I'm excited to share my adventures with all of you! I want your first taste of my life in Ireland to be this poem that I wrote very late one night when I was a Junior in College. Its meaning seems eerily prophetic now. More than anything, I've created this blog to make the actualization of this life-long dream of mine visible to those I love: my friends who are my foundation, my endlessly supportive family, my mentors and co-workers who inspire me, and my former students who have given me enough satisfaction and fulfillment to last two lifetimes... Have the courage to believe that your wildest dreams can come true.

Is fhearr fheuchainn na bhith san duil, (It is better to try than to hope)

Mourn (A Seaside Peak in Southern Ireland)

The dark, earthen sod saturates her fair feet,
but briefly since she frolics fast in knee high
blades of greenest grass that blow dizzily in the Celtic-sea air.

Her wool skirt, stiffened by ware of evenings past
is splashed by cresting waves that break
against a beach blacker than her hair.
Those once stiffer fibers were loosed by nights upon nights
of hanging perfectly on his line before being wildly blown dry
by the crisp Hibernian salt air.

The pair sits to rest a while instead of dodging
breakers or skipping paler stones.

"Indian summer's here," he says softly,
but all of summer here feels like the edge

of autumn to her, even though she grins in agreement

as she dangles her pale, soft feet off Achilles' peak,
where Erin's vermillion-gold sky meets
an ocean that is grey with years.

She sleeps with her eyes closed tight most nights.
He asks her if she believes in Tier-Nan-Og,
and she asks him if he believes in anything eternal.
Outside the tide is rising, or it's receding—
She never can tell but for the strengthened smell of
salty freshness strained through his light, lace curtains.

She thinks to herself that he is like trying to hold the sea

and she imagines the water running between her fingers--
clenched so tight.

And so, the night calls her out of her sleeping,
like daytime chides her into dreaming.
She slips her white fingers through the holes of an old loose scarf
that affords her more company than warmth
on these newborn autumn evenings. She is off--
Night clouds reflect emerald from land to sea,
And the tara that she never eyes from long hours of
staring too far into star blanketed skies,
feels cool against the thickening pads of her pallid feet.

Elisabeth Lewis (2005)

17 January 2012

Into the West

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
- George Bernard Shaw

This is the first week of class, and last weekend was spent on a GLORIOUS trip to Galway, the Aran Island, and County Clare with my friends from college: Candace, Rachael, and Liz. Words can't really describe the trip, so I'll post what pictures I have from my phone, but they will hardly do justice to the beauty and fun that we experienced the last few days. I hope to bring you some of Candace's DSLR pictures from our trip later this month. 

I'll speak to the places we visited briefly, to serve as travel suggestions. First, Galway was so quaint and charming, and nothing at all like Dublin. We had such a good time on our pub crawl around Eyre square, and a lovely stay in Snoozles.

We woke up early and witnessed a beautiful sunset over the Atlantic and a lovely drive along the Connermara coast to our ferry that took us to the magical land of the Aran Islands. The Islands are made up of three: Inismor, Inishere, and Inisman. We stayed on the largest, Inismor, where all of these pictures were taken. We spent the day hiking to the hundred-foot cliffs, broken off of the Cliffs of Moher thousands of years ago. And unlike the Cliffs of Moher, there are no guardrails to keep you from the edge here. We had a great tour of the Island, and sat in a warm pub, sipping pints before we turned in early at our beautiful B&B, Clai Ban

Sunday we drove to the Cliffs of Moher--One of Ireland's most famous and breathtaking treasures--We had a great time and completed the trip with an amazing seafood lunch at Vaughan's in a sleepy valley town called Kilfernora.

View from Cliff's edge in Inismor

The thatch roofs on these cottages last 20 years and cost 10,000 euro.

Cliffs Edge, Inismor

Walls on Inismor, view of harbor

Liz and Rachael on Connemara coast
Me and Liz having dinner on Inismor

11 January 2012

now i know why they say the best things are free|

Because of a little bit of bad luck with the USPS around the holidays, I've been trapped errr.... sequestered in Dublin for the last 7 days with very little money. Tomorrow my money becomes available! Hooray! But I wanted to reflect on the last week and what I've done to keep myself occupied on this glorious island during the first week of the New Year before School Starts the 16th! It would've been easy to be bitter about the delay, but I'm glad I got to remind myself that the old saying is true, the best things in life really are free!

If you don't believe me or Monica, check out this great SLATE article!

10. Discovering new routes for my 3 mile run [and the old faithful to school]
9. Deep cleaning the apartment. We're talking bleach on mold & intense dusting and much needed home repairs
8. Window Shopping [and making lists for spring wardrobe]
7. Catching up on Skype! 
Shout outs to Sissy, Vero, Leslie, Joshua, Magan, and Matty for some awesome sessions :)
6. Getting my gluten-free diet started with some fun new recipes
5. Awesome DIY manicures
4. Walkabouts--finding those hidden nooks in the city
3. Emailing my professors to the point of annoyance 
2. Great PODCASTS! Like This American Life, varied Yoga workouts, Wait, Wait, and The Sam Livecast
1. Season 2 [the best season] of FRIENDS

Tomorrow I'll be doing some shopping and fieldwork before heading off for a cross-country road trip with the girls on Friday. The time alone has actually flown and I'm so excited to have a full house :)

06 January 2012

New Year's Eve Kiss

I haven't had a real one since since 2003, and 8 years later the tradition continues... but since Matty and I are 5 timezones away, we gave eachother a virtual kiss :D

I feel bad, his is way more passionate than mine, right? oops.

Back...Home? in Dublin And New Year Resolutions

I'm back in Dublin and preparing for an EPIC road trip with Candace, Rachael, and Liz Wills next week! Until then I'm getting stuff done around our apartment and doing some fieldwork (surveying) a bronze age mound out in Phoenix Park and stocking up on groceries for my new gluten-free diet. Instead of one GIANT resolution, Paul and I had a great idea to do mini 30-day challenges all year. My first one (until January 31st) is tackling my wheat/gluten sensitivity and eliminating it from my diet.
Next is Yoga every day for 30 days, then
a recipe from my new Nigella cookbook every day for 30 days, then
running every day for 30 days, and then, my friends...
I will have exams and go home to Chapel Hill to write my thesis!!

Let me know what your resolutions are!

The Holidays were amazing, despite my bout with Strep/Tonsilitis and Matt's sickness quickly following. Some highlights from my December trip home include:

10. Celebrating Leslie's 28th birthday with Lilli and Lori on Franklin Street!
9.   Christmas Day family performance of "One Fine Day" for AK + Sol
8.   Seeing former students in Siler City
7.   Lots of kisses. And Christmas shopping.
6.   Christmas Eve service at Duke Chapel with Mom, Sol, and AK
5.   QT with Far and Jason in Charlotte
4.   Going to Tricia Ann's Yoga class!
3.   Feliz Navidad with Magan
2.   Running into  CANDACE and Rachael at the Rembrandt exhibit with Matt's family
1.   Rendezvousing with Frank and Paul in London for New Year's!

Bridge over Thames

Tate Modern

Leslie's Birthday!
Me and Hannah Bear on Christmas<3

07 December 2011

where in the world i will be in 2012

So i pretty much make it the object of my life to be as happy as possible wherever i am. Currently, if you haven't heard, that is bed with a sinus infection for a week. While currently outside it is really freaking blustery. And I feel like I'm the only person who acts like it's freezing when I'm outside?!
I'm getting out of the house all day tomorrow for a much needed doctor's appointment, meeting with my Professor, and a little Christmas gathering of girls at Indra's on the North side. But the past 6 days have left me restless, all the more since I was holed up writing my papers the whole 2 weeks before i fell ill :(
Needless to say, I'm not feeling the winter wonderland at the moment...SO I'm allowing myself a little escapist activity! These are the five places I'm looking for jobs next fall! First of all, don't panic OR get excited. It might not be a long-term stay because I sort of want my first archaeological job to be on site, and it is of course, me. And, FYI, I haven't lived in one space for more than a year since 318 Tranquil Ave. (the house i grew up in for all of you who are not fortunate enough to be Charlotteans) Second of all, lobbying wont help your cause. I'm going where the jobs are.

So these were my criteria in choosing:
1) Must contain at least 5 people I love (that's EASY)
2) Must have ample opportunities for either A) fieldwork or B) Cultural Heritage Management
3) Must not have a LONG and/or COLD winter (sorry, Boston)
4) Must be able to drive around (Not that I was even considering you, New York)
5) Must not be somewhere I've already lived (Oh, you were so close, Carrboro)

Essentially I've learned: Cold + Lonely = SUCK. So with no further ado, and in no particular order...
Where in the world would YOU go?

5. San Antonio, Texas
The River Walk at night.

I am in love with this city. And NO, it has nothing do with the fact that it is my ex-boyfriend's hometown (though his family is divine). Although, it does have a lot to do with the fact that it is The BINKLEY Family's hometown. San Antonio is very warm, very outdoors oriented, it contains a best friend and a church built in, and SO MANY great cultural heritage opportunities! Lots of parks and museums and lovely, lovely DRY heat. I've always had some mysterious draw to the southwest. Maybe it's Cormac McCarthy, maybe it's being a cactus, I don't know, all I know is I love this place. Have you BEEN to  The Alamo? But I would be lying if I didn't admit it's the dark horse.

4. Asheville, North Carolina
What's up most favorite city ever!? The only drawback to Asheville is that I'd never leave. The mountains! The fresh air! Downtown! The Music--the life! If you've never been to Asheville, you're missing one of the most beautiful jewels of the Blue Ridge. Imagine warm days, cool nights, fog rolling in over the mountains, distant thunder. Perfection. Everyone knows I would live there in a second, with a big wrap around porch, and a barefoot, bearded, granola eating boyfriend. Asheville has some great Heritage Management sites as well. I worked with the Folk Art Center and Scottish Heritage when I was researching a Celtic cross there in Undergrad.
Definitely the contender.

3. Washington, D.C.
 The favorite of many. I think in 10 years there's supposed to be a high-speed train between DC and Raleigh, which is quite appealing for family purposes! Plus, SO MANY people I love live in the greater DC area, and I would be instantly welcomed with their warmness and generosity: two Liz's, an Anny, Gary, 3 handfuls of sorority sisters. It's certainly the reasonable choice--home to the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, a slew of museums and heritage sites, and a great need for commercial archaeologists. It's just weird I've never lived here because i have spent so.much.time. in this city. Applying will be well worth it, my heart in it? AND WILL THE WINTER BE COLD? cuz in case you didn't get the memo, I'm done with that!

2. Los Angeles, I can't believe I'm typing this, California

The unexpected. I didn't mean to love L.A. I just do. Reminds me of someone else in my life (whose grandparents happen to live in Laguna Beach). There are A LOT of digs in Southern California, and though most would argue that frozen yogurt is the only culture in L.A., I looked into it and...there are heritage sites and they are hiring in Santa Ana and other towns outside of L.A. So this is CRAZY. I know. But it's making the list. Some things you just can't explain :D All I know is palm trees and deserts make me feel alive in the best way. Sort of like being in love?

1. Durham, North Carolina

Old Faithful. Well, there it is. The safety. That's not meant to be ironic. I know Durham is not the safest. But it sure is beautiful and big and CLOSE to my wonderful family of little ones, and FULL of people I LOVE and have loved for a long time. Yes, there are more jobs to be had in the other four places I listed above...but Durham is full of opportunity and familiarity. What a blessing when those twain meet :D

FYI- I was listening to Michael Buble's Christmas album on Spotify when I started this blog. HOW AWFUL? WHO continues to give him a microphone? Switching it up to Florence and the Machine's
new album, Ceremonials, was an excellent decision. If you don't have it- GET IT NOW. seriously.

06 December 2011

The little things.

And students protesting the Irish government's education grant revocation with a papier mache Phoenix over the Liffey

This is Narnia.

twelve looks of christmas.

Last thing to get on my wishlist!

OK, so being a poor college student [again] has done some amazing things for my personal STYLE...

First, i have absolutely ZERO disposable income, so I'm constantly daydreaming about things i would buy if i could. plus, EUROPE is much more fashion-FORWARD than even the most Metropolitan parts of the USA and Dublin is NO exception. The colors here have been vibrant this winter: MUSTARD is everywhere, as well as CERULEAN BLUE and [of course] EMERALD green. I'm all about making a statement with my clothing and accessories, and being a student again has FORCED me to be more CREATIVE with how i manage to do that. i like to think of it as.. "THRIFTY CHIC."

FURTHERMORE, i think the more you get to know yourself, the more YOU permeate through your fashion choices, and the better you look. So of course, my abundant alone time gives me AMPLE ELISABETH knowledge, which makes it easier to pick out what IS ME and RULE OUT what is not [like I did last weekend with the winter coats]. My friends can attest to the fact that i have often picked up something...whats the word? ECCENTRIC. They turn up their noses initially, and then BOOM--i put it on and it instantly becomes a another FACET of me, that is not only ACCEPTED, but dare i say...COVETED?

THUS, i have come up with my TWELVE looks of CHRISTMAS [or the HOLIDAY SEASON]. i did [or am in the process of doing] everything on the cheap, and in some cases just recycled things i already had laying around, but that made a brand new holiday pop when paired with something else. i hope you enjoy. i'm looking forward to taking TONS of pictures in NORTH CAROLINA over the next THREE weeks and even more photos in LONDON & ST. ALBANS, UK over NEW YEARS + EPIPHANY as well. Can't wait to post pictures from the my holidays :) try as many as you want for yourself....though i will admit leather leggings and false eyelashes are not for everyone :)

Sissy picked up one for me from H&M in Chicago
12th] RED nails and LIPS
11th] subtle GOLD eyeshadow
10th] PLEATHER skinny pants
9th] SPARKLE skirt
8th] NUDE gloves
7th] false EYELASHES- ala Adele
6th] Signature COLOUR [mine is EMERALD, duh. but my SISTER's are blush&bashful] do YOU.
5th] The WAVE. See how to do it here!
4th] Cable-knit SWEATER [preferably hand-sewn in Donegal] jk. but look how well the king does it!
3rd] SEQUINED accent of your choice
2nd] RIDING boots
FIRST] FUR VEST. faux, of course ;)

inspired by Carrie in the last SATC in Paris

Love this color and up to the knee height
Perfect fabric. Perfect color. Tis the Season!

It took me a REALLY long time to fit these pictures together on my MAC format, I'm sorry if it's not coming through on your screen, I'm still getting the hang of the graphics (the writing is more my forte)