Apologies for the brief hiatus, guys. I was on holidays in the beautiful city of Prague, as can be seen from my well thought out title. Please have a quick read of what I got up to on my travels. First trip of 2020 was a success and I’m back to write more shite. I missed ye all, my lovely word-readers.

Hotel Pariz in Prague, near Old Town square

Prague was somewhere that I did not know much about. I had seen it in the most recent Marvel movie; Spiderman: Far From Home is one of my favourite instalments in the franchise. I had briefly looked at it as a possible holiday destination before but had never cared about travelling there on my own or with anyone. As luck would have it, had an unbelievable deal for two people for three nights for extremely cheap. Both flights and accommodation were included so myself and K decided we would have our first holiday together in the Czech capital.
After talking to people who had been there and spent a similar amount of time in the city, we felt that we had enough time to get some culture in, drink some cocktails and fill ourselves with lovely food.


There was no shortage of restaurants, cafés and eateries in Prague. Little coffee shops were on every streets. The local dessert, a chimney roll, was supplied in multiple shops on the major streets once you cross Charles Bridge. You could get the sugared roll filled with chocolate sauce as well as ice-cream, but K and I preferred it with plain old diabetes inducing warm chocolate liquid.
There were several pizza places and kebab shops near our hotel but these looked unclean and unappetising. The restaurants in the city centre were much more appealing, albeit a lot more expensive. Bear in mind, though, that that expensiveness is still relatively cheap compared to Ireland, America or wherever you come from.
We ate local the first night in a bar called U Kurelu. The beer was unreal and my burger was fantastic. The disco fries were insane and K’s burrito was also good. The service was exceptional, which also goes for everywhere we ate in the city. After two mains, a starter and five or six beers we only paid the equivalent of about €40 – including tip!

Me drinking a local delicacy called a ‘cocktail’. Very new and weird to me and not at all familiar

Our second night we treated ourselves to an Italian spot, Pepenero, in an upmarket part of town. Once again the meal was relatively cheap and the food was superb. The service was great and we felt like it was a young person’s city. In fact, it was a city for all ages, but especially for those in love and full of life.
After trekking all over the city once again we went for something easier on our final day. There is a shopping mall with five floors and over 200 shops just outside the old town square near Broadway. The top floor is a food hall with so many different cuisines that it was hard to choose. We eventually settled on a sushi place where it was all you can eat and the food comes on a little carousel while you sit and pluck out what you want. While I may not have eaten much Czech food, I did try a lot of new things. Maybe Japan will be on the cards?


Prague is also full of pubs, cocktail bars and clubs. The clubs looked a little seedy for us but we made great use of the pubs and bars. We are both fond of the odd cocktail so Prague was our heaven. Our first stop was Bukowski’s bar. It seemed really cool inside and the drinks were good and coming fast. We would have been content to go there for the three days but it only got better from there.

Hemingway’s absinthe cocktail! Knocked my socks off 😳

I found a place on Google Maps called Hemingway’s Bar. It was a specialty cocktail bar that put thought, care and precision into their drinks. Each drink had a distinct taste, explanation and unique glass.

There is a vodka based cocktail inside this little man!

I can’t remember our server’s name but she was lovely and really cared about whether we enjoyed our drinks. We went to a few other bars where the beer was good but nowhere will compare to Hemingway’s. Although it was the most expensive of the lot!


Prague relies on tourism to fuel their economy. They have a beautiful city rife with history, oppression and suffering. We didn’t see much of the recent side of history, unfortunately. I think whenever we go back that we will take more of a look at the recent history of the Czech capital. However, the medieval history of the cobbled city was beautiful. We took a tour around Prague Castle and all of the many magnificent buildings inside the grounds. We strolled along the Golden Lane and saw the house where Franz Kafka wrote some of his works.

Charles Bridge in the distance

We strolled around the Old Town square and walked the city streets. We crossed the Charles Bridge and explored that side of the city. We also saw the John Lennon wall. Both the Charles Bridge and John Lennon wall were awash with tourists and crowded. I hate to say it but it took the gleam off it for me and I wasn’t too bothered with either landmark.
We took a tour around the Klementinum library, seeing a codex worth €40,000,000 and an astrological tower used for telling the time for the whole of Prague. It was very interesting. The city gave off these ancient vibes from the cobbled streets. Some parts of the city seemed like they were pulled straight from the Soviet era while others were hip and modern. It was conflicting. I don’t know much about the place but it seemed to me that there was a great divide between the wealthy and the poor.

An ancient war hero and his cannon on Golden Lane


I would definitely recommend Prague for a short city break. It is a bit of an oxymoron in that it is a quiet enough city that is full of tourists. It is possible to get lost there in the cobbles and the side streets and suddenly emerge onto the bustling Charles Bridge or find a busy bar. Perhaps my eyes were glued to my girlfriend the whole time and my mind was closed to any outside sound or distraction. The whole world could be buzzing around me and I would only hear her. Prague was great, but it was made better by being there with K.

All wrapped up


I spent six years avoiding going to Lourdes. My aunt Mary had been going for almost thirty years, helping kids with mental and physical disabilities on their pilgrimage to the holy town. When we were younger she would come back and teach us the songs that the kids would learn over there. We heard all about Noah and the his ark and all the animals that would be going on his boat. We read some small books about Lourdes and saw pictures of the place and the people that Mary was helping.
After I finished school and went to U.L., Mary was onto me to go on the pilgrimage. I had excuses at the ready and more often than not just didn’t respond in time to go. I wasn’t too pushed. I was in college and wanted to spend my Easter drinking with school friends or drinking with college friends. After college I went to America and so was unavailable for Mary to try and pressure. As I returned at the start of this year, one of the first things Mary and I talked about was me going to Lourdes. She hadn’t gone in a number of years due to helping take care of Nana at home. I again gave a vague answer with no real desire or inclination to go. I thought that I could just ride this one out aswell, letting Mary forget about it.
Then, the application forms came over. I said to myself and then to Mary that I would fill them out and then let her know if I was going. The deadline was coming up and the people organising the pilgrimage needed to know. (There are different groups from around Ireland that go on the pilgrimage to Lourdes. There are 9 kids with various disabilities in a group and about 12 carers. I was going to be one of the carers in the Limerick group.) I dropped over the form on the Wednesday evening and specifically told Mary that I would let her know the following evening if I would go. I woke up Thursday morning to an email, a missed call and a text welcoming me to the pilgrimage and asking me to fill out training forms and send money for the trip. I wasn’t happy about it but I couldn’t do anything about it. It looked like I was going to Lourdes for a week.

Thank God I did.

View from Pic du Jer

Initial feelings of nervousness, caution and worry were quickly erased at Shannon airport. All the other carers were nice and I was immediately thrown into my idea of the deep end when I had to bring a few of the kids to the bathroom. I waited in the bathroom with them as they did their business and then met another carer outside as we all walked back to the group. This was the whole week in a nutshell; being beside the kids at all times and making sure that none of them go missing while making sure everyone enjoys themselves. It was tiring but extremely rewarding.
There was little time during the day to make connections with the other carers but at the end of the first night I got a knock on my bedroom door to go down for a few pints in the hotel bar. I was right at home with the Limerick group.

We went on a number of excursions throughout the week. We went up a cable car to the top of the Pic du Jer. The cable car, or finuculaire, went up an ascent of a 1’000 feet. The finuculaire itself is over 100 years old. Some of the kids were afraid of the climb but once we reached the top everyone was O.K. Pictures were taken, ice creams were bought and the craic was had.
A few of us walked up the path to the top of Pic du Jer. A beautiful view of the surrounding countryside and the mountains in the distance were like something out of a fantasy movie. It was breathtaking. It was one of the lasting memories of a lifetime.

Gotta let the insta Huns know where it’s at

On the Wednesday we headed to the beach. The group took a two-hour bus journey from Lourdes to St Jean de Luz, a small town in Basque country. Every year the different groups usually take this trip to the beach where the kids could unwind and have a bit of fun outside of the holy town. We picked our spot on the beach, took off our shoes and messed around for a couple of hours. Some of us played hurling, some ran down to the water and some chilled out by our things. Everyone seemed to have a good time, even the kids who swore they wouldn’t!
After soaking each other at the beach we went to one of the local restaurants and had our dinner. Sitting at the table and seeing all the kids happy and in their element was a proud moment. While it may have been a tough week, emotionally and physically, it was only a week out of our lives. Their parents are on call every single day. I’m not saying that the kids were nightmares as they were anything but; they were pleasures for the most part. What I am saying is that if I felt such pride and happiness at seeing these kids enjoy themselves so much in a little fishing town in France, then I can’t fathom how their parents feel when they’re having positive days.

Bozo the Clown and a stylish lady (Kathleen)

Thursday was a fantastic day. We had our usual walk down to the Grotto and then around the grounds. A couple of us went to the baths to get dipped in the holy water. Myself, two of the other helpers and three of the young fellas went in, and while I’d love to give you a description of why it is so significant, I can’t. The freezing cold water knocked everything out of me. I felt like I had been punched in my throat, chest, stomach and crotch all at the same time. I think it absolved me of my sins or something. I hope so.
That night we had the fancy dress party. Yours truly was dressed as a clown, complete with tri-colour wig, glittery beard and massive pants. The kids and carers all dressed up in their own outfits. There was a Robin, of Batman and Robin, a scary priest, a cool dude on the town, a hippy, a cow and many others. It was another night where the kids were in their element. Some of the kids grew as the week went on and you could see their development, especially that night.
Afterwards, once the kids were in bed, a few of us went down to the historic spot of ‘La Bamba’. The nightclub was the stuff of legend and it didn’t disappoint. We drank copious amounts as you do when you’re blowing off steam and danced the night away. I can tell you now that the hangover the next day was a killer but it was totally worth it.

Top of the cathedral In Lourdes

The last day kind of passed by in a blur. We had our last mass with Fr. Brian and then went to the Grotto. We lit candles also and offered them in our prayers for our family and friends. We got the kids all packed for the trip home in the morning and had a few pints together before turning in ourselves. It felt bittersweet. It felt good to be going home and to know that the kids had a good week but it felt odd. Sort of like leaving school at the end of the year. It’s great to be finished but you’ll miss all of your friends and the craic that ye had.
This feeling was compounded at the airport the next day. The kids were so happy to see their families again and to be going home. As was I and the rest of the carers. Maybe it was because it was my first year but I felt a little hollow. Almost as if I wanted there to be just one more night.

Maybe I’ll have to go back next year to get my fill of Lourdes again.

Auschwitz and Birkenau

There are very few things or sights in the world that will make me stop in my tracks. I am very rarely caught for words, thinking about what I could write or jot down later. The concentration camps Auschwitz and Auschwitz II (Birkenau) stunned me. While visiting them and getting a tour of the locations only took up a very small amount of time in our weekend trip to Krakow, they will definitely stay with me forever.

Myself and a group of friends spent three days in Krakow, a beautiful city in Southern Poland. I am going to write more about what we did in a later post. Today I will focus on the haunting day we had seeing for ourselves the horrible conditions that Jews and POWs had to live in, as well as the awful ways in whcih they perished. I am so glad that I got to see the camps but we were not a happy group after our day in the west of Krakow.

After flying into Poland late Thursday night, we only had time for a relatively short sleep before rising again. Keli payed extra for private taxis for us on our tourist activities which was a Godsend. We could nap in the car or just sit there in horrible silence, wishing we were still in the land of nod.
Shortly after arriving at Auschwitz, an hour drive west of Krakow, there was a light mood in the air. We got some coffees into us and there were a lot of other groups, mainly couples, chatting and joking. I feel like maybe we were all holding onto the last bit of happiness from our morning. I know plenty of people who had taken the same tour already and the consensus was clear: you will not be in a good mood afterwards.


Our tour-guide Nina brought us through the buildings in the main camp of Auschwitz. The sprig in our step from ten minutes beofre was immediately wiped out. We walked through many buildings, Nina always in our ear via a radio explaining the purpose of each building and the atrocities that happened inside.
We passed the infamous, ‘Arbeit macht frei’, sign, which means ‘Work will set you free’. This would become a theme of the tour. Although I studied history in secondary school and loved it, I didn’t know or must have forgotten that the Nazis made the Jews and other prisoners believe that they were only in the camp to work and that through this hard work they would eventually be set free. They were trying to exterminate a race of people so they could not cause panic. They told the people en route to the gas chambers that they were being cleaned before their work was to begin. They were told to write their name on their suitcases and to tie their shoelaces together so that they would be easier to find after their cleaning. Little did they know that they were soon to be murdered.

We saw many haunting images that day but the ones that stood out to me will be etched in my memory forever. Mounds of human hair stacked all the way to the back of the wall, a good ten metres away. Mainly brown with flecks of grey, this horrifying testament to the human lives lost over that five year black mark in human history had a profound effect on me. I saw the faces, the fear becoming more and more apparent on the faces of the grown ups while the children were maybe wondering why these strange men were cutting their hair. Maybe some of them realised then and there that they weren’t going to survive this shower.

Countless pictures lined the corridor of another building. Dates of birth, internment and death underlined each picture, sometimes accompanied by the occupation of the prisoner. Monks, teachers, sculptors, priests, officers and homemakers were butcherred alike with no discrimation apart from the fact that they were Jewish or less than the German image of perfection.
Some of the prisoners were children; one boy was 15 when he died in the gas chambers while another girl had just turned 17 before she perished. These two buildings opened my eyes to the reality of the genocide of the Jewish people. Before, it was only a chapter in a history book or the subject matter of an emotional movie. Now, I know that human lives were not lost but taken. As Nina said when asked how long she has been giving tours for and why, it is important that future generations kno what happened there and that it may never be repeated.


We saw Birkenau, a ten minute drive from the first camp, which is the version of the concentration camps that people would definitely recognise. It has featured as landscape shots and opening sequences for hundreds of movies. The train tracks that ferried millions to their deaths still stand there, while an actual kettle car that held prisoners on their way to their doom has been preserved and sits on the tracks.
This section of the most famous death camp used during the war didn’t affect me as much as Auschwitz. I will say that the ruins of one of the original crematoriums used to incinerate carcasses and evidence of what was going on was tough to take, the sight of the human hair, names on the suitcases and the several red shoes mixed in with the brown and black brogues really brought home the human involvement for me. I know that people might wonder how I never really registered how many lives were lost. I did and I do know that that is an awful amount of people. In this day and age it is so easy to desensitize ourselves to tragedies and loss of life. It is also easy to transfer that sense of detachment back to past genocides and really put distance between ourselves and anything that makes us uncomfortable. That is why it is important to visit these places and empathise and realise.

A monument to the dead lies at the very back of the camp. Instead of some last word on the camp and my experience, I will just leave the message, written in a number of languages at the base of the piece.




San Francisco

Just before I made the move back home I took a short trip to San Francisco. A friend of mine had lived there for a year or so and had been telling me how great it was, so I was keen to see the place. Other friends of mine had made the big move across the states to the West coast and I wanted to see them too before i left. Brian and Joanne were getting on great there and Brian, or Broan as I affectionately call him was a massive help to me when I first moved to Woodlawn. I decided to impose upon them for a weekend without their consent, so everyone was happy. They had just returned from a Christmas break to Ireland and I was due to arrive the following Friday, a mere five days later. That was plenty of recovery time for them and I knew they’d appreciate putting me up and showing me the sites.


I had my last day in work on Thursday of that week. I made the trek back to Woodlawn from Manhattan, relieved to be free of any more responsibilities in the Vanguard. I caught a few hours of shuteye, packed my bag badly once again and wearily made my way to Newark that next morning.
I arrived into San Francisco international airport that Friday evening, still stunned by the beautiful views from my window seat as we flew over Nebraska. I ordered an Uber and made my way to Locksley Ave. Hugo was my driver and after a few minutes confusion as to where he was picking me up we made our way to Brian and Joanne. Hugo talked the ear off me the full forty minute drive, telling me his life story and all about how he was also a concierge in a previous life. He talked, I laughed, he talked, I stayed silent, he talked, I gave grunts and one word replies, he still talked. He got five stars.


That first night was great. I caught up with two old friends and we went for food in a Caribbean/Brazilian/ethnic resturant. I remember no names of the places I was in because I am lazy and meant to write this last month. We barhopped for a while, drinking Sangria and Vodka Cokes by the jugful. A bar called Milk had so many cutouts of Elvis Presley and impersonators of the King. I put two and two together, got 5 and put it down to San Fran being a cooky place. Not once did it cross my mind that it might be an Elvis themed night. Great lad all the same.


Along with the weekend came all the sightseeing. We did the lion’s share on the Saturday. We walked down to Haight street, where we were the night before and got a bite to eat, myself and Joanne getting Mimosas and cocktails like all girls do on their hols.
Brian drove us first to the Twin Peaks (LOL). The views were unreal, spreading out over the whole city. In the distance, a tiny speck of land turned out to be Japan. I couldn’t believe it, we were that close to the other side of the world. I had my doubts but Brian explained to me that Earth is flat despite the fact that the globe is round. I was happy with that and happy that Brian would never lie to me. Would you Brian?

Liar then drove us out to one of the viewing points for the Golden Gate bridge. It was awesome up close and the pictures don’t do it justice. I got my picture in with the Holly Bough too, so I was even happier. We could’ve walked it but I only brought a half zip and my nipples were cutting glass. Very dangerous on a windy day.


That evening we drove out to Sausolito. It is a stunning, picturesque little town that you can reach by car or via ferry from fisherman’s wharf. Right on the edge of the water, droves of tourists took photos perilously close to the deep blue. The city was visible off in the distance, as was Alcatraz, the famous prison that hosted Al Capone and believe it or not, Clint Eastwood.
Japan too loomed large in the background and in my mind.

We had a night on the tiles that night, painting San Francisco red. “But we want blue!”, the San Franciscans cried. We cared not. Brian, Joanne, Sarah and I laughed and roared into the night, painting every square inch of wall red, not forgetting our primer.
San Fran is a great night out in all seriousness but for any New Yorkers that are heading there, last call is 2AM and not 4AM. Be wide.


Sunday was supposed to be full of sights and tourism too, but after seeing the Golden Gate, the Twin Peaks (LOL), along with Lombard street and the house where Mrs. Doubtfire was filmed, as well as a hangover that would kill a Belgian Blue, we decided to just keep drinking.
Pints of Blue Moon, several shots of whiskey and board games came out in favour of sightseeing and I think we were all a happy bunch.

I did a bit of solo sightseeing on the Monday. After rising from the cot in the early afternoon I made my way to Haight street where I grabbed a bite to eat. I bought a few t-shirts and postcards because that’s what people do on holidays. I hopped in an Uber and travelled down to Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf.
I decided to stay put and have a look around. I was transfixed by the Mechanical Museum where arcade games and old attractions were on display and available to use. There was a whole village that was powered by 75 cents. I must add that it is a miniature village made of wooden figurines, but after you put in the money and walk around the glass display it is just amazing. Countless characters have their own individual movements, some even interacting with others.
There was a Simpsons arcade game, basketball games and shooting games, but I was taken in by the slow moving, intricate depictions of different scenes like the one I just described. Despite all that San Francisco has to offer I would tell everyone to go to that museum, bring a roll of quarters and just have a blast.


After a last supper with Bi-Bri and Jo-Jo, I flew back to Newark late that night. I didn’t really have time then to think about my experience in San Fran as I had five days to pack and prepare for moving home. After taking two months to get off my arse and write some long-winded spiel about the craic we had there, I know I’ll definitely be back there, I’ll definitely be back for longer and Brian and Joanne are fantastic hosts. I’m willing to look past the fact that they lied to me about the geographical location of Japan in relation to San Fran. Dishonor on your families.




Austin, Texas.

Hear ye, hear ye! Throwback Thursday is upon us, and another tale of debaucherous depravity and wholesome bonding needs to be shared! Read this account of four glorious days in the sweltering Texas heat and laugh at stories of falling asleep where I shouldn’t have and Tom pantsing himself in a busy bar on sixth street.

At the beginning of the year, the lads and I would often find ourselves discussing where we would like to spend a vacation over the summer. We decided to go on a group holiday at some stage during the year, eventually settling for our friend John’s thirtieth birthday. With Brian also moving to San Fran just before the summer months, we thought somewhere hot, close to us both and most importantly, fun, would suffice.
Austin, Texas, would be our destination. I had a friend who lived in Austin for a year or two and everyone else had also heard good things. We got a group of ten of us to sign a blood pact that we would all definitely go. Two dropped out and mysteriously disappeared. Strange how things happen like that.
No, in all seriousness, a group of eight was perfect. We booked our flights, Tom booked the Air BnB and we spent the next few months talking about the craic that we were going to have in Texas.

As all good Irish citizens do, we went out the night before our early morning flight and got absolutely hammered. I stumbled back to the apartment at 4:30 AM Friday morning to find all the lads in either a state of unconsciousness or zombie-like packing. It wasn’t a pretty sight but we ordered an Uber and made the flight.
My hangover kicked in just as we entered Austin, so the first thing on the metaphorical menu and the only thing on the restaurant menu, was sandwiches and beers. After wolfing these down we made our way to our apartments that Tom had booked. A tip of the cap to Tom because the two rooms were unreal. All we were going to use the rooms for was for small reprieves from drinking. There was a pool in the complex right outside our doors. Our neighbors who sat outside their door observing the action were smoking weed so we knew they probably wouldn’t mind our excessive drinking and partying.
After a bite to eat at the Haymaker pub across the road and a dip in the pool along with multiple bottles and cans, we Uber’d our way to 6th street. The only way I can describe 6th street for any people from Cork who haven’t been to Austin is that it resembles Grand Parade and Washington St. on a weekend night. Except it is like this all the time. Madness. Carnage. Beautiful.
Despite our tired limbs and minds after over twenty four hours on the sesh, we soldiered on. I fell asleep outside some apartment block and awoke to a very angry man shouting down at me from his window to, “Move! We don’t like people sleeping on our sidewalk!” I never thought you did sir. You see, I am what some people might call a degenerate. Please excuse me and have a wonderful night.
I somehow got back to the complex to find the door wouldn’t open, and I may have had some choice words for my dear friend James when he tried to tell me what the problem was. I apologise James. You see, I am what some people might call a degenerate, and am a grumpy bastard when I am rudely awoken from my sidewalk slumber.

Saturday was a brilliant day. We all had a bit of sleep and crossed over to the Haymaker again for a bit of grub. From there we made our way to a gun range just outside the city. I had never been to one before and I don’t mind saying that even with all of the safety talks and assurances that once we respected the gun and the rules that everything would be O.K., as soon as I held one in my hand I was absolutely shitting myself. Not literally. There’s a code to uphold in these places and of course, the man code*, but I was apprehensive. We all took turns on the different firearms. For the life of me I can’t recall any of their names bar the Uzi. What I do remember is I didn’t have a bad shot. None of us did. We all came away with a bit more confidence in our shooting. All except for John. He knew what he was doing. I’m not being sound because it was his birthday trip, it’s just the truth. John turned the gun sideways, held it in one hand and put out a gangland hit on the head of the target. The next sheet came out and John shot him six times in the throat. That target had a fucking family John, and you couldn’t even give him an open casket.
6th street was the port of call again that night and it was epic. We were familiar with a few of the bars from the previous night and familiarised ourselves with a few more. In one such bar we were dancing with a group of girls. There was eight of us and five of them. Not to be crass, but the odds were looking good for us boys, even just to have a group of girls for drinking buddies for a portion of the night. Enter Tom. I have a few memories etched into my brain from the weekend but the one that sticks out the most is this. Our two groups had widened into a circle, letting one of us after the other enter the center and display our moves. Tom leaned into my ear and said “Will I take off my pants?”. I immediately responded no, and laughed it off, looking back at the group. Seconds later, almost as if in slow motion, Tom had strutted by me, taking his place in the centre and proceeded to drop his trousers. Never in my life had I been so surprised and it seems so too were the girls as they screamed and ran to the other end of the bar. No exaggeration. They literally screamed and ran away. Anyways, Tom is a legend.
Nobody fell asleep on any sidewalks. A stripclub was visited but nobody fell aleep there, thank God.

We booked a boat party for the Sunday afternoon. None of us packed enough sunscreen and we each came away with savage burns but it was worth it. Out in the depths of lake Austin we drank copious amounts of beer and flirted with the girls on the next boat over. We had our own boat for the eight of us driven by a lovely man whose name I can’t recall, but as we glided over the water and passed by extravagant houses, I knew we had made the right choice in coming to Austin.
We saw other boats in the distance and we blasted ‘Westmeath Bachelor’ by the late, great Joe Dolan as we neared them. I’m sure they thought a tribe of gypsies had commandeered a boat and were taking over.
‘2002’ by Anne-Marie and ‘Shotgun’ by George Ezra played on repeat the whole day. I often wake up in a cold sweat with the chorus of Shotgun reverberating around my skull. I haven’t slept properly in months.

Taking a break from 6th street, we chose Rainy street for our last night. I arrived late because the tiredness, a.k.a, booze, caught up with me and I took an impromptu nap. We had a great last night, made better by the fact that myself and John got the Uber driver to drive to a diner. We got some feed and he charged us a bomb!

As with any trip, it was a sombre last day. Brian went back to Cali, the rest of us went back to New York and I went straight to work. My prayers had evidently not been answered as the building was still standing and I had to work the night shift. That was a tough shift to work as I just wished that I was back soaking up the sun, smoking too many cigarettes and getting as drunk as could be with the lads. All the spectacular descriptive words couldn’t do that weekend justice. I’ll go for something simple, succint and true.

It was class.

*The man code is one article and it states that a man should never shit himself in public under any circumstances, unless he is a mouldy feen on the sauce hahaha, chalk it down keeeed.**

**Disclaimer: I have never shit myself on a night out. Rag week in 2013 came close, but that was due to undercooked chicken and four nights on the sesh.***


A little bit of a throwback for this post. I’ve done a small bit of travelling in my time here and had plans to do some more. Pennsylvania and Nashville were also on my list, as was Washington D.C. to a lesser extent. But I’m happy with the places I did see and the people I got to visit. Travel broadens the mind. To be fair, I did a hell of a lot of drinking on these trips so my mind was probably numbed to all of the life changing experiences but I’ve had my fun, and that’s all that matters.

Back in April I went to visit my friend Katie in Boston. She lives in Cape Cod, in Hyannis. I left the night shift ten minutes early so I could catch a Greyhound Bus from Penn State. Thank God I took those extra minutes because the bus was delayed…for two hours. Greyhound, more like a slow coach….Am I right guys? Guys?
I rolled into South Boston Station after four hours, bleary eyed and crooked-knecked. The views of the city on the highway leading to the station were beautiful. I could see why many J1s and ex-pats choose to spend summers and lifetimes in this city. I was happy to get some fresh hair and after two long years, see my friend again. Katie is hilarious, kind and just a joy to be around. I knew that although my trip would be short, it would still be two days of fun.

We walked around for a while because Katie forgot where she had parked her car but that allowed me to see more of the different parts of the city. Wherever I travel I always love seeing the streets and avenues of a city. There could be a hidden gem anywhere or there could be a cool looking shop. Who knows? I may never be in this place again but I’ll have that little trinket of information in my brain for when I’m an old fart telling nonsense stories to whoever will listen. God help my poor future wife.
We found the car and went to eat. As most people know I’m a picky eater and din’t eat pizza properly until I was 20 years old. Oysters wouldn’t have crossed my mind as a possibility for me and if I had my way I would still not know the taste. Katie ordered some and kindly gave me one. If I was to describe it in a kind way it would be that oysters taste like salty snot sliding down your throat. So give them a shot.
We had a few pints around Boston and ended up in a bar near the street that Paul Revere galloped down when he warned the citizens of the impending British troops. I could almost see it in front of my eyes, the sweaty hands hanging on for dear life as he raced to alert his city about the Brits. Maybe that was the Harpoon IPAs talking. After a few more creamy pints we left the city and made for Cape Cod. We met her boyfriend, Shea, at an Asian restaurant where we drank Muay Thais and ate dumplings. Afterwards, we travelled back to Shea’s house and told his Alexa system to leave us alone. We might have been drunk. After smoking a bit of the funny grass I started to see shapes and got a bit paranoid. All in all, it was a good first day, even if if I had ended the night in a state of absolute paranoia. Don’t do drugs, kids.

The next day was a busy one. We had breakfast in a lovely cafe near Shea’s house. There was no real plan for the day, which is one of my favourite things about Katie. You can have little events that you will do but the rest of the day is up to you. We stopped by a convenience store, got a 12 pack of IPAs and hopped in the car with no destination in mind. It turned out to be my favourite part of the trip. We drove from the bottom of the Cape to the top, passing through or stopping in most of the towns that dot the map. We parked up near beaches and got out and took some pictures. In Barnstable County we stopped by an old lighthouse. I can’t really remember the names of all the places because I was hungover and as I said, had some IPAs to get me through the afternoon, but they were beautiful spots. At the top of the Cape we stopped in Provincetown for a pint and got to walk the beautiful, cobbled streets. The bar we were in was extrmely old and the wood had warped in the floor but it was nice and warm. Harpoon was my new drink of choice.
After a while we drove back down towards home and caught some of Katie’s friends in an improv comedy show. It was hilarious. I had never been to a show like it before and although the crowd was small, the laughs were big. We met some of the performers afterwards at a local bar before going home. Before drifting off to sleep, Lil’ Bow Wow’s movie, Like Mike came on the t.v. and Katie recited the whole of the theme song, Basketball. I was amazed and hammered.

The final day was uneventful. We got food, I got some t-shirts and hats to remind me of the trip and before long I was catching another greyhound bus back to Manhattan. The trip was over far too soon and I was disappointed I couldn’t get to stay longer. However, the buildings don’t mind themselves, and they need a shmuck like me to do the nightshifts and write blogs about places I’d rather be and people I’d rather be with. I would highly recommend the Cape (that’s what people who know the Cape call the Cape, just deal with it, and don’t @ me), and for any J1s or people looking to make money, go when it’s in season between May and October. There’s money to be made from the rich kids further up and there’s fun to be had all over the Cape.