We woke up this morning, ate breakfast and took the early train into Dublin. We met Andy at the Hodges and Figgis bookstore on Dawson Street, stopped in for a nice breakfast at KC Peaches Cafe and then found a nice place on Dame Street to watch the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
After the parade, we said goodbye to Andy (see you tomorrow for the Ireland v. England rugby match!) and took the Sligo Express back to Maynooth. On our way back home from the train station, we stopped in at the GAA Club in Maynooth. The place was lit up with families enjoying St. Patrick’s Day and we were happy to run into some of the families from the children’s school.
The parents waved Sujata and I over, we pulled up chairs, ordered a few Guinness and spent a delightful two hours socializing. The kids went off to play soccer on the fields and an hour later, they came back, soaked, thirsty and starving. I enjoyed spending time in Dublin and watching the parade, but sitting in the local GAA club, chatting with parents, watching kids run in and out and all around, sipping Guinness and munching on crisps . . . feeling and being treated like a local, really, was the highlight of the day.
We walked back home in lashing rain and wind, tumbled through the front door and all of us agreed that we couldn’t have had a better St. Patrick’s Day.
The only thing that could possibly make this day any better would be a Spartan win tonight, but I’m not holding my breath.
On a final note: our children are attending Irish schools this semester. Gaelic is a required part of the curriculum in all the national schools so both of the kids are learning Gaelic. Yesterday, my son came home with a bi-lingual handout of Irish aphorisms. Here are some Irish-isms you all might enjoy spouting off tomorrow. Let me know if you have an opportunity to use any of them and extra points if you say it in Gaelic!
Nior bhris focal maith fiacail riamh. A good word never broke a tooth.
Ni deanfaidh smaoineamh an treabhadh duit. Thinking will not do the ploughing for you.
Is maith an taniann an tocras. Hunger is a good sauce.
Is fearr rith maith na drohsheasamh. A good run is better than a bad stand.
Giorraionn beirt bothar. Two people shorten the road.