This week was super-eventful because it was Claire’s twenty first birthday, it was Halloween, our friends from Spain visited, and I once again faced my fear of heights and kissed the Blarney Stone! Good news – now I can talk my way out of anything, since I’ve gotten the “gift of the gab” that comes with kissing the stone. Tuesday was Claire’s birthday, and as the night before Halloween, of course it warranted another night of Halloween costumes. Casey, Claire, Molly, and I dressed up as Disney princesses. I was Rapunzel, from one of my all time favorite Disney movies, Tangled. Rather than shelling out money better spent on international travel on a blonde wig, I simply let Molly braid my hair into the craziest braid she could, while weaving flowers in as she went. (Thanks, Mol! It turned out great!) On Halloween, we dressed up as holidays, in costumes made up mostly of things found in each other’s closets and around our apartments. I was New Year’s Eve, Casey was Valentine’s Day, and Molly was Christmas. Our friends from Spain were getting into Cork at about 1:00 am, so we had a quiet night and then went to get them from the bus station, and ended up talking late into the night. On Friday we went to Blarney, and kissed the stone. For those of you who know just how terrified I am of heights, or exactly how kissing the Blarney Stone works, you’ll understand why I was freaking out. Basically you lay down on the wall of the castle, and lean back over an open space and kiss the stone attached to the wall. And as a result you can talk your way out of any situation. Naturally. Except the man who is supposed to hold you while you do this clearly saw the fear in my eyes and decided to have some fun with me. He asked me if I was ticklish and when I told him now was not the time to find out, he made a move like he was going to tickle me and I’m pretty sure tears formed in my eyes. Luckily, when he saw this he eased up and helped me lower myself down so I could kiss the stone as quickly as I could and get myself back onto solid ground as soon as possible. But I am so glad I kissed the stone, and am now able to claim bragging rights to the gift of the gab. And more than anything, my experience with the Blarney Stone reminded me that as much as I am afraid of something, especially heights, I am even more stubborn, so if someone challenges me to something, you better believe I’m going to make it happen.