Crowded downtown Dublin
I'm not Irish, but I've been to Ireland, so each year I celebrate this special day. I love the cheery music, the 40 shades of green, the Belleek china and fisherman knit sweater I bought there, and the wonderful memories I have of the time I visited there in 1982 with my dear Aunt Liz, my brother and sister, my cousin Patricia (sounds Irish, right?), and our dear friend, Tiny.
We spent a full day in Dublin, including a morning visit with Ina, the mother of our Irish friend, Gemma (I'll never forget that Ina served each of us a glass of whiskey - at 10 am! I gave mine to my brother; Tiny poured hers in a houseplant when Ina had her back turned.), shopped in downtown Dublin, and met in an Irish pub before going to our B & B. The following morning, a Sunday, we had a quick breakfast at a Mc Donald's, where we had the special treat of seeing about a dozen little girls all dressed in their white dresses and veils - in preparation for their special day of receiving their First Holy Communion.
Later that morning we parted from Jerry. He had to return to his military duties in Scotland, and we boarded the train to cross the beautiful country where we would fly back to the USA from the Shannon airport the following day. The train ride was very pleasant. Though after 30 miles or so, a conductor came through our car and upon checking our tickets, he informed us we were seated in a First Class coach. (Our tickets were for economy.) He graciously told us we should stay put and enjoy our ride. We had wondered why we were the only ones in the car!
Late that afternoon, we arrived in Shannon, Ireland, and checked into our hotel room. Looking over the brochures in our room, we discovered we were really close to the Bunratty Castle, so we decided to have our dinner there. This castle hosts a medieval banquet and we were treated to the Bunratty Castle entertainers, upon entering, while being served our feast and afterwards. Prior to eating, servants wrapped "bibs" around our necks. For our place setting, we each had a wooden plate, wooden spoon and a knife - similar to a steak knife. That was it. Oh, and we each had a small, clay mug of mulled wine. It seems there were about 60+ diners and many servants and singers. During the course of the evening, we chose an Earl and Lady. Talk about a memorable experience!