The final push...

Good morning! As we pack and get ready for our return to the states, I thought I'd finally post an update to the blog. It will be slightly abbreviated because I still have to pack. I apologize--they've packed our days so well that I've been exhausted when I return to the hotel. I meant to write this last night, but after taking some time to take in the Dublin nightlife on a Saturday night...I kind of fell asleep as soon as I got back to my room. Whoops.

So on Friday, we had a quick breakfast at the hotel before heading out to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells. For those of you who don't know, this is a VERY old Gospel book that was created by monks c.800. It is stored in the library of the college, along with an exhibit that was actually quite interesting to see. We saw how the old books were created, as well as learning the history of the Book of Kells and the symbolism in the artwork. If you were patient enough to make your way up to the book through the throngs of people, it was actually quite beautiful. We then headed upstairs to the main library, which was pretty darn amazing to see. Apparently, they based the library in Harry Potter off of this one. You could see why!

After that, we had a bit of free time to wander the streets of Dublin with our groups, grabbing a take away lunch to bring to a Stephen's Green Park picnic. We enjoyed eating together and taking in the sight of a beautiful pond with a whole lot of birds. Some of our girls bravely fed said birds, which caused much screaming by those of us who may or may not have a fear of said birds. One chorister bravely fed a swan some Pringles. The swan enjoyed them.

We then headed over to Christ Church Cathedral for our Gala Concert dress rehearsal. Everything went well, aside from some very loud tourists who seemed oblivious to the fact that we were rehearsing. At one point, a very cute toddler stood by Dr. Galvan's podium and swayed to the music. It was kind of adorable. We then headed off to dinner at a cool little restaurant called Brasserie Sixty6, and then it was back to the church for our final concert. It was just the thing that we needed, especially after learning the news of the shooting in Dallas. Something to give us hope in such a dark time--it was a beautiful show. We then said many tearful goodbyes to our Australian friends before heading back to the hotel, where we turned in early and subsequently slept in late.

So that was Friday--and if you can wait till tonight, I'll give you yesterday. Until then...I'd better pack!

-R