Sunday, December 30, 2012

Welcome Baby Ódhran!

I'm so pleased to tell you all that my sister, Aoife, had a baby boy this week!

His name is Ódhran and he was 3.1 kg when born at 1:36 am on the 27th December. He is adorable!

Congratulations to Aoife and Jason on bringing the first boy into the Gillespie clan!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas in America!!

During my last few weeks in America, things got very Christmassy and special.

Christmas in Princeton - 02

Christmas in Princeton - 15

Christmas in NYC - 09

Christmas in NYC - 50

Christmas in NYC - 30

Christmas in NYC - 39

Christmas in NYC - 33

Christmas in NYC - 59

Christmas in NYC - 05

I visited Chancellor Green Rotunda / East Pyne in Princeton University before I left too. Imagine studying here! Magical!

Chancellor Green Rotunda - 2

Chancellor Green Rotunda - 7

Chancellor Green Rotunda - 5

Merry Christmas everyone!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Driving home for Christmas...

I'm going home today. I just can't wait.

My time in Princeton has been incredible. 

I visited five states and one federal district.

National Mall and Memorials - 076

I ate macaroni and cheese, burgers, cheesesteaks, pumpkin pie and as many other American delicacies as I could find.

I met some really awesome friends who opened my mind to new things. I experienced so many different cultures and learned an incredible amount, both in the lab and out of it.  

And what better place to learn really than Princeton University?

But I am glad to be going home. I'm excited I'll be able to hang out with my super awesome family for Christmas. I'm excited I'll get to see all my old friends again. And I'm excited to return to Galway and restart my life there.

So many things to look forward to!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Morven Museum

It's awesome.

Go visit.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Scudder Plaza

Look at this place! Isn't it awesome?! I walk through here twice a day and it never gets old. It looks great in all weather and spectacular at night. And the sculptures are amazing!

Monday, December 10, 2012

D.C., it's all in the details.

Old Town Alexandria.

Old Town Alexandria - 11

Old Town Alexandria - 04

Arlington Cemetery.

Arlington Cemetery - 34

Arlington Cemetery - 04

Arlington Cemetery - 26

Arlington Cemetery - 19

Sculpture Garden.

National Mall and Memorials - 007


National Mall and Memorials - 025

Natural History Museum.

National Mall and Memorials - 031

National Mall and Memorials - 032

National Mall and Memorials - 029

Air and Space Museum.

Air and Space Museum - 114

This is the actual airplane (the world's first successful airplane) that the Wright brothers flew in... Wow.

Air and Space Museum - 126

Air and Space Museum - 053

A note about this one... When I was in school, I wanted to be an astrophysicist. I loved looking at the moon and the planets and the stars and I wanted to study them more. However, once I started physics class, I realised I really don't like physics... Which is unfortunate because I have a good understanding of it and did well in the exams. At that time, sadly, I didn't know that physics isn't the be all and end all of space exploration... I didn't know that astrobiology and astrochemistry exist so I gave up on that particular dream.

Luckily, I didn't give up on my dream to be a scientist! I became a chemist instead and I haven't looked back! I love chemistry and this PhD (most of the time) and know I chose the right path.

The Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August and I visited this museum two weeks ago and now my interest and love for space has peaked again. I'm really inspired! I may not follow a career in space exploration (which is still not exactly out of the question) but I've made a promise to myself to take out my (probably quite basic) old telecope when I get home, read books on space (right now I'm reading A Briefer History of Time) and catch up on all the space news. My active interest in space waned when I started college, but I'm reviving it now. And who knows, maybe I'll work for NASA some day... That'd be awesome.

Air and Space Museum - 040

Air and Space Museum - 051

A Lunar Module built for Project Apollo.

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