Wanderings & Ramblings

St Paddy’s & Birthdays

So, here it is – the post many of you have probably been waiting for…

I spent St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland.

I was definitely super excited, but had no idea what to expect of this day – other than the fact that it would be some of the biggest crowds I would ever encounter, and that it would literally be madness. And on these two points, it did not disappoint.

The day started out pretty early, with everyone catching the bus at 8:30am. It was then a two hour bus ride of pictures, excitement, and face paint.

Brittany and I had bought cute hair clips and necklaces, with shamrocks, as we had nothing green and wanted to join in the fun. On the bus ride, a friend of mine nicely painted a green, sparkly shamrock on my cheek – and it was perfect!

 
My sparkly, green shamrock for St. Paddy's day in Dublin!
My sparkly, green shamrock for St. Paddy’s day in Dublin!

 
Waiting for the parade in Dublin the girls.
Waiting for the parade in Dublin the girls.

 
All the craziness of St. Paddy's :)
All the craziness of St. Paddy’s 🙂

 
 
Everywhere was a sea of green.
Everywhere was a sea of green.

Getting off the bus, we grabbed a quick bite to eat and then followed the hordes of people heading to the parade area on O’Connell Street (I’m not sure why I remember that detail…).

We stood around for a while, waiting for the parade to start, and basking in the fact that we were in Dublin for St. Paddy’s. It was truly amazing.

Except for the fact that the parade was one of the weirdest things I’ve seen, and I couldn’t even see half of it. The street was not the best set up, with an uphill slant. So, when the father put his daughter on his shoulders in front of me, my view was completely obstructed. The little snippets I did see included floats of insects and mad scientists, and a giant rubber duck balloon falling over. It was fun just hanging out with friends and trying to figure out what was going on.

We started walking before the parade ended, and split into two groups: one went for food and the other to walk around the city. For once, I was not in the group looking for food!

With Brittany, Sarah, Evelyn, and Virginia (who found us in Dublin), I wandered the streets of Dublin and took in some of the most famous sights. From the outside of course, because the inside costs money and I’m a poor student. 😉 We walked to Trinity College, Christ Church Cathedral, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and Dublin Castle. They were all amazing, and there were so many people at all of them.

 
The city was so pretty. I can't wait to go back!
The city was so pretty. I can’t wait to go back!

 
The infamous Temple Bar of Dublin on St. Paddy's.
The infamous Temple Bar of Dublin on St. Paddy’s.

 
 
We found St. Patrick's Cathedral in our wanderings. Cool to visit the church on the "saint's day"
We found St. Patrick’s Cathedral in our wanderings. Cool to visit the church on the “saint’s day”
 
I drank a pint o' Guinness for the celebrations. When in Ireland... (sorry for the cheesy pose with booze...)
I drank a pint o’ Guinness for the celebrations. When in Ireland… (sorry for the cheesy pose with booze, and bad quality…)

We stopped for a cup of tea before meeting up with the others to head to a pub, The Market Bar. I ordered a Guinness, of course. Have to have a pint of Guinness for St. Paddy’s. Or green beer. (But that was Heineken and I’m not a huge fan…)

Trying to find some place to eat for dinner was crazy. We met Kitty, Bruna and Hubert, and waded through the masses to try to find a place we had heard of – only to be told it was full. Standing in the street, we saw a little Italian restaurant to the side, where the man offered us 10% off because he heard our friends speaking Brazilian. So, we went there! Had some good food, wine, and conversation (and 3 more of our friends met us there later).

We tried to find everyone else at a club, but when following the map, the place didn’t really exist. We ended up hula-hooping in the street (it’s a long story), before heading to The Porterhouse for about 1.5 hours before the bus left. It was a great atmosphere, and we had fun all hanging out.

The bus ride back at 1am included many sleeping people, and many others who were very drunk. But in my opinion, it was a pretty great day and a crazy experience. Definitely one to remember for a long time.

On Thursday, it was Brittany’s birthday. She wanted to keep it pretty low-key, so I helped her come up with some ideas. When the day came, I surprised her by decorating her door with birthday banners, and picking up a few small presents. We met up with some friends later, and went to Geoff’s for dinner and drinks. It was so much fun to just hang out and chat. It was a great relaxing evening!

We tried to decide if we wanted to stay out, and opted for coming back to the apartment instead. I had picked up a cake, so we ate cake and drank tea while chatting some more. These people are truly awesome. I think Brittany had a good birthday – she didn’t tell me otherwise…

 
I went for another walk in Kilbarry, and figured out the timer on my phone.
I went for another walk in Kilbarry, and figured out the timer on my phone.

 
 
The skies were amazing on my walk!
The skies were amazing on my walk!

Then on Saturday, there was another birthday of a friend – Evelyn! This was the 4th birthday in one week. Brittany, Bruna, Evelyn and I met to go to city center for lunch and some shopping, just a girl’s day out. It was a pretty fun day!

That evening, we ended up hanging out in our apartment first with just a few friends, drinks, and some music. Some of us agreed to go to city center where a band was playing at a bar. So, we headed to Shortt’s to listen to the Pearly Whites – and they were so good! They played new and old music with almost a swing-type feel. We danced and had a great time, staying until the bar basically closed. It was a great night!

Other than that, not much has happened the last two weeks. Mostly, I have just been preparing for my trip… as I leave in just over 2 days!!!! 2 DAYS!!!! Can you tell I’m excited?

I am going to go to 4 countries in two weeks, travelling through various cities and cultures. I am beyond ecstatic to be stepping on the continent of Europe for the first time, and I couldn’t have asked for better travel companions.

In case you are wondering, I will put my itinerary here again: start from Dublin, and travel to London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Bruges, Paris and Nice before coming back home in time for classes again. It is going to be amazing.

I will unfortunately not have a computer or very good internet for the next two weeks (although I don’t have good internet here, so there’s not much of a difference there). The inability to update my blog means that you will have to keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to receive updates and proof of me being alive and safe. Probably Twitter will be your best bet (which you can see here, on the right).

Thank you to everyone who has been supporting me back home! I love and miss you all, but am so excited for this adventure. I will try to keep you updated as best I can.

Signing off for the next two weeks…

May the road rise up to meet ya.

From

JH

“collect moments, not things”

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