, nothing about production agriculture is automatic. Nothing about it is robotic or monotonous or cookie cutter. Crops die, animals die, things happen. Cars in the Chevrolet factory don't get sick. They are stamped out over and over again, cut from the same die. No two cows are the same. There is so much more that goes into raising animals or crops than punching out products. Nutrition, soil science, reproductive physiology, environmental regulations, monetary benefit for both producers and consumers. Farmers are the furthest thing from factory workers. They care about their animals and everything they do is for the well-being of the animal. If they didn't, they wouldn't make any money!

In late 2014, Chipotle suspended their first pork producer for failing to meet their animal welfare standards. They choose not to buy pork from conventional hog farms, or farms where pigs are raised indoors. They have began a relationship with a UK pork supplier that raises their pigs "naturally," or outdoors, with a number of other standards. Because of their pork supplier issues, carnitas are not available in many US locations, including here in North Carolina. Chipotle has a graphic on their website indicating pork production practices compared between industry standards, Chipotle pork from the US, and Chipotle pork from the UK. A few things caught my eye when reviewing this information. 

Chipotle requires their pigs to be raised outdoors or in deeply bedded barns. The graphic indicates that standard is required by Chipotle, but is not an industry standard. Pigs are extremely sensitive to heat. They don't sweat and have relatively small lungs. Average daily gain, or the amount of weight a pig gains per day, begins to decrease around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Research has shown that an average humidity of 30% coupled with temperatures higher than 82 degrees Fahrenheit will significantly affect the intestinal health and performance of grower/finisher pigs. This threshold is even lower for breeding herds. That climate is regularly reached on an average North Carolina day from April through September. NC is the number 2 producer of pork in the US, so it is safe to assume that some of Chipotle's pork may come from NC. Based on those temperature standards for swine health, keeping pigs outside in NC can be detrimental to their well-being. 

The chart indicates that the use of antibiotics to treat illness is an industry standard. Of course it is. They allow antibiotic treatment of disease in their UK pork only when necessary, but not in their US pork. Huh?! Why do they not allow US farmers to treat their sick animals? If your child was sick, you would take him or her to the doctor and get medication. Why does Chipotle not allow that for their US-raised hogs? File that under "things that don't make sense."

Finally, Chipotle lies about their stance on GMOs, or genetically modified organisms. A GMO is a plant that has been genetically changed to be produced more efficiently or otherwise have a trait that it did not previously have. One major example is Bt-corn. Bt-corn is corn that expresses some genes found in a naturally occurring soil bacterium. That bacterium produces some proteins that are toxic to the European corn borer, a pest that ravages corn crops. Bt-corn is safe for human consumption. Lots of livestock are fed corn, that of which is likely Bt-corn since 93% of corn in the US in 2014 was genetically modified. Soy is also GMed. Chipotle has decided not to use GMO ingredients in their food. Fine, every company has a choice in what they choose to use in their products. However, the issue comes in Chipotle claiming that all their products are GMO-free. They indicate here that the meat and dairy they serve may have come from animals who ingested genetically modified feeds. Also, a question I'd like to as Chipotle is, "Is your cheese GMO-free?" Over 90% of cheese in the US is made with a genetically modified enzyme that acts as a coagulant. They contradict themselves in various places on the GMO front. We have a free enterprise system here in America. If a company wants to do something or hold certain beliefs, that is perfectly fine with me! However, I can't get behind a company that lies to their consumers about the products they are being served. 

Ag literacy is a major issue in today's society. Very few people understand where their food comes from or agriculture in general. If a company wants to be an advocate for organic, grass-fed farming, fine by me. Chipotle, however, is spreading the ignorance that many ag students and professionals are fighting against everyday. Personally, my values about agriculture outweigh any restaurant, no matter how good the food might be.


Ireland Day #1

Almost 3 months later and I'm finally getting around to recapping my study abroad trip! Go me! I actually just made a photo book of this trip and I absolutely cannot wait for it to get here. Looking through the photos made me reminisce so much on it and realize that I want a recap of everything that happened here on my blog, so y'all can know a little more about what I did and so I can have a reason to daydream about Ireland again (-:

So, before I begin, here's a little bit about my trip and what our purpose was. There was a group of about 16 of us, all girls, mostly all Animal Science students, all from NC State, and we went to study the equine industry in Ireland. Europe does a lot different things with their horses, so we toured lots of different equine-theme facilities and businesses. We also, of course, got to spend a lot of time exploring the BEAUTIFUL country.

We departed the US on May 10. The majority of us flew out from RDU on the connection to Philadelphia, but a few of us went directly to Philly. One girl met us in Dublin. I had flown once (?) before when I was really little, but it was pre-9/11 and I don't even count it. I count this trip as my first time flying! All of my friends and family will tell you that I was an absolute wreck about flying. I can't count how many times I said that I wished I could just teleport to Ireland so I could avoid the plane ride. I researched planes, how planes work, what causes plane crashes, and so forth. Yes, I'm a little crazy. I packed most of my stuff on the 9th, oh and I found a Target receipt where I bought a bunch of stuff for the trip on the 8th. Did I mention I didn't finish my spring semester until the 7th? That gave me a good 2 days to pack and prepare myself for international travel.

I got to the airport on the 10th super early like the good flyer I am. Mom bought me a frappucino from Starbucks against my dad's wishes because he said it would make me have to pee. It did. Good think I sat at the gate for about an hour before we boarded- plenty of pee time. Saying goodbye to my family wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be (sorry, Mom). Of course I'd miss them, but I was about to go to Ireland for goodness sakes!

My suitcase was well underweight and my carry-on and personal item were the right size, so I was golden. I sat beside my friend Paige on the flight to Philly, and I can't tell you how many times I apologized to her for being so anxious! Sitting on the tarmac waiting for our plane to be given the green light for take-off was nervewracking! Once we accelerated down the runway, though, and we took off, I was completely amazed! It was a weird feeling, but I actually felt really safe!

Sitting at the gate at RDU!

Raleigh from really high up

NC from even higher up

Definitely one of my favorite pictures. God is an unbelievable artist!

I loved seeing the patchwork of the farmland from high up. 

W flew over the Chesapeake Bay and could see cargo ships on the water which was really cool. Here we saw a rainstorm over the Bay as we flew away from it.

The suburbs of Philly!

Landing at PHL. The rainbow was a beautiful touch!
Sidenote to show you how panicky I am: when we were landing in Philly, we approached over that river you can see above. I was honestly very concerned about why we were getting so close down over the river. An emergency landing a la Hudson River 2009 crossed my mind for a moment.

The flight was roughly 50 minutes (which still blows my mind) and we laid over for a couple hours. We got dinner (pizza!) and finally were allowed to board around 9:00 pm. I'm so glad I ate at the airport because the dinner on the plane wasn't that great! When we boarded, we sat for a little while, then the pilot announced they catered the plane wrong, so they had to replace all the food. By the time they were done, we lost our push back crew, so we had to wait for another one. We sat there for 30 minutes or so and I took a dramamine in the mean time. By the time we took off I was already sleepy! They finally came around with the dinner and drink carts. I heard one of my friends ask if she could have wine, but she wasn't 21 so she wasn't allowed. The steward got around to me and served me wine. Wine + dramamine = very sleepy Taylor. I got a window seat for the overnight flight in hopes that I could lean against it to sleep. That didn't happen because the seat was a strangely far distance away from the window. I slept uncomfortably for maybe an hour and woke up to my neighbor's feet all in my foot space. I wasn't happy. Plus, he was just sleeping away. Some of the girls on the trip had aisle seats with no one in the row, so they got 4 seats to themselves to stretch out on. That must have been nice! I had to pee for a while but I didn't want to wake up the man beside me. He finally woke up and I went to the bathroom (it took me a while to figure out how to flush the toilet) and when I sat back down I made a grave mistake. It was 12:30 am EST. I haven't a clue where we were over the ocean, but it was much later than 12:30 am our time. I opened the blind and this is what I saw:

A strangely disorienting sunrise from 40,000 feet in the air. Yeah, I felt like I was in outer space. After that I was wide awake and kept lifting the blind ever so slightly to watch the sunrise.

We landed in Dublin at 8:00 am or 3:00 am at home. We crossed over the entire country and turned around over the Irish sea to come into Dublin. There must have been strong winds over the Irish Sea because the landing was bumpy. The plane would do this weird dropping thing where it felt like my stomach was floating and my mind thought we were falling out of the sky. I stayed calm and the pilot did a fantastic job. For all the turbulence, we landed so smoothly! Catching glimpses of Dublin as we descended was fantastic.

I'm just into May 11th, so I'll stop there!
Taylor Jenkins. Design by Berenica Designs.