Linking up with Kelly.
Yesterday was just an all-around awesome day. It was St. Patrick’s Day AND the first day of the NCAA basketball tournament! It felt like Christmas morning for me—I was in such a good mood all day. In the morning, I found out I needed to drop off a package to an office in Gramercy, which meant that I got to take a walk outside in the sunshine. And I was able to time it so that I could stop for Mass on the way there, for the Solemnity of St. Patrick. In Manhattan (but not in Queens or Brooklyn), St. Patrick’s Day is a solemnity, which meant that we said the Gloria and Alleluia, even though it was Lent! St. Patrick is the patron saint of the Archdiocese of New York, so his feast is a big deal here.
My roommate and I hosted a St. Patrick’s Day/March Madness party last night. It was so much fun! My sister brought scones that she made from the recipe my family uses, which we got from a bed and breakfast we stayed at in Cork when I was eleven. (I loved the tea and scones there so much that my parents started calling me Scone Girl, and they asked for the recipe so they could make them at home!)
Our apartment was all decked out in green, we played Irish music, and basketball was playing on the TV. One of my friends went to Gonzaga and another is a big Seton Hall fan, so we stayed up late to watch their game. Gonzaga ended up pulling the upset!
My dad and I have tickets to Notre Dame’s NCAA tournament game tonight in Brooklyn! I’m excited that they’re playing here in the city. My tickets are for two games, so I’ll also see West Virginia vs. Stephen F. Austin—the Mountaineers vs. the Lumberjacks.
The last time I attended a tournament game, I was in Notre Dame’s pep band in 2007. Our team played in Spokane, and we lost in the first round to Winthrop in an upset. I remember watching the Selection Sunday show that year and waiting to find out which city I’d be flying to within the next few days! Despite the fact that we lost the game, it was still cool to spend my spring break in Spokane; it was the only time I’ve ever visited the Northwest.
Before that, I’d been to one Villanova tournament game in 2006, when Nova was ranked as a 1-seed and played their first two games in Philly. I watch all the games every year, but I’ve only been to two in person—I’m excited to add a third one tonight!
The funniest set of March Madness predictions I’ve seen this year:
The championship game in this bracket is between the Oregon Ducks and the Syracuse Orange—the Duck l’Orange Showdown. I love it so much.
When I went skiing a few weeks ago, the conditions were really icy. Even though we were all experienced skiers, almost everyone in our group fell at some point. It was just a weird mix of ice and powder—all artificial, since they hadn’t gotten any real snow there all season. I hadn’t fallen in years, but I wiped out on a run in the middle of the day, and only one of my skis popped off, which meant that the other leg got twisted in a weird position. I knew it was sore right away, but I thought it would be okay. My knee improved after a few days, but then it got worse as I kept putting weight on it, and one night I got home and couldn’t even walk on it. So I worked from home the next day, iced it, and got a knee brace, and it’s actually been getting better since then, although I’ll need to keep an eye on it. I think I may have strained a tendon. I’m kind of disappointed that I can’t go running in the park in this beautiful weather (or jogging/walking, in my case), but I need to let it rest. Maybe I should just bring a scooter to the park.
Free Rita’s Day is coming up soon, on Sunday (a.k.a. the first day of spring, which is also Palm Sunday this year!). For those of you not from the mid-Atlantic region, Rita’s is an Italian-ice chain (or water ice, if you’re from Philadelphia like me). I actually had Rita’s a few weeks ago, the day after I went skiing—it was a sunny day, and we happened upon a Rita’s that was open early for the season and stopped in. it was the first time I had a gelati in years! Last year I wanted to go to the Upper West Side location for Free Rita’s Day (the only one in NYC), but it snowed on the first day of spring, and I didn’t make the trek up there. And for two years before that, I lived in California, where there was no Rita’s. I’ll be in NJ this weekend, so I might have the chance to go!
I had dinner with my sister at Eataly last week; I hadn’t been there since I was cleared of my allergies, and it was so great! The food there reminds me so much of my year in Rome—everything is so authentic, and they sell a lot of the same Italian brands I used to love. I had amazing gnocchi and Merlot, with a Nutella crepe for dessert. I can’t believe I was able to go for years without eating Nutella…when my friends and I were studying in Rome, we ate so much Nutella that we wrote an ode to it, to the tune of “Umbrella.”
Happy bracketing, everyone! And I hope you have a blessed Holy Week!