Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Paddy's Day

Between being sick and working everyday, I have really started to slack with the blog. This post is the last of the long list I had to finish. From here on out, I am officially caught up!

I've been sitting here, trying to think of a way to eloquently express how AWESOME St. Patrick's Day in Dublin was...but, you know, I don't think eloquence and this holiday were made to coexist, so I'm going to go with my first thought.

St. Patrick's Day was AWESOME.

We woke up in the morning and headed out to the parade down O'Connell Street. It was absolutely packed. Dublin itself had been pretty busy that week because of all the tourists coming in for the festivities. And now we were all on one street.

Because we didn't camp out at 7 a.m. for a good spot, we were stuck in the back of the crowd. Even the taller guys couldn't see, but they figured out ways around that.

I took a cue from the other short people in the crowd...

...and hopped on Taylor's shoulders for a few minutes so that I could at least get some pictures.

So THIS is what I should have been seeing. That's the General Post Office, home to many a battle, and a procession of eggs, feathers and a giant chicken. Random, no?

Since we really could not see a thing, and pubs were due to start serving drinks any minute (at 1 p.m. to be precise), we headed out to meet up with the whole crew at Doyle's Pub near Trinity College. It was a great choice for the holiday. It's crazy how kids are just a regular part of daytime pub life, though. Especially when they didn't have school that day.

And I am relieved to report that I finished my first pint of Guinness. I usually end up giving it away halfway through, but it must have been the luck of the Irish because I actually enjoyed it. Now Grampa can finally be proud of me!

We eventually made our way to Croke Park to watch a Gaelic Athletic Association Gaelic football game, which was a fantastic way to spend the afternoon.

It's hard to describe what sport it is like, so watch this video for some clips. Basically, a player runs with the ball in his hands, but every three or four steps, he has to bounce it or juggle it back to himself with his feet. Players can score in two ways: by kicking it into the soccer-type net, or by kicking it through the field-goal type posts.

None of the players in the GAA get paid to play. They hold down regular jobs, albeit flexible ones so that they can travel and practice. Companies don't mind working around their schedules since having a GAA player working for your business is a major source of pride. Players represent their counties and do it just for the sport, which is something I think American sports seriously lack.

We headed home after the game and were exhausted from the day. We had our fair share of shenanigans (Irish vocab for the win!), but what happens in Dublin stays in Dublin. Especially on St. Patrick's Day.

EXCEPT for this picture of Max. No explanation required.

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