Torrential rains and flooded-out roads were the order of the day during Notre Dame's trip to Belfast on Saturday. <i>(photo by Tish Brey)</i>

Kyle McAlarney Diary Entry From Ireland - Day 4

Aug. 16, 2008

Photo Gallery – Day 4

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 day 4 of the trip.

BELFAST, Ireland – The trip here was really long. The bus ride lasted like six hours because the weather was terrible. It rained the whole way and all the roads were flooded. At one point, we stopped for 20 minutes because the water was so deep. Finally, the bus driver just decided to push through it. It was a long day, but the hotel here is beautiful. We’re pretty spoiled.

As for the food, nothing has been significantly different. Some of the guys ordered some pizzas, but I’m trying to stay away from that. And you can’t get any good pasta like you can back home. The bus driver said that chicken is the most popular dish here and beef is the least popular. I would love a steak right now.

We each were given (a per diem of) 300 Euros (about $440 in U.S. dollars) when we arrived in Limerick. Belfast is on the (British) pound system so we’re waiting to see how many pounds we get for our (three-day) stay. I’ve bought a few gifts for my brother and my sister with my money and that’s pretty much it. Some of the guys are playing cards right now, so I’m sure a few Euros will be distributed.

I know Zach (Hillesland) said he was going save his money because he brought over a bunch of snacks. But Zach and I share a special bond as far as food goes. We’re passionate about chocolate and snacks. If we see something we like, we’re getting it. Some of the guys said that we feel sorry for (transfers) Ben (Hansbrough) and Scott (Martin, both of whom were prohibited under NCAA transfer rules from making the trip). When they come back to campus, they’re not going to have been a part of this. This has been the best trip I’ve ever taken.

It’s hard that those guys aren’t here, but this is where we’re at right now. This is our team for this year. We’ve got 13 guys who love and care so much for one another. Right now, this is us. The bond we had was tight to begin with, but it’s even stronger with all that we’ve already experienced. We already have a thousand more inside jokes and laughs that will last through this season.

Some of the guys have talked to Ben and Scott on the phone, but I haven’t. Calling home is just so expensive. The calling plans are like $1 a minute and I talk to my parents twice a day. You can’t really do too much else.

Love you, mom.