It's St. Patrick's Day! This has always been a favorite holiday of mine, but it took on a special meaning last year when I got to celebrate it with good friends in Dublin, Ireland. The Irish food, drink, music and the Irish people were fantastic. It was a life-changing experience. My first time going overseas; the first stamp on my passport. I have so many awesome memories and pictures from the trip and I'd like to share some with you.

Once Covid travel restrictions were lifted my friends Rochelle, Sean, Mark and I decided to go to Ireland over spring break  and celebrate St. Patrick's Day 2022. We booked our flights and hotel rooms six months in advance and flew out of Williston's XWA airport, it was so convenient. Landing in Dublin, I was surprised how small the airport is.

There was one issue upon arrival to Dublin. My luggage and Rochelle's was not on the plane. We had to wear the same clothes for three days. (Washing them by hand each night before bed). We left on a Sunday, arrived Monday and my bag showed up Wednesday. Rochelle's NEVER arrived. The ENTIRE trip. It finally showed up on her doorstep in June! The lesson learned, I will now always take a small carry-on bag with a couple change of clothes.

I recommend taking a guided bus tour. You can really learn a lot and see a lot. Our first full day, we hopped on a 13 hour Wild Rover bus tour to Belfast, Dunluce Castle in Bushmills, and the Giants Causeway - all in Northern Ireland. In Belfast, we took a Black Cab political tour and visited the Titanic museum.

Back on the bus to go see the Giants Causeway. It is made up of some 40,000 massive black basalt columns sticking out of the sea. The dramatic sight has inspired legends of giants striding over the sea to Scotland.

Also part of the tour, Dunluce Castle, a now-ruined medieval castle perched on a cliff in Northern Ireland. It is recognizable from the hit show Game of Thrones. The landscape and views were truly breathtaking, and you could actually see Scotland in the distance.

The second day was spent walking around Dublin. We saw St. Patrick's Cathedral, checked out some art at the National Gallery of Ireland, and found the Oscar Wilde Sculpture in Merrion Square. Rochelle and Sean went shopping so she could finally have a change of clothes. Marc and I found a pub and had beers and chippers (potato chips) while we waited for them to join us.

The third day was St. Patrick's Day. After two years of cancellations due to covid, the national St. Patrick's Day Parade in Dublin was back. The streets were packed and people of all ages were dressed up and ready to celebrate! There were floats, artistic elements, audience interaction and 12 marching bands from around the world. By far, the best and biggest parade I have ever seen. Afterward, every bar was packed, with lines of people waiting to get in. The lines were too long, so we went back to our hotel which had a rooftop bar, and watched all the revelers below.

Our final two days we toured the Guinness Brewery, attended a Tori Amos concert at the Olympia Theater, shopped some thrift stores, stopped by the world famous Liberty Bar and Rochelle and I got matching possum tattoos at Liberty Ink. Not sure what screaming possums with bouffant hairdos have to do with Ireland, but who cares? While the girls got tattoos, the boys took a bus tour of Dublin.

My first experience overseas was very smooth (aside from the lost luggage). My only regret is that we didn't rent a car and see the whole country. Honestly, we were kind of scared to drive in another country. When I get the chance to go back to Ireland, I will rent the car and see Cork, Kerry and the Blarney Stone. IF your travel abroad or anywhere really, my advice to you would be rent a car, take a bus tour, always walk around and explore. And of course, take loads of photos.

Check out some of my pictures below.

Mad Max's Ireland Vacation

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