Aug. 13, 2008
Editor’s note: During the Notre Dame men’s basketball team’s 12-day, four-city foreign tour of Ireland, senior guard Kyle McAlarney will file a daily diary after talking by phone with the South Bend Tribune’s Tom Noie. Following are McAlarney’s thoughts on the trip.
LIMERICK, Ireland – We’re finally here, but it didn’t go quite as planned. We were a few hours into our flight Tuesday night when the pilots said that we had to land, so we stopped in Boston.
I don’t know what was wrong with the plane and I don’t want to know. I’m a pretty nervous traveler. But the pilots said that we were burning too much fuel too fast and they had to fix the problem before we went out over the Atlantic Ocean.
We landed in Boston (early Wednesday morning) and Tory Jackson thought we were in Dublin. He had slept almost the whole time since we left Chicago and thought we were here. That was pretty funny when he woke up and we told him we were in Boston. We almost got that on tape. We sat on the plane while they fixed the problem and were back on our way.
I tried to sleep on the flight, which was about five hours from Boston, but it was a little uncomfortable since we were in coach. They showed two movies – 21 and Shrek, but I didn’t watch either of them. I read The Pistol, the biography of Pete Maravich.
It was a little disheartening how long we were on the plane. That kind of screwed up our plans, but we made it.
We landed in Dublin around 12:30 p.m. (7:30 a.m. in South Bend and some four hours behind schedule). There were a few people in the airport who came up to talk to us since we were all dressed the same, but it was no big deal. Walking around with all these big guys, it draws a crowd anyway.
To be this far from home, it’s different. Dublin is a pretty big city, but there are no tall buildings. It’s very green here. You look out the window of the bus at the scenery and think we’re just going by all these golf courses, but it was just the countryside. It was filled with these little houses and stores along the way. It’s amazing.
There’s a little bit of a culture shock. Everything is just way more green than I ever imagined. It’s nice. It’s just very nice. I feel like I’m on Interstate 80 driving home (to Staten Island, N.Y.) from campus. A lot of farmland.
It was a three-hour bus ride from Dublin to Limerick. Nobody had anything to eat since getting off the plane and we needed to get something in our stomachs before practice, so we stopped at a Subway. They do have Subway here.
Right now, everybody’s really tired. My legs are really tired. I think everyone’s just shocked that we’re actually here. It hasn’t really sunk in yet because we’ve been traveling for so long. It’s been a long two days. I didn’t shower for like 15 hours. We just want to lie down and sit down.
(Today) is going to be a big sight-seeing day for us. We’re going to the Cliffs of Moore, which I hear are beautiful. I’ve seen pictures. I’ve got my camera ready. We’re also going to visit a castle and practice at the University of Limerick. It’s a nice campus.
I don’t have any relatives on this trip, but my best friend, Mike Mastrangelo, who served in Afghanistan, is stationed in Germany. He’s on leave next week and is going to come up and visit.
I promised my mom that I would tell her that I love her at the end of every diary. I already talked to her on the phone. She’s very jealous.
Love you, mom.