A quick rundown from the weekend that has me still chillin’ out on the couch. And I didn’t even do the Sunday band gigs like some of the other pipers did (I don’t know how they’re still standing….) — I think it would be movie marathon and cheetos for sure if I had piped all day Sunday!! Thankfully here in the Bible belt of the US, there are enough church-goers on Sundays that they held all the festivities in Charleston on Saturday so I was able to participate from 7am all the way til about midnight!! The fun actually started Friday night with the aforementioned “jam” with some friends from the pipe band complete with smallpipes, fiddles, and whistles. I didn’t get to bed til around 2am Friday and was up at 6:15am to get to a hotel in downtown Charleston by 7:30am (I was actually about 15 minutes late…sorry Karen!!) We were just playing a few tunes for a national colorectal cancer group since it was St. Patrick’s Day weekend. They fed us a delicious breakfast, and then we were off to find parking for the 9am show time for our first parade. Here are a few pre-parade piping prep pictures (heehee) wearing the fake tattoo arm sleeves Karen had: [She is musch sillier than me and even had a big green sequined bowtie and fuzzy green mustache for later (I may have to steal some facebook pictures to show you…)]
That was a bit of a long parade, nothing too strenuous, with lots of people all the way up King Street through downtown.
I don’t have video from Saturday, but I managed to find a 30 second snippet of our band marching in Hilton Head, SC, on March 17 (Sunday) without me:
We finished up by high-tailing it over to a soiree several blocks and a fifteen minute walk away (I had no idea where we were half the time) to play a few sets before forming up outside of the Hibernian Club for the second parade. A few of the early arrivals availed themselves of mimosas, but, alas, I didn’t even get a sip of water. I was very thankful for the tiny water bottle Karen had slipped me before the parade to keep in my pipe bag cover. 🙂 Here are a few videos shot by Angus’s mom (one of the younger pipers) while we played between parades:
After those tunes we formed up outside for the second parade – the Hibernian Society Parade. This one was shorter and ended with free refreshments. 🙂
The day gets a bit blurry from here on out because we walked a lot, I went back and forth to my car to pump a few times, moving it each time, going parking lot to parking lot, eating snacks, drinking some iced coffee when I could sneak it in 🙂 I will try my best to give a faithful rendition, but I can’t guarantee anything. After the parades we hob-nobbed behind the Hibernian Club with Mimosas (I had a yummy Coke – haven’t had just a plain Coke in forever but it was so tasty right then!!), taking time to readjust our attitudes:
We headed on over to The Blind Tiger, a great downtown pub and restaurant with a gorgeous brick patio area. The patrons loved us there, and Guinness was freely distributed. A few pictures from The Blind Tiger:
I high-tailed it from there back to the car where I took care of some things and changed into a cuter kilt then met the group over at O’Malley’s for a free lunch (corned beef, cabbage, and soda bread.) As I fast-walked my way across town, things were just too lovely to keep my phone in its case, and pictures were taken:
This tree had three different colors of pink flowers on the same tree!
A few candids from our lunch break:
We of course played for a few minutes upon arrival and departure, and then part of the band had to leave for a gig out on another island. My half planned to meander slowly back through town to the next commitment. Leaving O’Malley’s, I moved the car again and then met up with the band on King Street where we paraded through various places while people taped us on their iphones and ipads (a pizza place, some guy’s apartment, the Apple store…) This was all on our way to Molly Darcy’s, another Irish pub, this time on East Bay Street down by the water. Once we marched into, and through, and around Molly Darcy’s, we deposited ourselves there for more refreshing beverages (They had great sweet tea, and, or course, more Guinness!) and about a 90 minute break. We did a little more playing – this time with some tag-team solos (I attempted a jig, then the three of us played one together, next on to Cathy’s jigs, another few jigs together, and finally some by J.D. That was the plan….but once people were up dancing to the tunes, J.D. and Cathy went back and forth a few times and kept it going for a while. Biff even joined us for a bit on the drum.) We had the right people around to play “Steamtrain to Mallaig” which has several different parts that harmonize, so that was fun. 🙂 (We also got to play it at Hibernian Hall earlier.) A few pictures and videos:
The video spots when we all three played together made it pretty evident that we needed to have tuned together, so I left those out. 🙂
Let’s see….then it was time to move along, this time to Hibernian Hall again because we had thought the gig there was for whoever was on site.
They actually only needed a few pipes and drums, though, so after congregating for a few minutes, the rest of us scooted over to the Southend Brewery for a quick run through the place with a few marches.
I went back to the car again, but this time it was so far away, and I basically needed to come back to the same general area (and had NO DESIRE to spend about an hour walking.) Instead, I decided to walk towards my car while looking for one of those guys who pedals you around in a carriage. Just my luck – some strangers wanted me to play for them and paid me $20 to hear a few tunes. Then a group of college guys stopped me for maybe 5 minutes of playing, and finally, the crowd around the “rickshaw” thing wouldn’t let him pedal away until I played from the bench seat in the carriage. My car was parked in a garage right next to a Starbucks, so as I waited in line for my iced coffee, the guy in front of me struck up a conversation – apparently he works next door to O’Malley’s and heard us piping before lunch! Small world! (O’Malley’s was a good 10 minute drive away from the Starbucks.) We were headed back to The Blind Tiger, but by the time I got there they had already played. The best part hadn’t happened yet, though – free dinner!! I had a decent shepherd’s pie (possibly the worst I’ve ever had, but ground beef, mashed potatoes, and a few veggies are good no matter what you do to them when you’ve been on your feet playing the pipes all day – so it was quite decent to me :)) Our Pipe Major Josh met back up with us after spending half the evening away playing for a wedding, as did the group which had piped over at Hibernian Hall, so we were our own audience for a pipe-off between Josh and J.D. which was quite fun (appreciated by the other diners as well) but did not make it onto my camera.
The FINAL gig of the night was at The Smokey Oak, a BBQ place over on James Island, where I played with two other pipers and three drummers. Surprisingly, “Dawning of the Day” sounded great, and we ended the night on a High Note (pun intended!) 🙂 I also walked away with a full rack of ribs for the family which was tonight’s dinner while I was off at band practice.
On the way back home, I popped into Madra Rua, the Irish pub about ten minutes from our house to play them a few tunes and was rewarded with many cheers and happy faces. When I got home I threw the Corned Beef into a crockpot, and the next day 3 great guys from church came over for lunch, so we had another full, yet relaxing, day. I have no idea how the others marched again on Sunday in Hilton Head because all day MONDAY my legs have still been sore from Saturday’s marching, walking, and standing. I’m going to put my sore legs back into bed now so they can recover a bit more before running in the morning. 🙂