St. Patrick's Day in London

Sometimes things just go your way.

While I can't recall ever thinking this on the golf course, in travel I've received more than my fair share of lucky bounces. There was the $100 room I scored at the Four Seasons, or better yet, the first class flight to Amsterdam for $78. Of all the lucky breaks I've caught while traveling, one of the best would have to be the random trip to London...on St. Patrick's Day.

Black Lion Pub Bayswater London
The Black Lion Pub

After scoring the previously mentioned first class seats and enjoying a few days in Amsterdam, my buddy and I were presented with a problem. Our tickets were standby, and the flights back home were booked for several days. We decided to take the short flight to London, where we were all but guaranteed to get home as scheduled. We arrived in London mid-morning, and as I exited the cab in front of our hotel, I couldn't help but notice a giant banner on the Black Lion Pub next door...

"Happy St. Patrick's Day"

What had started as a problem, it seemed, had actually been yet another lucky break...

Up to that point I had never really celebrated St. Patrick's Day. Sure, I'd make an effort to have a Guinness for good measure, but that was about the extent of my green holiday festivities. Now, here I was in London, certainly as close to Dublin as I'd ever been, and there was an Irish pub next door to my hotel. Whoever was writing this script needed a raise.

We headed down to the pub shortly after nightfall and the place was already packed to the gills. A couple not much older than us invited us to share their table, and the ultimate small world moment happened. It turned out they lived on the street adjacent to our college apartment in Orlando, and we could see their house from our balcony. In fact, I think we even hit their house with a firecracker on July 4th, but that's another story. 
St. Patrick's Day London
Awkward face, awesome pint.
The atmosphere was unlike anything I'd experienced in a pub before or ever since. Songs were sang - most of which I didn't understand - and just about everyone you spoke to was suddenly your best friend. I enjoyed a few pints of Guinness but was careful not to over do it since our flight was in about 6 hours. There really was no need to drink, however...the place was intoxicating all by itself.

As night turned into early morning, and the pub closed for the evening, I decided it was probably best to catch an hour or two of sleep. My buddy continued the party with our neighbors from Orlando, but he caught another break and slept it off in first class, while I was stuck in coach.

No doubt about it, between the $78 first class flight, and celebrating St. Patrick's Day in London, the travel Gods were on my side during this adventure. The best way I know to sum it up is to quote the infamous Barney Stinson... "It was Legen - wait for it - Dary." 

Where will you celebrate this St. Patrick's Day?

~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~