A week ago, the CCVs had a Youth ministry training in Queens. So, we took the opportunity to explore Long Island a little bit. Our first stop was Jones Beach, of course. After running to the water and walking around in the sand a little bit, we headed back to my home parish for the vigil mass. Then, we had a St. Patrick’s Day dinner with my Mom and Chris.

Overall, it was a really nice day. And I was able to show my housemates some of the reasons why I love my home.



The Most Long Island Day Ever (Part Two)

I think that y’all know how much I love the North Fork of Long Island. Over the past year, I’ve been out there about five times. I’ve written about it in The East End, Greenport: my little slice of paradise, Agape, Lavender, and A Day in Greenport.

As I said in my last post, my friends from high school have been home, and we decided to explore LI a little bit. Tuesday, we went to the North Fork and explored Greenport a little bit. Originally we wanted to visit Lavender by the Bay, but sadly it was only open on the weekends in May. (next time though) So, we walked by the water while we waited for this sleepy little town to wake up after a busy Memorial Day Weekend.


As we walked, I found a bunch of great beach glass. So now it actually looks like I have a collection, and not just a couple of pieces. We also made friends with a shiba inu, chow mix, and a beagle mix. My friend Megan is great because she’ll just go up and start talking to people about their dogs, and then we all get to pet them. So, its good. Then we stopped in the local bookstore (you can reach about that here) and went into the White Weathered Barn (one of my faves.)

We wanted to go to Lucharitos for lunch, but due to renovations, they were closed for the day. So, we ended up at a cute little luncheonette where we each had a delicious meal. I had pulled pork, Megan had fried chicken, and Sandi had fish and chips.


I love the East End.

The Most Long Island Day Ever (Part One)

Whenever people are home, they want to explore the natural beauty that this very Long Island has to offer. So early Sunday morning, we set out for The End. Montauk, NY is the last town on this Island, and is a huge attraction for locals and tourists alike. We started our day with bagels and iced coffee. We drove all the way to The End, and spent a couple of hours at the lighthouse. We decided not to spend the money and go into the lighthouse (because we’re all new graduates who don’t have jobs) but the state park that surrounds the lighthouse is gorgeous and definitely fulfilled our needs. Also, you can see the lighthouse from almost anywhere in the park. 

After spending some time at the lighthouse, we drove back into town. There we walked around, and eventually ended up at the beach. Being that it was Memorial Day weekend, the place was packed! However, I had to parallel park (but check out that parking job!) We spent some time here and figured out our next step. We passed a few vineyards on the way out to Montauk, so we used our trusty smartphones, and found one that we wanted to visit!

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And so we ended up at Duck Walk Vineyards. It was beautiful! And this place was totally cost-effective for a group of post-grads. To taste five wines, it was only $8. Yea, I know. It was great. So we took our time, tasted some local LI wine, and some purchased gifts. I would love to go back here one day and take advantage of their outdoor seating. They had chips, pretzels, hummus, and cheese for sale inside. I didn’t realize it at first, but you can buy some snacks, a bottle of wine, and sit on the vineyard property while a folk singer plays guitar. My first time at an LI winery was a success.

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So this is only Part One, because a few of us took a ride out to the North Fork on Tuesday. So stay tuned for that post!

Do you have any favorite local road trips? I’d love to hear about it! I’m always looking for cost effective day trips to take! It’s probably one of my favorite things to do!


The East End

So, for the past year or so, I have had this affinity for the East End of Long Island. So much so, that most of my friends are aware that I will drive out there at the drop of a hat. 
One of my friends took me up on that. I received a text on friday afternoon asking to go out to the North Fork on Saturday. Of course I said yes. She is finally home for good from school. On top of that, she just found out that she’s going to Columbia next year… So we celebrated, and she had delicious sangria. Congratulations, Sandi!

IMG_1778We arrived in Greenport at about 1:30 in the afternoon. So our first stop was my favorite Mexican restaurant. It’s called Lucharitos and it is the best little restaurant in Greenport. We actually went on a good day, because they will be closed for the month of March. Now, this isn’t because of a lack of business during the off season, its because they’re expanding the restaurant! Sandi is the fourth person that I have brought to this little joint on the edge of LI. Well, apparently it lived up to the hype! I’m glad that she loved it as much as I do.

Our next stop was Burton’s Bookstore. A friend bought this store at the beginning of this year, and is slowly renovating it. I bought an awesomely, beautiful childrens book called, “Adventures through the North Fork- Autumn.” Scott (the owner) was telling me that the author of this little book lives in Greenport and has some pretty cool prints as well as other books.

IMG_2543Here is an image of the book from Danielle Malmet Rodger’s website. I’m really excited to look into some of her other work!
After perusing the book store, we went next door to The White Weathered Barn. We walked around this eclectic shop and looked at all of the locally made products. I love going in here. I bought myself a small print of Long Island, which I hope to frame for my desk at home. Long Island is special to me, and now I’ll always have a reminder of where I come from. 
IMG_1779We ended the day at the Tanger Outlets in Riverhead. We spent money on things that we needed and things that we wanted… It was well worth it. Sandi and I decided that we are going to be visiting the new Toms store in NYC soon. And when it gets warmer we hope to visit the winery’s (they’re not that far from Greenport!)

If you’re interested in reading more about the East End, I’ve blogged about it here, here, here, and here.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go (Revised)

DSCN5546Picture taken at the ruins of an ancient church on Inis Oirr, Aran Islands.
I don’t think that I’ll ever get over the trip I took last summer. Every time I read something from Irishcentral, or look at pictures from my trip, I fall in love all over again. It makes me want to go back, again and again and again. A few months ago, I made a wish list of places that I wanted to see. It’s therapeutic. Like pinning. Except I allow myself to process these places. I like it.

So here I go again:

The Grand Canyon, Arizona

San Francisco, California

Duke University, Durham, North Carolina

Cancun, Mexico

Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine

The good news is that I’m going to Cancun on Monday. I wasn’t so enthralled with it at first, but after looking into the beauty and the history, I’m sure that I’m going to really enjoy this trip. This summer, I hope to go to Maine to see that beautiful national park. My dream is to go out west after I graduate. I’ve never been west of the Mississippi. I think that needs to be fixed. So the Grand Canyon and San Fran are at the top of my Western United States list. Last, but not least, I would like to stop by Durham, NC. I’m sure I’ll be going to North Carolina sometime in the near future.

A Library Date

IMG_1540A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling ambitious. So, I dragged Chris on a date. A library date. The plan was to visit this beautiful library that I had heard about, and read and explore it together. This particular library is the Cold Spring Harbor Public Library. It’s basically an old mansion converted into a public library. it’s gorgeous. It also has gorgeous views, but it was kind of gross out the day that we went. Either way, here’s a picture from the third floor:

I can only imagine what it looks like on a beautiful, sunny day. After we walked around the entire library, we sat down to read.
He read: The Naked and the Dead, by Norman Mailer
She read: Echoing Silence, by Thomas Merton

For a rainy afternoon, I would say that we had a pretty good time. Exploring this old library was worthwhile (for me). I can’t wait to see it again in the Spring!

Greenport, my little slice of paradise


An hour and a half east of my home is one of the most beautiful, quaint, unique places in the world. Now, I know that I’ve mentioned how much I love the east end here, here, and here. But I really, really love it out there. Chris and I made the trip in hopes of finishing Christmas shopping. There are some great little shops out there.

Anyway, we left western suffolk county around noon after finally buying a Christmas tree. We stopped at a 7/11, where the picture above was taken. We hit up the ATM, bought some popcorn, and some gloves (also pictured above). Chris was quite excited about them. We listened to my spotify Christmas playlist. I’m quite proud of it. It has music by Nat King Cole, Sufjan Stevens, Matt Maher, Audrey Assad, Bing Crosby, and She and Him. It’s all of my favorite christmas songs in one playlist. Each time I drive along route 25, after passing Riverhead, I like to imagine what it would be like to live on the end of this island. Having the christmas music playing in the background made it that much more special.

We parked and walked over to a little shop on Main Street. It’s called The White Weathered Barn, and it’s filled with “a collection of fine art, photography, artisanal goods, vintage finds, and unique and repurposed gifts.” (white weathered barn)
I am now in love with this place. We bought presents for Chris’s grandparents, his parents, and my mom. I love being able to give someone a gift that was made and is unique.

We then went to Burton’s Bookstore, which is next door to The White Weathered Barn. Long story short, a friend from Hofstra bought this place. So Chris and I went to visit, and browse, and buy. It was nice to catch up and see the progress that this little place has made. I can’t wait to see what’s to come.


Finally, after making a second stop into The White Weathered Barn, we had lunch. Lucharitos is my favorite place to eat. The vibe is so cool. The food is the best I’ve ever had. It is a really awesome eating experience. This was my third time eating here and it stood up to the standard I had made for it. I had beef and cheese empanadas, and Chris had two salmon tacos. We shared a side of rice and beans, and I tried Cholula for the first time. Life changing, let me tell you. And then we went home. The ride home is never as exciting as the ride there. Maybe it’s time to fix that. Any suggestions on how?

Until next time, Greenport…

Oh, The Places You’ll Go… and then some


For the past three months I have been trying to figure out how I am going to get back to Ireland, or really anywhere for that matter. My sister is getting married in February, in Cancun, Mexico. However, for some reason I don’t seem to think of that as a trip (Although I know it’ll be great) I’m also putting money towards a trip to go to Poland in 2016 for World Youth Day (Again, things are brewing) Yet, I am impatient… I would really, really love to go somewhere this summer. I’m graduating college. I’m about to become a real person, but I want to go out with a bang! So.. I have been pinning. and pinning. and pinning. Needless to say, I have a severe case of Wanderlust. And I will be going somewhere this summer. I don’t know where as of yet or for how long (that all depends on my travel buddy), but I have come up with a few options that would make me grin from ear to ear for about six months.

1. Acadia National Park

Maine’s National Park, which may have captured my heart through Pinterest. It’s only an 8-hour drive from my house. Stops along the way could include Portsmouth, NH; Boston, MA; and Portland, ME. Bar Harbor, the little town near the National Park has many cute B&B’s where one could stay. I feel like this could be a really cool little road trip. They have beautiful landscapes, good food, and Moose. Did I mention how beautiful it looks?!

2. San Francisco, California
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This has been on my list for a long, long time. I’ve always wanted to head west and see this beautiful city. One of my Uncle’s lived there for a short time and ever since I learned this, I have wanted to experience it for myself. I want to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean for myself. Unless this trip was the end of a journey (road trip anyone?) it may have to be include a flight.

3. Asheville, North Carolina and the Blue Ridge Parkway
A five hour drive from Chris’s grandparents, this scenic drive is surrounded by the Great Smoky Mountains. Asheville is home to coffee houses, brewery’s, and the Biltmore Estate (which has views of the mountains!). I discovered this little (not so little) town last year and have wanted to visit ever since. I’ve never seen mountains quite like the pictures of the Smoky’s. Hopefully, I’ll make it there soon! Like I said, its only 5ish hours from Chris’s grandparent’s house in NC…

4. Yellowstone National Park
I feel like no list of places to go after graduation would be complete without Yellowstone National Park. I first learned of this park in middle school when a family friend went to visit. I feel as though I never really understood its beauty until I was older. Needless to say, it’s been at the top of my list ever since. Road trip ?

5. Glacier National Park
This is a place that I discovered rather recently (thank you internet). I never thought of Montana as a place that I would want to see. I was taken by surprise to see the beauty that it holds. I think it would be cool to take a road trip out there and hit up some of the other northern (western?) states. Idaho has a town named after my family (it may be a coincidence but thats okay).

6. Big Sur, California
big sur
Oh Cali. As I said earlier, I really want to see the Pacific. I’m also a sucker for sunsets, flowers, and surfing (although I am not good at it!) I don’t know that much about Big Sur. However, I feel as though it’s one of those places that has such brilliant pictures that it makes the viewer want to experience it themselves. Flight or Road trip would suffice (as a part of a Cali tour or on its own).

7. Sequoia National Park
There seems to be a pattern here. National Parks and California have made up most of this list! Those big trees look incredible and I want to see them. And take lots of pictures with them. In a perfect world, this park would end a cross-country road trip. Fingers are crossed.

I want to experience my country. I want to really appreciate all of the beauty that America has to offer. I’ve been to Europe (Ireland, France, Spain, Ireland) a few times now (and have a trip coming up next summer–Poland) but I’ve never really seen the United States. God-willing, I will make it to at least one of these places this summer, maybe I’ll be able to see them all 🙂

If you could go anywhere this summer, where would you go?

Wilmington, North Carolina

About two weeks ago, I was relaxing in beautiful North Carolina. While visiting Chris’s grandparents we were able to take a day trip to Wilmington, North Carolina. There are a lot of really cool things to do and see there. We visited the Front Street Brewery, which had awesome food and great beer. Chris and I both had the brew of the day, which was $1.30… how can you go wrong?! Then we visited the Riverwalk, which was picturesque. I imagine it would have been beautiful at night. However, we were there during the day and it was about 95 degrees fahrenheit… way too hot for me to enjoy it. Then we visited the Arlie Gardens. The main event of the gardens was seeing the Bottle Chapel. I found out about the piece of art via Pinterest. Isn’t it a beaut?! 😉
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We also visited a butterfly garden while at Arlie. Then Chris and I visited the Basilica Shrine of Saint Mary, we were let in by one of the priests on staff there… I blogged about that here. While walking around downtown we found a cute little bookstore. It’s called Two Sisters Bookery. As a book lover, this little store was heaven. It was super cute and even had a guard cat, just saying… there were also buttons with classic authors on them. I now own buttons with Yeats and Flannery O’Connor’s faces. 

IMG_1162To finish up the trip, we stumbled upon a television set… they were filming Sleepy Hollow. How cool is that?! For anyone who is interested, the majority of our trip was planned via pinterest and the rest we stumbled upon while we were there. 

Love and prayers,

Dublin for the Day!

Yesterday, July 8, 2014, we embarked on a journey to Dublin for the day. We took the 5:30 am train from Galway to Dublin. Not realizing that a cab ride to the train would take 5 minutes (rather than 20), we left our dorms at 4:45 on the dot. We arrived in Dublin after racing through the countryside at 8am. By 8am we had crossed the entire country. We made our way to city centre, had breakfast and took a bus tour of the city. We used the Hop on Hop off buses, they’re great because they double as mass transit after the first go-around. Some of my favorite parts of the day include: seeing the Book of Kells and the Trinity College Library, seeing James Joyce and Oscar Wilde, The National Art Gallery, and the Guinness Brewery.


Trinity College Library. I still can’t get over how beautiful this place is. Certainly makes that MLIS seem like a good decision.


Hanging out with Joyce…


And Oscar Wilde…


Found near the Oscar Wilde statue. I love this quote!


Again, another quote. This time in the National Art Gallery.


Last but not least, here is one of the many views from the Guinness Brewery’s Gravity Bar. The top floor of the brewery was packed. This is where we were able to get a spot. Way in the distance, you can see the center of town (and the point!). The brewery was a really cool place to visit. It was a little disney-esque, but still very cool. Then we walked back to Heuston Station and took the 6:30pm train back to Galway. We arrived “home” at about 9pm, had some dinner and went to sleep. An exhausting day, but very much worth it to see Dublin.

Love and prayers, Mary