Its been an adventurous couple weeks. Firstly Brett has really excelled in her new hobby of cooking. I can't explain in words how nice it is to come home to some really good home cooked meals. She has made me some pretty amazing, not to mention difficult, treats. A peach tart which I indulged in on a daily basis until they were gone...sometimes three of them per day :/ A baked rigatoni with mini meatballs and a cream sauce which came out looking exactly like the picture on the website she found it on. Tasted like mom's home cooking. This is not an easy thing to have while living oversea's so it means that much more to me. We bought a BBQ from the market here but its more like an electric grill where it has coils that get real hot and cook the meat from below. Nothing special but it works. Made some really good BBQ'd chicken along with Brett's green beans and rice the other night. Felt like we were back in Hermosa for the night. On top of all the cooking Brett and I have been eating dinner out on the balcony overlooking the neighborhood and all the lights of the airport. Its really pretty...surprisingly enough we don't hear the airplanes at all.
Volleyball has been moving in a positive direction. The team is training really hard both in the weight room as well as in the gym. We got our two national team players this past week. They were still with the national team trying to earn a spot in the 2011 European Championships for next summer but unfortunately they lost to Turkey home and away...but fortunate for us that they are back and with the team. They both start for the national team as one of them is a setter and the other plays middle. Already we have bonded like they have been here with us for the entire time of training. Its nice to have two good setters in the gym so we have a more competitive training.
Last week we finally started playing some friendly matches. We started with the team of Kalamaria which is not five minutes away from our home gym. Our team won 4-0 as we played 4 sets no matter what. We played with a mixture of all our players just to see some different line ups. They team played pretty well for the most part. I was mostly impressed with how well our team did at passing the ball. Our libero did a great job as well our Cuban/Italian (He's Cuban but defected to Italy and has an Italian passport now). On a personal note I was pretty off on my attacks and was not pleased with my overall performance. Thought I blocked and played defense well but it could all have been better.
This past weekend, 17th-19th, we traveled to Patras. This was a 7 hr bus ride across Greece. I don't mind the bus so much except that it is hard on the body. You can never get comfortable even if you have your own row to lay across. At least I had my Ipad with a good book and some entertaining games.
The hotel in Patras was amazing. It was a quite hotel right outside the city but my balcony was overlooking the Sea. The beaches in Patras were a lot different then those of the ones in Halkidiki where Brett and I like to spend our days off. They didn't have sand but little pebbles. On Sat before the match I went with a couple friends to a place called Blue Bay for coffee...walking distance from the hotel. We sat at a little cafe along the ridge of the water where little boats were tied to buoy's. The water was aqua and there were a few local people swimming around. It was very peaceful and relaxing.
The matches in Patras were a little more hyped from our one against Kalamaria as Patras is supposed to be one of the better teams in the league this season. We came out strong in the first set but after that our team hit a self destruct button and started leaving all our tactics. Missing serves or serving the wrong person, making errors in our block and attack, and plenty of mistakes on our defense and reception. We lost the next three sets but not that bad and at the end of the match we all noted that if we were that close and played that bad we could easily beat that team.
After breakfast the following day we watched some video of the night before. Coach made some notes of what we needed to do as well as some individual notes for some players. Iraklis adjusted well and came out beating Patras 3-0. There is not a lot to note regarding the match except that we followed our game plan and took care of what we needed on our side of the net. It made the bus ride home a whole lot better.
Had today off and spent most of the day in bed off my legs. Brett and I watched some movies and while I'm writing this she is back in the kitchen making us some steak tacos. Smells so good in here!
Hope everyone is well!