holidays, Two for Tuesday

St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago, 2015

St Patrick's Day J and J on the River

Well. J and I have now experienced our first St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago. Maybe next year we’ll check out the south side parade, but for this year we just headed downtown to see the green river and catch the (surprisingly short) downtown parade.

Chicago River St Patricks Day

We got there around 10:30 in the morning, so maybe an hour after they dyed the river and it was a vibrant green. Tons of people lined the bridges and sidewalks and riverwalk to get a good view, but it wasn’t difficult to navigate by any means. Until we tried to see the parade.

Chicago St Patricks Day views

Turns out the parade is in the park and only about 4 blocks long. I’m not joking. So thousands of people tried to cram into a four block stretch of road to see. We weren’t close enough to do much other than listen, so we retreated toward the train. Along the way we stopped into the Elephant and Castle pub for a snack and a festive beverage. While there, we were surprised by a roving bagpipe band who came into the pub and gave a twenty minute concert, all of two feet from our little table. Win!

St Patrick's Day J and J EXCITE FACE

Mostly it was just nice to be outside on an early spring-like day. See how excited we were? There was sunshine and the snow’s almost completely gone and I felt like I could really breathe again. We’re definitely still adjusting but the warm weather is helping tremendously.

OH.

And I’ve seen flowers. They DO exist! (Pardon the blur of this photo, I was a long way off on my phone but I needed to DOCUMENT.)

SPRING is here! Flowers!

Travel

Saint Pat’s Day rewind

So, four years ago J and I were in Ireland for Saint Patrick’s Day.

It is a religious holiday.

And then at noon, they party.

It reminds me somewhat of Mardi Gras, in that all the little towns and villages and things have their own parades the weekend before the day itself, with all of their kids and local clubs and things, and the giant parade/party is in Dublin. I still think New York, Chicago, and Boston have the really out of control stuff, though.

That being said, I spent Saint Patrick’s Day four years ago touring a crystal factory.

Then a marble factory. I suspect weĀ might have stood out as tourists. Maybe. A little.

Then we hung out out at the hotel with the rest of the tour group, which (as we’d made friends by then) was fun. Not bad, really. Just much quieter than you might expect. I had remembered going to a little pub and watching a live band, but looking back at my photos, that was apparently a couple of days prior. As the trip sort of blurs together, it’s sometimes hard to remember what happened on specific dates. I definitely remember the crystal and marble, though, because we were the only people there. Ha.

We did meet Saint Patrick, though…

Continue reading “Saint Pat’s Day rewind”