Saint Patrick’s Day – Have A Whale Of A Time!

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

Let’s get some things straight.

Things I didn’t know. (That’s what I love about this. I’ve become a human sponge!)

Which facts are you aware of? And what will come as a surprise?

Not Commonly Known

Saint Patrick wore blue, not green. Most paintings depicted him in blue robes. Only after the Irish Independence movement in the late 18th Century did the green color get pushed.

He wasn’t Irish. Patrick’s parents were Roman citizens living in England, where he was born (though a few sources say Scotland).

He was born Maewyn Succat in 385 AD. By that time, many Romans were Christians and Christianity was spreading rapidly across Europe. As a boy, christianity was the least of his worries.

Saint Patrick ended up a slave. At the age of 16 , he was kidnapped by Irish raiders who sold him as a slave. He spent 6 captive years in Dalriada, Ireland, herding sheep where he found comfort in God.

At the age of 22, he managed to escape (a voice told him it was time). He spent 3 days sailing then walked 28 days to the point of near starvation and was reunited with his family.

He gained his priesthood and later returned to Ireland (when, again, the voice told him to go back), changed his name to Patricius and spent the rest of his life converting Irish Pagans to Christianity.

The odds of finding a four-leaf clover are about 1 in 10,000. The myth that St. Patrick used the shamrock as a metaphor for the Holy Trinity: The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit is likely not true. Instead, it is believed monks made this claim.

Patrick is also renowned for coming up with the Celtic cross, which combined a native sun-worshiping ideology with the Christian cross.

Sadly, after a harsh life of being constantly beaten by thugs, harassed by the Irish royalty, and admonished by his British superiors he died quietly, in Saul, Ireland in 461 where he had built his first church.

On a positive note, he founded monasteries, built churches, organized Ireland into dioceses, created councils and supported church officials, all during his life’s work.

The celebration of St. Patrick’s Day was basically invented by Irish Americans.

What You May Already Know

Saint Patrick’s Day is the day of the saint’s death, not his birth. Early biographers state that he was buried near the Down Cathedral in the town of Downpatrick, Northern Ireland, or Dun Padraig, meaning Patrick’s Stronghold. A memorial stone stands over the supposed approximate location of his remains….well most of him. Apparently, a jaw and tooth are on display in the Dublin Museum.

Also, you can visit the Saint Patrick’s Visitor Center, also near the Down Cathedral, to learn more and pay tribute to him at his memorial site.

Saint Patrick is often portrayed with a Crozier, known as the Baccal Isu, his golden staff. A hermit was instructed, by Jesus, to give it to Patrick. Could this also be the staff of Jesus? Patrick used this crozier to banish the snakes. The Crozier was later denounced as superstitious and publicly destroyed in 1538 by order of the archbishop, George Browne.

The banning of the snakes is considered a myth since snakes never populated Ireland due to icy ocean conditions. It is believed to be another metaphor for cleaning up the streets of Ireland.

Patrick’s copy of the four gospels is held at the The Royal Irish Academy where his writings, referred as His Confession, can be viewed. The original writings are lost except for what is written in the Book of Armaghat the Trinity College Dublin Library.

Okay, school’s out, now for some fun…..

Parades, Beer, and Green Rivers!

The world’s first recorded Saint Patrick’s Day Parade took place in Boston on March 18, 1737, followed by the New York Parade, comprised of Irish military soldiers marching through the streets of New York, which first took place in 1762.

Today, 150,000 people take part in the New York parade, with 2 million people cheering them on. No motorized vehicles or floats are allowed in the parade, marching for Ireland only!

I have to mention this….the shortest parade occurred annually from 1999 to 2007 in Dripsey, an Irish Village. The parade spanned 26 yards, from the front door of one pub to another!

Rough translation of Erin Go Bragh!….Ireland Forever!

There are more Irish in the USA than Ireland. 34 million Americans have Irish ancestry. There are 4.2 million people living in Ireland.

In 1961, business manager of Chicago’s Journeymen Plumbers Local Union, Stephen Bailey, received permission to turn the Chicago River green for St. Patrick’s Day. They used 100 lbs of vegetable dye! Today, they only use 25 lbs. The dye lasts for about five hours.

“The environmental impact of the dye is minimal compared with sources of pollution such as bacteria from sewage-treatment plants.” – Margaret Frisbie, the executive director of the advocacy group Friends of the Chicago River.

What’s with the Leprechauns?

This Irish fairy of supposed supernatural powers has no real connection to St Patrick. There are a couple of loose theories, one being everything Irish was rolled into this one holiday.

Oddly, there are no female leprechauns. No wonder the breed died out!

No Drinking On St. Patrick’s Day?

Irish law, from 1903 to 1970, declared St. Patrick’s Day a religious observance for the entire country. All pubs were shut down for the day, no beer for that day. The law was overturned in 1970, when St. Patrick’s was reclassified as a national holiday – allowing the taps to re-open. Not to mention cashing in on the tourist and beverage industries!

Speaking of beer:

Murphy’s Irish Stout – Light and sweet in flavor compared to the rest, Murphy’s Irish Stout has become increasingly more popular especially in the US.

O’Hara’s Irish Wheat – flavors of bananas, peaches and plums are blended with traditional hops. It’s perfect for those who prefer a lighter, easy-drinking option.– Something I prefer!

Neither of these can be found here in Canada but these are popular:

Kilkenny – smooth and creamy, the result of hops combined with fruits, malt, coffee and roasted barley.

And of course, there’s Guinness – A pint of Gat – The rich, dark, most popular Irish brew that comes in three varieties.

5.5 million pints of Guinness are sold on any given day, but this figure rises to an astounding 13 million on St. Patrick’s Day!

In 2012, it is reported an estimated $245 million is spent on beer on this day.

Going Local

Home to Ottawa since 1875 is St. Patrick’s Basilica, located on Kent St between Gloucester St. and Nepean St. It was the first English speaking Roman Catholic Church in the city. Free parking is available on all 3 of these streets Saturdays and Sundays.

Another St. Patrick church is in the Nepean district, at 15 Steeple Cres. It’s history began in 1833 and was rebuilt and blessed in 1866.

Game of Thrones

Plan your next trip to tour Northern Ireland, many of the filming locations of Game of Thrones. Lose yourself in the set, dressed in traditional robes and learn archery from the actors’ trainer.

If you are looking for a place to stay in Northern Ireland, Airbnb is very popular and can be inexpensive for travellers. Prices can be as low as $50 per night. Keep in mind, Europe tends to charge a minimal traveller’s fee, so inquire.

Here are a few beautiful options in and near the tour:

Stay in this breathtaking castle

City living in Belfast 

Wow– is all I can say!

A little more casual

On the water

My first choice, after touring Downpatrick

Great beachfront but you share the bathroom with the owner

Best bang for the buck

Last one, I swear

It would be so hard to choose…a cottage by the water or an amazing castle.

Enjoy your day however you choose to celebrate it!

Please Drink Responsibly

 

 

Posted on March 17, 2017 by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe

Happy Irish Coffee Day!

Welcome to the Debut of Travel By The Glass!

Posted January 25, 2017 by Kim Ratcliffe-Doe

Nuts & Bolts

If curiosity got the better of you, you’ve landed on Travel By The Glass. It’s fun, informative and will take you to quaint, off-the-beaten-path places. On your next vacation, add a little spice to your trip with interesting detours to your travel itinerary. Mingle with the locals. Discover a whole new world while you’re globetrotting.

In the months to come, this website will showcase unique, maybe even unheard of, places. The country of choice will depend on what is the national “drink” of the day. I’ll even attempt to make the drink, too! (Scroll further or use the Facebook link in sidebar.)

Happy Irish Coffee Day!Who Concocted the First Irish Coffee?

To celebrate National Irish Coffee Day, we discover the origins of this scrumptious drink all the way to, of course, Ireland.

Foynes to be exact, a small village near Limerick. It’s considered a fairly new town, being less than two centuries old. The Foyne’s Air Base, in affiliation with Shannon Airport, handled many passengers, including political VIP’s and celebrities, on their Flying Boats to and from Canada and the United States.

In 1942, a flight bound for North America had to return to Foynes due to extreme winter weather which was not an uncommon occurrence. The restaurant, located at the Foynes terminal, had just acquired a new manager, Joe Sheridan. Faced with these chilled, travel-weary passengers, Joe created a special drink. As the story goes, a hush fell as they tasted it for the first time. It became the main staple included on Joe’s menu for travelers in Foynes.

Travel writer, Stanton Delaplane  brought the recipe back to America to Jack Koeppler, a bartender at the Buena Vista Hotel in San Francisco. Their early attempts to recreate the brew saw the cream sinking to the bottom of the glass. Jack traveled to Foynes to catch up with Joe to learn the proper method. He eventually found him at Shannon International Airport.

In 1952, Buena Vista Hotel offered Joe a position. Joe’s popular story is commemorated in the Foynes Flying Boat Museum.

Today, the Buena Vista proudly makes 2,000 Irish Coffees daily.

Watch To See If My First Attempt Was Successful.

I would love to see your picture posted having an Irish Coffee! A follow up post will feature your photos.

Flying through San Francisco on February 25? Stop in for a brew at the newest location of the Sheridan at the San Francisco airport.  The original is at the Buena Vista in the fisherman’s wharf area in San Francisco where it’s made to classic perfection. This is on my agenda next trip to Cali!

View the events from 2016 Foyne’s Flying Boat and Museum and to plan your visit for 2017. Be sure to watch the 10 minute video for a taste of what’s in store – the music finishes about the 3 minute mark then gets into the commentary. 

For a more adult geared excursion, download the free app for Ireland’s Whiskey Trail available at Google Play Store. The tour guides you to Ireland’s distilleries, the best whiskey pubs and shops.

The Irish Based Flight Company, Ryanair has some exciting offers for it’s passengers:

Ryanair Flights for Free In Europe?

An Example of a Recent Ryanair Special

If you’re in Ireland this time of year, re-live the past at the Sheridan Food Pub, named after you-know-who.

A wealth of Irish pubs are in the Ottawa Market and downtown area. All priced the specialty coffees around $6.95. I visited a few, including the following:

The Aulde Dubliner makes 2 versions of Irish Coffee. Barman Luc made the Bushmill’s Irish Coffee with flair and so generously gave his attention to all of my questions. Ask about the new drink menu geared for Winterlude. If the Carrot Parsnip soup is on tap, I strongly urge you to have one, it’s out of this world! Kudos to Chef Dave Rosa.  

The Irish Village consists of 4 pubs meandering from the front of the Heart and crown to Mother McGinty’s at the back. The specialty coffee selection is the same as the Aulde Dubliner so I if you’re in the market tonight, you’ll find one, no problem.

Patty Boland's

Patty Boland’s, in the market, hosts great music almost every night of the week so check out the dj tonight for some mid-week dancing. I consider myself somewhat of a poutine connoisseur and theirs is definitely a 10!

The newly opened Starbucks on York Street sadly is not yet equipped to make today’s national drink; they do serve beer and wine. If we all request a specialty coffee, they may come around!

Lunergan’s Pub in Ottawa East, made a lovely Irish Coffee with Kahlua. Yum. Ask for the Irish stew either today or on St Paddy’s Day, they make it fresh on site.

Connor’s Gaelic Pub, on Bank Street, provided me refuge on a freezing rain evening. They offered a good variety of coffees but I opted for a soup for some reason. Was I missing that carrot parsnip soup? For a pea soup non-lover, it was quite good! Served in a giant bowl, it seemed quite thin which I discovered is the correct way.

Quinn’s Ale House, in the Glebe, has a lively, intimate atmosphere. The lovely Alli informed me they don’t make Irish Coffees but I could slip across the street, purchase a fresh brew and bring it back for a shot of rye. Voila, makeshift Irish Coffee!

Celtic Cross, two blocks away, is back on Elgin Street! The week kicks off Wednesdays for Open Mike so drop in for your specialty coffee tonight and catch the entertainment. Into Trivia? Every week, they host a trivia night and music Fridays and Saturdays. Each Sunday, they present a different movie, unless there’s a big game on. Planning your own event? Inquire within. The cool picture of the cross and Irish flag I give credit to Dave, the bartender with the most awesome hairstyle! Without his help, I wouldn’t have achieved that angle.

Woody’s on Elgin has a beautiful fireplace tucked away at the back surrounded with 4 comfy chairs. A great place to enjoy an Irish Brew.

Fireplace

Wherever you are, find your local Irish pub, preferably one with a fireplace to cozy up to, for a tasty, hot drink on this cold winter day. Distracted by delicious soups (Hey, if it fits in a glass, I’ll include it!), I still managed to visit 10 Irish pubs and feel I accomplished my goal.

If you enjoyed this bit of information, at least found it interesting and know someone who has a passion for airplanes or coffee, Irish style, share this piece with them.

I invite your feedback to help grow this site. Feel free to make requests. I’ll dig and research the hell out of anything (I live for this!) to bring to future posts. All suggestions welcome.

Most of all, please return for the next National Drink Day! Stay Tuned!

Respect Your Brothers and Sisters…     Please Drink Responsibly