Thursday, 2 April 2015

#BBGoesGreen for St Paddy’s Day - Part 2

Tuesday 17 March 2015
Today was the day. Having not partied too late the night before, I was able to be up and about bright eyed on St Paddy’s Day morning (well, sort of). Kailey and I decided to make our way down to breakfast early and we were met by the hostel owners, beaming, yelling “Happy St Patrick’s Day! Have a shot of Baileys!”

What a way to begin the day - it put an instant smile on our faces and a warmth in our bellies. We grabbed our hot Irish breakfast (no pudding) and watched as an Irish band set up in the corner, serenading us with uplifting jigs and fiddle music. Straight into Goodmoodville!

Breakfast!

Kailey and I watched for a short while before returning to room 420, instructing everyone remaining to go to breakfast to get their breakfast shot. Meanwhile, we poured ourselves our first mimosa of the morning - orange juice and champagne - and began donning our green attire.

I was initially going to wear a green dress but in the end decided to wear the Topdeck supplied green t-shirt as it was comfortable and had St Patrick's Day, Dublin Ireland splashed across it. I put on my little miniature hat, reapplied my bright green nail polish, pinned my shamrock to my chest and threw my shamrock scarf jauntily around my neck. Cynthia, it was discovered, was an expert shamrock drawer and face painter, and so we each waited patiently for our turn to be adorned with the green, white and orange. 

All the green!

Outfit: ready! Drink: low! Time to pour another! By the time we were meant to meet in the lobby at 10am to head to the St Patrick's Day parade we were all rather merry. In the lobby, the hosts cried, "We poured too many! Drink up!" And so we did, I think somewhere around the 4-6 shots mark for me. Someone enterprising soul also grabbed the remaining Bailey's bottle and so we continued to swig from it as we sauntered, high on life, towards the main street.

Little did we know what was in store for us. If we had, there were a few things we would have done differently. 
1) Brought more roadies. 
2) Considered taking some kind of hallucinogen.

We staked our claim on the side of the road - it was about 10.30am and the parade was to start at midday. And so we waited. It rained a little. We took a hundred selfies. To keep up our spirits we made up a chant. It went thus:
BritBound gets around 
BritBound gets around.
Original. Punchy. On point.

Time passed. Feet ached. Sobriety loomed.

Little did we know that this would be our facial expressions for the
next hour. Um, what?

Then suddenly Jeremy, who was closest to the barrier, exclaimed "It's starting!" The crowd surged forward. Two ladies holding a banner followed by an American marching band walked through the middle of the street, smiling and waving. American marching band? Wait, what?

If only we had an audio recording of us watching the St Patrick's Day parade.
"Did someone spike my Baileys?"
"ANOTHER American marching band? Are we going through all 50 states?
"This is driving me to drink."
"What the fuck is going on? I don't understand."
"Imagine if we had dropped acid and watched this."
What nightmares are made of.

The St Paddy's Day parade consisted of about 15 American marching bands, and some of the weirdest, mind-melting floats and costumes we had ever seen. After the fact, we read that the theme of the parade was showing off costume designer's abilities, but at the time we had absolutely no clue what we were witnessing. There were two Irish themed floats. The marching bands, too, were explained later - they paid to be part of the parade for practise purposes and so the organisers seemingly let all the states in. 

"How will we know when it ends, will there be a sign?" Thankfully, there was, and we stood looking at each other.

It was one of the most hysterical things I have ever witnessed, and it took about an hour to wipe the look of confusion from my face.

By now we were sober, hungry and needing a sit down. On St Paddy's Dar in Dublin, pubs don't serve alcohol until midday and supermarkets barricade their liquor off until 4pm, presumably to try to curb some of the impending drunkeness. A few of us grabbed some pizza then found a local pub we could squeeeeeeeeeze ourselves into to throw down a quick drink before heading to the Topdeck party.

We congregated on the corner, a sea of green. Together, we made our way to a local pub where the whole basement had been hired out for us. Initially, I had been a fraction disappointed that we weren't going to be mingling with locals, but after seeing the utter chaos inside each pub, I was extremely pleased we had space to ourselves. It didn't disappoint. Irish musicians were on stage accompanied by spectacular Irish dancing from two men and two ladies. Many drinks were had (Bulmers cider for me). Lizzie was saved many a time, although my speed drinking skills were not up to standard and people got bored waiting for me to finish my drink (thankfully). 

Drinking!

We took to the dance floor. Jumping, singing, yelling, legs up, before suddenly a CONGA LINE WAS FORMED. And so we went around the room again and again and across the stage before collapsing and needing another beverage to quench our thirst. The laughing, singing, dancing, talking and drinking were unending. Our carefully painted shamrocks were long sweated and smeared off our faces. My contacts were hurting my eyes and I can safely say that I have now had the experience of a stranger in the ladies toilets putting eyedrops into my eyes. We were all friends, and it was amazing.

My photo taking skills got increasingly worse.

After a while, it was time for this revelry to end - but not time to go home, not yet! We made our way up to the top level of the pub where we continued our drinking and talking, although slightly more subdued by now. Soon, however, we thought we had enough (little did we know!) and so we collecting our belongings and started towards the exit. Along the way, we had to pass a stage - a stage with an incredible[ly hot] and talented musician belting out fun and amazing tunes.

By now, just to talk, I was holding my throat from the pain of all the singing and yelling. But continue singing I must! And so we threw our stuff into a pile and there was yet more singing and dancing. At one stage, I accidentally lent against the Exit door handle and a few of us went tumbling into the street. Whoops! Back inside, the singer was gearing up for his encore; the night was ending. We were tired, sweaty, sore, drunk, happy.

It was midnight and, running into a few more of the group, we grabbed some pizza. It was delicious and scalding hot, but knowing how much liquor I had consumed I knew it was not going to be enough food to help me stave off the impending hangover (as we kind of forgot to have dinner). Zac and I decided to go to the nearby Maccas (my third for this trip, an extremely balanced diet!) before calling it a night back at room 420, surrounded by the contented snoring of many drunken souls.

***

Wednesday 18 March 2015

EVERYTHING IS AWESOME
EVERYTHING IS COOL WHEN YOU'RE PART OF A TEAM
EVERYTHING IS AWESOME
WHEN WE'RE LIVING ON A DREAM.

Jake's alarm sounded alarmingly. 

I had hardly slept and was already showered. Possibly still drunk, I wasn't hungover, however my tiredness left me feeling like rather a shattered individual. It was 6am, and we had to be at the bus by 6.45am to start the journey home.

Many bleary eyes were present. Surprisingly few horrible hangovers, and surprisingly still some people who should have been nearing death appeared to be functioning, albeit slowly. We climbed onto the bus quietly and it was only a short drive to the ferry terminal.

On the ferry, everyone dispersed. A few strong souls sat at the bar; most scattered around the ship to lie down and sleep. It was a ghost ship, full of prone bodies. Sadly, as usual - my inability to sleep prevented me from doing this but I did rest, quietly, or chatted intermittently when people woke up.
We got through the bus ride back into London with three movies; the bus was either asleep or singing along to Pitch Perfect. Back through Wales and into England, through the countryside and then the wonderful London traffic. 

A song came over the speakers. We neared the end of our journey. Amazing friends had been made, many laughs and spilled drinks shared and promises to see each other again at the next one exchanged.

Time to say goodbye…

***
Til next time, BritBounders ;)

#BBGoesGreen
#BritboundGetsAround
#winningatlife


xx

St Patrick, a bit of a hussy ;) 
Going bananas for bananas
Picture pinched from Jake at BritBound. ##BBGoesGreen