Saturday, March 26, 2011

Patty's Day Weekend

Drumroll please...What you've all been waiting for...Patty's Day!! Patty's Day weekend was terrific.  Even more so because Ryan was here for the week, so I finally got out to the pubs and had a few pints of guinness (i didn't want to go alone to the pubs - irish men can be a wee bit too friendly!) On Patty's Day Eve (the night everyone goes out) Ryan and I went to the Temple Bar area. Lots of crazies were out - lots of green, lots of drinking and stumbling tourists...that area was pretty much chaos.  Nonetheless, we found a great spot in one of the pubs that had pretty amazing live irish music:

video

People really get dressed up for Patty's - it's almost like halloween, but everyone's dressed in crazy green outfits.  My personal favorites were those dressed as leprechauns and as priests (perhap's St. Patrick?)



The next day everyone gets off work since Patty's is a national holiday.  Ryan and I crawled out of bed around 11am and headed down to the center of town to see if we could catch the parade.  People get lined up for this parade starting early in the morning, so we really couldn't get any closer than 4 or so rows back.  The parade itself was very futuristic - not what I expected.  I was kind of hoping for irish dancers and bands, but there were more floats with techno and futuristic themes than anything else.  The irish bagpipe bands that went through were really great though!  My favorite part about the whole day was really just people watching and seeing everyone dressed up all crazy!  Babies with shamrocks painted on their faces, adults dressed as leprechauns and priests, and just a sea of green everywhere you looked.  Anyone lucky enough to have the name Patrick, Patricia, or some other derivative got free admission into the guinness storehouse for the day - normally 15 euros!

Believe it or not - no green beer!  I got strange looks from people when i asked if there was green beer anywhere...must be an american thing.  We met up with my friend Elaina from work and her boyfriend / friends later that night and hung out at the Hairy Lemon.  The Lemon is next door to the hotel I stayed at, and thank God I made friends with the hotel staff because the bathrooms at the Lemon were horrific that night!  Luckily I knew the staff working that night at the hotel so they let me in to use their facilities as needed, no problem.   Phew!

My friend's sister-in-law was really excited because she's taking a trip to the US in a few weeks.  And where?  To Nashville and Memphis! The "Real America" as she explained it. She was sooo excited and telling us her plans to go to Graceland, Dolly-Parton-World, Elvis-land, and to wear cowboy boots and ass-less chaps everywhere!  Sure hopes she brings back pictures!

Friday was a day of rest.  We got up for "breakfast" at about 4pm (whoops!) and went to Church.  And by Church, I mean a famous bar/restaurant/nightclub that was converted from an old Church. Ten commandments carved into the stone walls, stained-glass windows, and fully working original pipe organ!   Arthur Guinness was actually married here (see bust in center).





After breakfast if was off to The Woolshed - the only sports bar around that has March Madness playing on one of their 30 or so TV's off in the corner.  Needless to say, we spent a lot of time there watching the tournament.


On Saturday that weekend my friend Shampa was kind enough to drive Ryan and I with her boyfriend to Powerscourt Gardens in County Wicklow for a relaxing afternoon stroll.  Beautiful gardens and a huge mansion owned by  some really wealthy guy years ago and now open to the public.  Here are a few pics:




cool tree

After Powerscourt Shampa dropped us of in Ballsbridge where all the great Rugby pubs are right outside the stadium.  The crowd was absolutely wild!  Ireland played Englad in the 6 Nations match (annual tournament between England/Ireland/Scotland/Wales/France/Italy) and totally killed them!  Happy days all around because the Irish were not expected to beat England, and certainly not by that much.   To top it off you could snack on a piece of roasted pig that was turning around on a spit outside...or pass.

Sadly, Ryan had to go home on Tuesday and the long weekend came to an end.  Definitely wasn't long enough, but I guess it never is.  It was really great that he could come out here and meet my friends and see where I'm living and everything.  I think he liked the Guinness better over here too.  :) Hope to get him out here again soon.

Well before I get all teary-eyed and start missing him again, I must share with you my experience at the market this morning!  Little did I know, there's a fresh farmer's organic market 1 block away from my apartment every Saturday morning!  And it was really fab. I'm a totally obsessed with good food, so this was like a heaven for me! Got some beautiful salad fixings fresh from the local farms, freshly baked brown irish soda bread, fresh sheep's cheese, and some great olive oil. Also got some pork sausages (delicious!  tried a sample) directly from the hands of the farmer that raises the pigs.  Tasted so much better than anything I'd ever tried - no preservatives or additives at all - just organic pork and seasonings.  Happy animals = happy food. And my absolute favorite stand was the fish-monger from Donegal, about 3 hours north, who brought in all sorts of freshly caught fish and seafood from his locality.  I bought 4 scallops and walked home and cooked them for lunch - delicious!  I know where i'm going every saturday now... :)  So great eating food when you know exactly where it came from. What a great way to start the weekend! Here's there website:  http://www.supernatural.ie/

Cheers!
 



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