They had appetizers and food, and even their own personalized coasters all over the town of Sligo. Ryan and I snuck out a few times and even headed over to what had been deemed an "old people bar" by the wedding-goers to hear the traditional Irish music that was going on over there. We laughed that we felt more at home in the geriatric pub, but hey, they had good taste in music and it felt much more Irish.
I actually have no idea how that country can possibly support the number of pubs it has. There are seriously like 5 on every block. O'hara's, O'Malleys, O'Grady's...you name it. Towns with a population of 800 people will still have like 10-15 pubs in them! Crazy. Guess that's what you do when it's always raining.
They had hired shuttles for the wedding guests all weekend taking them to and from events and around to their organized activities. Some went early morning golfing the next morning, but we took one they had arranged to take us sightseeing around the area.
And every time I saw sheep in Ireland I kept thinking these must be the happiest sheep in the whole world. I'd be a happy little sheep living in a place like this.
That afternoon a shuttle took people over for a tour of Parke Castle - the namesake castle of the groom and the draw for the wedding to be done in the mother-land, so to speak. Weddings aren't done there, however, which is why another venue was used. They even located some of their Irish Parke ancestors and it was fun to have some locals among the wedding crowd. And to see them bust out hats and feathers when they were dressed in their finery.
Anyhow, I'll admit, I was a bit tired after red-eyes, late night pubs and jet-lag, and a nap sounded too inviting for me to pass up that afternoon, so mostly the boys went and toured the castle without us.
The Bascom Palmer Eye Institute boys: Will (the groom), Ryan, Justin and Dave - all third year residents.
(Doesn't Dave look like he's straight out of Miami Vice? I love it. Stands out even better in a country that is so not diverse. In fact one of the groomsmen was going to pick them up at the train station and asked Will how he was going to find this guy there. Will said, "Don't worry, I'm pretty sure he'll be the only Persian in Ireland. :)
That night we were taken over to a beautiful hotel in town for the rehearsal dinner. I think they'd had an actual wedding rehearsal the night before with just the wedding party, but this was for all the guests (100 people came all the way to Ireland for the wedding - pretty impressive). The evening was full of great food, lots of amusing toasts and entertaining stories of both the bride and groom, and even some traditional Irish folk dancers (who move way to fast for any decent pictures).
I must say it was definitely a first for me to have to travel with a hanging bag full of cocktail dresses, tuxes and evening gowns. I could get used to it. :)
Well, have to get back to my normal life again. Sorry, wedding will be next time!