It’s always fun when St. Paddy’s Day is on a week-end, as it is this year, (actually today!,) so you can drink all that green beer to your heart’s content! But please do not also drive! Even a few short blocks!!!

Karen Salkin and Laura Saul, (both of whom should have known enough to not face the sun!,) in front of the official Ireland poster. Photo by Karen Salkin.

Karen Salkin and Laura Saul, (both of whom should have known enough to not face the sun!,) in front of the official Ireland poster. Photo by Karen Salkin.

I often have fun suggestions for tonight, but one of my contributing writers, Laura, and I actually celebrated a week early with yet another wonderful Tourism Ireland event. (As Laura says, “No matter where one of their events take place, it’s always a first class affair.”) What could be more appropriate for the month of March?! The timing could not have been better!

Actually, it was even more than perfect for me. I’m not going to make you guess why this time, although I have a feeling that, by now, many of you know where I’ll be and what I’ll be doing today, March 17. Celebrating early this year was great for me because today is a full day of the college basketball tournament, March Madness, from 9AM-10PM! And I always try to stay in and watch every second of it. So I would have felt awful to have a year with no St. Paddy’s festivities at all if I hadn’t already gotten a jump on them with that special event last week. Now I can be satisfied to stay in the house today, and cheer on my teams.

A dumb Facebook "game," but appropriate for today. And at least they have it right!

A dumb Facebook “game,” but appropriate for today. And at least they got it right!

So that’s how I’m celebrating St. Paddy’s Day this year; by sitting here all cozy, rocking my lovely green nails and PJs, (the latter of which Mr. X better be wearing, as well, because anyone who does not wear that shade today gets pinched!,) watching the college guys duke it out, and telling you about that event, thrown by real Irishmen! And Irishwomen, too, of course.

The occasion was Tourism Ireland’s pre-St. Patrick’s Day screening of the documentary, Ireland, (creative title, right?,) in 3-D on a giant IMAX screen. (I think we all could use those 3-D glasses right now for the image at the top of this article!) The last time I saw an IMAX film, in the dark ages, my sensitive self got a bit nauseous, so I was a tad trepidatious to try again. But I love this organization, so I decided to give it another go. And the luck of the Irish was with me that day because the experience was incredible!!! I didn’t want it to end!

Ireland showed us how stunning that country is. The overhead views are absolutely breathtaking. They’re so magnificent, in fact, that I assumed it had to be shot with drones. But I overheard one of the filmmakers telling someone that it was all done by helicopter! That’s unbelievable to me! Laura, noted, “The movie is so beautiful on the grand IMAX screen. It’s the best way to capture the beauty of Ireland.”

On top of the stunning visuals, Liam Neeson narrates the film! That makes it extra special.

The IMAX film we saw.

The IMAX film about–guess what?–Ireland!!!

We both could have done without the semi-boring narrative about a group of teen musicians traveling the country, though; we would have preferred to just see the exquisite shots of so many places in the Emerald Isle, some of which we’ve learned about over the years at other Best of Ireland events, including their most recent luncheon. (If you missed it, you can still read about it here: Some of the locations even looked familiar from The Bansees of Inisherin! And we would have loved to see one of the many Afternoon Teas that we’ve been told are prevalent in that fair country.

But the event was actually much more than just a screening. Since it began before noon, we started-out in the garden of IMAX HQ in Playa Vista. As we entered, there was a quartet of musicians playing traditional Irish music from their perch…hidden behind hedges!!! (But I found them, of course.) And there was a table of hot beverages—coffee, tea, and even hot chocolate—along with a couple of syrups to perk-up the regular flavors a bit. Since it was a chilly day, the organizers did the thoughtful touch of providing a coat rack with hangers for the guests rocking outerwear they might want to shed! I loved that!

The hidden musicians! Photo by Karen Salkin.

The hidden musicians! Photo by Karen Salkin.

And then after the movie and a post-screening talk from the filmmakers, we moved back to the garden for a lovely buffet lunch. There was a choice of three giant sandwiches—chicken salad on a croissant, spicy meats, and one I had never seen before, a Cobb salad one!—hearty vegetable wraps, and two excellent salads, one being watermelon and feta, of which Laura and I could not get enough!!! And the amiable staff constantly replenished it all.

The long buffet. Photo by Karen Salkin.

The long buffet. Photo by Karen Salkin.

As we were on the way out, I told Laura I wish there had been a wee bit of dessert because I needed something sweet after a delish meal like that. And what do you know? As we exited, the hosts gifted us each the most adorable box of Irish chocolates! It was like a leprechaun handed us a pot of gold! And the quartet of treats were housed in tiny orange “books!” I can’t wait to finish the candies so that I can store my rings in it, just so I can tell people I open a book every day!

What better celebration could one have right before St. Paddy’s Day?!

Finally, here’s something that amused me that day. Since the event was casual and Irish, I thought I was so cool to be rocking a Kelly green top with black pants. (Okay, okay—green jewelry, nails, scarf, eyeshadow, and full underwear, as well—I admit it.) But then, as we were parking to go in, Laura pointed-out a woman walking on the street, and said, “She’s going to the event, too.” When I asked how she knew, she said, “Look at her green top!” And she was correct, of course. So I thought there were two of us cool chicks. But when we got in there, we noticed that about a third of the women were wearing the same outfit as I was! I’m taking it as great minds thinking alike.

I hope you all have an equally fun time today, tonight, and all week-end, too. Please just be smart and careful and safe. I wish you all a very Happy St. Paddy’s Day!


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