Dec. 7-13

So I apologize in advance for no photos this week.  I really didn’t do much this week/see anything new to take pictures…and I forgot my camera at our away trip this past weekend..although there really wasn’t much to take photos of there either!  :)   Have a good week everyone! (Dec. 14)

Dec. 7

I woke up pretty late again today, because it is a Spanish holiday, so I do not have Espanol class today. I was going to still go lift, just later, but woke up even later than I expected, so I will go to the weightroom in our gym before practice with Kerri instead. I ate some brunch and then I prepared my mom’s homemade macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight. Then I went over to Kerri’s to update my blog and check email. Then we left around 4:00pm to go lift before practice at 5:30pm.

We finished lifting and cardio right before practice started. Today we worked on serve receive and serving, so that was very good and necessary. We also found out tonight that our OH that got hurt TWO AND A HALF weeks ago tore her mcl or something and is going to need surgery. She finally went to the Dr. today. So she is definitely done for the year. Not gonna lie, I’m not too disappointed about it-she’s one of my roommates and not a very nice person/gossips, so hopefully we get someone new.

Practice finished with us playing 5 on 5. Each side served for 5 points at a time while the other serve received, and we went up to 25 points. Then we played again to 15 to finish out the practice. Tomorrow we do not have practice because the gym is closed for the holiday.

I went home, baked my mac and cheese (it was excellent) and hung out with Kerri. Adios!

Dec. 8

Today I woke up pretty late. Kerri and I lounged around all day, watching television online, checking email, taking a few naps, did my homework, and that’s about it! So pretty uneventful! Tomorrow I have lifting and class. Buenos noches!

Dec. 9

Today I woke up at 8:30am and walked to the gym. I lifted and ran on the elliptical. There is an old lady that works out there…literally old and sometimes it looks like she’s gonna have a heartattack! (Not really but…) anyway, she asked me where I was from today..and speaks good English! She thought I was from England, and I told her I was from the US. She apparently lived in San Diego for awhile, and owned a house for awhile too! So that was pretty crazy. I also made a nueva amiga! (New friend). Her name is Lucia, and I’ve seen her in the gym quite a few times before. We have started to say “hola”, or “Buenos diaz” to each other, but that’s about it. Today we both were doing abs near each other, so she asked me a few questions in espanol..i was able to respond a little at first,..but then had to say “lo siento, poquito espanol” (Sorry I speak little Spanish) and she said Oh! Well I know a little English, we can help each other! So that was cool. We talked for a little more, and then we both showered and I had to get going to class.

Class went well today. We are learning irregular verbs..so it does confuse me at times because those types of verbs “change the rules” but it’s going well overall. Then I went to the grocery store to get a few items. I made a ham, cheese, and onion omelet when I got home for lunch. That was delicious. J Then I put away my laundry, got my stuff together for volleyball tonight, and went over to Kerri’s to use internet/message some friends back.

Practice is only 2-2.5 hours on Wednesday. We worked on serve receive again…good. We were in two groups…each with a setter, one person serve receiving and transitioning to hit, another trying to block, and another serving. Once everyone got through 10 good kills each, we rotated. Once we all finished, we switched sides-OH to RS. Then we did it all again and switched setters, and the second time our libero passed for us so we could just transition out. That was all we did today. Tomorrow we just have night practice. I will probably sleep in, maybe take an ice bath, and hang out for the day.

After practice I came home, ate some dinner, spent more time on the internet, and went to bed. Buenos noches!

Dec. 10

I woke up around 1:00pm this afternoon. I made some lunch, got everything ready for practice and surfed the internet. I looked at past stats from Murillo’s team so I have an idea who their go-to players are. After that I did some more Spanish homework, with irregular verbos (verbs). By the time I was done with that it was time to walk to practice. I ended up passing Kerri on the way, because she is feeling sick! So she went home. Practice was ok. We started with hitting off the setters, then I played the RS and OH position in case Kerri can’t play and we have to make adjustments. I have added passing to my total game now, so although I don’t mind adding it to my plate, it makes it harder for me to be effective running fast back sets when I’m passing all 6 rotations. We worked on serve receive the entire practice. I showered, walked home, made some dinner, and checked on Kerri. She feels a little better, but still sick. I stayed in their house and checked email some more. I tried calling a few friends, because I have a calling card now, and I’m already paying a little money each month for the house phone since it’s in our contract with our internet, so figured I’ll use it! Well didn’t get ahold of anyone, so I packed for our trip, updated my blog and went to sleep! We leave tomorrow at 11:15am. Buenos noches!

Dec. 11

This morning I woke up, got ready, and made a ham, cheese, and onion omelet. It was delicious. Haha. Then I walked to the gasolina stacion where we meet for our away trips. We left closer to 11:35am and stopped at 3:30pm for lunch. I was starving by then! For our meal, I had ravioli with tomate sauce. It was ok, it is what it is-ravioli with tomato sauce..so there’s not much flavor like oregano or onion or anything to make it taste better. My Segundo (second) dish was this beef dish-vaqcarne- cowmeat. It was pretty much my mom’s “beefroast”…which I’ve never really liked (sorry mom..she knows this though). But it wasn’t too bad..probably because I haven’t had it in a long time! Then for dessert I had flan. We continued our drive, and I feel asleep this time. We got to our destination at around 7:30pm. I wish I would have remembered to bring my camera, because our hotel was in the middle of a “strip mall”. If you picture like a Macy’s or BigLots, it looked like that on the outside and was connected to other places. So that was really weird to me. This hotel was the nicest one we’ve been too. The funny thing about these hotels is they that to turn on the lights you put the key card in this slot when you walk in, and then you’re able to turn on and off the lights! We stayed in a “twin bed” room with three beds next to each other-also funny to me. We had a little bit of time to go shopping, so we all went. The strip mall (weird as I stated earlier) had for example, had a few indoor car lots as well as shoe stores and clothing stores. It was random to say the least. I didn’t find anything and either did Kerri. We went back to the hotel, and met downstairs at 9:30pm for dinner. We had ensalada mixta that every few people shared one big one. I cant even remember what my first (primera) dish was, but my second one was pollo y fritas patatas (chicken and french fries). Then for dessert I had an (Naranja) orange and a (fresa yougur) strawberry yogurt. Then we went back to our rooms for the night. Tomorrow we eat desayuno (breakfast) at ocho y media (8:30am). Buenos noches!

Dec. 12

This morning I felt refreshed from a “day off” from travel, and getting some good sleep. Desayuno consisted of this one kind of muffin, jamon, queso, y pan (ham, cheese and bread sandwiches) hot chocolate, naranja juice, little croissants (I had about 3 of those), and fruit and yogurt. They honestly eat the same stuff for breakfast no matter where you go! It’s crazy to me. We left at 9:15am for our walk-thru. Kerri stayed home to sleep because she’s still not feeling good. Walk-thru went pretty good, but it was pretty short. By the time we were finished warming up, we only had about a 45 minute walk through. This team is good, but I think we have a good shot at them if Kerri’s able to play. We drove back to the hotel and we are watching film at 12:15pm this afternoon. We watched us playing Murillo at our place from the first time. When we were finished with that, we had a little bit of time before lunch at 1:30pm. I forget to mention that we get a personal loaf of bread for each meal at these restaurants…let me tell you how much I LOVE that. Haha. Coach P used to put a limit on my bread consumption on trips… Olive Garden, etc..I can’t get enough of the stuff! Primera- shared ensalada, and spaghetti-this time very good..tasted flavorful with the meatsauce. Segundo-Merluza(fish) con patatas fritas Postries-(dessert) – naranja y fresa yogur. We were done eating around 2:30pm, so we had 2.5 hrs until we had to leave at 5:00pm. Most everyone takes there afternoon siestas…ever since I’ve played we’ve never been allowed to take afternoon naps..so I tried not too. I was watching the EuroSport championships again. Today it was the crosscountry skiing race. That looks crazy to me. It’s pretty much running on skiis! It’d be hard enough to run that long up and down hills, but with skiis too?! Well I guess they get to glide down the downhill ones, but still! And the competitors get so close to each other, I’m surprised they don’t “poke” each other or knock each other over! Haha. Again, kudos to them! I ended up dosing off a little bit..maybe about 45 minutes or so..but with the lights off in the room and both roommates snoring away..it’s hard to stay awake! We all were up by 4:30pm to pack up and get ready for the drive to the gym at 5:00pm. We arrived close to 5:30pm and went to the café that was conveniently attached to the fieldhouse. We do this from time to time so my teammates can buy coffee. I never buy it because 1. I don’t really like it/would have to load it with sugar and milk, and 2. I just never have done that in the past, so don’t feel I should start the trend now! We went to the fieldhouse by 6:00pm and started getting ready for the match. We started our warmup, and right before we took the court, coach told me I was going to be playing OH this game. I started in the backrow. I passed quite a few balls to begin with, and passed really well actually! We ended up going 0-4 because our hitters weren’t putting down balls..but eventually tied it up at 5…I am playing middle back in this game btw….never really have before! So that was interesting! We ended up losing in 3…they just made the big plays..and we haven’t had the same team consistently this season…so that doesn’t help us. I am looking forward to the challenge of playing OH though and hopefully with more than 1 practice in middle back, I’ll do some damage next weekend! We HAVE to win the next 4 games. I hope everyone is ready. We showered, and started on the road around 9:00pm. We were all pretty hungry since we hadn’t eaten since 1:30pm. Luckily I brought a huge apple along! That held me over until we stopped at 11:15pm for dinner. We had about 4 or so hours to go. We got on the road about 12:30am and we were home by 4:30am. I put all my stuff away so I don’t have to deal with it in the morning and then went to sleep. Buenos noches.

Dec. 13

Today I woke up at 1:45pm. I ate some lunch and went on the internet for a good 3 hours. Haha. It’s been 2 days since I’ve been online, so I had to make up for lost time. Then I did some laundry, updated my blog, emailed some friends back, and ate some dinner. It is pretty cold here today-high 50s, and tomorrow is supposed to rain all day. That will be the first rain in a long time. Luckily my mom sent me an umbrella! Tomorrow I have lifting and espanol class. Tonight Kerri and I are going to watch a movie. She is feeling much better. I skyped with my parents, got my stuff ready for tomorrow and went to sleep. Buenos noches.



Nov. 29-Dec. 6

Kerri and I

Kerri and I

Nov. 29

Today was a pretty uneventful day. I slept in pretty late, so I just hung out most of the day, did some laundry, and spent time on the internet-imagine that! Right before I went to bed I found out my coach’s team-Washington State got a bid to the NCAA Volleyball Tourney! They play UNI this weekend, and WHEN they win, they play Nebraska..so he’ll get another shot at them-this time beating them! Tomorrow I have Spanish class and lifting. Adios!

Nov. 30

This morning I woke up and went to the gym. It is starting to get cold here. I had to wear a sweatshirt and pants on my walk to the gym. I used to be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt or longsleeve. This week is sunny, but only in the mid to high 60s. So it looks like my beach days are over for a few months! The last few times I’ve been at the gym, Men’s volleyball has been on tv. When I do my half hour of cardio, I have been watching it. However, today was the Men’s “Super-G”. A skiing course with flags on each side of the course, and you have to stay inside the flags as you race down the course. I give them credit-I’ve only tried skiing once as a kid..and sucked at it…and although I would like to try again, I never have because it would be a “liability” with volleyball. But I give them credit, because it looks fricken hard! There were a few guys from the USA..woo hoo! A lot from Norway, Sweden, and Italy. I also saw that there is some other type of skiing/snowboarding games in Kuusamo, FIN as well! It will be televised later today, but I’ll be at practice. That was pretty cool to see on the tv screen though. Then I went to Spanish class. Today we have an “Examen”. It is in class and we can use our book, and I did really well! I am able to do things well with the book in front of me..(of course..anyone can do that)..but I blank when I try to speak in “correct” sentences otherwise. I can piece a sentence together, but it’s not correct! I am learning though! Then I went home and made some fudge brownies. My mom sent me a fudge brownie box with white chocolate chips..so I put some of the chips in the cake mix, and melted the rest to drizzle on top. Yum! Then I checked some email before practice at 5:30pm. I found out my coach was named PAC-10 COACH OF THE YEAR!! That is pretty awesome. He has only been at WSU for almost 2 years now, but the accomplishment doesn’t surprise me…he’s a great coach!

We began practice with 20 minutes of running, and then solo defensa (only defense) for the rest of practice. We play the #1 team at our place this weekend. We’ll see how it goes! Tomorrow is just practice at night. Adios!

Silvia, Diana, myself, and Kerri at the Birthday dinner

Silvia, Diana, myself, and Kerri at the Birthday dinner

Dec.1

DECEMBER!? Man, where has this year gone? It seems to be flying by. I COULD NOT fall asleep last night..not sure if it was because of my sleeping pattern from the weekend or what. It also was very windy/rainy outside my window, so that helped keep me up. I went to bed at like 11:00pm, and I was staring at the clock at 4:30am…and still wide awake..so that was frustrating. I didn’t wake up until 2:00pm this afternoon! Ha. I ate some cereal and went online as well as updated the last few days on my blog. I found some “Special K w/ Red Berries” cereal at Carrefore. It is really good. It actually tastes like the USA kind. I remember mentioning that the kind in Finland had raspberries in it (along with strawberries) but it tasted bad. This kind also has raspberries, but is very good! I did some Espanol homework, hung out a little more, got ready for practice, and ate a snack before practice. Today we had more girls at practice (Monday we only had like 8 girls) so we did a lot of defense again, and some hitting. The team we are playing this weekend apparently has an awesome OH that just cranks it crosscourt, so we’ve been working on defending that in practice. Tomorrow I have lifting and class again, going to try to go to bed early tonight! Hasta luego!

Dec. 2

This morning was another cool morning. I walked to the gym and “got my sweat on” ha. There was more “snow games” or “Race to Vancouver” games on, so I watched that again while I did cardio. Then I showered and went to class. Spanish overall isn’t hard, but they have so many “twists” to words, that it makes it confusing. For example. To say “I have” something, the word changes- Yo tengo (I have), Tu tienes (you have) el tiene (he has), Nosotros tenemos (we have), vosotros teneis (they have) ellos tienen (he has- plural). So they change the actual WORD depending on who you’re talking about. And we learned a new form today that changes the person-yo-me, tu-te, el-se, etc. So trying to keep all that straight and learning the different setup of a WORD gets confusing. But lots of practice is helping! Oh well!

I went home and took a nap to try and catch up from my odd sleeping patterns lately. I ate a little something before practice and started my walk over. Today practice only goes until 7:30pm because the younger team uses the court then. We again worked on defense against the OH attack against “live play this time. Yesterday our coach was just up on a box hitting the shot, but today Bianca’s boyfriend (Pro Spanish Beach VB Player) played the OH and was hitting the cross shot live..and that didn’t go so well..so I hope our leftside defenders and middle back get it by game time! We worked on digging the rightside attack as well, so that was good for me to dig some balls. That was about it for practice today. Tomorrow we just have night practice again.

I talked to my sister (and mother) on the phone tonight. I have a little bit of “skype” credit on my account, so I’m able to call any US phone and talk. I try to call my sister every once in awhile on Wednesday because that is her day off. My mom happened to have off and was with her Christmas shopping! So that was good to talk to them. Other than that I was on the internet for awhile. I have completed watching all 6 seasons of The Office now! Well..season 6 is still going on..but since I’m over here, I don’t get the episodes until weeks after they air in the US. Then I went to bed. Adios!

Homemade Johnny Mazetti :)

Homemade Johnny Mazetti :)

Dec. 3

Buenos dias! Today I woke up after 10:30am and Kerri and I walked around downtown. It was pretty warm out today, so I was regretting wearing jeans and a long sleeved thin sweater. We shopped around and I found some “liquid leggings” and a tank top. Kerri found a dress and liquid leggings as well. Then we parted ways, and I went to the grocery store. I got home and started making my mom’s Johnny Mazetti recipe. It’s cut up tomatoes, tomato sauce, ground beef cooked with onion, salt and pepper to taste, pasta, and mushrooms. It is pretty good, and one of the few ways you can get me to eat mushrooms AND tomatoes! Haha. I put it in the fridge and all I have to do is heat it in the oven when I get home from practice, so that will be good for Kerri and I. I also bought ingredients for my mom’s homemade baked macaroni and cheese, so I’ll make that in a few days. I did a little Spanish homework because I am supposed to have class tomorrow…so if we don’t have morning practice, I’ll be able to make it to class in the morning. Otherwise, I don’t have class until next Wednesday because Monday is a Spanish holiday. Have I mentioned how much “no me gusta fumar?!” (I HATE CIGARETTE SMOKE?!). Both my roommates smoke, and I can’t stand it. Although they open their windows, the initial smoke lingers in the house, and when I have laundry hanging outside, I am NOT happy when my clean clothes smell like smoke. Honestly, I never understand athletes who smoke…they seem to do it RIGHT before practice too!? How is that fun for the lungs? Sorry…just another tangent..my grandpa died from smoking..his whole life…and it makes me angry. There’s no need for smoking..and MOST of Europe does it. The good thing is, when I went to the store to buy ingredients today, I bought a scented candle…so I lit that baby up and shut my door once I smelled the smoke..seemed to help a little! (well until I walked out of my room anyway. J )

Practice consisted of going through serve receive. I was happy for this, as I am now a primary passer because our 2nd OH got hurt in our last match..and Diana, who is now playing OH is usually a MH..so there will be no passing in her vocabulary. This is the first time this week we’ve worked on serve receive, and the first time we’ve served, so there was a lot of concentration on that for me tonight! Raul came to practice again tonight to pretend he’s the “big beast” for Promociones Diez Rical (the team we play Saturday). I found that helpful. At the end of practice we did serve and pass a little longer (I only passed) so that was good. We don’t have practice tomorrow morning, just at night. I went home and cooked my casserole, and YUM was just as I thought it should taste. I did some research on the team we play on Saturday, checked email, and went to bed. Adios!

Dec. 4

Today I got to sleep in, woo hoo. Then I went to class at 11:00am. It was a good class, and I actually have quite a bit of homework for next Wednesday..but that is good. Usually we just have one little exercise we have to do en de casa, so that will be good to have more practice. I came home, ate some more casserole, and Kerri and I did massages this afternoon. MUCH needed. After being in Finland, and getting massages every 2 weeks, I noticed how much stress and strain my body does go through as an athlete, so the massage was well overdue! J We had film to watch at 5:00pm, so I walked to practice with Kerri. We watched film, and although they are the #1 team and have good players, I’ve seen taller and better! Fricken Nebraska, Wisconsin, and maybe even Oregon State. Everyone has been so “tense” all week in practice, and I wanna be like “easy! At least they’re not 6-4, 6’6 across the board like NE was!” But they wouldn’t understand as I know most if not all of them haven’t seen competition like that before. Well, as Coach Palileo said, “control what you can control”. So I will focus on that! Thanks Coach! J Anyway, practice went well, we hit off the setters to begin with, and then played 3 games against Raul, Franck, and this new guy- they portrayed Rical’s 3 best players..so just playing against guys helps. We won 2 out of 3, and then worked on serve and pass again to finish out. There’s no practice again tomorrow morning, but Finestrat plays in our gym before us at 4pm, so we’ll go watch that.

I went home, made some dinner, and was on the internet. Then I caught the first set of the WSU v UNI match on audio online. They ended up losing a close game that they were ahead in most of the match. I was so tired though that I had to get some rest for my own game tomorrow. WHEN they win, I should have more time tomorrow night to listen to their second match! Go Cougs! Buenos Noches!

Dec. 5

Ahhhh I woke up and first thing I did this morning was check the WSU game and they lost in 3 L. It was a close game, but UNI came out on top. Kerri and I went out to brunch when we were finished getting ready. Since we found the good little Mexican Restaurant, I’ve been googling restaurants, and we found this british place called “Witches Broom” that supposedly has good food. We went there and we both got an omelet and salad. They made good portions, and it was great. Then we went back to the house and got ready for our game. Finestrat plays at our place before us again, so we are going to go watch them play at 4:00pm. They ended up losing in 3. They are in 10th place out of 12..and they played #2, so it was a tough match for them as well. Then it was our time. We played Promociones Rical Diaz. The game was..well, awful. We lost in AN HOUR. I had a total of 7 sets in 3 games…2 of them being bump passes from a middle. They dominated us/the passing was not good for us overall. I had 4 blocks and a couple kills, but this game was definitely out of my control. They have the #1 libero in all of spain on their team (#5 in all of Europe), and they have one of the best Spanish middles as well. Apparently they are trying to stack that team so that they get into Superliga next year.

After the game the Finestrat girls came home with us. Our team is going out for Laura and Silvia’s birthday’s tonight. We got ready and left around 10:30pm to meet at this Spanish pub. Our coach was there as well, and we ate Tapa’s (ham and cheese with this good sauce on French bread) and beer. Then Kerri, Kenya, and I broke from the group, because they were going to this bar called Cortes which is on the way other side of Benidorm. Last time we went there, Kerri and I were the only ones that didn’t get a ride and had to take a taxi…costing us $20 euros to get there and back…and then we had drinks and our coach bought us shots, and then when we left we were told we had to pay! Even though I wouldn’t have drank the shots but they just ordered them..so we didn’t want to do that again. So the 3 of us went to the “English square” bars. We met Lindsay and Lauren there (they came from our house). We hung out for awhile, and then went home. Adios!

Inside of the cute Mexican Restaurant!

Inside of the cute Mexican Restaurant!

Dec. 6

Today we all woke up pretty late since it is our day off. We hung out for awhile, watching tv and reading magazines, and then got ready to go to dinner. We were going to make fajitas because one of the grocery stores says its open on Sunday’s now. We got there around 5:00pm and it was closed. So not sure how long it’s open for on Sunday! Instead we went to the Mexican restaurant again with Lauren and Lindsay. They enjoyed that since they haven’t had Mexican yet. I got a fajita burrito pocket thing and it was REALLY good. Our food also came with chips and salsa, a small quesadilla, and a dessert. I got the fried ice cream, and it was so good. Then we walked back home, hung out some more, I skyped with my parents, and we watched my movie, “I love you man”. Then we watched the 13th episode of “the office” J because it is finally available over here. Then we all went to bed as it was getting pretty late. Buenos noches.



Nov. 22-28

Lauren, me, Tomas (Czech club promoter) Kerri, and Lindsey

Lauren, me, Tomas (Czech club promoter) Kerri, and Lindsey

Nov.22

Today the Finestrat Americans, Kerri, and I got up and ate McDonald’s. ha always good after a night of drinking. Since I am still sick a little/very bad stomach ache/unmentionables….drinking was not mixing so well with me yesterday. And either was the McDonald’s, so that was kind of a bummer. Everyone else was pretty hung over though. We then went to the beach. Lauren bought a floatie on the way to use in the water, but once we got there, the water was too cold for her to go in with it, so she used it as a chair to sleep on instead! We all fell asleep on the beach for awhile. I am noticing that although the weather “high’s” of the day do still get in the 70s, the amount of the day that is actually that warm is much more limited. Walking to the gym at 9am used to be hot, and I could use a sweatshirt these days. Also, at night, coming home from practice, I could get by in shorts and a t-shirt. Then pants and a t-shirt, and now a sweatshirt is necessary. So “winter” is coming.

When it started to get too cool at the beach, we decided to get up and walk around. We say this guy in tight spandex pants, suspenders, and a painted on clown mouth. He was walking up and down this one part of the strip causing a scene/drawing a crowd. He would quietly run up behind couples and old people and mess with them. One time he went up to a couple that was walking side by side, tapped the female on the shoulder without the male seeing, and got her to let him “move in”. He held the guy’s hand and the guy didn’t even realize it wasn’t his girlfriend for at least a few steps. It was pretty hilarious. I’ll post a pic.

We went home, and I went to bed early. Tomorrow I have lifting and class.

El playa en Noviembre

El playa en Noviembre

Nov. 23

I lifted and headed to class. Today we worked on telling time and more verbs! Class is going well, just very slow. I know I won’t know how to talk as quick and understand my team talking by the time I’m done with the class, but it’s something! I went home and ate some lunch, and napped before practice. Well practice was at 5:30pm, and apparently at like 5:25pm, our trainer got a text from our coach that he had a fiebre and was sick and wasn’t going to make it to practice! So we waited around until 6pm for our assistant to come so he could run practice. I thought it was crazy that our coach was sick and couldn’t make it to prac, but a lot of us were struggling last week and still came to prac, to prac! Oh well. J We practiced until 8:30pm, and then went to this kickboxing thing upstairs. The instructor showed us some “moves” to use. So if I ever get trapped with a crazy person, I’ll have better moves than before! Haha. We were done after 8:30, and then I went home, ate, and watched some episodes of the office before going to bed! Buenos noches!

Nov. 24

This morning, Kerri and I went to Carrefore to get some things. I’ve mentioned it before, that it is like a smaller version of Wal-mart. I was going to make my mom’s awesome homemade nacho dip, and needed cheddar cheese (which they don’t have at the supermarkets) and they definitely have it there. We also went to the mall. I didn’t find too much this time, but 3 shirts. One was $5 euros. I found a tight fitting leather jacket for $40 euro that I wish I would have just bought…but maybe next time I go it will be down in price…or sold out. Boo! We came back on the train, and I started making the dip. I am going to have it for dinner after practice, so I refrigerated it and then got ready for practice. Our coach was there today, and we went from 5:30-8:30pm. I came home, and heated up the dip in the oven. Yummm just like I remember it tasting! I meant to take a picture of it, but I forgot, oops. Kerri had some too and liked it. This is going to be my lunch and dinner for the next few days. It’s nice to have something hearty made already..so I don’t have to decide what to make at 9:00pm. Tomorrow I have lifting and class again..so another early morning. Buenos noches!

Nov. 25

Lifting and class were normal as usual. I came home, made some dip, and chilled before practice. I watched some of the office and got ready. Practice went from 5:30-7:30pm today, because the nino’s (younger team) practiced on our court at 7:30pm after us. It was nice to have time to get home and wind down before bed. I stayed up pretty late with Kerri however, watching the Office and checking email. Tomorrow I just have practice, and it is Thanksgiving! Buenos noches!

Lauren and her floatie

Lauren and her floatie

Nov. 26

HAPPY THANKSGIVING everyone! This morning I didn’t wake up until 1:30pm! Ooops! Thank goodness I didn’t have a morning practice or the gym/class, because I would have slept through it all! I don’t even remember hearing my alarm…I checked and Yep, they both went off..at the right time…oh well, a little extra sleep is necessary sometimes, right? I got ready for the day, and then skyped with my mom, dad, and brother. It was nice to see them. They are going to my sister’s for thanksgiving dinner. Oh how I’m jealous of all the wonderful food they are going to eat! Then I got ready for practice and walked over. Practice went from 5:30pm-8:30pm. During warm ups, I was thinking, it really sucks that I won’t be celebrating turkey day this year..I mean I’ve definitely missed a few with my immediate family because of volleyball, but we’d still have thanksgiving dinner, whether it’s (crappy) in a hotel, or awesome with Andrew’s wife Wendy cooking for the team and us having a potluck. So this will be the first one with nothing. Oh well. Well when I got home, I started to make some food, and then Kerri came by and said come over I made thanksgiving dinner! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned before, but she’s not “good” in the kitchen..says she’s started a few fires in kitchen’s before, so didn’t expect this! She made corn, carrots, mashed potatoes, macaroni and cheese, rolls, guacamole and chips! It wasn’t turkey but it was still so nice to have something big like that! Her and her 2 roommates and I had dinner together. It was really nice. So I did have Thanksgiving dinner after all! J I stayed up watching the office as usual and checking email, and then went to bed. Buenos noches!

Nov. 27

This morning I woke up around 12:30pm. Another late morning (I mean afternoon…oops) J I ate and got ready for the day. I decided to give myself a “mini pedicure”. My feet are starting to look pretty nasty, so I did that and painting my toenails. We have practice again at 5:30pm, but we have Saturday and Sunday off, so Kerri and I are going to go to the Zoo tomorrow! I am really excited. It seems like it’s a pretty awesome zoo. Practice only went a little after 8pm today, and Silvia, our setter brought some little donut cake things and champagne for her birthday. So we had that before leaving for practice. Then Kerri and I got ready and went out downtown. Buenos noches!

Clouds were cool looking

Clouds were cool looking

Nov. 28

So Kerri and I had a pretty late night last night, that we didn’t get up early enough to make our day fully beneficial at the zoo so that it was worth $23 euros each. So we are going to go another time. We hung out most of the day, and ate dinner and then got ready to go out again. This time we weren’t out as late. Tomorrow is another day off, so it will be filled with laundry, espanol homework, and updating my blog and emails! Buenos noches!



Nov. 17-22

Sports center where we practice/play games

Sports center where we practice/play games

Nov. 17

Today us foreigners had practice at 11:00am. I didn’t get much sleep last night, because one of my roommates was throwing up most of the night. Not fun. Practice was fine though, and it was just us 4 foreigners. We were doing a drill where one person is in middle back defense. They are turned away from the court, and there are 3 players in each hitters position on the same side of the court with a ball. One person yells “Hola!” and the defender turns around to try to see which of the 3 is going to hit at her. Well, it was my time to say “hola” and I said “aloha!” haha We were all dying..I was like sorry, my coach is Hawaiian, I don’t know where that came from!

We have another practice at 6 tonight.

After practice, I made some spaghetti for lunch, published the last few days of my blog, and responded to some emails. I also did some of my Espanol homework, because I have class tomorrow. Then I watched an episode or two of The Office before going to practice at 5:30 pm. I am almost through season 3 of 6.

Practices are going to start a half hour earlier now- (5:30pm) and we no longer have Wednesday’s off. So Sunday’s will be our only day off. We ended up having a 3 hour practicee tonight, and I’m actually happy we have practice tomorrow since Saturday is a big game.

The abandoned graffiti building I walk by to and from practice each day..don't worry..i'm safe!

The abandoned graffiti building I walk by to and from practice each day..don't worry..i'm safe!

Nov. 18

Today I woke up at 8:45am, and went to the gimnasio (gym) to lift and run. I keep forgetting to mention, but there is this adorable, tan, little old man that rides the bike while I’m working out. He wears a white sweatband, and 2 wrist/arm bands the colors of the Jamaican flag. He has glasses and reads a book while he bikes..and then when he’s near the end of his workout, he puts the book away and bikes much faster. He said “Adios!” to me today when he was done. Haha. I showered, went to class, ate, and took about a 1 ½ hour nap. Practice was shorter today, because we had only 8 people. Some of our teammates are sick and weren’t at practice, and a few that were practicing are sick as well…and I’m starting to think I’ve come down with a fiebre (fever) too! Then I did some laundry, ate dinner, checked email, and watched the Office. Buenos noches!

Tomas-club promoter from Czech Republic, and us Americana's

Tomas-club promoter from Czech Republic, and us Americana's

Nov. 19

Well, I was right…I woke up at 7am (and anyone that knows me, knows if I don’t have to wake up before 8am, I WON’T!) and had a very bad fiebre. Luckily, my roommate was up, and had a fiebre pill. I took that, and we also have cold compresses in our casa, so I put one on my head while I tried to sleep some more that morning. I woke up at 11am…hmm 4 hours after the medicine..and felt bad again…my fiebre was getting worse, and so I let me coach know I had a bad fiebre, but would still practice tonight- Yo tengo muy mal fiebre, pero yo voluntad practicar esta noche.” J I stayed in bed the whole day, siempre (always) having a cold pack on my head. Practice ended up being cancelled, because there are 6 of us that are sick!! I was relieved..because although I would have worked through it, I knew it would be better for me to rest. I went over to Kerri’s and we watched a few episodes of the office before heading to bed.

Funny clown/copy man..read my posts below to learn more.. :)

Funny clown/copy man..read my posts below to learn more.. :)

Nov. 20

Well this morning I woke up at 3:30am! Even better! My cold pack was warm, so I switched another one, and tossed and turned most of the morning. I had a dry mouth, chill/hot spells, and any other symptom that goes with a fiebre. I finally fell asleep and woke up around 12:30pm. I was starting to feel a little better, and my fiebre felt like it was gone, but I was so weak from not eating much. I tried to eat a little something, but for some reason had a hard time eating.

I’m going to go on a little tangent here…so the Spanish are very “green”, trying to save energy and what not, and they don’t have gas like we do in the states. You have to buy a little tank that has gas in it, and you hook it up in your house. Although it’s hooked up, doesn’t mean it’s on. In order to use it, you need to light the match, etc and try to not waste it because it isn’t going to last you long. So most of the time you are taking cold showers or washing dishes with cold water. This is such a pet peeve of mine because I wonder why every one is sick!? I feel like the kitchens must be crawling with bacteria. Can’t they save some other way? I just want some warm water when I turn on the faucet! Ok, that’s all. Just very angry with it after being so sick.

We watched film before practice today, and any film I get to see is helpful. So many people are still sick. My fiebre is gone, but now I have a little bit of a cough. (My other roommate..not the one who puked earlier…is now sick..with one of the worst coughs I’ve ever heard..so I’m afraid I’ve gotten a bit of her cold. Boo). We had practice, and it didn’t go so great..at least not great for the day before a game. Our coach was pretty mad and said he doesn’t care that we’re sick..we need to pick it up. Practice went about the same..and then we were done.

I went home, tried to eat a little food, and watched some more episodes of the office. I also went on the website to get information on the other team. If I at least know who’s the best blocker and hitter and acer, that will help some! (We don’t get as much info before a game here, as I did in the states.:) Then I went to bed, game day tomorrow!

Another beautiful sunset night :)

Another beautiful sunset night :)

Nov. 21

Today I woke up around 9:45am. Kerri and I went to this nearby restaurant for breakfast. Since I really haven’t eaten well lately, don’t have much to eat anyway, and felt I needed a good meal before our game, I asked Kerri if she wanted to go there. We both had the English breakfast-2 eggs, 2 pieces of toast, half a tomato, (random,…I know) three pieces of bacon, and your choice of coffee or tea. I chose tea, and it is $3.50 for all that! I was able to eat most of it, but still had a hard time eating. Then we went to Eroski-another grocery store, and got some snacks before our game.

We watched some more episodes of the office,…we are finished with season 4 already! And I prepared in my room for the game.

Finestrat is playing at our gym before us, so Kerri and I decided to go watch. They ended up winning in 4. It’s sad, because they have a bigger crowd, and a lil band at their games, and there town is like 15 minutes away. We live here in Benidorm, and we can’t get people to come like they do! We got ready for our match, and started play at 6:30pm. We ended up winning 3-0! I had my best game since I’ve been in Europe..so that was good at least. I definitely needed that. So we are 2-5 right now, and in 5th place. If we finish in the top 4, we’ll play on. I hope so. Our #2 Outside Hitter, Esther actually got hurt in the 3rd set.  There was a tight ball, and her and Kerri went up for it and Esther fell and was grabbing her knee.  Not sure what happened but don’t think it’s good.

Lindsey and Lauren stayed to watch our game and to come out with us after. We walked to Kerri and my casa’s and then went to the grocery store to get something to drink for the night. We were waiting in line, and there was this ADORABLE Spanish baby sitting in his stroller looking at me. I was like “Hola!” and smiling at him.. and I said “que guapo” to him- (how cute, adorable, etc). He pointed behind him to his dad who was in line buying stuff and said mi padre. The little guy couldn’t be more than 2 years old. Then when they were leaving the little guy said “adios” and was waving and blowing kisses! He was so cute! I was definitely mad I didn’t have my camera/that might have been kind of creepy if I was taking a picture of another person’s kid. J Lol. Then we ate at this place called Nevada which is right by our house. It was good.

We had a fun night with Lauren and Lindsey! Tomorrow is the beach!

Mi favorita foto de playa!

Mi favorita foto de playa!

Nov. 22

We woke up around 12:30pm. We went to McDonald’s for lunch before the beach..classy, I know. We layed out/slept for a few hours, and then hung out down by the beach. We ended up seeing this like “mime” guy. He had a clown mouth painted on, and was wearing suspenders and very tight leggings on his little legs. He would run up behind people. He would go after couples especially. For example, one couple was walking next to each other, he creeped up, tapped the girl on the shoulder, and like asked her if he could “move in”. So she stepped back and he went up there and held the “boyfriends” hand. The guy didn’t even noticed, and kept walking while holding the dude’s hand, then finally realized and started to laugh. It was quite entertaining, and there was a crowd watching him run up and down that strip.

We started making our way home, and Lauren and Lindsey left. I hung out and checked email, and got ready for bed. Early day tomorrow with weights and espanol class.

Until next time, adios!



Nov. 11-16

Nov. 11

We found a Mexican restaurant! I had an enchilada.  yummm

We found a Mexican restaurant! I had an enchilada. yummm

Today is our first practice this week because of everything being closed down with the fiesta. Since I usually lift and condition on Wednesday’s, I figured it would be open this morning. Well apparently there are still places closed the rest of the week because some of the fiesta is still going on! The gym being one of them. So I had a nice “walk” this morning instead. J I did see something interesting though and of course didn’t have my camera. There was a coach bus outside a hotel and it was like a “double decker” one. It had a roof and everything-not on of those tour buses-but an actual coach bus, and it had seats above the bottom seats. Kinda weird, but cool.

So I went home and was on the computer most of the day, emailing people back and watching “The Office”. Gosh I love that show. Now if only this season’s “24” season would be available online, I’d be very happy!

We had practice at 5:30pm, and it was ok. We have a game again on Saturday, so I really wish there was more time to practice before then! Oh well! Tomorrow we just have practice at night. I did some laundry and called it a night after practice!

Nov. 12

Me and the "Cactus Person" haha

Me and the "Cactus Person" haha

This morning-actually this afternoon, I woke up at 12:30pm. I got ready for the day and of course was on the computer again. Mid afternoon I went grocery shopping, because I have nothing for meals. I made a late lunch and got ready for practice at 6pm. Practice went better today. We did more defensive drills, so that was nice. Tomorrow we have morning and night practice, and we get paid after our primera (1st) practice.

So this is random, but I know I posted a picture of a Nectarina on here the other week..(because they are delicious) and they NO longer have them in the stores! They must be out of season now..so I’m pretty sad about that. Oh well, I guess I’ll eat more apples then.

After dinner I made the most random meal ever, but it was actually pretty good! I’ve been craving green, red, yellow, whatever kind of peppers lately, so I bought a green pepper at the store today. I cooked some noodles, put a little butter on them, added some tuna, black pepper, shredded cheese, and cooked pieces of pepper. It was actually pretty good!

Other than that, my night was pretty uneventful, so I went to bed. Buenos noches!

Anxiously waiting for our Mexican food :)

Anxiously waiting for our Mexican food :)

Nov. 13

So today started with a 10:00am practice for us foreigners. It went really well, we worked on defense the whole time. When we were finished, it was time to get paid! Then we cashed our checks, ate lunch, and had a little bit of downtime before our meeting with the president, director, vice president, coach, and team. Before we even had the meeting, I already knew it was going to be a bad meeting because we are 0-5 right now. Well I didn’t understand anything during the hour and a half that it went on, just words here and there, but not enough to piece anything together. I did pick up that we need to win the next two games though! After those two games, we will be halfway through the regular season, and have a weekend “off” (may still have practice) before we start up again. Some of the girls filled Kerri and I in a little more after the meeting. We do need to win the next two games or they might send 1, 2, 3 or all 4 of us foreigners home..and the rest of the team won’t get paid for this coming month! Pretty crappy, so hopefully we figure it out! Practice actually went really well and I felt really good going into tomorrow’s game. Wish me luck!

Nov. 14

Today I got to sleep in until about noon. We didn’t leave until 2:30pm for our game at Algar Cartega. This is one of our closer trips, and we arrived around 4:00pm. Since we were early, we went to a local café and had coffee. I never drink coffee, but I figured I’d try something different today. Defintely asked for a lot of leche (milk) in it, along with sugar. Still not my favorite..but I can drink it every once in awhle now….maybe. J We made our way back to the gym, and got ready for our 6:00pm match. The game didn’t start off so well, our passing broke down as usual. We ended up losing the first game, after a big comeback that wasn’t enough. I got maybe 4 sets that game..so that was frustrating. The second game we won. The third game I was pulled half way through because I didn’t put down 2 or 3 balls in a row. I didn’t play the rest of the game. We ended up losing the third, winning the fourth, and winning the fifth by a small margin. I felt pretty bad because I really didn’t get a chance to help us win…and with what was said in the meeting, I could go home! Nothing like some beers and drinks to make you feel better though! Haha. I went out with some of the girls on my team. We went to Bar Cortes, and our coach was going to be there too. Definitely not weird to be out with your coach here, unlike the U.S.

Kerri, Kenya, and I at this "Michael Jackson impersonation" thing one night.

Kerri, Kenya, and I at this "Michael Jackson impersonation" thing one night.

Nov. 15

We stayed out pretty late last night…as in 6am…so I slept most of the day away. Then Kerri and I went to eat at this restaurant that’s just down the road from us, “Nevada”. We both got a Chicken Kebab (which was delicious by the way) and shared Carbonara pizza which was also awesome. (We were pretty hungry as it was like 3:30 pm and we hadn’t eaten yet today). Then we went back to the house and watched “The Office” for most of the day and surfed the internet. I did some laundry and went to bed around 10:00pm.

Nov. 16

Today I did not want to get up. (I always seem to feel like this on Mondays…look back a few weeks and I may have said the same thing..) For how tired I was yesterday I could not fall asleep last night! I made my way to the gym and worked out for an hour and a half. I showered, and walked to Espanol clase (class). It went pretty well today, but there were times I was a little lost. Class went an hour and a half today, and then I went to this watch store that I have been meaning to go to. I bought myself, and my mother a watch, and then went to this store called Zailard’s to try to find a baking pan. I found one for $5 euros! Not bad! I walked home, and started to clean the house. My 18 year old roommates really don’t clean anything except their rooms..seeing as they’re “fresh outta their parents houses” that’s probably the only responsibility they’ve had! Clean your room and clean up after yourself when you eat. So that means the bathroom, halls, and living room are so dirty. I cleaned my bathroom very well-mine has the shower in it, so their long dark pelo (hair) is all over it. J It definitely looks way better than when I came here. I swept the floors all over the house and cleaned my room. So I feel better about the place! Then I baked a cake with the cake mix and frosting my mom sent me! Without measuring cups for the oil and water made me nervous, but I was able to “eye it” and mix the right amount. Kerri came over for a piece, and I was very good. I gave a piece to one of my roommates, Diana, and Kerri’s roommate Kenya as well. Everyone liked it, thanks mom! Then Kerri and I watched some episodes of The Office and got ready for practice.

I think I’ve mentioned the lack of communication before, BUT if not…we were watching episodes of the office and at 5:10p, Kenya came in the room and said, “Practice is at 5:30pm today”. Awesome. So I ran home and got ready as fast as I could. Our coach talked at practice before we started, and apparently we aren’t going to have Wednesday’s “off” anymore. So instead of just lifting, we will have practice as well. So Sunday is our only day off now. Our practice still went until 8:30pm, so we had a full 3 hour practice tonight, and tomorrow us foreigners have a morning practice.

I went home, made some food, watched some more of The Office, and went to bed.



Oct. 29- Nov. 10

Oct. 29

I'm a crepe and chocolate making master now!

I'm a crepe and chocolate making master now!

Hola! Kerri, Ale, and Kenya now live next door, so that will be much more convenient. Kerri and I walked to the train station around 11:30am. We got to Finestrat and went to Carrefore. It is pretty close to a “Walmart”. Although I think the US version is better. I bought a few items and some paint to write “Policia” on the back of my Halloween shirt. I’ll post a picture of that on here. Then we went to the mall since it is right next door, and I got some earrings for myself, and 2 items each for my mom and sister. Hopefully I will be able to send a box home with their presents..as well as some of my heavy stuff so I don’t have to deal with overweight baggage again!

We got back to Benidorm around 3:30pm, and got ready for practice. After practice, I showered and got ready to go home. I brought this lotion from the US called “Hempz” that Kim Morsching bought for me. All the girls thought it smelled SO good. It was funny to watch them smell it and be like “mmmmh Guapisimo!”

Kerri and I watched a movie, and she went back to her place and I went to bed.

Oct. 30

I woke up this morning at 9:30am, got ready, made some oatmeal (that I bought from Carrefour..because they don’t have that at the grocery stores in town) and was out the door a little after 10am. I had to go to the Ayuntamiento to register for my class. The ladies at the town hall are kind of rude to Kerri and I. Oh well! Then I had to walk to the bank to pay for the class, as well as get a paper stamped for the town hall. Then I had to find a place to get my passport photocopied. I went to one photo store and said, “Fotocopia aqui?” (Photocopy here?) and she said no, but ‘pointed me in the direction’ of where I should go. So I started walking and found an internet place that said Fotocopies on their sign! What luck! Then I had to walk all the way back to the Ayuntamiento to give them the copies, and then I was registered! Then I went to the internet store, as it has been days since I’ve been there, to update this and to check emails.

I went home and talked with Kerri because we we are getting internet either Monday (Lunes) or Tuesday (Miercoles) of next week!! It should only cost me $12 euros a month..so it will be nice to have it ALL the time and pay about the same as what I payed at the internet café a month. I ate some lunch and worked on painting my costume. Practice at 6pm tonight and a match tomorrow night vs. Madrid at our place. Wish me luck! Adios!

Oct.31

Pirata y Policia

Pirata y Policia

Happy Halloween! We had practice this morning at 10:00am. Just a basic serve and pass and then went home until we had to be back for the match at 5:15pm. I watched film from the previous week to get me into volleyball mode and see what adjustments I can make tonight. Our #1 setter is still out, and our #1 outside is out for the game but should be back next week. We played Madrid, and they are the worst in the league…under us. We ended up LOSING in 5 sets. I played well overall and felt like myself for the first time since being overseas. I was finally getting set on a more consistent basis..and it probably had much to do with our OH being out. It helped getting set more because my shoulder stayed warm then whole game, rather than not getting set until halfway through the game! We still lost though and coach was not happy.

We got ready for Halloween and hung out at our apartments until 2:00am and then went out. Like I said earlier, I was a Policia, Kerri was a Pirate, and Kenya was a witch, Diana a vampire, and Caro, Bianca, and Ale were devils. The night was actually pretty fun. Spainards definitely really get into Halloween. We got home pretty late and went to bed. Buenos noches!

Nov.1

Wow its November already. Today felt more like a fall day. The sun really was not out and it was kind of windy. I was comfortable in Capri pants, sandals and a light jacket. Apparently its supposed to be warm the rest of the week though, so not fall here yet! Kerri and I ate at Telepizza, the Pizza Hut/Dominos/Papa John’s, etc, of Spain. It was really good.

Something you may find funny that I’ve meant to mention is that the fast food places- McDonald’s, Burger King, etc, serve beer as a drink item. It is pretty funny to me to be able to order a beer with my fast food. It’s not just a can either; they pour it in a cup out of the tap. I haven’t ordered it, but I’ve seen it with other customers. I’m sure a lot of my friends would like that!

I relaxed the rest of the day, did my Spanish homework for tomorrow, and watched a movie. Buenos noches!

Policia y Bruja

Policia y Bruja

Nov. 2

WOW, It has been a long time since I’ve written in here, so I apologize! The past week seemed to go by pretty fast..so I’m just going to update my last few days in one post. Last week Tuesday we got internet! (Nov. 3) That is probably the reason I haven’t updated this..because I’ve been surfing the web! I am sharing it with my 3 teammates that live across the hall from us. The only problem is that since they are across the hall, I don’t get the best service in my house. I don’t even get internet in my room-the furthest room in the back of our house, so I sit by the front entryway where we have a little table. BUT I am still grateful, because it costs me way less each month because 1. I don’t have to waste energy walking up hills and 5 minutes worth of walking to get to the internet store. 2. I can skype again with family and friends, and 3. It will cost me less to pay for internet monthy here. Lately I’ve just been going over to my other teammates house and using internet in Kerri’s room on her big bed instead, so that has been good. I like them over there in that apartment more than my 18 year old roommates anyways!

I also got two packages from my mom last week. She sent me a few necessary items like another pair of kneepads, sports bras, spandex, SHORTS!, and a few tank tops. She also sent me some candy, American magazines, YES!, cookies, crystal light packets, cake and brownie mix, and a few ingredients that I can’t find here in Spain to make my taco dip! So I was pretty excited about that. Thanks again mom! I also checked on sending stuff home at the post office while I was there. I bought a huge box for $3 euro and I can pack it up to 30 kgs (about 66 lbs) for $153 euros. If I have less weight than that..which I will..it will be less money. For my 24 kgs from Finland, I payed $240 euros to get my luggage to Spain! So this will be better for when I leave here for good.

Friday morning (November 6) we left for our away game in Cantabria, Spain. It is on the north border of Spain near France. It was an 8 hour drive..although it always takes us longer with our hour long dinner stop and bathroom break stops. We got there at about 9 on Friday, had dinner, and went to bed. It is definitely pretty cold here! It feels like its in the 40s-50’s..and it was also raining the whole time we were there..so that made it feel even colder. We ended up losing in 3, to the #2 team in our league..making our record 0-5 right now. Not good. If we don’t win the next two games..the other foreigners and I could be sent home. So I’m hoping we turn it around here soon. Our #1 OH has been out with a shoulder injury the last two games, and our #1 setter was out the middle 3 games..so we haven’t had everyone, and even then we struggle. We’ll see!

We got back early Sunday morning, and apparently there’s a “city wide fiesta” here in Benidorm that started on Saturday the 7th and goes until tonight, the 10th. EVERYTHING is shut down- grocery stores included! I was going to make my taco dip or a cake and neither my apartment, or the apartment across the hall has any type of baking dish in it- cupcakes, etc! So that’s a bummer..and nothing is open until tomorrow.

The “fiesta” is a huge party..lots of drinking and food and vendors selling stuff and a carnival area. We drank on Sunday night, but that was it. Yesterday night we walked around and looked at the carnival and ate Chinese food and called it an early night. I had Chicken with Ginger. It was really good but a HUGE portion that I took most of it home.

Tomorrow we have practice, so we’ll see how it goes.

I also do not have class this week because of the holiday, but I’ve been trying to learn the language as much as I can, and I am definitely picking up on it a little bit.

Vocabulary: callete- shut up, mariposa-butterfly, tener-to have, sol-sun, nube-cloud, viento-wind, silla-chair.


I will be better this next week with my writing! Hope everyone is well! Adios!



Oct. 21

The Nectarines are SO big and SO good here :)

The Nectarines are SO big and SO good here :)

This morning, the walk to the gym was not full of motivation.  Kerri and I were still pretty tired for some reason, but once we arrived we were ready to go.  We were finished by about 11:45am, and then went to the same restaurant we went to the other morning.  Well, the place was pretty full and they only had one waitress.  The thing about Europe, is that you do not tip people.  Taxi drivers, waitresses, etc.  So I was thinking to myself..that’s why they can have bad service, because you don’t tip them anyways! J  I ordered this eggs, toast, and bacon thing, as well as a Gofre (waffle).  The Gofre never came, so after waiting for the waitress to come near our table for quite some time, we finally decided to go up to the register, pay for our meal and say “forget the gofre”.  She had forgotten about it, so we left and got a crepe at one of the little to-go places instead.  By the time we made our way to the beach, it was 1:30pm and pretty windy and cloudy.  We went to lay out anyway, and after 20 minutes of sand blowing all over us, and actually feeling chilly for the FIRST time on the playa (beach), we decided to leave.
I went home and showered and took an “ice bath” in my bathtub.  You have to pay for a tank of gas here, and even when you have the gas turned on, the water still takes forever to get warm.  They are trying to “better” the economy and never switched over to how us American’s do gas.  We ran out of gas the other day, so I figured I would just put the water on cold and take an ice bath for my legs.  That’s how cold it is. J
Then I made my way to the internet cafÈ to send some emails and call my sister.  It was nice to talk to her.  Kerri was there as well.  I talked to my sister for almost an hour, and then internet for an hour.  After that, Kerri came over to my house for dinner.  I made spaghetti with meat sauce and bread and we had this chocolate bread thing for dessert. (Bought it at the store J).  By now it was close to 8:30pm and so we decided to watch one of my many movies I brought with me from the US.  When we were done with the movie, we were pretty tired and it was after 11pm already.  Buenos noches!

Oct. 22
Today Kerri and I woke up at 11:30am!  It is so dark in my room that it’s hard to get up,…that’s my excuse anyway.  Kerri went home, and I got ready for the day and wrote some emails back to people, ate some breakfast/lunch, and then headed to the internet cafÈ to send the emails and watch “the Office”.   I was there for about an hour and a half or so, and then came home to get ready for practice and eat a little something more.
Practice went pretty well.  I am going to be passing more when we are receiving, because our L2 shuts down when she starts messing up.  Although it adds to my plate and it hasn’t been one of my strongest points throughout my career, I’m looking forward to the challenge.  I’m going to at least talk and be loud, which is more than our outside was doing.  We’ll see how it goes this weekend.  We head to Barcelona Saturday morning, and apparently we are allowed to stay in Barcelona if we want.  So Kerri and I might do that and take a bus back the next night.  We shall see.
I went home after practice and made my Quatro Quesos mini pizza.  I watched some Fussball (soccer) highlights on TV and got ready for bed.  Practice for the “foreigners” tomorrow morning at 10am! Buenos noches!

Oct. 23

The Birthday Girl, Bianca, and I on her birthday (2 weekends ago)

The Birthday Girl, Bianca, and I on her birthday (2 weekends ago)

So last night I iced my knee for 20 minutes.  I don’t have knee problems, I just tweeked it a little bit in practice, so I wanted to be proactive and make it better.  Well pretty sure I frostbit my knee! Yikes.  Once it started to unthaw it started to burn.  So I was pretty nervous.  This morning I woke up and it felt much better, but there is like a bubbly blister in the middle…where I like “burned” it maybe?! I don’t know..I ALWAYS ice for 20 minutes, so I’m not sure what happened this time.  Anyway, we had practice at 10 am, and after the practice, it seemed to be a little bit better.  Our trainer doesn’t have any sort of cream, Neosporin-nothing to put on it, so I may have to go get something myself!
So I’m not a huge Atun (Tuna) fan, but I do know that I like Tuna Helper from the States.  I decided to try to makeshift some of that.  I found a package of Parmesan noodles at the supermarket, and cooked it with a can of atun, and it was actually pretty good!
We had our usual night practice, and tomorrow we are leaving at 10am for our match against Barcelona.  I am looking forward to seeing that city!  Buenos noches!

Oct. 24
We left Benidorm at 10 am with two vans.  We took Mercedes Benz vans.  It’s so funny to me that Mercedes make vans- even the city trucks are made by Mercedes.  Spain has a lot of their “own made” cars, but I have seen a few Chrysler, Volvo, VW, Saab, and Mercedes brands.  They made a brand called Peugeot and Seat.  These cars are everywhere, and each one looks the same.  They look pretty cheaply made, but anything Mercedes is nice!
My car ride was less than quiet…I traveled with Kerri and the 18 year olds.  They were singing and staring out the window at “cute” boys screaming at them that they were hot while we drove back and forth past them in our lane, so it was a little much for me as a 24 year old.  We stopped at around 3:30pm to eat our pregame meal at a restaurant.   I got an ensalada mixta- mixed salad, and pollo-chicken.  Then for dessert I tried the flan.  It wasn’t too bad. One of our outsides decided she didn’t want to eat anything on the menu besides half her salad, so she purchased some helado-ice cream and also went into a grocery store to buy something else.  We were also waiting around for other teammates as they stopped in shops on our walk back to the vans.  We finally got to the vans and started to drive to our game.  Kerri and I started to worry as the time rolled by and we were stuck in Barcelona traffic, while the rest in our van wooed over the “hot” boys.  It was 6:30, 6:45, and we played at 7:30pm.  Finally, we were told to jump out of the van and start jogging to the gym because we would get there faster by foot.  We got to the gym at 7:05pm.  Luckily a game was being played before ours, so we actually got most of our warmup.  I definitely don’t like that feeling though!  We didn’t know anything about the team filmwise, or our coach telling us what our plan of attack was, so I just went out there and played.  We lost the first two sets, and came back the next two.  The fifth game was not good, and we lost 15-12.  So now we are 0-3 in conference.  Again, Kerri and I didn’t get set very much.  I know we can’t win solely on our one outside, and I think it’s been proven now that we’ve lost 3 games..but maybe everyone else doesn’t think that. J   We’ll see if changes are made.
On the way to the match, I got to see a little bit of the city of Barcelona, and it looked awesome.  I wish I wasn’t stressing before the game, or that we had more time in the city because I could have took some great pictures.  I definitely plan on visiting there with my cousin Natalie before I come back to the States though, so you’ll see something eventually!
We drove back to the same restaurant we ate at before the match for dinner.  This time I had an ensalada mixta again, and the carne y patatas-beef and fries.  It was ok.  Then for dessert I just ordered some “pina”- pineapple.  We continued our drive home, stopped a few times, and I was home by 6 am.  So quite the long day.  Tomorrow it’s beach and sunshine!

Oct. 25

Beautiful Sunset

Beautiful Sunset

Today I went to the beach with Kerri, Lauren, Lindsey, Phillip (Lindsey’s boyfriend) and Fabi (Lauren and Lindsey’s Brazillian teammate and roommate).  We laid out from about 12:30pm until 5:00pm.  The sun was already going down by 4:30pm, but we stuck around.  We went to “Pinocchio”- the pizza place that is everywhere in Benidorm.  It was actually pretty good.  We got a barbeque pizza, a meat pizza, and a sausage/mushroom/onlon pizza.  The sausage tasted more like salami, so that wasn’t my favorite, but the other two were really good.  We started to walk back, and the sunset on the beach was beautiful! I took some good pics of that so I will post them as well.  The girls (and boy) of Finestrat took a taxi home, and Kerri and I walked to the internet store.  I was online for awhile, and then telephoned my grandma, parents, and Kim Morsching.  My grandma was really funny because she was so surprised to hear from me.  My sister was at my parents house, so it was good to talk to all 3 of them at one time.  Kim, (Kevin and Kwynn) was on her way back from Hobo Days- (my colleges Homecoming weekend) and it was great to talk to her.  Rough day today, as it is Kevin’s birthday.  He would have been 24.  She told me her and the family put flowers down and balloons where he had his accident.   I wish I could have talked to her more, but we got cut off somehow.  I was probably making her very angry before I got a hold of her, because I called her about 5 times!  I forgot that I had to press this button once she picks up the phone so that I start getting “charged” for my phone conversation, and I wasn’t doing that, so she couldn’t hear me and it would hang the phone up.  So I asked Kerri what I was doing wrong, and called my grandma and parents before her again so that she would hopefully answer the next time! J   By the time I was finished with internet and everything, it was already 10:30pm at night!  I walked home, did some laundry, and watched another movie with Kerri.  This one didn’t have Spanish subtitles.  Tomorrow we go back to the school to find out about lessons, and our usual lifting.

Oct. 26

...and again

...and again

This morning we went to the Ayumante(town hall) a little after 9:00am.  We talked to a lady that spoke much better English than the man we talked to the first time.  Apparently the classes are pretty full- 16-18 people in each class, and they started classes in the middle of September, so I may be quite a bit behind.  The lady phoned the teacher, and she is willing to let Kerri and I join the class.  We are supposed to show up on Wednesday, see how it goes-as in if it’s not too far ahead for me, and if we want to join, we go back to the Ayumante and pay the $114 euros for the class. (Our club isn’t going to pay for it).  However, after talking with the lady, it meets much more than we thought from the guy we talked to the first time.  It is every Monday and Wednesday for about 1 _ hours, and every other Friday for 1 _ hours.  Also, it runs until May.  Although I won’t be here past early April,…even sooner, I still think it would be good to take this.
Kerri and I went to weights and we were done by 11:45am.  Kenya, the Brazilian didn’t show up until after 11am…and last time we worked out, didn’t show up at all.  We ended up passing Ale, the Argentinean on the walk back, and she informed us that we “gained” an hour last night..so really Kenya showed up at 10:15, and Kerri and I started at 9:00am!  Oh well, it was nice to be done at 11:00 instead of 12:00pm.  We walked to one of the restaurants, because they have an offer for bacon, two pieces of toast, two eggs, half a tomato, and tea or coffee for $3.50 euros.  Not too bad! The service was MUCH better than the other place we usually go, so we were happy about that.  I went home, took a nap, as I gained an hour to my day, and updated this and some emails.  I ate a quick bite and was ready for practice.
I haven’t mentioned that there is quite a bit of dog poop on the sidewalks.  It’s crazy because they clean the streets every night, but there still hasn’t been a day I have not seen at least one dog’s dump.  There are even bag dispensers on the side of some of the roads, but most people just let their dogs poop and pee on the sidewalks.  I’m always watching my step, and I’m surprised I haven’t stepped in something yet.  I hope that day never comes, as I will be pretty mad!  They must not have a law against it here, because you would be fined in the States!  Also, most the dogs I see are heinous.  They are just a bunch of mutts and tiny ugly dogs, and some huge dogs, but never any purebreds.  I would love to see a black lab or something! J  So this only makes me more mad about the poop. J
Anyway, we had practice tonight, and we talked about the match this weekend.  Although I couldn’t understand anything our coach said, they informed me after, that the Spanish girls need to help out Kerri and I more with the language barrier on the court..thank you.  He also said you could tell we weren’t having any fun on Saturday just from watching the video, so we’re going to play basketball for the beginning of practice today, and then volleyball after.  Pretty sure I dominated basketball.  I don’t know where that came from.  I was putting down 3’s and all, it was hilarious.  Then we played partner two on two and that was fun too.  We are supposed to be better than the team we play this weekend- Madrid..so hopefully we show it!  I went to Kerri’s for the night because tomorrow we are going Halloween costume shopping.  Adios!

Oct. 27

ok last one :)

ok last one :)

We woke up at 10:15am and headed down towards the beach to shop for Halloween.  There’s a Halloween store that we passed once, and it took us forever to find it again.  I don’t really want to spend money on a costume, so I’m going to try to keep it simple. I decided to be a Policia (Police officer).  I found a “badge” for $2.50 euro, a “squirt gun” for $2.00 and black shorts for $15 (ones I can definitely wear again).  I already have black shoes I can wear, now I just need to find a shirt.  Kerri is going to be a pirate, and her costume is going to be really good.  She even bought one of those parrots that repeat what you say!  I was pretty wiped out after that, and walked home to rest a little bit before practice.  Tomorrow is our first day of class..so we’ll see how that goes!  Adios!

Oct. 28
This morning Kerri and I went to the gym at 9am since our primera (first) class starts at 11:00am this morning, and we want to talk to our teacher before it starts.  We got there in time to talk with her, and if we like the class, we have to pay $114 euros to the town hall and then we will get our workbook.  It went well overall, however I need to start learning as many words as I can each day to make it easier.  I can understand (usually) the overall picture when our teacher talks, but I could never speak a full sentence back.  The class began mid-September, so we’re joining a month late.  After class, Kerri and I went looking for the rest of our costumes.  I found a black button down shirt for $3 euros and handcuffs for $3 euros.  We are going to try to find some puffy paint or something to write Policia on the back of my shirt and I should be all set.  We ate lunch near the beach.  I got a Bocadilla con Choriza y Queso-French bread sandwich with Sausage and Cheese.  The sausage was actually a giant hotdog..but it was still really good!  Then we walked home, and I hung out for a bit before going grocery shopping.  Then I came back, and responded to emails and fb messages that were piling up before helping Kerri, move into their new apartment next door.  This evening I made crepes with chocolate.  They tasted just like they do at the Ice cream shops downtown! So I was pretty excited because that means I don’t have to waste $3.00 euros on a crepe anymore. J  Tomorrow we have practice at night.  So tomorrow Kerri and I are going to go to Carrefour (Their version of Wal-mart as Kerri says…we’ll see!)   Chao!

Vocabulary:  beber- to drink  comer- to eat, vivir- to live, ojos- eyes, fiebre- fever, gripe-flu, hambre-hungry, miedo-scary, sueno-tired.



Oct. 14-20

Oct. 14

Beautiful Rose in Miranda, Spain

Beautiful Rose in Miranda, Spain

 

 

Hola!  So I know I said in my last post I was going to post lots of pictures with it, and I tried but some of the photos were “too large”..even though they’re all the same size..so I don’t know why it was doing that.  I’ll try again with this post.  I have pics of beautiful flowers I want to show!

Anyway, today I got up around 10:15am to meet Kerri.  We were going to go check out the espanol school, but ended up going to Finestrat by bus instead to go to the mall.  It only costs 2 Euros to go from Benidorm to Finestrat and back, so that is good to know for future reference.  There were a few good stores, definitely some good European clothing, but I didn’t buy anything. 

We were talking while we waited for the bus, and apparently Kenya, Kerri, and Ale might be still moving in next door to me and my 2 roommates..so I might just be getting wireless…I hope so! 

We got back around 2:30pm, so I went straight to the internet store to update this.  I then called my mom at work and got ahold of her.  I’ve tried to reach her twice now and haven’t gotten ahold of her, so it was good to talk to her.  I talked to her for about 45 minutes, and then I went home as I still needed to eat something before practice.  David picked me up around 5:30pm and practice went pretty well tonight.

I forgot to mention my number a while back, I will be #3 here in Benidorm.  I think that’s a pretty good number..not as good as 4, but I’ll take it. J  We talked to David about the espanol school again..apparently he texted Kerri the number of the lady who will give us private lessons and so we’re supposed to call her.  So Kerri has had her number for quite awhile and didn’t even realize she was supposed to call her.  So we’re going to do that tomorrow.

I got a notice in the mail today saying I have a package waiting for me at the post office!! It’s from Kenzie O, and I am so excited to get it.  I plan on going there first thing in the morning.  Thanks Kenz, you’re the best. 

After practice, I went home, made some spaghetti for dinner, did some laundry and went to bed.  Adios!

 

Oct. 15 

Buenos dias! This morning Kerri, Kenya, and I walked around downtown Benidorm to look at the shops and what not.  They bought some jewelry, and again I didn’t buy anything.  Surprising huh!?  I just keep thinking about my luggage and how I have no room for extra weight unless I send stuff home..so I’ve been good about shopping!  We also went to the post office and I picked up my package from Kenzie.  It was a HUGE jar of Skippy Peanut Butter.  HOW awesome.  J  Thanks Kenz.  That baby will definitely last me during my time here.  Today was kind of a rainy day, so that was a bummer.  I know it is supposed to rain tomorrow, but it started today apparently! 

We got home mid afternoon, I made something to eat, took a little nap, and got ready for practice.  Practice went pretty well today, and I am REALLY looking forward to playing again this weekend.  Our #1 setter will not be playing this weekend as she hurt her wrist last weekend, however I like our #2 setter too, so I think we should be ok! 

After practice, Kerri, Ale, and I decided to go to a restaurant and get some pizza.  I really enjoy Ale.  She is from Argentina and has a desire to learn English-she thinks its good, so it helps me when trying to learn Spanish.  She really tries to speak with us and help us learn espanol, so I really like that.  They both said, “Why don’t you just sleep over tonight”.  We decided we were going to go back to Finestrat to go shopping now that we have money tomorrow.  So I ran home (not literally) and packed up some stuff for overnight and went back to their casa.  (house). 

Kerri and I went to the internet store so she could call her friend and I checked email.  We went back home and went to bed.  Buenos noches!

 

Oct. 16

Flowers right outside my apt. building

Flowers right outside my apt. building

 

 

Hola!  This morning we woke up around 9:30am.  We were out the door by 9:50a, so we could walk to the bus station and catch the 10:05a train to Finestrat.  We started to shop and I got quite a few nice shirts and a $4.00  (euro) clutch purse.  Definitely found bargains as usual.  I made sure to buy “light” things for my flight home. J  We shopped, ate at McDonald’s, and made it back to Benidorm by 2:30pm.  It has been raining all day today..so not a nice day.  I was happy to get back to my house and out of the rain.

I made a little food before practice and got ready to go.  Our practice went pretty well tonight, and we have another one hour one, and then film tomorrow morning.  Then we will go back to our casa’s and take “siestas” (nap) before we go back to the gym for our game. 

When I got home from practice, Esther-one of my roommates- and Silvia, one of our teammates had pizza together.  I buy this “Quatro Quesos” (4 Cheese) Pizza at the store and it’s so good.  They had Jamon y Queso (Ham and Cheese) and put Atun (tuna) on it..ehhh.  Don’t think I’d like Atun on my pizza.  But mine was good!  J Then I got all my stuff ready for tomorrow and hit the hay!  Wish me luck tomorrow! Buenos noches!

 

Oct. 17

GAME DAY!  Today we had practice at 9:00am, so an early start.  We did serve and pass for an hour.  Then we showered and watched video of the other team.  I found this really helpful, and think it will definitely help tonight.  Last weekend we didn’t have video to watch as it was the first game of the season, so our coach just talked to us in the locker room before we played.  That was difficult as I did not understand what he was saying most of the time, and my teammates tried to tell me the main things right before the game.  This week we are much more prepared, knowing what hitter does what, where we can attack them, etc.  We were done around noon, and I came home and made some lunch. 

We went to the gym early, because there was this introduction thing since it was our first home game.  There are a few other “nino” (kid’s) teams represented by Benidorm, so we played volleyball with the girls.  It was actually pretty fun.  Then we all went back in the hallway, and then introduced everyone on the teams.  Then we got ready for our game.  Our warm-up went well, but the game-awful.  We lost in 3 again.  Last weekend, the team was legitimately a better team,…this weekend, we should have won.  We could not pass, and I honestly think I got set 10 balls.  So pretty frustrating.  We travel to Barcelona this coming weekend, and I’m not sure how good they are, but I’m guessing pretty good coming from a big city!  I would love to stay and see the city, but I think we are driving up the day of the game, playing, and then coming back.  So I think I’m going to try to get there over Christmas, because my cousin Natalie is an hour northwest of Barcelona, so I can stay with her.  We had a party at my house after the game because it is 2 of our teammates birthday’s- one is 18 and one is 29.  Tomorrow we have off, so I plan on going to the beach!  Hasta luego!

 

Oct. 18

More flowers

More flowers

 

 

Today I woke up around 1:00pm.  The sun was out, so I got ready, put away some laundry that I did last night, and was about to leave the house when I looked outside and noticed the sun was gone, a huge storm cloud had rolled in, and it was lightly raining.  Boo.  So instead I emailed some family and friends back, updated this, cleaned my room and bathroom, and made some dinner.  Kerri ended up coming over and so we talked for awhile and watched one of my movies with Spanish subtitles. 

Pretty boring day, but it was good for a day off with rain.  Hasta la vista!

 

Oct. 19

This morning we had lifting and elliptical at 10:00am.  We were finished and showered by noon.  Kerri and I decided to go to lunch together at this restaurant near the beach.  I ordered the Huevos con Bacon (eggs with Bacon).  It had two pieces of toast with sunny side up eggs on top of them, and 2 strips of Bacon.  I also got a Gofres (waffle) with Chocolate and whipped cream.  (Ohio would love them!)  Those 2 items and a small bottle of Agua, cost me about $7.00 euro..so not too bad.  Then we went to the internet café.  I was there for about an hour, and then I walked home to grab my backpack.  I proceeded to the grocery store and got some things to eat for this week and next week.  I bring my back pack and drawstring bag, so I can fill the groceries up in there.  It is quite a long walk, and uphill, so this makes it easier for me to bring everything home.  Then I usually only have 1 or 2 extra plastic bags of food to carry in my hands, rather than 4 or 5!  Plus, I’m saving the environment by not using so much plastic. ;)   Then I made some lunch/dinner, ate, and got ready for practice.

We started earlier today because we were going to watch film.  I was happy we were because I wanted to actually see how much I got set.  It was awful to watch the game all over again.  I was close. 12 sets. Only 4 sets from the right side-Position 2.  So that is pretty frustrating.  Kerri calculated, that 80% of our balls didn’t make it to the 3 Meter (10 foot) line.  We ended up watching all 3 sets after David talked about the match, so we didn’t have that much time left in practice.  We did this conditioning/passing drill for quite some time, and then worked on our zones for serving the rest of practice.  I found that useful. 

After practice, Lindsey, one of the American’s from Finestrat, and her boyfriend, Phillip, picked up Kerri and I from practice.  Her boyfriend got in town this past weekend and is here until November 12!  They rented a car for the weekend, so they had one last night with it, and decided to have us over for dinner!  Lauren, the other American was there too.  We had a saucy meatloaf thing, sweet potatoes, and green beans.  It was AMAZING.  I’ve honestly never been a fan of sweet potatoes, but the way they made them was delicious.  Then we had this giant sugar cookie for dessert, and I brought over a pastry thing that I bought from the store. J  So we had a lot for dessert.  We stayed and chatted for a while, and then they took us home.  Tomorrow, us foreigners have practice at 10 am.  Buenos noches!

 

Oct. 20

This morning David picked us up around 9:45am, and we had a defensive practice.  I thought this was very good and helpful.  It lasted about an hour or so, and then we showered off and he dropped me off at my place.  Today, Kerri and I have an appointment with the Espanol teacher at her house.  Kerri got directions from her and we started walking on the street.  We decided to call her to double check and she told us to keep walking.  Well we got to the end of the street, and she called again…we had gone the wrong way, and really, it wasn’t that far from our houses.  So after a 45 minute walk, we started walking back and eventually found it.  The lesson was helpful, and I learned basic verbs and singular pronouns.  I will have to study it to really get it, but it was nice to have something to help me a little bit.  The lesson was an hour, and we had to pay $10 euro each! So we’re not sure if we’re gong to go back..because it really is $12 euro a lesson..or $20 euro for 2 lessons in a week.  I had talked days ago about the town hall offering Espanol class and that I didn’t know where it was but wanted to check it out.  It ended up being right across the street from Elsa’s (the teacher) apartamento.  We talked to a man, and he said if we decided to do it, we would take an exam to see where we are at with the language, and then be put in the proper class..but it wouldn’t be one on one, like our future classes with Elsa would be.  The class runs until March, and it costs $114 euro for one, 2 hour session every other week.  For Elsa, it would cost $117 for 3 sessions a week in ONE MONTH.  So we’re gong to go back to the town hall tomorrow to talk to a colleague of the man we spoke with.  Our club may be able to pay for lessons, and it might be easier for them to get reimbursed if it is through the town hall. 

Practice was good tonight, and I stayed over at Kerri´s.  We walked around downtown and got dinner, and went to sleep.  Tomorrow we have lifting and conditioning at 10am.  Adios!

View outside my window

View outside my window

Team dinner...most of the team is present

Team dinner...most of the team is present



Oct.5-13

 

Oct. 5

Americans of Finestrat and Benidorm

Americans of Finestrat and Benidorm

 

Today I woke up not feeling so hot. It started Friday morning…just a slight sore throat, but seemed to get better Saturday and Sunday. This morning, I felt feverish and my throat was so plugged and congested. I walked to lifting at 10am, and when Kerri, Kenya, and Ali arrived, Kerri asked if I had already started working out because I looked kind of sweaty. I hadn’t..so I’m pretty sure I had a fever. I still did the hour and a half workout because I figured it would be better to sweat out a fever. When we were done with our hour lift, Kerri said I should go home because I looked awful..I felt it too! But our last 30 minutes is just cardio, so I decided I would just do that on a sit down bike.

On my way home from our workout, I decided to go to the internet café since it is on the way home, to check email since I hadn’t all weekend. Then I went home, made some lunch, and laid in bed the rest of the afternoon. I watched another movie with Spanish subtitles and got some rest as well.

David picked me up at 5:30pm for practice. We did some running and player initiated drills. I felt better, but it was hard for me to breathe still. Hopefully with some rest I will feel better for tomorrow’s practice, because we have 2! One at 11am and one at 6pm. I’m gonna head to bed and get some rest. More pictures to come!

Tina

 

Oct. 6

 

Buenos noches! Today I woke up, and got ready for practice. It ended up just being us foreign players. Everyone else goes to school during the day, or works. It was only an hour practice, and we worked on individual stuff, so that was good. Then I went home, ate lunch and showered. Kerri came over and we watched a movie. Then practice at 6pm. We did a lot of serve receive and team drills. No practice tomorrow, and not again until Thursday night. Us foreign girls do have lifting tomorrow morning at 10am, but then it’s straight to the beach for a full day of sun.

Words I’ve learned: Fuerta=out. Sal= salt. Beach=playa. OK=vale (bah-ley). Vamos= Lets go!

Buenos noches!

Tina

 

Oct. 7

 

Today was a lifting morning, so I walked to the gym, and did my hour and a half workout with Kerri, Kenya, and Alexandra. Then Kerri and I showered off and went straight to the beach. We were there all day and the weather was awesome. I think it was only like 84* but if felt like it was 90 because there was no wind. One thing about Benidorm/the beach, is it is FULL of old people! I think a lot of them come from Greece and Italy and Britain for their holiday. But honestly, you will BARELY see young adults/kids on the beach. THEY ARE EVERYWHERE. We were thinking that maybe it is a little bit different on the weekends, since people either work or go to school during the week. Who knows though.

After the beach, we walked around, and bought a crepe with nutella on it. They are so good. We also went to the candy store, because I saw “fruit slices” candy in the window. My family will know what these are. They are sooo good, and taste the same as they do in the states!

After this, we started to walk home, Kerri kept going, but I stopped in the Internet store to check email and call my parents. I got a hold of my dad, and talked to him for about 35 minutes. So that was nice. Then I walked home, showered, and by the time I was finished showering, Kerri was at mi casa. We ended up watching 2 movies that I have, and she stayed over because it was pretty late by the time we were done watching them. Adios!

 

Oct. 8

Beach :)

Beach :)

 

Today we woke up around 11:30am. Kerri walked home, and I got ready for the day. David, my coach, ended up calling me, because my “transfer” came from Finland today. This is showing that I am playing volleyball for the Benidorm club, and David needed it by tomorrow or I would be unable to play in our match this weekend! So I was happy to hear that. We needed to take some pictures though, so he drove me to a photo shop to take them, and these little wallet-sized pics would go along with the transfer certificates. Our Brazilian’s transfer arrived yesterday, and our coach still doesn’t have Alexandra’s- the Argentinean. David dropped me off, and I got my backpack on, and went to the Internet store. I checked email for about a half hour, then went to the grocery store as I have nothing to eat in the house. I haven’t mentioned that the sidewalks in all of Benidorm are made out of marble/tile like pieces. I’ll post a picture below. So when it rains, it gets pretty slippery to walk downhill in! There’s no concrete sidewalks anywhere, so it’s pretty.

I’ve determined, that all the money I make has been going to food, what a bummer! I’ve realized that overall in Europe so far, the quantities are so much smaller than in the US. The prices are better here in Espana than Finlandia, but the quantities are small so it really is still “expensive”. For example, a bag of chips is about half the size of a normal bag, about the size of a Fritos bag maybe, same with cookies. They have Oreos here, and a “box” contains 4 individually wrapped units – 4 cookies in each, so only 16 cookies in a “box”, and you’re still paying about the same as you would in the states…maybe even more. So every week I wonder, how did I already go through $50 euros worth of stuff?! When normally that would last me closer to two weeks…but I realize I’m not buying as much.

Today was a brutally hot day. I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts. The thing I hate the most about grocery shopping, is the long walk home with the heavy groceries on my back and in my arms. I always bring my big backpack and fill it up with heavy and fragile stuff and then carry the few bags I usually have in my hands. Today I was SWEATING so badly, and all I wanted to do was stop walking and sit down, but realized it was better to keep going! Times like these I wish I had a car!

Tonight we have practice, and tomorrow we leave for our first conference match of the year on Saturday! Wish me luck!

Tina

 

Oct. 9

 

Hola! I slept in pretty late this morning (go figure) and finished packing for our game this weekend. We got all of our gear last night at practice, so that was nice. I made a big lunch as we weren’t getting fed until dinner. Although we were leaving at 2 pm, dinner isn’t around 5-8pm like most American families. They eat really late here, like 10-11pm! So I packed some snacks, and walked to the place we were meeting. We ended up taking 2 vans. It was another warm day. I slept for a lot of the trip, and we arrived at our destination around 10:00pm. We checked in, and went to dinner at the hotel restaurant. We were supposed to pick an appetizer and a main dish. I got the Huevos Fritos c/Jamon (eggs with bacon/ham and tomato in it) and the Pollo al ajillo (chicken and French fries). I was surprised when it come with fries because fries is “fritas”. Everyone’s meals actually came with fries. Then we were able to order a dessert. I ordered Chocolate cake..well it was more like pudding, so I was pretty bummed/wish I would have ordered helado instead. (Ice cream).

After dinner, we went back to our rooms as it was already after 11am. We were to get up for breakfast at 9:00am tomorrow morning.

Oct. 10

Game day! This morning came early. I could not sleep last night. Mix between getting a lot of sleep in the car ride, the tv being on and keeping me up, and my roommate snoring a little. So this morning I was pretty tired. My cold hasn’t really gone away either. Anyway, we went to breakfast at the hotel restaurant. It was a croissant and orange juice. You could tell the orange juice was squeezed straight from the orange. It was very good. A lot of people were adding sugar to it, and although it could have used some sugar maybe, I drank it as is, because it tasted so fresh. There was also rolls for us to eat. So I had my croissant with butter, and a roll with jelly. Then we went back to the hotel and had to be ready by 9:45am to leave for our walk-through at 11am. We drove to Miranda, where we would be playing. It was about a 20 minute drive. We had a quick walk-through of serve and pass and that was about it. We went back to the hotel and had about 20 minutes to hang out in our hotel until our lunch at 1:00pm. For lunch, I got Ensalada mixta (mixed salad) and Spagheti a la Bolonesa (Spaghetti). The salad was good, it came with egg and tomato on it. There version of salad has Tuna on it, whereas I think America does more chicken on salad’s. It actually was pretty good. I’m not much of a cold tuna eater, but it was ok on salad. The spaghetti had red sauce, but it wasn’t thick like we have in America. More like plain tomato sauce with noodles and tiny pieces of meat. Like tiny. It really didn’t have much flavor, but it was ok.

When lunch was over, we were told to take a 45 minute siesta and be ready to go at 3:45pm for our game. We met in the lobby and watched beach volleyball on TV. Bianca, one of our setters, her boyfriend is a beach volleyball player. He played in Beijing apparently too, so pretty legit! Him and his vb partner played an Italy duo, and ended up winning! We had already starting watching it in our room, so we watched to end with the team and we left for our game at 4:15pm.

We got ready, had a pregame talk, and warmed up. The language barrier made it really hard during the pregame talk and what not. Our game actually did not go so hot. We did not play well. The opposing teams setter and outside are from Peru, and the setter’s madre (mother) passed away, so they both were not at the game to attend the funeral. Unfortunately, from experience of losing someone, I knew they would be tough to beat even without their two teammates. When something like that happens not much can get in your way. We had a minute of silence before the game started. This was hard for me. I had complete flashbacks back to our home game versus Montana State my senior year.

We ended up losing in 3, and showered and started our drive home. I’m looking forward to practice this weekend and starting fresh this next weekend. We play a team at home this weekend. We were on the road by 8 pm, and stopped for dinner at a restaurant at 11:00pm. I didn’t get to save the menus like I did my other meals, but I from what I can remember, I got Jamon y Christopher It was noodles with ham pieces and cheese (alfredo) sauce. I could have just had that, it was really good, and a huge plate full! Then I got pollo y patatas…it was thin slices of chicken that were breaded, and potatoes with garlic. It was ok but I couldn’t eat much of it. Then for dessert I got Helado Fresa- Strawberry icecream. That was good. Then we drove the rest of the way home and I did laundry so I could hang it up in the morning. Adios!

 

Oct. 11

 

Buenos dias. Today I was still feeling pretty crappy about our game. We’ve had such good weeks of practice and ok games versus Finestrat, so I was disappointed with my performance last night. Luckily, Sunday is a day off, so I went to the beach with Kerri to clear my head. We ended up seeing Ale, one of our teammates on the beach with her boyfriend. So we sat with them. Her boyfriend spoke pretty good English, so it was nice to talk to them. That’s the hardest thing, I wish I could get to know my teammates better, know the language, but we can’t. So it was nice to have him talk more.

Another thing I haven’t talked about is the “European beach”. I have already said how it’s ALL old people, and I mentioned earlier this week that Kerri and I thought that maybe on the weekends there would be a younger crowd…well no. It’s still all old people, or parents with their babies. There is quite a few of the old ladies that don’t wear tops. Pretty nasty. Even if it is the way “Europeans” do it, I will never go topless. Its bad enough being in the sun, let alone giving yourself a bigger risk of breast cancer! It’s funny to me because most of the little girls only wear bottoms too. The parents don’t put tops on them! I think suits for little girls are adorable..they don’t need to tan their chests yet!!

Sometimes I have a hard time telling if the topless old lady is a lady or a man..oops is that bad? Lol. Most people wear normal bottoms, but I’ve seen a few thong bottoms. My teammate Ale is one of them. Again, you won’t see my showing my big butt off! That and there are a few old men that wear Speedos. Haha.

Anyway, enough about that…I decided to leave around 4:30pm, because I wanted to check email on my way home, and I’m usually there close to an hour. I was already getting hungry too, so I wanted to get home to make something. I made this zucchini black pepper pasta dish that Kev used to make me. Very healthy and good. Then I showered, updated this, and hung out at Kerri, Kenya, and Ale’s house with them. Tomorrow is another day off, as it is a Spanish holiday. So another full day at the beach. Buenos noches.

 

Oct. 12

Kerri and I

Kerri and I

Hola! This morning I got up and met Kerri at her house. We walked to the beach on the other side of the rock..Playa de Levante because we wanted to see another beach/how it is over there. Usually we go to Playa de Poniente because it is a closer beach to our apartamento’s (apartments). It was nice, and although it was still flocking with old people, there was a few younger people there. We stayed there most of the day, and then went home mid afternoon to shower. Kerri ended up coming over that night and we watched one of my movies with Spanish subtitles. Tomorrow we have lifting and practice! Adios!

 

Oct. 13

Buenos dias! This morning we had lifting/conditioning at 10am at the gym. I showered and walked home to make lunch. Traditional American spaghetti. Yum Then I took a good 2 hour nap as the sun has worn me out lately and Kerri and I went to bed pretty late last night after watching a movie. Then I got up and wrote emails, and got ready for practice. Practice went well tonight, and our coach talked about the game. Although he wasn’t happy with us, he said he knows it’s still early in the season, and it was our first game, and the team we played has been in the top of our league! They have the best libero in all of Spain-5th best in all of Europe!? Crazy! So I felt a little better, even though I must improve every day! Tomorrow Kerri and I are going to the town hall because we might be able to get Spanish lessons! That would be good. Buenos noches!



Sep. 29-Oct. 4

Kerri, Kenya, and I at the Benidorm ¨futbol¨game

Kerri, Kenya, and I at the Benidorm ¨futbol¨game

Sept. 29

Well it was definitely raining again today. It was more off and on though, so I was at least able to walk around. I went to “Telefonica”, the internet store, and luckily the lady spoke English. I was looking through a catalog and realized that a “wireless stick” would be my best option. Well the lady said her location didn’t have the wireless sticks, but down the street and to the left, the other store did. I haven’t said this yet, but I am going to be a “walking machine” when I’m done here. I walk everywhere! I got to the store, and the lady DID NOT speak engIish. Shoot. BUT there was a man in the store and he grabbed his wife who was waiting outside (as it was so hot in the store and no air conditioning) and she speaks English, so she translated for us. Phew. So I could purchase the stick, and have “prepaid internet time” on it, so again no contract. It cost me $50 euros, so that kinda sucks..but we’ll see how many days/months I get out of what I bought…I’m guessing it is better than paying for wireless all by myself! Well I went home and tried to set up the wireless stick, and it did not work. From the looks of it, I need a different version of Windows on my computer. I LOVE my new apple computer, but sometimes compatibility issues come along, so that’s no fun. Plus, my old lap top DEF would have been able to pick up Kerri’s wireless…I remember in college if the wireless was weak in our house, my laptop could still get it when Emily and Mackenzie’s apple computers couldn’t. Oh well. It is already past 2:00 pm though, so I won’t be able to go back to the internet store today. I went over to Kerri and Kenya’s because we were going to walk to the place where we are learning Spanish today. Although Kenya speaks Portugese and is close enough to Spanish, she wants to take the class to so that she completely understands Spanish. The more I think about it, I think it’s stupid if we’re in the same class as her, as she can already speak the language and put together sentences, really well. Well I arrived at their house, and we didn’t end up going. Kenya is the only one that knows where it is, and she wasn’t ready to go when she said we were going to go. So I went back home and got ready for practice. One of my roommates as English class, so she had to write some sentences in English and asked if I would correct them. She actually did pretty well. We were trying our best to “talk” a little bit and she said she had 2 eng-span, span-eng, dictionaries, so she is letting me borrow one. I figured this would be best until I see what I “need to buy/receive” from my Spanish class. I plan on trying to learn 10 new Spanish words a day. I hope I stick with that. J

Practice started out with a conditioning/jumping circuit that we did 3 times. After that we did a serve, pass, and attack drill for the remainder of practice. We stretched and that was it. No practice or lifting tomorrow, and then practice the following night.

Kerri wanted to walk down near the beach since we didn’t have anything tomorrow, and show me “English square”. I checked email at her house quick, and then we started to walk down toward the beach. English square is the British area of town. There are a bunch of bars and food places, and everyone speaks English, so that was kind of nice. We were out pretty late, although I would much rather have gone to bed hours ago and slept. Apparently we are going to the school place tomorrow at 2 pm, so we’ll see! Buenos noches!

Tina

Sept. 30

Hola! Today I woke up around noon, got ready, and took my wireless stick and computer to the internet store. The same lady was working, but there was also a man working who spoke good English. How lucky. He said that I needed some application on my computer, so he went to his computer, put it on a zip drive, and put it on my computer. Well it still would work/wasn’t recognizing the wireless stick, so he decided that they would get another wireless stick for me since mine was “not working”. I hope that’s the problem! So they are going to call me when it arrives. I am hoping it comes soon. Then I ran home, dropped off my computer, made a sandwich and grabbed a Fanta, and ate on my walk over to Kenya’s and Kerri’s as it was almost 2:00pm. Well Kenya didn’t arrive at the house until 2:30pm, and then went in her room at locked the door. So I wasn’t very happy, as I busted my butt to get over there on time, she came home late, and we still didn’t go to the Spanish class, when she was the one that brought it up. Kerri and I decided we are going to ask our coach tomorrow where exactly the place is, when we can go, and we will just go on our own..as it would be better to not be in the same class as Kenya as she is more “advanced” than us. So that is good. Then I walked to an internet cafÈ to use one of their computers. I had put some pictures and my blog on a zip drive, and plugged it into the computer to update my blog. So still no internet, but was at least able to update that. Then I talked to my sister at one of the phone booths they have in that same store for 45 minutes. It cost me $4.00 euro to talk to her for that long, so not too bad. Then I walked home in the light rain..yes that’s 4 days in a row of some sort of rain, and got on my computer to see if somehow we missed something and I could get my wireless to work. Well still didn’t work. Then I made some pasta for dinner and watched a little tv. Apparently, in Mercia, Spain (not sure where that is exactly) they are severely flooded from this past weekends rain storm. They showed houses with water up to the shins, so that is no good. I got pretty tired, and ended up taking a pretty long “siesta”. Then I woke up and updated this. It’s already 10:00pm, so I think I’m going to eat a little something and learn some Spanish words and watch a movie with Spanish subtitles before I head to bed. Buenos noches!

Tina

Oct. 1

Hola! I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s October already!? Well I had a hard time falling asleep last night, and I’m not sure if it’s because I took a “siesta” in the early evening or what, but I could definitely clearly hear someone in the apartment above me snoring away! I tried all I could to block it out, but it wasn’t working. Then their baby started to cry on two different occasions. I took one of my cotton squares I use for my toner and rolled it up in my ear as an “ear plug”. It actually worked! Haha I finally fell asleep, and woke up the next morning at 11:00am. I got ready, ate, and walked down to the Internet store. I had received a text to bring the mobile stick to the store. It was definitely a beautiful day today, and I wished I didn’t have my Capri pants on again, but rather my swimsuit/shorts! My Finland attire is killin me in this nice weather! I got to the store and they took the stick, and gave me my money back. I will have to “rebuy” a new one when it arrives. The man said it would take 2-3 days to arrive, and then they will call me. So still no Internet. I decided even though I was sweating..it was still a beautiful day, so I walked down to the beach since I was already minutes away, and walked around. It was a beautiful day, in the low 80’s. There were thousands of people along the beach. I started to get really hot, so I decided to walk back, towards the Internet cafÈ. I went on the Internet for about an hour, and it cost me $1 euro. So not so bad. I tried to call my parents, but it wasn’t working. I’m not sure why. So I walked home, made lunch, and hung out until practice.

The one grocery item I have a “problem” with here is the milk. The milk is not in a refrigerated isle. That is so weird to me. The first time I went to the grocery store with Kenya and Kerri, Kenya told me which milk to get, as there were so many and I didn’t know what to choose. I immediately put it in the refrigerator. When I tried it, it was like whole milk, and tasted like cream. Yuck. I ended up only drinking half of the liter over the first week I was here, and throwing the rest away, because I literally was choking it down. This past time I went to the store, I bought the same brand, but a different one. Exact “cream” taste as the last liter, but not as heavy. Kerri said she found some milk in the refrigerated section…so next time I’m going to have to look a little harder..or I may not be drinking milk for a while!

Oct. 2

Hola! I can’t remember if I mentioned it, but we have another “foreign” player from Argentina. She has played in Spain the past 4 years, and is a “Centralia”- middle. I think she will be a good addition to our team. Today we 1 practice at night. I slept in pretty late, and hung out most of the day. Tomorrow we play a practice game against Finestrat again, so that will be good. Walk through in the am!

Oct. 3

We had our walk thru at 11:00am this morning. It went pretty well. We were done around 12:15pm or so and then went back home to shower and prepare for the match at 5pm. Well I ended up getting left behind at the house. Apparently I was supposed to go with my roommate and her parents, but I was never told that. So they ended up coming back to get me after dropping off their daughter, and I had to quick rush to get ready and get out there. Not the best way to start a game, but oh well, not my fault. We ended up taking Finestrat to 4 games. Our passing broke down again, and was almost worse than the first time we played them. I really think we could have taken them to 5 or even beaten them..but our passing usually only gave us 1 option offensively..so that made it easy for the other team. Next weekend we start regular season play already! We will travel away, but I’m not sure where to. It must be somewhere kind of far away, because we are leaving Friday for our game on Saturday. I’m really looking forward to the regular season and games that “count”. J

After the game, I showered and hung out at “mi casa”- my house for awhile before going over to Kerri’s. We met up with the 2 American’s from Finestrat, Lauren and Lindsey. They are both really cool girls. Both from the Midwest, so what else do you expect?! J We had a good time and finally got home and went to bed. Buenos noches!

Oct. 4

Buenos dias! Today we are having a team lunch. I didn’t realize until we got there that it was at someones house and not a restaurant. It ended up being at our vice president’s house. We had cheese, salami, French bread, and chips for appetizers. For dinner, it was Spanish rice and all sorts of seafood- clams, crawfish, shrimp, mussels, etc in with the rice. I’m reallllly not a big seafood person/just have never really tried more than shrimp, crawfish, and calamari, but it was really good! Then we had this lemon like cake. It was a fluffy cake (no frosting) but it was really good. Not gonna lie, I had like 5 pieces. J

We got there at 2pm and didn’t leave until 8:30pm, so it was a long event. The house was BEAUTIFUL, and what I picture when I think of a Spanish casa. We were planning on going to the beach with Lauren and Lindsey after the “lunch” but it went way longer than we thought. It was a lot of fun though. Tomorrow morning I lift at 10am, and then practice at 6pm. I’m tired from last night, so Buenos noches!

Futbol game

Futbol game