Marc here. Last year, Vicki went to Oktoberfest in Munich with girlfriends. She spent a night in Davos with girlfriends. She spend a long weekend in Iceland with girlfriends. I was due a guy’s trip somewhere. I have my good friend Paul to thank for planning a weekend in Wales for a rugby match. The truth is, I had to do some research to understand exactly what Wales is (it’s a country that is part of the United Kingdom). I had never heard of the city of Cardiff before. And I had never watched a real rugby match from beginning to end. Apparently, England versus Wales in the 6 Nations tournament is as big as it gets in the world of rugby. My good Welsh/Australian friend, Paul, had always wanted to but never attended this match, and took it upon himself to arrange just about everything for our four man group. Along with Paul and I were Brian, a Dane with as little rugby knowledge as me, and David, and English rugby fan.
There were planes, trains, and automobiles involved in getting us to and from Cardiff. We wasted no time, imbibing beer from the moment we left Schaffhausen. Our first night in Cardiff will go down as a culinary turning point in my life. We enjoyed some really good Indian food. I’d never had anybody explain what to order in an Indian restaurant, nor do I personally know of any good Indian places in the US. This meal was awesome, and I will be a regular consumer of Indian food in the future.
The entire game day was an event. The streets in downtown Cardiff and near the stadium were buzzing from the morning on. I picked up a Wales jersey as a bandwagon jumper and set about our day.
I was all for getting into the spirit of the match, but not quite to this level.
We secured seats on a couch in the corner of a pub near the stadium around 11 AM in preparation for the 5 PM game start. The pub was packed shoulder to shoulder pretty quickly, and the pints were flowing. We refused to leave and give up our seats on the couch, but drinking leads to hunger, so I enjoyed my first pie and chips. I don’t know what was in it. I don’t know what kind of gravy was on top of it. But it was delicious.
The match was hard fought and quite close, though it eventually went to England, courtesy of a late score. Rugby players are warriors and the sport is really tough. We were pretty tough too, making it to a casino and lasting until about 2 AM. Exactly what a guys weekend is all about. Great fun. New experiences. Great memories.