Bonjour, bonjour

Let’s see what’s happened the past couple days. The second day of training, we took a short drive to a nearby ‘chateau’ for a team activity… Scavenger hunt! Basically, the forest was made for this: it had lots of wooden posts about 2-3 feet tall, hidden(ish) around the paths and in the woods where you could punch a specific pattern into your paper to mark which ones you have found. We had 3 rounds with a different partner each time to find certain posts throughout the forest. And it was a race! So of course we were hightailing it Survivor style! I swear I was looking for the lost immunity idol! It was a lot of fun actually, a nice team bonding & conditioning exercise. Literally exercise, because we were pretty beat afterwards.

We had practice again that afternoon, and the gym was so hot. The weather here has been in the 90s which is not so typical for the area. There is no A/C anywhere- not in the gym, the cars, or our apartment. Coop and I have been keeping all of the lights off and all of the blinds closed to try and keep the place as cool as possible (something I’ve learned from my grandparents 😉 But, we made it a pretty good practice, a little progress, and starting to get more comfortable with each other and learning what our coach wants from us.

Since it has been so hot, Saturday morning we had just one combined session of conditioning and practice in the morning for 3 hours, and then we had the afternoon and Sunday free! We all just cooled down and relaxed after practice (I laid out a little and worked on my French lessons) then went to dinner at a Chinese restaurant with the other girls. It was buffet style which was great because I love trying a little bit of everything! Afterwards Coop, Kristy, and I went with Laura to hang out with some of her friends from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. They are mostly other athletes that live in the area- hockey and football [soccer] players. They were really nice and welcoming to us and spoke English really well for the most part! It was great to meet people that also live in the area and are outside of volleyball. We were pretty pumped to make new friends, LOL.

Sunday we all slept in and then ventured into the Nantes city centre on our own. We started at the botanical gardens, which are really beautiful. It turned out to be another hot but gorgeous day outside. Lots of pretty flowers, ponds, and even goats at a petting zoo! We wandered our way towards the big Nantes cathedral- gorgeous, of course. And then meandered through the streets some more. Like in Austria (and apparently all of Europe) most stores are closed on Sundays. But there happened to be quite a few cafe’s, restaurants, and crêperies. We are definitely planning on having some crêpes the next time we head into the city 🙂

Tomorrow it’s back to the grind! Starting week 2 (really week 1 since we’ve only had 3 days of training) Ready to get better!


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