I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect this weekend in Chicago. St. Patrick’s Day has been one of my favorite holidays for a long time as it is a day to celebrate things that I hold so closely to my heart: luck, Ireland, the Irish people, and beer. If you were to open up any travel magazine or read any major feature news coverage on the holiday, you would know that Chicago is nearly always ranked as one of the top celebrations in America. I lived to tell the story of St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, and I’m proud to say I’ve lived to tell the story of St. Patrick’s Day in Chicago.
I met with a few friends bright and early on Saturday (the day before St. Paddy’s day, I will admit it. The city is fun but not stupid – Monday morning is rough on it’s own.) I left my apartment building shortly after 8am and the parties were already starting. I walked past handfuls of green tutus, green jeans, green antenas, and green top hats on my way to meet my friends. Again, I want to stress that the city was alive and well hydrated before 10am.
It was extremely cold. According to the news, it was an entire 40 degrees colder this year than last. That’s a LOT of degrees if you ask me. But we managed to stay warm enough and it was a great reason to drink another beer — it added a layer of liquid comfort. I didn’t get to see the actual parade, which I’m okay with. It was really too cold to want to stand outside for any extended period of time. It even snowed for a while! But I did get to see the Chicago River being dyed green. It was equal parts disgusting – can it really be okay to dye a large body of water green? – and exhiliarting. I saw the famous, Green Chicago River!
The morning and afternoon was a blur. We bounced from our friend’s apartments to the Chicago River and then into several bars. We all stopped dancing and celebrating a little bit after 2pm, grabbed lunch, and made our way to a new pub.
All in all, I had such a great time. I spent the day with good friends, made new friends, and was smart enough to last from 8am until nearly 8pm.
This morning, on the actual St. Patrick’s Day, I woke up and celebrated with a bowl of Lucky Charms. Then I made my way to yoga to stretch and twist away everything that I had done to my body the day before in celebration of good ol’ St. Patrick. What a great weekend. I am reminded so often how lucky I am to live in Chicago. Next year I’ll be prepared, hopefully I’ll catch the parade, and experience even more of what this fun place has to offer. I am so lucky to get to experience so much in this new city of mine. I love you St. Patrick and I love you Chicago!
Now more importantly, how was your St. Paddy’s day?
Footnote: All photographs were taken with my iPhone 4s.
if you’re lucky enough to spend St. Patrick’s day in Chicago, you’re lucky enough