Sunday, July 25, 2010

In England, They Call Them Your "Fringe"

August 11, 2009

The ride to Chris’s house from the airport was lovely (and as always, I find myself using more and more English terms the more I’m around my English friends). Chris is such a wonderful tour guide. I really feel like he deserves a double decker bus, loud speaker and a tip jar! He has been a world of information and while I know how much he loves coming to Las Vegas, it is clear that he holds Bristol in a very special place in his heart as he has taken so many mental notes over the years that are now extremely helpful and informative as we make the trek home from the airport. 

Already one of my favorite parts of this trip is the unbelievable accommodations put together for us by Chris’s mom (or mum). We are staying in a room in Chris’s perfectly quaint house in a small village outside of Somerset, I believe (I know Chris will be upset if I get details wrong – correct me whenever necessary, my friend!). I was very lucky to have already met Chris’s parents, Paul and Karen, when they came to Las Vegas so it was a comfortable welcoming from all angles. 

Danni is Chris’s girlfriend. I also had the pleasure of meeting her last year when she came to Las Vegas for her 21st birthday. She is also a hairdresser and agreed to upgrade my ‘do upon arrival. She laughed when I asked her to trim my “bangs” as they refer to them as “fringe” in England. I know forever that this will be a joke between the two of us. My hair looks beautiful – very modern British… whatever that means!! I am thrilled.
I love the boys, but it is certainly nice to have a female around here to talk to as well, especially with all of the thoughts going in and out of my head about Aaron. Once again, I am definitely here to enjoy this trip to the fullest, but I can’t help but have thoughts about what’s going on at home. During our “hair time”, I had the chance to open up to her briefly about what was going on and the different thoughts running through my head. She is a really good listener and seems to be genuinely interested. It will be nice to have an outlet during this trip as I am still having anxious feelings about how things are going to go once Cory finds out. I know and feel a lot closer to Chris simply because we’ve been acquainted for a longer period of time but I’m hoping Danni and I can build the same kind of friendship while I’m here. 

How do I know Chris? Yes, I suppose I should probably go ahead and cover that as well

A few times in my life, my promiscuity has benefited me very well and given me wonderful friends and for that, I am very, very grateful. In June of 2008, I met Brendan. Well, that’s not exactly accurate… I met Brendan a few times before, but one night, I was out with a friend here in Vegas and we ended up at this crappy little bar next to a gas station off of Las Vegas Boulevard not too far from where I was living at the time. We met up with another friend there who lived in the same apartment complex as Brendan and so he was there hanging out as well. I had already been drinking a little and sat there with Brendan, drank more with him and by the end of the night, found myself at his apartment.

Anyone who knows Brendan knows that it’s almost impossible not to have a good time around him. In fact, Brendan moved to Las Vegas for the good time and the good time alone. If anyone questions this, Brendan will simply bend over, pull down his pants, and show off his ass-tattoos that are a perfect summary of his time in Las Vegas. His intention was very clear and good times he had! I feel very lucky to have latched on to him and his silly, carefree energy for the last month he was in Las Vegas. The following month, he moved back to California to go to school and take himself a little more seriously – something all of us who know him have mixed feelings about due to the fact that when Brendan leaves a party, there is certainly a void.

I don’t remember much about that night, however the next morning, I remember waking up to Brendan getting texts that he told me were from some friends he had that were getting ready to visit from England. He said they would be there in a few days and that the “shit talking” had already begun on text. I asked what it was about and he mentioned a particular football game that would be on while they were here. He asked if I would be interested in going with him to meet them when they got here. I’m pretty much always down for anything and really enjoyed being around Brendan’s energy so I agreed.

A few days later, we walked in McMullan’s Irish Pub and I was introduced to Chris and Dan. I thought I was going to meet a couple of guys for a sporting event and then be on my merry way. Little did I know that I would be making a couple of the greatest friends I’ve had to date and that I would keep in my life for years to come. I ended up hanging out with all three of them for four drunken days of laughter and cider. In fact, I was even introduced to Cory over those days as he was working Security for Brendan, Chris and Dan’s favorite Irish pub in Las Vegas called the Nine Fine Irishmen at New York, New York Hotel and Casino; a place I would find myself at again and again in the years to follow.

For the time being however, I wasn’t at the Nine Fine Irishmen. I was in England with a beautiful new hairdo and a plan to take on the night!

While Danni finishes my hair, the boys have gone down to a very local pub within walking distance of the house called the White Heart.
When we were all done, we went down to get them so we could begin our evening. Here we are getting ready for our first night out together.

One of my new favorite places in the whole world is the Black Horse Tavern which is just a short drive away from Chris’s house. I guess it used to a jail at one point. It smells of cider, age and history and I love everything about it. There are tables set up outside and everyone just gathers around and shoots the shit about goings on in their lives. I like how everyone knows each other and if they don’t know you, it doesn’t take long before the introductions begin. In a rare twist of events, we ran into some Americans there that were in England for a friend’s wedding. One of them was even from Seattle! What a small, crazy world. 

We are here with Dan, Chris, Danni, Paul, Karen and Dan’s friend Nick, who is very sweet and friendly just like the boys. I feel so comfortable and content, as if I’m enjoying a refreshing beverage in someone’s countryside backyard. A few people even came by on horseback! We are all having so much fun together as we laugh about our jaunt over here in Chris’s little car – a little snug for all of us, therefore Chris was forced to sit in the boot (trunk like compartment for all you Americans). One thing I am noticing right away is that everything is smaller over here – either that, or we are simply as gluttonous as our stereotype indicates. 

I’m trying to keep track of all the ciders I’m drinking but we’ll see how long that lasts. I know I’ve already had Thatchers, Black Rat and Ashton Press and really enjoy tasting the very specific differences in each one. 

Chris and his dad have a cider press at home – it’s really fascinating as cider drinking is something that has not reached the level of popularity in America the way beer and wine has. It certainly has a following here! I think it would absolutely amazing to open a cider bar in Las Vegas – I wonder if it could gain the same kind of reputation in the states as it does here. It’s definitely something to consider. The alcohol content alone is enough to spark the interest of Las Vegas’ die-hard party crowd.

Paul and Karen went home after a few pints and the rest of us decided to go out and enjoy the remainder of our first evening together. I admit, things did get a little fuzzy after the Black Horse Tavern, which is why I made sure to bring a camera for documentation of everything that we did. I remember that we went to a place called the Plough for some pool and Natch - which Chris and Dan are NOT proud of.

Afterwards, we must’ve been out too late for a taxi because we ended up walking home and Danni and I, arm in arm, belted out covers of Alanis Morrisette and 4 Non Blondes that only the extremely hard of hearing could possibly enjoy.

And, of course, I was able to score weed my first night in a foreign country. This just proves my theory that like attracts like.

Overall, it was a very fun and successful first night – everyone is getting along just fine and I’m anxious for what the rest of the trip has to bring. 

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