As I sit here at my own kitchen table for the first time in over a week, I find myself writing the final blog post of the trip. My first blog post of the trip was also written at my kitchen table. We’ve really come full circle!
So, without further ado, our final day of the tour!
In a move that may have been disappointing to some (but welcome by others—I include myself in that group), we were given the opportunity to sleep in rather than exploring Dublin in our free time in the morning. Some of the girls woke up at the normal time to get breakfast and then went straight back to bed for a few hours. I slept late (as you know) and went straight to McDonalds for my traditional trip to the golden arches in foreign lands (I like to see what’s different!). Apparently, “Breakfast All Day” is only an American thing—fortunately it was close enough to lunchtime that I didn’t mind having to eat Chicken Selects and Fries for breakfast.
Once we were all fed and dressed in our concert attire, we made our way to St. Patrick’s Cathedral for our final concert of the trip. With tired voices and tired choristers, we mustered up the strength and energy to put on our longest solo set of the trip, singing through the majority of the music we had prepared. We were well-received by our audience which was made up of mostly tourists who just happened to be there. In any case, it was a beautiful final concert! Afterwards, we headed outside for a group shot (including a couple of pictures with both Ms. Butler and myself lying in front of the girls in dramatic fashion) in front of the cathedral. We also sang one final number for the crowd of spectators that had gathered to watch us pose for said picture.
We then headed back to the hotel for a quick change of clothes, out of our concert dress and into our tour T-shirts. Quickly loading ourselves back onto the bus, we made the half hour drive to the fishing village of Howth, which is right on Dublin Bay. The girls loved seeing the seals that were swimming and playing off the pier, as well as all of the fishing boats and shops. We all walked to the end of the pier to check out the gorgeous scenery, posing for a few pictures along the way. Before too long, it was time to head to dinner.
Our final tour dinner was at the lovely Abbey Tavern (to quote Ms. Jenkins: “The ambiance is ON POINT!”). The dinner was appropriate, considering the fishing industry that we had just experienced: fish and chips! Our dessert was also lovely, but came with a warning from one of the girls: “I have an announcement to make: I thought the flower was made of phyllo dough, but it’s actually a flower. Don’t eat the flower!” As dinner ended, we all enjoyed the annual event of the Paper Plate Awards, where each of the younger girls receives an award from the older girls in celebration of the relationships which have grown throughout the week. It’s always a feel-good experience for all involved, and this year was no different. The evening concluded with the seniors singing a new arrangement of “Danny Boy” in honor of the wonderful time spent in Ireland.
When the girls got back to the hotel, they were encouraged to pack and go to bed—but you know how that usually goes. I opted to check out Saturday night in Dublin, which was a whole lot of crazy but a whole lot of fun. It was like a giant party, with fantastic traditional music being played in many of the pubs. I had one more pint of the national beverage, and headed back to the hotel to pack and go to sleep.
We all woke up this morning, ate breakfast, and headed to the airport. We had no trouble getting through ticketing, security, a second round of security, and U.S. Customs (yes—we went through Customs in Ireland, which should have saved us time in Newark and gotten us home early…but that’s another story for another time). The flight was on time, and seven hours later we arrived in Newark.
So that’s it. That’s the tour. It was a total blast, and it was an amazing experience for all of us. Thank you for reading! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our adventures!