Family Fun, travel

Day 6: St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland!

Thursday, March 17

Thursday was St. Patrick’s Day! We didn’t specifically plan our trip to be in Ireland over St. Patrick’s Day, exactly, but it just happened to work out with the timing of the boys’ spring break. It was just an added bonus. πŸ™‚

I should say, though, that I think when people envision “St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland”, they might envision…. I don’t know, Dublin, I guess? Like the big parade, huge parties, packed pubs, lots of drunk people, loud Irish music, etc.

My sister’s house is several hours from Dublin, though, and not to mention, the idea of any “big parties” with our 5 combined young children would not have been feasible or much fun, anyway.

Instead, we got to experience a more authentic, small town St. Patty’s Day- and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. πŸ™‚

We had a pretty low-key morning- we got our green clothing items on, some decorating happened, and I think we put an Irish themed movie on Netflix.

Me getting ready in the upstairs guest room. Shamrock headband- check! (I bought this at Michael’s at home and brought it along. πŸ˜‰ )
Ivan is not really a “dress up for holidays” type of guy. lol. But I think he borrowed a green necklace of sorts to at least look a bit more festive.
The green gang. πŸ™‚ All decked out and ready for the parade.

Parade

The main event of the day was the local St. Patrick’s Day parade. My sister had jokingly warned me not to expect too much (it’s a very small town!). I was just happy to be there and joining in the festivities. Little local parades can be charming, anyway. πŸ™‚

We drove over and found some good spots on the curb. There was a truck parked nearby blaring some traditional Irish tunes over a loudspeaker which helped to set the mood.

Ethan with my parents. πŸ™‚

Then the parade started! Okay, so my sister was right, it wasn’t that much of a parade. Hahaha. But it was still cute!!! Lots and lots of “farm vehicles” made their way down the street (always a kid favorite). There were some local groups walking, many Irish flags, some neat old cars and “St. Patrick” himself showed up! Plus, a leprechaun on stilts. πŸ˜‰ Oh- and it wouldn’t be a parade without people throwing candy.

Wait….it’s not just any tractor!!! It’s a John Deere WITH an Irish flag sticking out the window!!
St. Patrick!! Despite what you might be thinking, that is a real beard. πŸ˜‚
Yay Ireland!! πŸ€πŸ€
It’s really an adorable, quaint little town! If you blink too long while driving through, you might miss it- but it’s very cute.

After the parade, we walked down the street to the playground. It was not lost on any of us that it was SUNNY and we had BLUE SKIES in Ireland. Woo-hoo!!!! (It rains a lot there- so this was so fantastic. We were very blessed with our weather- during our whole trip, actually.)

Grandma with my shamrocks-in-her-hair niece. ❀️

Playground

They have a pretty new town playground and it’s fantastic. The kids all had a blast! My parents and I took the roundabout way to get there, over this cool bridge.

I got some really great shots of the town from up there.

I LOVE this one!
playground off to the left
Ethan joined us up there, too.
Looking the other direction
Very windy! Had to remove the shamrock ears.

I think the kids played for almost an hour.

What a great spot along the water.
Cousins
Always a good sport, Grandpa joined in. I think Ethan realized that Grandpa could keep him stuck up there all day, if he wanted to. hahaha.
There, that’s better….a little closer to even weight. πŸ˜‰
Asher was so sweet and was spinning these random Irish kiddos on the merry go round.
zipline was a hit.

Ice Cream and Pub

Post-playground, we walked back into town to the little grocery store to get some green ice cream.

From there, we really wanted to stop at a pub, being St. Patrick’s Day and all! However, as to be expected, most places were packed. And there aren’t a ton of pubs to choose from in the small town, either.

We ended up getting just one small table, so my brother-in-law volunteered to take all the kids home. My sister, parents, Ivan and I stayed and had a beer and chatted. It was great. (Being with the kids is wonderful and all, but we don’t get many chances to just sit and talk, the original 4 of us (me + my sister + parents)). So this was really, really nice.

Oddly, I apparently didn’t take any good pictures in the pub! I wish I’d gotten one of the 4 of us there. Darn.

Corned Beef and Cabbage

Later, we had the most delicious Irish-themed St. Patty’s Day dinner at home. My sister cooked, and my compliments to the chef. It was so yummy.

I think the veggies were home grown from her garden.

We lit some candles to make it feel “fancy”. πŸ˜‰

Beautiful Irish views from their kitchen table:

Post- Dinner: GORGEOUS walk

After dinner, while I think the younger kids were getting baths, etc., I felt like going for a little walk. Ivan and Ethan joined me. The sun was going down, and it was so beautiful. We just walked up the lane from their house. Ivan hadn’t been with us that first night on our walk, so I wanted him to see the views from the top of the hill.

First we stopped off at this little area where you can walk right down to the bay. I didn’t have galoshes on, but Ethan did, so he walked right to the edge to skip some rocks.

What a great picture!!!

Then we continued up the way a bit farther.

Looking back

We made it to a big field on the top of a hill. It’s technically someone’s “pasture”, I guess, but my sister said it’s okay to climb the fence to go over and check out the views. It’s spectacular.

I took a selfie, to document this beautiful spot, in Ireland, on St. Patrick’s Day!! I had to pinch myself a couple times. After all the covid delays, etc., I had begun to feel like we’d never make it over there. I felt a bit overwhelmed with just JOY, I guess, in that moment, that we were even there. And to be able to experience such a beautiful place, overseas, with the boys along….I just felt so grateful.

It was getting quite dark, so we had to head back. It was the perfect ending to our small-town Ireland St. Patty’s Day.

Hopping the fence to get out. πŸ™‚

3 thoughts on “Day 6: St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland!”

  1. Wow those photos from your walk are beautiful! What a gorgeous area to live! There’s nothing like being close to big bodies of water! I am so glad this trip finally happened after several false starts!

    I wouldn’t have been surprised if St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t really recognized in smaller towns/cities in Ireland. I’ve been under the impression that Americans kind of make a big deal out of St. P’s day but in Ireland, it’s more of a religious holiday. It’s cool that the town did something for it, though. And how nice for you, your sister, and your parents to get some time together to talk. That is very hard to do with lots of kids around, especially little ones!

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  2. What a wonderful day that you got to spend with your family. I don’t think I knew that your sister lives (!) in Ireland… so did your family (and your parents) arrange to visit at the same time to have a family vacation? (Sorry if I missed some information previously about all this… but I love that you vacation together. My parents and sister + family are visiting this summer and I can’t wait to spend time with all of them together… this must have been such a special time for your family as well!)

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  3. Oh, what a wonderful, close-to-home celebration! I’m so glad you got to see the parade, and then hang out as the “original family”. I totally know what you are talking about with that – it’s one reason I love our weekly Zooms as a family. Usually it’s just me, my brother, and my parents, and it reminds me of dinners growing up. πŸ™‚ ❀

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