Adapting to the New Normal

While Ireland is the place I will inevitably return to and a place I will forever call home, it was always known I would spend my first few years after graduation abroad. Leaving not because I had to, but because I wanted to, something not all of my generation and generations before me are lucky enough to say.

Since leaving Ireland, I have exchanged birthday and Christmas wishes via Skype, been kept updated through plenty of whatsapps, Facebook posts and many Snapchat’s. I have watched my youngest sister complete her leaving cert, finish secondary school and start Art College. My other sister has turned twenty-one, spent five months in Finland, and passed her driving test and these are only the major milestones I’ve missed.


I come from a very close-knit family. Growing up I would always know where my siblings were and through the years this didn’t waiver. There is very little we don’t share with each other, which unfortunately, includes my entire wardrobe. This is why it has come as such a shock how quickly I have adapted to the new normal.

The new normal I am referring to is celebrating all these events from afar, yet feeling like it was only yesterday when I was there in person. On a recent phone call my youngest sister, I commented on how it didn’t feel like that long since I’d left and I regretfully admitted that I was no longer missing home.


Don’t get me wrong, like everything the bad comes along with the good and on these occasions I find myself longing for home. Varying from the cravings for a decent bar of Cadbury’s chocolate, to a good ole chat with a friend I’ve known longer than the stamp on my passport. The moment that made me realize all the life events big and small I was missing out on, occurred during one of our frequent family skype calls. My mum mentioned an event that occurred three months previous to which I had no knowledge of. Looks of disbelief crossed their faces, they couldn’t believe that this was something I didn’t already know. With a quick summary I was brought up to speed, however, it wasn’t the same. Moments like these have been the toughest part of being away from home; these are also the moments people back home don’t get to see.

As the time approaches for me to return home I do so looking ahead to my next adventure. My gran recently expressed a sigh of relief to hear that I would be coming home, ‘well hopefully that’ll be traveling out of her system for a while’. To this my dad smiled, ‘I don’t think she’s done quite yet’.


The Age of Adaline


Last Thursday I went to see ‘The Age of Adaline’ a story of a women born in 1908, who was in a car accident in 1935, and as a result cannot age. Adaline played by the beautiful Blake Lively is a movie a would highly recommend going to see.

Having only previously seen Blake star in popular the television series ‘Gossip Girl’ this was a much welcomed change of scenery. The one and only similarity between ‘The Age of Adaline’ and ‘Gossip Girl’ was Blake’s stylish outfits and ever changing hairstyles.

A big bonus was that some scenes are set in San Francisco showing new and old footage of the city and how things have changed over the years. It is always nice to watch a movie/television show and be able to relate to the setting.

‘The Age of Adaline’ is currently out in cinema’s in the U.S. and is hitting cinema’s in Ireland on the 8th of May.

Hopwater Distribution

Hopwater Distribution

For the past 7 months I have been in search of ‘proper’ fries. Up until yesterday all fries fell short of meeting my criteria of chunky, real potatoes cooked to perfection. You’d think a city with so many Irish bars they’d at least be serving some proper fries with a good dose of malt vinegar. Anyone looking for a new business venture? I’m telling you there is a market here for some decent Irish food. Now that the beef import ban has been lifted there might be hope of getting a decent Irish fry!

Anyway… Hopwater Distribution is located a short walk from Union Square. Here you will find 31 ‘All-California Beers’ on tap. Don’t worry this list is often rotated so there will always be something new to try! I have been here on two occasions and have enjoyed various light blonde beers. The beers are reasonable prices between $6-$8.


What to order:

Now for the main event… the food! Last night I ordered the Angus Ground Chuck/Brisket Burger. It was served with scallion aioli, arugula, acme bun and steak fries. While the burger was delicious the main event was the steak cut fries. The fries were fresh and thick cut. Next time I go back I will be arriving equipped with Heniz malt vinegar… it truly was the only thing that was missing. Other members of our group ordered the Fried Chicken Sandwich and really enjoyed that.


Angus Ground Chuck/Brisket Burger with steak fries  – $10

Beer – $6


Hopwater Distribution is pleasantly bright and open. There is a variation of both high-tops and regular tables. Although only 3 blocks away from the tenderloin Hopwater Distribution draws a good crowd. While both times I have gone it has been with a large group the bar is also suitable for smaller groups! There is also setting upstairs for parties of two.


Without a doubt I am giving Hopwater Distribution 5/5 stars. There is only one thing I would change which would be to provide malt vinegar, but to be honest I think that is more of an Irish thing. The bar tenders are on hand to give advice when selecting your beer and do not rush you to make a decision no matter how busy they are.