Saturday Night Serenade–Kiss Me, I’m Irish

I LOVE St. Patrick’s Day!   On my bucket list is to pay someone to play Galway Girl in a pub in Galway on St. Patrick’s Day.  So far, this first video is as close as I’ve gotten.  It’s a joyous street celebration!

Tonight, in celebration of all things Eire, I’ve assembled some of my favorite Irish music by some of my favorite Irish bands.  If you’re not familiar with them, it’s a sampling of what’s out there.

To me, the perfect place to celebrate the day is in an Irish bar listening to traditional music.  A few St. Patrick’s Days ago, Mr. R and I spent hours at the James Joyce Irish Pub, a wonderful bar in Tampa’s Ybor City neighborhood.

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We listened to great music and tossed back way too many little green shots before we staggered back to our hotel in the wee hours of the morn.  At one point, Mr. R paid the guy to sing Dirty Old Town.  Here it is by The Pogues.

You can’t celebrate the day without Irish Rover.  This traditional version is by the Dubliners with The Pogues.  Just ignore the bad teeth, it’s brilliant.

The Dropkick Murphys are undoubtedly my favorite jig-punk band, and I was thrilled to go see them last time they came through town.  This is Rose Tattoo.

Again,  here are The Pogues, with If I Should Fall From Grace With God.  Does it seem like  the Irish have something of a fixation on death?

Finally, and if you’re still here, you’re awesome, here’s a set from my favorite Irish band, The Prodigals, at their home bar, Paddy Reilly’s on the lower east side of Manhattan.  I actually DID get to see them here once, and it was magical.

Pull up a stool and raise your pint glass.  Sláinte, hug those you love, and have a happy Saturday night.

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Saturday Night Serenade–Full Tilt Reno

Our big renovation started on Wednesday.  Over five years ago, Mr. R. and I bought a small foreclosed home in an equestrian community where every lot is at least an acre and a quarter in size.  The home needed work, and we did the bare minimum so we could move in.

Now, it’s time to make the place what we want it to be.  We’re completely redoing the kitchen, both bathrooms, and adding wood flooring.  The project includes some minor structural changes as well.

All of that put me in the mood for ‘house’ songs.  And because I couldn’t decide on just one, tonight’s serenade is a three-fer.  I love this version of Who Says You Can’t Go Home, and the video features home construction, so it’s perfect for the occasion.

But I couldn’t resist Our House by Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young.  Because when it’s finished, our house will be a very, very, very fine house, LOL!  We’ll post ‘After’ photos, I promise.

And what post about our house would be complete without this 80s blast, Our House by Madness?

I’ll leave you with a few photos of the carnage.  I don’t even mind the mess, noise, and inconvenience–this is going to be awesome!

Happy Saturday night!

A Sweet Surprise

wpid-20141229_102957-1.jpgMr. R. brought these home to me the other day.  It wasn’t my birthday or one of our anniversaries (we celebrate at least three: the day we ‘met’ online, our first wedding, and our second wedding–long story for another post), and it wasn’t Christmas.  He gave them to me “just because.”

I think one way to ‘keep it fresh’ is to prioritize each other.  It’s been harder for the last six months due to our tightened budget, we haven’t had Date Night as often as I’d like, but still we find creative ways to remind each other, and ourselves, how blessed we are to have found the other half that makes us whole.

Mr. R. has a flower guy who sells flowers from a truck next to a gas station in town.  His flowers are so much more beautiful than you’d get other places.  He actually supplied the white and purple hydrangeas for our second (formal, if you will) wedding.

From time to time, Mr. R. stops by Antonio’s truck to pick out a bouquet.  It’s reason #12 that I love him so much.

Christmas Holiday Date Night

Friday was my last day before the two-week holiday break and to celebrate, Mr. R. picked me up from work and we headed out for date night.  It was early, so before we went downtown we headed toward the beach, driving north along A1A to the Jupiter inlet.

It was an absolutely beautiful late afternoon with the temperature in the mid 70s and the water was smooth.  As we watched boats effortlessly navigating the inlet I could feel the tension of a hectic work day melting away.  The sun sank lower and we turned south heading for Clematis Street in downtown West Palm Beach.

wpid-img_20141219_171318-1.jpgWe had a little trouble finding parking.  It turns out there was a Slutty Santa Pub Crawl, which made for awesome people watching when we found our favorite table outside Bar Louie.  With Mr. R.’s Stella and my Cosmo, we settled in to wait for the sun to go down and the holiday lights to twinkle to life.

For Christmas, Clematis is always festively decorated with garlands, designer Christmas trees, LED motion icicles, and rows of lights strung down the center of the street all the way from the east end at Bar Louie to the 500 block, home of O’Shea’s Pub and Respectable Street.  My only tiny whine: in years past, the lights were blue, lending a funky surreal glow to the revelry.  This year the lights were white.  Oh well.

Sitting outside at Bar Louie, we enjoyed our cocktails and some appetizers like the boneless chicken wings and their signature bruschetta, and watched as the crowds of Slutty Santas grew larger and sluttier.  I was a bit disappointed that the naked guy from Halloween didn’t make a reappearance.

It was nicely dark when we finished our refreshments and the street was beautifully festive.  After paying our server, we made our way east toward the waterfront to view West Palm Beach’s annual contribution to holiday decor, the 35-foot tall Christmas tree sculpted from 600 tons of sand.

wpid-20141219_192547.jpegThe photo doesn’t really do it justice.  The color changes, the lights twinkle and fade, and the whole thing is set to music.  Here is the link from this year’s Tree Lighting Ceremony.   I want to point out WPBF’s very own Erin Guy as this year’s host.

We had a genuinely nice date night.  It was a fabulous beginning to a hard-earned vacation.