Friday, March 20, 2015

St Patrick's Day 2014

Earlier in the year (2014) Beckett, my best friend from Wisconsin, had talked about the possibility of coming out to visit me in New Zealand. I can't imagine what about my country would appeal to a 19 year old Wisconsinite, surely not the R18 drinking age? Definitely not the spectacular scenery and unparalleled beauty of the place. He must just have been missing me a lot.

At any rate, in March he stopped speculating and came over, arriving a couple of days later than originally anticipated on the 17th. That's right, he arrived just in time for St Patrick's Day, the only day of the year where it's socially acceptable to be drunk before lunchtime. He'd been delayed on a couple of flights and had to spend some unexpected time in Australia where he had a small win at a local casino and made fast friends with a few locals in true Beckett style.

I had already drawn up a rough itinerary for us, involving a trip up North to Auckland, over to Great Barrier Island and then back down in mum's car to Wellington sight-seeing along the way but aside from times for needing to be on and off the barrier we had a very loose schedule.

We were booked to fly to Auckland the evening of the 17th so I decided the best thing to do was to drop luggage off at my place and head into town for some quick drinking as soon as Beckett got in. He seemed happy enough with that as the plan and so began our St Patty's Day celebrations.

We hit up a couple of the Irish bars around the Cuba Street area for the traditional dose of Irish stout before it was time to bus home and gear up for Auckland. Beckett decided it was a good idea to match me in pace and number on the drinking front and at this point was keeping up admirably, his college drinking paying dividends.

The plan for the night in Auckland was to stay with family of mine in South Auckland who had generously offered to pick us up from the airport and drive us back there the next morning for our flight over to the Barrier.

Our flight up went smoothly and we were soon greeted by the familiar faces (well familiar to me) of my "other mother" and her youngest daughter who I usually refer to as my sister, who is about 2 years younger than me. Soon after arriving we were roped into her St Patrick's Day plans which involved visiting their local Irish bar and downing even more of the good stuff, an endeavour we were more than happy to involve ourselves with.

Once we were settled in there with Erica (afore-mentioned sister), Emerald (Erica's older sister, also usually referred to as my sister) and some of their friends, we sat drinking Guinness whilst listening to a Celtic band playing in the courtyard and felt just a little bit Irish.

Thankfully we had a designated driver for the night as alcohol was cheap and we managed to score a few free drinks from particularly merry co-patrons. I was definitely feeling it by the end of the night and Beckett kept good pace up until about the last two drinks where he fell behind a little bit so I imagine at the time he was also feeling particularly jolly. He also managed to find himself a female counterpart for our time there so I think he was a little smitten about that as well as our general level of pleasant intoxication.

St Patrick's Day 2014 was really the first time I ever decided to go out and do something for the occasion and that was largely spurred on by playing host to Beckett. It was amazing to have him in the country even if only for a week and in the coming few posts I'll elaborate on the adventure we had whilst he was in town. I don't think we could've packed more into the 9 or so days he was visiting if we'd tried (well maybe if I'd organised some hallucinogenics or something but that's a different train of thought all together).

In the next post I'll talk about our trip to the Barrier, which was my first trip out there to see Mum in her new set-up.

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