Hi all! The past two weeks have been extremely hectic between having Coach out here and now having a couple of my best friends from the University of the Sciences here on vacation. I just want to talk a little bit about all of the awesome things we did on the first couple days including St. Paddy's Day! I hope to give you a little inside look at what this Irish holiday is like here.
It all started with my friends, Mike, Dylan, and Jack, flying into Dublin Friday morning on St. Patrick's Day. It really worked out perfect because I wanted to check out Dublin for the holiday anyway so it made perfect sense for them to fly in there that day. Anyway, they were set to land at 9 AM so I planned to meet them in the city centre sometime around 10 AM. However, since they didn't get on wifi I had absolutely no idea where they were and where we were going to meet up. The city was already packed so I figured it would take them forever to get to the city centre. Therefore, Jack and I went to get breakfast at a random coffee shop. As I'm ordering don't my three friends walk in! What are the chances! Millions of people in the city that day and they happen to walk in the same little coffee as me. I had a feeling it was going to be a great trip from there on. Next, we grabbed a quick bite to eat, caught up with each other, and laughed about what just happened. Then, it was time for them to shake off the jet lag and get ready. Quick side note, a couple weeks prior we tried to find a hotel, hostel, or apartment but everything was completely booked for the night so fortunately enough the scholars at Trinity were kind enough for us to stay there. Therefore, we put all their bags and stuff at Trinity College and then went out to check out the city. Jack and I had a big game the next day so we walked around the city a little bit and watched some of the parade. It was pretty awesome being in Dublin for St. Patrick's Day. Everywhere you looked there was a sea of people wearing green. To my surprise, most were Americans flying over to get the same experience. I don't think many Irish people were out there that day haha.
Then, I surprised the guys with tickets to the Hurling and GAA Club Finals at Croke Park. I have to thank an LYIT marketing graduate that works at Croke Park, Noel Quinn, for making this all possible! I was fortunate enough to meet Noel when he came and lectured at my school last month. I told him all about what I was doing out here with Sport Changes Life and that I would love to come down to Croke Park for a game. So he very generously invited my friends and me to catch the big event on Paddy’s day. Does it get any better than that?! It is something that we will never ever forget, I really can't thank him enough!
The Gaelic Football game was awesome. Ever since I arrived here in August all I kept hearing about was Croke Park and the GAA. I was able to kill two birds with one stone. The game was a ton of fun. Dr. Crokes and Slaughtneil battled it out. We also happened to be right in the middle of the Slaughtneil section so it was a lot of fun rooting with their fans. Plus we ended up getting really into the game. The only thing was my friends knew absolutely nothing about the game so it was a bit embarrassing hear them yell as if they were talking about a basketball game haha! Ultimately, Dr. Crokes pulled off the close win. This will be a topic of discussion forever and a memory that will last a lifetime.
The best part was everyone out near Croke Park was Irish. So tip of the day, if you want to experience an authentic Irish Paddy's Day escape the crowded city centre and go to the game at Croke Park. Trust me it will be well worth it!
In the end, St. Patrick's Day 2017 will be one that I will always look back and reflect on. It was definitely a great start to my friend's vacation as well. Now it was off to Port Arlington for our National League playoffs…
Unfortunately, we couldn't pull out the win on Saturday or Sunday, but it was great that my old college teammates got to see me play again! In reflection of the season, I think we did a solid job for a first-year team. We were right in the middle of the pack for the league standings despite losing a lot of guys throughout the year. I wish the LYIT National League guys the best. I will definitely miss the fun season we had together!