The one thing I’ve been excitedly anticipating since I arrived here in Ireland was getting to experience Paddy’s Day in Dublin… and, let me tell you, did it ever live up to my expectations!
After checking into the Four Corner’s hostel extremely last minute, myself and my bffaeae (and whatever other initials apply) ended up sharing a room with some wonderful people and, along with our fellow Canadians, decided to spend this day with them. We started off with a few shots of whisky in the lobby with some unnamed staffers, and then we headed to San Lorenzo’s for brunch (which is code for drank lots of mimosas). The staff was incredibly accommodating and, after shoveling in a waffle or two of mass deliciousness, we left to stand outside Dame street to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
We had to fight a myriad of people to get to the front exactly two hours before we saw any sign of parade-like participants, but it was well worth it. The parade had an interesting theme (we have yet to look up the official theme as our interpretation of “weirdness throughout the ages” is as accurate as you can get), but was a fun and whacky way to start the day. There’s just something about thousands of people lined up throughout a city all decked out in green with a collective desire to get shitfaced and celebrate; it was absolutely unreal and unlike anything I’ve seen before.
From there, we went to O’Shea’s Merchant just around the corner from our hostel. This pub was the perfect place to be for Paddy’s Day: there were absolutely zero tourists, the place was extremely family oriented and featured a wonderful live band who played traditional Irish music and who were thrilled to have Canadians belt out requests. We were able to mix with the crowd, chat with Irish families, and really get a sense of the true celebration of this day in Ireland. We sang along with the band, danced the Irish steps with two of the sweetest little girls you’ll ever meet, and drank and laughed with some amazing people.
At the height of it all, we ventured down to Vicar Street to catch Dropkick Murphys live in concert. I can’t express to you how much this one meant to me. Anyone who knows me (or drunkenly had a conversation with me on Paddy’s Day 2014) can attest to the fact that I love this band with all my heart. THEY ARE MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE! They’re a big reason why I fell in love with the pipes, Irish culture, and all it had to offer. When deciding to move here, I declared to the universe: “if Dropkick Murphys were to play a concert in Dublin on Paddy’s Day while I’m there, then my life would be complete.” But life decided to up the ante.
After singing along to song after song, getting slammed into the gates in the mosh pit, and having about 99 Guinness poured all over me, the greatest thing happened. We had moved to the left of center stage to slightly avoid the craziness, and started chatting to one of the security guards. After a while, the guy grabs me and starts lifting me over the gate towards the stage. In my drunken blur, I was heartbroken thinking I’m somehow getting kicked out of the concert, which is devastating on so many levels, one being that, for me being me and having been kicked out of such places before, I held my demeanour quite well considering my level of intoxication and splendour. With a sad and pathetic, “what the hell?” doesn’t your man respond with “don’t you wanna go on stage?” … WHAT!? Seriously!? Am I dreaming right now? Don’t nobody fucking wake me.
Getting up on stage to sing and dance with the Dropkick Murphys to some of my absolute favourite songs, living in the moment, being up close and personal with the members of the band, and experiencing the concert from an unimaginable point of view is beyond anything words can describe. I was on a high for the rest of the night … and still am two weeks later. I have peaked. I lived a fantasy. My not-so-secret daydreams of having them do exactly what they did was realized: I flippin’ sang on stage with Dropkick goddamn Murphys, and it was the best moment of my life!
We ventured out to different pubs afterwards, ending at Flannery’s while continuing to meet amazing, fun-loving people along the way. There was not one downside to the entire day. Even after losing some valuables at the concert, there is not one thing I would change about my St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin. We often build things up in our head so high that the real thing can never live up to our obscenely unrealistic expectations… but not on this day. Even the highest of standards I had imagined for this day were exceeded, and it’ll forever go down in history as the greatest, most unbelievably perfect St. Paddy’s Day that I will ever know.
To catch a glimpse of it all, click on my compilation video of the days events below, or simply follow the link here.