When I got to Milwaukee with my friend Jayne, we checked into the hotel, and headed straight to the festival grounds. The gate wasn't opened yet, so we decided to grab something substantial; maybe even some vegetables in order to put our stomachs in a better place than fair food (a.k.a grease pit). When we finally got into the festival, I checked in with my mom and sister, then Jayne and I started our walking tour. The festival is on 22 acres of redeveloped land along Milwaukee's lakefront. There are 11 different stages and another large area dedicated to education and culture in addition to music. All the walking is done on concrete, so legs take a beating. With all the stuff to see; vendor booths, information stations and kiosks as well as smaller stages set in temporary tent, there's no way one can experience all the details of the festival in one day. We were there for all three days; to the final activity of "the scattering."
If the long days weren't enough to wear me out, we were in the same hotel as all of the musicians. Jayne and I went to sleep relatively early the first night. I think we got about 7 hours of sleep. Saturday morning, we saw a Perkins immediately after I pulled out of the hotel parking lot. Jayne knew it meant time for pancakes. As we got seated, I spied a dear old friend and we joined them for breakfast. I knew at the end of that breakfast, I wouldn't get much sleep for the rest of the weekend.
Jayne and I got to the festival on Saturday around 1pm. We stayed until about 10:30pm. We were invited to the seissiun, but decided to head back to the hotel room for a little nap. My friend would call me when he got back to the hotel to seek out the real music. I got a call around 12:30am, so I headed down to the lobby. Jayne was smart enough to stay in bed. There were so many groupies and "me too"musicians. At around 4am, we both gave up the possibility of a real seissun happening, so I went to bed. Of course, the time waiting was not wasted - it was full of conversation about nothing important, and loads of deep belly laughs. When I called it a night, I realized I had grabbed a credit card instead of the room card. I had to call Jayne to get her to open the door. I was still wired, so I blogged. That night was about 4 hours of sleep.
Sunday festival activities started with a huge mass in the Marcus Ampitheatre. My brother and aunt were joining the rest of my family, and I didn't want to miss it. Jayne was a real friend who didn't mind accompanying me (even after waking her up at ridiculous o'clock) Mass started at 9:15am. We got there by the gospel. And I even showered!
After mass, we rolled straight back into the final day of the festival. Another 11 hours walking around and checking things out. After the scattering, we headed back to the hotel. We went to the lobby for one last drink. Three or more hours later, (only one drink - I swear), we gave up hopes for a seissun. The 5:30am airport arrival time scared us. We packed our bags before we sent to sleep so that we would just roll out of bed and hope the shuttle bus. 4 hours sleep.
When we went to the check out counter the next morning, there were still musicians awake and playing music. These guys just don't quit! We shared the shuttle bus to the airport with a couple of people who reeked of alcohol. I was afraid the smell would stick to me - and I needed to be greeting parents of incoming students at 11am. Fortunately, I had a layover in Chicago to help separate myself from all things Irishfest.
On the last leg of my flight, I caught a decent nap. I awoke feeling rested enough to get through the first day of the pre-orientation program, which went to 9pm. I finally hit the last wall at 10pm. I got up on Tuesday with plenty of time to get to campus with the kids by 9am. When we came home at 5pm, my energy was drained, so I laid down for a minute. two hours later, Steve woke me up for dinner.
Wednesday, I started my morning run again - determined to stick with the 4 day routine. I actually got up with the 5:30am alarm. Buddy was very happy to see the sunrise with me. By 5:30pm, the wall hit me again. Same energy cycle today. Thank God, Steve does his weekends with the boys. He's got nothing to hold over me for my bad sleeping choices. I think I'm just about back to normal. But of course, the weekend is coming - and we're expecting hurricane Irene to cause a little mayhem....
Monday, the kids go back into school routine. I pray I'll be back into a normal sleep cycle by then. I'm not 28 anymore. It's taking way too long to recover. I'm just thankful I'm wise enough to be tired from the walking and not sleeping, and not being stupid about the drinking. I like whiskey, wine and beer. I just don't like getting wasted. My mom may not believe me, but that episode on my 16th birthday actually taught me how not to ever do that again. My late party nights are actually quite sober.
I have a feeling, I'll be in the same boat come the Celtic Classic. I won't be hanging out with the musicians. But I will be putting in some late nights and early mornings. And I'll love every minutes of it.
#70 of 90in90 for LUBlogTribe