Wednesday, March 23, 2011

St. Patty's Day in San Francisco

Let me start off by saying that I was never one to go over-the-top in my participation in St. Patrick's Day.  I don't drink beer, and I was really good about going to class to learn, not to make a drunken fool of myself.  However, this was my first year since turning 21 that I was not a college student.  It was time for me to let my hair down and party with everyone else, which I certainly managed.

I started by bringing a dozen mini-cupcakes to work.  I ordered them from one of my favorite cupcakeries from the SF Cupcake Challenge.  Annie and I each took a dozen to work, so we split an order of Peppermint Patty cupcakes and Guinness & Bailey's cupcakes.  I meant to take a picture of how cute they were, but I ate them too fast.  Peppermint patties do have a close place to my heart on St. Patty's Day, since I used to roam around with peppermint schnapps and chocolate syrup and make people get on their kneees for peppermint patty shots.  That kind of debauchery hasn't happened in years, though.

Skip ahead to the end of the work day.  Annie and I met at home, grabbed a bus to BART, and took off into the city.  We didn't have any specific plans, but we had heard that parts of the city get crazy, and we were just going to join the crowds.  We knew that we wanted to go by the Irish Bank, since it would be the epicenter of the Irish foolishness, but we didn't really expect to wait in line to get in only to wait for drinks while touching 30 other drunken frat boys.  And we didn't.  It was indeed crazy, so we walked around the corner to our first pub of the night, Rickhouse (though I called it Mickhouse until looking it up today).
Rickhouse: Irish flag means it's legit!
They had some crazy Irish whiskey concoction, so I ordered two, grabbed Annie a Guinness, and we found somewhere to stand while listening to Irish folk music.  Our bartender, though arguably drunk himself, had the cutest little Irish gettup on, complete with a bow tie and suspenders.  We finished and decided to progress somewhere else.  We got in line and walked into another Irish pub across the street.  It was so dense with people that we immediately walked back out.  (I'm gonna count this as the second place in our pub crawl, even though we didn't drink anything.  We drank enough later to make up for it.)

Annie had once played trivia at a place called Elephant & Castle, so we used our Smartphones to wander in that direction.  There were points where we thought of just following drunken groups of people, in hopes of catching up on the festivities, but they always walked too slow or got sidetracked.  Elephant & Castle is probably my new favorite bar, since it was huge and, for some reason, made me feel like I was back at Michigan.  (Not that it matters since I rarely go to the bar.)  Here's where things got interesting.  I just went for straight Jameson on the rocks, and Annie and I did shots of Jameson.  This place had March Madness on, so we were able to check up on scores and watch UCLA finish off State ('If you can't get into college...').

We might have done more shots, I'm not sure, but we then took off to find the Royal Exchange.
Royal Exchange Block Party
Apparently, the Royal Exchange gets a whole street blocked off (not just alleys like the Irish Bank).  It must have already been too much for SF denizens, because cops were there lining the streets.  Oh well, it looked fun, even though we couldn't find anywhere to get a drink.  We instead walked across the street to Embarcadero Center and found a bar on the 3rd floor where Annie once watched a Michigan hockey game.  (Strange that Annie sounds way more like an alcoholic at the end of this.)  What was important is that we ate here, but also drank more whiskey and beer, respectively.

Finally, our bar crawl ended at a place called the White Horse, where we found our roomie!  I got Jack on the rocks (I was sick of Irish whiskey), but I feel like people kept rotating drinks around so that I wouldn't realize that I wasn't drinking much of it.  I had a crazy craving for Mozzarella Sticks (good ol' Midwestern boy comes out), and took off by myself to find a diner.  The diner across the street was closed, so I went off to find another.  I remember walking in one diner, where there was a line, asking for something to sign my name on (meaning get on the wait list), but responded to the funny faces I was getting by leaving.  I eventually found a diner, ordered mozzarella sticks, and enjoyed them with ranch and a strawberry shake.

Somehow, when I walked outside, Annie and our roomie were there.  There might have been some texting involved.  They dragged me off to BART.  Here's how that went:
This is what I felt like.
This is apparently what I looked like (complete with a vest to look like a Leprechaun).
And these pictures pretty much sum up the rest of the BART ride (except our roomie got digits from a drunk guy playing mandolin [who also plays fiddle]).

Our roomie's friend was sober and picked us up at the BART station in Oakland to drive us home.  I may have offered to blow him in repayment of his transportation services...  Oh.  Though I don't remember it, Annie claims that at one point I was laying on the platform on my back, sprawled out, at the Powell St. BART Station.  If so, that's simultaneously disturbing and embarrassing (albeit awesome).

Hope you don't remember your entire St. Patty's Day either,

P.S. Made it to work the next morning on time.  I felt great when I woke up.  Almost TOO great...

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