Sunday, July 25, 2010

The First of Many English Breakfasts

August 12, 2009

One of my favorite parts about being on vacation is that I seem to be immune to getting sick or having hangovers. I’m sure it has something to do with my will to have a good time every single day, but I still find it amazing and am extremely grateful for it.

We had our first official English breakfast today at a great little place on the water in Portishead called the Marina Café. Cory loves his English breakfast and insisted on taking a picture of it before diving in.

Things are pretty comfortable with the two of us. We are sharing a bed as this whole trip was planned out and organized while we were still dating. When Chris first found out that we had broken up, he was a bit concerned about the accommodations but I assured him it was going to be okay and it seems that I was right. I think that Cory and I are both mature enough to deal with this like adults and both are more interested in having a nice time with friends than worrying about any of our personal drama. Plus, we didn’t have a dramatic breakup.

Cory has always wanted children. He comes from a very close family with one younger brother and two younger sisters. His parents, like mine, are still married after many, many years and his mom makes a very large effort to keep the family as close as possible with organized family events and so forth. I like being around the siblings of his family even though it sometimes makes me sad that I don’t have the same connection with my brother that he has with his. He and his brother are literally best friends and it is obvious that Cory takes his role as the “protector” very seriously. It’s one of his most admirable qualities.

There are many reasons why I’ve never wanted children. However, I have to admit, based on what people have always told me, I have always sort of expected to wake up one day and have changed my mind. Call it a biological clock or whatever, but I figured I would just want to have children of my own one day. As it turns out, I’m approaching 30 and only have more reasons not to have them. Even if I get to that point where I want to raise a child, it only makes sense to me to go through the adoption process as bringing another child into a world that is already overpopulated with unwanted children makes my head hurt. I don’t feel the need to “maintain a blood line” nor am I fascinated by the fact that my child should have a combination of mine and its father’s physical features. To me, all of this pales in comparison to the fact that because I’ve chosen to have my own child, another child must be forced into foster care or into an unloving or abusive household and may not know what it truly means to be loved and cared for unconditionally.

Don’t get me wrong, this is only how I feel for myself. I do not place judgment on others for wanting to have their own children. I can completely understand the desire to do so – it’s just not a desire that I share.

Cory has a different opinion about all of this and after dating for about six months, we discussed this detail of our relationship. Ever since then, it has seemed to be quite the “elephant in the room”, so to speak. Finally, a couple of months ago, I brought it up as a major issue, he agreed, and we decided that it would be better to break it off now than to become more attached and have a more painful breakup in the future. It all seems pretty logical to me, but then again, I’ve always been a fairly logical person.

Emotionally, it hurts. I really loved Cory. I’ve never attracted someone like him before. He doesn’t seem to have the same anger issues that I tend to attract in men nor is he too sentimental and emotional about things. He’s easy to talk to and even easier to be around. I think he is misunderstood at times because of his blunt and straightforward nature, but for someone like me, that quality is not only appreciated, but desperately craved. Sometimes, I admit, I think I was more into the relationship than he was and that could have potentially caused future problems down the road. I don’t know… but for all these reasons, it just seems easier to be friends.

Where was I… oh yes, breakfast. Dan is with us this morning as well – it doesn’t seem like I’m going to see Dan nearly as much as Chris during this trip even though he literally lives right across the street. Dan still has a lot of work to attend to which I completely understand. I only hope we do get to share some time together as I really adore him and am anxious to finally meet his longtime girlfriend, Renne, while we are here.

We are heading to another country today – Wales! It’s not too far away and Chris has so graciously agreed to be our cabbie during our trip. Off we go!

We are in a pub called The Goat Major in Cardiff, Wales and we are enjoying a half pint of cider. I am here with Danni, Chris and Cory. Cardiff is a nice little city – we are going to go check out Cardiff Castle which doesn’t look anything like the castles I’ve seen in pictures of Scotland and Ireland, but that I’m completely excited for nonetheless. Unfortunately, it mostly just appears tourist-y from the outside but I suppose that’s the way things have to be if we want to preserve their history. It’s just so strange – you have this crazy historic place that is years and years old, surrounded by a bustling city which, if you remove the tourists, is just people going about their daily lives. There is an interesting energy about the whole thing.

We did a pretty quick tour of the castle as, honestly, there wasn’t a whole lot to see. Cory was on camera-duty and did take some nice shots of the grounds.

Being in the army for eight years, Cory took up traveling as one of his favorite hobbies. Plus, he is an absolute information junkie so he eats all of this up a lot more than I do. I love to look at things, but without the genuine interest in where it all came from, I just don’t retain the knowledge given as we walk around and learn about each site. I am here to enjoy being with my friends and soak up the culture a lot more than I am the sites.

After the castle tour, we hit a few gift shops and Cory got himself a Rugby jersey as I guess Cardiff is a pretty big rugby town. I think I’m going to save most of my souvenir shopping for London.

Now, we are sitting down to lunch at a nice little Italian place called Zizzi where I am going to fill my hungry belly with some ravioli before heading back to Bristol for the night.

Like I mentioned, I managed to pick up some weed my first day here so it’s perfect that we all decided to make night more of a “chill-out” night. We have a lot of exciting things planned and I want to get at least one morning run in while I’m here so one night without heavy drinking is sounding pretty good. We are sitting in the living room watching some football (I hope everyone realizes I mean soccer when I say football. English don’t care much for the NFL) and working out details for the next week and everything we want to get accomplished. Chris, the expert sandwich-maker, is making some food for us while Cory is checking the computer. Danni’s energy seems a bit off but perhaps she is just tired like the rest of us.

Tomorrow, we are heading to Stonehenge which is something I’ve been looking forward to ever since I first booked this trip. As for now, its bath and bed time for me – a perfect end to a peaceful day.

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