St Patrick's Day with the family

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March 25th 2010
Published: March 25th 2010
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To start off I want to say that I had a blast with the family while they were here. My dad, Brother, Robby and Natalie (Justin's gf) all came for St. Patrick's Day. What better place to be in the world than Dublin for St. Patrick's?!?! Can anyone tell me.... DUBLIN...I couldnt believe myself I was actually in Dublin for St. Patty's, I dont know how many times we looked at each other and said, "Can you really believe we are in Dublin for St. Patrick's Day??" We started off the day walking down Grafton Street which is probably the most popular street in Dublin. It was packed by 11:00 am and all throughout the street there were people performing music and some people showing off their artistic abilities. One guy was carving a dog out of sand, I took a picture and will try to upload it, but this site has not been liking my pictures latley, they are saying they're too small (They're on facebook though)...After that we waited about and hour to see this parade we have heard about for days. We didn't want to miss it so we just stood around and waited for it to come pass where we were standing. Oh yeah forgot to mention two of my friends came with us, Paul (fellow American) and Roxy (the coolest South African ever!!!). When the parade finally came, we were not impressed at all. I think the parade director forgot it was St. Patrick's Day because there wasnt one leprechaun in the whole parade...there were bands, the Irish Army, horses and then some other random artsy stuff. I had more fun standing there and looking at all the different costumes people were wearing. Yes the Neal family has a problem of people watching, you should have seen my dad the whole trip, he was amazed by all the different people he saw walking around. At one point in time we were walking and we didnt realise but my dad just stopped and was just watching people walk by, it was hilarious!! The rest of Patty's day was amazing, met so many great people from all over the world. The three most nationalities I seemed to run into were Italians, Spainards and French, there were so many of them which was awesome because they are so much fun to party with...people back home thought I knew how to party wait till you meet some one from Italy, Spain and France, they are wild!! We stayed in the Temple Bar area for majority of the day, which if you are from Dublin is considered the Tourist area so it was packed because us Americans were the one who brought the partying aspect of St. Patty's Day, before it was just a religious holiday for St. Patrick. One cool thing though is everything is closed on St. Patrick's Day (Except restaurants and bars!!!)..the only part where America slacks on St. Patty's Day...The next day we got up and went to the Guinness Factory (which was my 3rd time) I am thinking about applying for a job there because I can do the tour with my eyes close and also pour a "perfect" pint of Guinness!! The highest point in Dublin is at the Guinness Factory which is called the Gravity Bar and it is an amazing view and it is where you recieve your free pint of Guinness, but guess who was to scared to go up there...if you guessed my dad, you are right! We had to stop the elevator on the second floor because he was getting scared (If you didnt catch on yet, he is scared of heights)...For all you people who thought we just stayed in Pubs the whole time, we actually did some sightseeing, we did one of those Duck Tours (the same ones they have in D.C, felt like home!!) But it was pretty cool, it was hour and a half and took us all over Dublin. The coolest part of the tour was we got to see U2's recording studio, well the outside of it....Friday night we went to a place that does Irish dancing and singing, it was my third time going, but everytime I go it gets better. My dad, Justin, Natalie and Robby (they all left with their own copies of Irish music!!) loved it as well. Saturday, Ireland played Scotland in the last game of the Six Nations (Ireland, France, England, Whales, Scotland and France). It was cool because all of the Scottish people were wearing their Kilts all weekend. It was a huge game for Ireland because they could have won the Triple Crown, which for all the non-rugby watchers it means they have to beat England, Whales and Scotland. They came so close, but lost to Scotland in the last second. *If you need any advice on Rugby my dad is an expert now, he loved it and if he says he doesnt, he is lying, he couldnt stop watching it...The trip as a whole as one for the ages and we had so much fun, I really love having my family and friends here, this is a great place and everyone should experience the "Dublin Experience" it is good craic...ALSO THERE WAS NO GREEN BEER HERE, I THINK IT IS A MYTH

On a basketball note, we have two tournaments left. Our first one is April 9-11 and it is called Varsities, it is all the colleges in Ireland come together (this year is in Galway) and play each other. We have won it the last two years, so we have to go there and take care of business. We leave straight from Galway and go to Edinburgh to B.U.G.S (British University Games). This is a cool tournament because it consists of all the colleges in Northern Ireland, England, Whales and Scotland. We all play each other and the winner of it gets gold. Last year we lost to England, but plan on this year to bring home a Gold Medal to Northern Ireland. Lets gooo!!! Will return with results when it is all said and done.

Hope everyone is doing well and has an awesome Easter and for all those on Spring Break (mine starts today!!) enjoy and miss everyone!!

Also how about the madness this year, it is crazy, but love watching it. Shout out to the Terps for an awesome season!!



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