Friday, October 21, 2011
We had our first traveling trip the past 2 days. We drove about 3 hours south to Maribor, Slovenia Tuesday morning to scrimmage Lokomotiv Baku (a team from Azerbaijan) that evening as well as Wednesday evening.
What really surprised me was the fact that I have BEEN THERE BEFORE. I actually went on a mini foreign tour for volleyball in high school for a couple weeks over the Winter holidays. We stayed in various cities but the trip was such a blur I can’t recall everywhere we were and what we saw. But one thing I clearly remember is staying at a triangular shaped hotel at the base of a ski mountain. As our car parked at the little hotel we were staying at, what do I see in the distance? That gigantic ski slope with the little triangular hotel at the bottom. I could not forget that slope because we CLIMBED UP IT ON FOOT. Yes. You read that correctly. It was actually New Years Eve and it is typical for people in the area to climb the mountain and watch hundreds of fireworks going off all over the city for as far as you can see. Sliding down the mountain on my belly was also something I will never forget. Bottom line, I could not believe I ended up in the same place I was 6 or 7 years earlier. My how things have changed!
Anyways, we had a successful trip overall! We beat the team both nights, first in 4 sets and then in 5. They were a strong and experienced team, but I think our team played very well together and showed a lot of collective fight. The other good thing is we still have a ton of progress to make!
Other big news… I’m not the only American anymore! Brittnee Cooper, a middle blocker from Texas, as well as Chelsea Nitta, a statistician from Las Vegas, has joined our team! Don’t get me wrong, I was doing pretty well all by myself, and the team has been very nice, but it is so comforting to have other people from America! They flew in the evening before our trip and were such troopers to jump right into the vans and head out to Maribor with the team. They both have been so sweet and nice; couldn’t have asked for better additions.
Here are some other recent tidbits that have happened in the past week:
-I had my first driving lesson… driving a stick shift! EEK! It was definitely not easy, definitely stalled more than once, but got a solid B for the first outing! I WILL be able to drive a manual before I leave here.
– What the heck is this!? I don’t have a clue! Some of the girls here said it is like a cocktail sauce. I’m wondering if it’s a mix of ranch and ketchup? It looks more like ketchup and mayo, but that would just be thousand island dressing. So confusing! Shouldn’t I know this?
– They have mango-pineapple Nestea here. (Taking a sip while I type). It is amazing!
– The team had an aerobics type class last week. It’s called body pump I think. Basically it was very very light weight, high rep exercises to music. We’d target a different muscle group for each song. And of course they were playing some bomb music, but I was the only one getting into it, haha. I need to liven up this team a bit 🙂
– The weather recently has been beautiful and sunny… but cold! We had off last weekend so I went for a run around the area. Around a couple of blocks from my apartment there is this nature path that leads to the cutest little park. Then about 4 blocks the other way, it turns into a more towny area with tons of little restaurants and stores. Every time I’d pass a bakery my mouth would water so bad. I can’t wait to try those out 🙂
– I think I’ve already mentioned that I don’t have an oven 😦 And I have always been into whipping something up in the kitchen. This summer I really got into it. Probably due to my immense amounts of free time. So I have found a toaster oven that has a temperature gauge and hopefully I’ll be able to bake in small quantities 🙂
-iMessage 🙂 If you have an iPhone, iTouch, or iPad I don’t know what you are waiting for, but go update your software to iOS 5 now. No, now. Like right this second! Then send me a message! iMessage is basically the ability to text but without any charges. And it’s only for apple products. After I downloaded my software I went through my phone checking for people that made the upgrade. It was so nice to chat with a few of my past teammates and friends! Made my day.
-Austria (and it sounds like most of Europe) is closed on Sundays! Almost everything. I ran out of milk and chicken on Saturday evening, so when Sunday rolled around I was only left with yogurt, granola, eggs, ham and some goldfish I brought from home, haha. I’ve got to make some mental notes about keeping my apartment stocked for the weekend.