Posted by: Laura | March 30, 2010

Kiss Me I (Wish I Were) Irish

Things people associate with Ireland:

  1. Leprechauns
  2. Guinness
  3. Green
  4. Rainbows
  5. St. Patrick’s Day

While I haven’t found a leprechaun just yet, I have been lucky enough to experience the other things on the above list. Many of my friends know St. Patrick’s Day has long since been one of my favorite holidays. I mean, what’s not to love? With flashy parades, free-flowing beer, live music, and green aplenty – people of all ages and nationalities can enjoy being Irish for the day. This year I was lucky enough to already be living in Ireland during the holiday – and even more lucky to get a few days off to enjoy the traditional festivities. Inis Mor isn’t exactly the place people flock to for the celebration, so Anni and I headed off to Galway to enjoy a much needed holiday. While Galway is nowhere near as big or popular as Dublin, we still expected great things from Ireland’s biggest west coast city.

Festive colors in Galway's parade.

What’s even better is that we are lucky enough to have some friends (who live in Galway) that allowed us to sleep on their couch for a few days. I can’t tell you how nice it was to be able to lie on the couch and not have to worry about getting up or answering a guest’s question. While I very much enjoy my job and love sharing my favorites spots on the island to new people every day, it can still be very tiring as it’s a ‘round-the-clock job. To have a few days just for ourselves was very rejuvenating and simply put, good for our spirits.

Decorated float in the parade.

The days leading up to St. Paddy’s became increasingly crowded – in the pubs and the streets alike. You could feel the energy picking up in the city. We met many new people and enjoyed listening to a variety of music at (dare I say it?) more than the four (wonderful) pubs we have in Kilronan. Don’t get me wrong. Anni and I both LOVE Kilronan – and all that it entails. And after four days in the “big city” we were saying to each other we missed the ‘normalcy’ of our life on the island. But that doesn’t mean we didn’t enjoy shopping somewhere other than Spar or eating at McDonald’s…just because we could. And enjoy the new sights and food we did!

Anni, Desiree and I with our shamrocks smiles!

On the big day, we got up in time to head down to Eyre Square to catch the parade. Locals told us it was nothing exciting and New York, Boston, and Chicago had better St. Patrick’s Day parades than Galway. But, we ignored their comments and set off to meet Desirée for the start of the parade. To be completely honest, it was pretty much how the locals described it. It was a nice parade though – and being that we were watching an actual Irish St. Patrick’s Day parade, we thought it was great! Soon as the parade ended the three of us bought some beers, got our faces painted with shamrocks, and headed to the Spanish Arch to meet the rest of our friends. What they didn’t know was this year there was an alcohol ban in Galway. Bummer. After getting our open beers confiscated by the guarda, Anni, Desiree and I hung close to the pubs where it was slightly easier to get away with outdoor drinking. Once the sun went down, we headed into the pubs for more beer and traditional Irish music and dancing. All-in-all it was a wonderful day and an experience I will never forget. However, I do think I’d like to try celebrating in Dublin one year…just to experience it all on an even larger scale.

How did you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day?

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Responses

  1. It’s a tradition everyone can celebrate Saint Patricks day I am a huge fan of Ireland and I would love to go there someday as a tourist with someone.

  2. Sounds like you are having an amazing experience. I’m really starting to think that’s exactly what I should have done once I got laid off from my job!!

  3. dinner downtown w/ live music and friends. Not a rock-out party but it was fun!
    Love your shamrock smile!!! 🙂

    • i miss shamrock-the-block!! 🙂 we’ll have to go once i’m back stateside!!

  4. At a meeting in Richmond. Something wrong with that, isn’t there? Just wrong.

    Love you! And since it is 8:10 a.m. here – top ‘o the mornin’ to ya, sweetie!

    • there’s definitely something wrong w/ that!! did you at least wear green?? 🙂 thanks for reading!!


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