Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Oct 10th through (in part) Thursday 13th

10/10/2011 - 10/17/2011 3:41pm Alcobendas

Monday 10th-

Today is the start of sprinting and Paleo for Angela and I.  I went to do sprints at the gym while she did her own lifting workout. We had some delicious lean clean healthy foods all day to start our season journey.  The rules are no processed foods, so pasta, breads, dairy products etc.  We are allowing ourselves starchy vegetables after big games such as sweet potatoes, yams and other potato forms.  The diet itself is not supposed to allow really any of those but there is differences in the athlete version and the regular version.  The other rules that we are allowing to break is oatmeal because its a low glycemic carb that we need in our body after workouts to replenish our carb stores. One alcohol beverage a week and one serving size of a sweet a week.  Everytime we break a rule we run a mile. Its going to be great. Looking forward to a season full of healthy habits. We coached the little kids today and found out that Wednesday is the Spanish celebration of Columbus day so we don't have to teach then. All in all a low adventure day but still accomplishing things over here. Ciao!

Tuesday 11th-

Lift...means weigh ins....means Angela and I are proud that we are starting our Paleo Diet this week :) enough said there. After lift Paolo told us that we have to help with the mini volley at Alcobendas (12 and unders) on Tuesday and Thursday because there is only one coach for 30-40 kids.  We agreed semi-unwillingly but only because Tuesday and Thursday were usually our days for english lessons before practice. Oh well, we'll figure out other ways to make all of that work out for us. Just don't want to lose a source of income. Trying to save money to travel on our off weekends. We still dont know where we want to go our weekend off in November and its closing in on us quickly. We will figure it out sometime soon I think. Practice today was semi more active than usual Tuesdays because we play this weekend for the first official league match.  So that was a plus and I liked having it be more active. These entries are getting shorter but simply because the weekdays are the same.  The best news of the day is I taught little kids how to play volleyball today for an hour and a half speaking only spanish....broken spanish at best but spanish none the less.  They help me when I stumble through a word and they fix me when I am wrong.  So that will be helpful in getting closer to being somewhat fluent in Spanish.  Although Lily told us that she wants us using English so that they are learning from us rather than the other way around.  Well that about sums up my day.  Hasta Luego!

Oh my goodness I almost forgot to fill everyone in on our spectacular dinner. We made lettuce wraps.  We took some veggies and sautéed them with olive oil since thats allowed in the paleo diet.  Then we chopped and cooked some chicken and turkey.  We cut some tomatoes and avocados in slices then we made our delicious lettuce wraps and wow were they amazing.  Exactly like a sandwich without the bad cheese and unnecessary carbs from the wrap.  So delicious and filling without the guilty feeling after the meal. YUMMY gonna love this paleo diet thing.  

Wednesday 12th-

Gameday is getting closer every morning that we wake up.  That means every morning that we wake up I am that much more excited for the day ahead of us.  And with this Paleo thing Ang and I plan our dinner meals out so much better and much more in advance.  We decided tonight we would have a tropical chicken salad. So we bought chicken and marinated in pineapple all day. Then we chopped apples, pineapple, mangos, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers before practice.  We came home after practice and just had to wash and cut the lettuce bake the chicken and then add all our toppings to our salads which didnt even need dressing because of all the delicious toppings we added.  Just wow impressive that we made that and it was guiltless and delicious. Before that we had practice and it was better more active yet again because we have a game sunday and Paolo is trying to get us ready each day for the start of the league.  He still has his temper tantrums that Angela and I have decided are largely due to the fact that he is Italian.  That isnt meant to be offensive as people know that I am Italian and Angela is as well on her dad's side.  Its just a simple thing that we have grown to notice. Today was also another day of sprints for Angela and I which felt great. We did shorter sets because its mid week and we have the match on Sunday, dont want to be too sore from an extra workout.  Next week is really when we are going to try and kick start the workouts. This was a good start though. Alright that was about our day. Nighty Night

Thursday 13th-

Lift in the am was fine and dandy even though my legs were a little sore from the sprints the day before. All in all today was just blah blah blah.  We had to coach the little kids again today so another hour and a half of spanish speaking for me of which I think I stumbled through more sentences than I actually correctly spoke.  

Monday Oct 3rd through Sunday Oct 9th

10/3/2011 - 10/9/2011           1:40am Alcobendas

Monday 3rd-

Today was our first official day with the little Spanish kids at the International College of Spain.  We knew that the place was within walking distance (which by the way here means something completely different than in most US cities) and that it would take us about 40 minutes to get there.  I went shopping for some necessities that we were running low on, fabric softener (much needed since there aren't dryers here in Spain and without it the hang to dry technique turns clothes into cardboard), dish soap, dish sponges, toilet paper, and paper towels...oh wait there was coffee too (always a requirement).  I got back early just to make sure that I was ready for whenever Ang got back from her workout at the gym so we could head on our adventure to coach little 10 and 11 year olds Spanish kids in Volleyball of course.  Well surprise surprise, we got lost :) haha so entertaining trying to run with our back packs in directions that we did not know at all.  Well in typical fashion we made it 10 minutes early somehow with my handy dandy gps on my phone that I previously have refused to use since I like to wander.  This was an emergency and needed to use my data for gps tracker help.  The coaching went really well since we only had about 30 minutes of our hour to actually teach them volleyball. Of course the first thing that Angela and I taught them guessed it passing. So spotlight was on me and I threw them three basic keys of which they had a few laughs at step two lunch tray and the icing on the cake, pretending we were pregnant with little niño.  The girls picked it up quite fast and it was awesome to be able to coach in english and have them understand us.  The school in case I didn't say it before is an all English speaking school.  After we got done we went home and I did some minor workout things with our new exercise ball at the apt.  It was fun and just relaxing on our day off.  Not much happens usually on Monday's but now that we coach its going to be an eventful day. Oh and did I mention that its a 2.2 mile walk to the gym and back to coach.  Oh wait and add that on to the 1.25 miles it is to our practice facility from our apartment and we are talking about 5/6 miles on Wednesday of walking.  Yesss calves might finally appear on the one part of my leg that seems to have nonexistent muscle definition haha. :) Alright well Hasta Mañana I guess since not much else happened today!

Tuesday 4th-

Today started out as just a weird strange not so great day.  Lift was not the best ever then we just hung out in between that and practice.  Well then we went to practice and Paolo got a little bit more upset than usual and went on a rant in spanish and italian that I only caught one word of really and that was casa.  That translates to house.  So I was a bit thrown off and confused but it was the exact translation that I thought it meant and that was go home practice is over.  Because of this we now have two practices for Saturday one in the morning and one at night with a lift also.  Sweet right.  Angela and I were a bit too pleased because we knew that the team deserved it and were happy that some consequences were finally being laid down.  That was about the sum of the day though. 

Wednesday 5th- 

Today we have our second day of coaching the little rug rats at the International College of Spain as well as a scrimmage with the permanent selection of Spain (youth volleyball team that stays together and trains all year round/plays in the same league as us to compete together).  A few of our teammates were there during the summer and a couple of them were offered to train there permanently but said no because of Feel Volley and other commitments.  So we walked the 2.2 miles to the practice with the little kiddies and then busted our tail to get to the gym for our scrimmage.  We got there right on time basically to find out that we had more time than we thought. Well lets just say the speed walking that Angela and I had to do made us a little bit hungry so we went upstairs and grabbed a pasta salad before our scrimmage. It was delicious and needed indeed since we played 5 games in the friendly match. I played in the first 3 then sat the fourth and then went in the end of the 5th.  We lost but it was basically for the purposes of having the older girls play less and let the younger girls play against people their age.  Since Audra has been hurt with her wrist she couldnt play and Estel sat along with Angela and I on and off for all 5 games.  Needless to say none of the 3 of us were pleased with this decision especially since we lost.  Oh well.  Think its just a maturity and age thing after a practice that we get kicked out of etc.  Angela and I walked home again after the scrimmage which we have done an awful lot of lately but its been enjoyable walks back to the apt.  We made this rule where we are only allowed to talk negatively and vent until we get to the apt and nothing bad is allowed to come upstairs into the apt with us. Its a great rule to go by. Well anyways bed time for me it was a pretty crazy busy day with lots of walking and exercising for me so I am exhausted.  More to come tomorrow!

Thursday 6th-

TODAY WAS BORING.  I want that to be all that I write but I will at least list the details of the day.  Lift in the morning.  Burger King for some television show watching and practice at night where we got screamed at a little bit more since we just havent had very good practices in the past few.  Audra still cant play because of her wrist injury and they think it will be a while before she does...sometime close to our first match would be my guess. Oh and we did have an English lesson today before practice also which was nice as usual to just talk in English and help someone learn our language. Thats about it for today though.  Sorry its so short. Nighty night. Hasta Mañana

Friday 7th- 

Hmm what to say about this day....well we got invited to go out in Alcobendas with Carlo who we teach English to in our lessons but we had to say no because tomorrow we have lift at 9:45 am then practice afterwards and then another practice at night from 5-7.  That was a bummer since we have not gone out in Alcobendas once yet nor do we know where we should actually go if we were to go out here, but oh well.  We did not have practice until about oh 8 tonight which is always our practice time fridays just today stunk.  Waiting that long all day for practice to come around just isnt fun. So we went to Starbucks and passed some time before practice came.  Just wanted to ya know mess around on the internet and do something to pass the time.  Especially since tonight I have a skype date with Jim, Wendy, Mom and Dad...jealous that they are all in state college without me but thats life.  Practice went smoothly.  We did what we typically do on Fridays, serve receive by rotation with serving and then also some tactical attacking off of free balls and sets from Ang/Maria.  I was supposed to work on my deep line shot and then my 4 to 4 smash as Paolo likes to say.  Let me say that 4 to 4 is the hardest shot to hit when the sets are not consistent and when you have one setter one time then the setter that knows you the next. It screws with your timing then with the setters heads and just tough to judge on both sides. Oh well it was much needed to work on the kinks of Maria setting fast balls to me and then to have Ang experiment with a few different things for my sets.  All in all it was a pretty good practice but we still had the dreaded two practices the next day.  Oh wait I almost forgot two of the girls on the team arent going to be at the morning practice on Saturday even though Paolo said that everyone had to be at the practices regardless of what was going on that day.  We got a big lecture, luckily in spanish, about how its the teams problem to deal with and how Paolo can set the best example he can by being there everyday and working for us everyday.  It was a great speech even though I only understood bits and pieces of it from the Spanish and Italian blurbs.  He wasnt happy thats for sure though.  The best part was while we were stretching and running Estel tried to talk to one of the girls that was missing and asked if she could change her appt since thats what she should do. Having an older knowledgable person on the team that is Spanish helps so much in situations like this where you want to be the example and lead but dont know the language well enough to do so. Alright thats about it. So goodnight for now since we have early practice/lift.  :) yippie

Saturday 8th- 

Lift in the morning was nothing. Lifts here in general are nothing. So light and so easy compared to the killer workouts I used to have to endure at Penn State.  Practice after was also a bit of a joke and literally Ang and I struggled to not laugh for most of it. We did a lot of technical stuff which was not taxing at all on our bodies (as in I didnt break a sweat at all).  The best was when with our partners we had to pass back and forth with one arm and Ang and  I literally were laughing so hard we could not focus at all.  It seemed so dumb to have punishment practices when they werent even hard. To me an extra practice when we are being punished means sprints, hard drills and something that makes you not want to have it happen again.  But no, we did self toss hit to our partners who were supposed to move.  Partner control drills with passing and setting.  Outlet setting drills for time.  Just typical easy warm-up things. Then we ended with a game of 5 on 5 where you can use all skills except jumping.  The goal was to see the court and score from a standing position based on what you saw as being open on the other side of the court.  My team won and the other team ran our "rounds" in a certain time.  That was the end of our practice for the morning, 3 hours of the day spent doing what seemed like rec league workouts but it was at least an early start to the day.  Ang and I went back to the apt and napped then woke up and adventured out to the new facility that we were having our second practice of the day at.  It was on the other side of town that we had never walked to so we wandered and followed my phone map to get there.  Probably took the long way to get there but we still managed to find our way there. It is a brand new facility all for the juvenil teams of Feel Volley. The facility was just opened last February so it still smelled of new materials.  Quite a nice little gym to play in although the floor was so so slippery. Yet again we did technical work with partners for time and then after that we warmed up with pepper and played doubles half court for the rest of the time.  The goal was to score points as an individual/group and see what pair won.  I came in second place behind Estel and Maria.  Of course I didnt love that but hey it happens. If we didnt score as many points as we did in the last game we would have come out dead last so second place was better. After the practice Audra drove us back to the apt and we went shopping for dinner supplies as we decided we wanted to make dinner for ourselves.  We went and found some steaks and asparagus with our guacamole chip appetizer. Then we made mashed potatoes also. All so delicious and Kirk joined us for dinner also even though his first game was the next afternoon.  After Audra and Kirk left Angela and I went to grab a beer at one of the little restaurant places near us to relax and just hang out together.  The next day was our adventure in Toledo so we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of rest that night also because we had an english lesson in the morning before Toledo. SOOOO goodnight for now. 

Sunday 9th-

Bright and early english lesson.  Still in our pajamas we walked the block and a half to Carlo's cousins family apartment to give our lesson at 10.  She was the only one awake since its a weekend and still early for many spanish families to be awake on a saturday.  It was a nice hour of going over some grammar and looking at her books etc that she needs for her university English exam.  We also decided that next week we could go over some old exams that she has taken so that we know what we are supposed to be preparing her for.  All I know is that english lessons are a gift since its 15 euros an hour (angela and I split it) just for sitting there and talking to the person in our native tongue.  I love it. Today is our big adventure to Toledo so we have it all planned out that we will take the Metro and switch from line 10 to line 6 which will take us to Plaza de Elipitica where the bus station is connected with the metro stop.  We get off and found a ticket booth to buy the bus ticket for Toledo which was only 8 euros ida y vuelta (going and return) so it was a great deal.  In the bus station there was a Dunkin Donuts and I had a coffee (although very different from US Dunkin Coffee) that was delicious and way cheaper than starbucks coffee.  We went to our gate to wait for the bus then got on and took the hour bus trip to Toledo, half of which I read and the other half I slept.  When we arrived to Toledo it was beautiful, the city rests on a risen mountainous area and the cathedrals, walls etc can be seen from the bus station down below.  Thankfully we only had to walk up a few hilly roads before reaching escalators that take you the rest of the way up into the mid-century town.  The streets were so small and alley like with little shops and vendors selling Toledo souvenirs.  We took tons of pictures of which I need to upload on to Facebook (sorry for the delay in everything its been a little bit of a wild few weeks).  The place that we stopped for lunch/dinner was delicious as we got an appetizer a meal and a dessert with a beverage for only 10 euros. Quite a deal if you ask me with the regular prices that we see over here.  So I had a salad with some salmon then a chocolate (flan like) cake for dessert with a beer.  If I had to choose wine of beer my choice will always be beer.  The day went by seemingly fast and Angela and I headed for the bus station.  When we arrived there to my surprise (I guarantee no one else will be surpised) I lost my return ticket for the bus. SOOOO that great deal turned out to be a waste and I had to buy a return ticket for another 4.98 euros.  Yep thats typical Nummy for anyone that knows me haha.  When we got off the bus at the terminal and went to the Metro I couldn't resist grabbing another small Dunkin Coffee since we have no Dunkin near us.  Then we headed for the metro and on our ride we decided to start the Paleo Diet Monday.  Since the upcoming week was our first week of regular season we wanted to start eating and physically preparing for the season.  Monday and Wednesday were going to be sprint days from old PSU workouts with a somewhat strict eating diet but something we quickly fell in LOVE with.  Alright that is about the end of our Sunday and it was a glorious Sunday indeed. Nighty Night

Monday, October 10, 2011

October Updates

9/27/2011-10/4/2011 3:10 pm Alcobendas

Tuesday 27th-

Today was a great day we just hung out all day and did laundry waiting for the first practice of the week to start at 630.  We lifted in the morning which was ehh just alright since the lifts here are simple compared to penn state's for the past couple years.  Although they have told me that I have great form which means that I had great teachers at PCX and Penn State when it comes to lifting technique. So thank you to all of those people :) it even works at the international level.  Anyways just a typical day of shopping for groceries at the beginning of the week and hanging out waiting for practice to start.  Tuesday's I think are going to be my least favorite day of the week for sure though because practice is so slow and technical that the spanish girls struggle a bit to focus even though its all important stuff we need to cover.  Well short journal entry since today wasn't much of a day at all haha. More to come tomorrow! Goodnight :) Oh my goodness I almost forgot to share the best news of the day. Angela and I after lift went to the International College of Madrid (I think this is correct) and landed coaching jobs. We are in charge of the Infantiles and the Alevines (10/11 yrs olds) for their volleyball season.  I am so excited as is Angela because we both LOVE coaching and we get to do it here...oh and for those that are wondering its all in ENGLISH so there is no language barrier here for us. We are supposed to start tomorrow but we have to talk to our club managers before it is approved financially. Yep so it was a good tuesday even though its my least favorite day of the entire week lol. Goodnight again!

Wednesday 28th-

I felt great today.  First time in a while that I went for a fast paced 2 mile run and then did some great abs and body weight workout at the apt.  Actually I doubt I would be able to do these workouts without remembering some of the killer body weight exercises that I got killed with at PCX back home in NY.  I did some slideboard mountain climbers with some washcloths on our tile floor (improvising).  A bunch of other fun ones that I learned when I was 15 years old but still love to do now and still kick my butt now.  Anyways it was a great work out and I loved it.  We were supposed to start working at the International college today but got an email from Paolo saying to wait until Monday to start because we don't have everything we need financially squared away in order for things to be clear.  So we did not go coach today and instead we had an english lesson with Carlo at Starbucks before practice.  Its so nice that we get to just go sit somewhere and talk to someone in English and help correct them and get paid for it.  Plus Carlo is fun and very generous as everytime we meet him he buys us drinks so Ang and I both got a free Americano from Starbucks.  Then Carlo drove us to practice and it was a little bit better than the day before but mostly because we got a new player.  She is a former Spanish National Team libero that played in Superliga 1 in Spain for about 4 years before stopping to get a teaching job.  She lives in Madrid for with her husband and wanted to play a little bit again so she came for a tryout to see if we could use her as an attacker rather than a libero.  She decided she liked it and we signed another libero so our serve receive is 3 liberos (outside, libero and right side).  As our manager Fabian put it if we don't have good serve receive he will die. Haha.  But I love having her here because she can communicate with the younger spanish girls and keep them on track when we don't necessarily know what to say due to the minor language barrier. Hopefully she will find a way to motivate the younger girls to work hard since we struggle with that.  Well anyways that was the day today and Ang and I were planning on going to Burger King tonight to watch some tv shows and just lounge around when all of a sudden our door bell rang :) and we had a visitor.  Heather was here for the night because her flight back home is tomorrow and she is flying out of Madrid so she is crashing here for the night and Lily is picking her up and taking her to the airport in the morning for her flight home.  So we all went to Burger King together one last time and just chilled out skyped with family and watched tv shows on our computers.  It was a nice night as the three amigos together one last time before Heather got to go home. Welp goodnight for now more to come tomorrow :)

Thursday 29th -

For the first time since being here I got homesick.  I think it was Heather going home and just being so excited to see her family and be at home reminded me of how much I miss people at home.  Not that I want to leave because I truly love Madrid and being here is a blessing, I guess it just made me realize that unlike being at college in the US when I get homesick I cant just expect a visit from my parents or drive home to NY for a few days to see people that I miss.  This is kind of a permanent thing until the end of march so I am just gonna have to learn to deal with days like this.  The hardest part for me is knowing that Christmas is going to be potentially alone which inspired me to look into flights to come home.  Too expensive for too little time since my sister, Kaitlin and Erica are all flying over here the 29th.  It would be a nice break since we do have off for at least a week and a half at some point between dec 17th and january 7th.  Just don't know when that is yet but all the flights are at least a grand. So I guess I will start looking into flights to go to see people I know that are going to be in Europe for christmas.  Poland and Italy seem to be my options or if Angela stays here and her friends come to Madrid maybe thats an option. Either way I miss home today.  Practice was alright just really blah and Paolo had a screaming session at one point in Italian which honestly I find entertaining because it reminds me of how my grandma used to just explode without warning in her italian rampages in the kitchen mostly.  Made me smile but then it also made me miss home and miss her since she has passed.  I guess one day in about a month of being here isnt a bad ratio for missing home :). I also think that Carlo taking us to the Taste of America store triggered it since there are things in that store that I deeply miss like oatmeal and peanut butter (not that I even ate those everyday in the US just the option of having them is what I miss).  Well Heather is home by now and practice got done a bit earlier than usual so Ang and I went home ate some dinner and went to the BK lounge as we are now referring to it. I caught up on some grey's anatomy season opener that I missed and then shopped online with my eyes rather than my bank account lol.  It was a great end to a not so great day here in Spain.  Well goodnight and hopefully I sleep on it wake up refreshed for a new day. 

Friday 30th- 

Today is Erica's and Justin's birthday and I wish that I could be there to help them celebrate the special day but I am in a different country so I sent some nice messages to both of them to wish them well. The days here are starting to blur together as to what happened when and what day we did what. I know that every tues thursday we lift and every sunday monday we have off but otherwise its all a big blur to me haha. I guess thats a good thing because the weeks are flying by and before you know it people will be here visiting me and we will start playing real matches/traveling Spain for our league play.  Today's practice is going to be really really slow I can picture it now simply because we have a match tomorrow at Leganes the same team that we scrimmaged first and that we played last weekend on Saturday in the Madrid cup.  We only practiced for an hour and a half and did serve receive rotations with some technical hitting practice (aiming for chairs placed in spots on the court) which was my favorite part since I love working on my control with hitting.  After practice Angela and I went to BK lounge until it closed because we had skype dates with people. Me with my parents (state college and real parents) and angela with her boy/mom and dad.  I also watched another episode of grey's anatomy on my computer which was awesome to just be able to still catch up on those episodes.  It was GREAT to get to talk to all of my parents at the same time in the same place and hear about the Penn State booster luncheon.  Although coach did not give me any credit for talking to him which I have it was still good to hear about it and live vicariously through them.  This weekend (tonight) the banners for Penn State are being raised for Big Ten Champs and National Champs which makes me miss PSU a whole lot. I remember those games the banners get raised and coach would say this night is NOT for this team because this team has done nothing, its simply a night honoring last years teams accomplishments of which you have yet to accomplish anything.  Such a great guy he is keeping us grounded and focused on the match ahead rather than basking in the glory of the previous year.  As much as I disliked it then I appreciate it from a whole new viewpoint now.  You have to admit that man knows what he is doing and I just have the greatest respect for him as well as love for him. He is seemingly like a second father to me in some ways and just is the most accepting welcoming big teddy bear through all the harshness.  Anyways another random sidetracked thought sorry.  The night ended well and got to bed early since we have a match at noon tomorrow in Leganes and Lily is picking us up at 1030 near the Fat Lady statue as we call it.  Goodnight

Saturday 1st -

Amistosa (spelling might be wrong) but it means friendly game which is what we have this afternoon.  Made some oatmeal with some banana and then had some yogurt for my pregame meal. Made a cup of coffee to wake me up for the game and then walked with Ang to meet Lily in the round-a-bout by the Fat Lady for our short trip to Leganes. When we got there we were super early so there was a little cafe right outside the gym that Lily said we could go get some coffee at which sounded brilliant.  So we went and got a little coffee and just chatted about randomness before heading over to the gym for the match.  We walked in and you know that feeling that everyone knows you are the foreign players, yep that happened which I guess we should get used to.  The warm-up for the match was kind of flat and strange but we started out alright and won the first two sets pretty handily with Ang setting and Audra hitting outside with me and Estel on the rightside.  Worked out some kinks that we had since our starting libero had to sit with a leg injury and we had the youngest girl on the team playing libero.  After the second set Paolo decided to rest Ang and Audra and put in our back up setter and outside.  We lost the next two games then went to a fifth and he started Ang and Audra again. We won the fifth game pretty easily then followed the match with a little social afterwards.  They had empanada a typical spanish treat with tuna and veggies all baked inside a kind of pie crusty thing.  It was delicious. Then they also had the typical plates of cheese and meat slices on the table and little chex mix type bowls.  We had some aquarius which is the equivalent of gatorade here and then Lily took us back the apt for the night. We napped for a while then woke up and made some food then decided we would spend our night skyping people in burger king and just laying low. We were just exhausted and did not want to do much since tomorrow we were planning on going to see Audra's husbands basketball game.  So after more skype time with family and friends as well as more tv episodes on my computer we went back to the apt and stayed up later than usual because the only thing we had in the morning was an english lesson with Carlo's cousin at 1230.  Well goodnight for now then. One more win in the books and another week coming to a close in Spain. It is all flying by. 

Sunday 2nd -

Penn state won last night against Minnesota in 3 which is great.  Ohio state swept Minnie in 3 and then Wisconsin beat Ohio State in 4.  The Big Ten is in for another season of everyone beating everyone.  Illinois was ranked number 1 at one point which is insane because that means that there is us, minnesota, illinois, nebraska, purdue, ohio state all within like the top 15.  Seriously a stacked conference and just loving following even though from afar.  Plus having Audra on the team we have something in common that we get to follow both our teams and talk about how messed up the conference standings are.  Well english lesson went superbly and we found out that the metro stop is literally right behind our house haha.  If we walk down our back street and through this absolutely gorgeous park with fountains and benches, trees, plants and just wow so pretty...anyways the metro is right there. Ang and I decided that we want to explore some more that way since everything that we have to do is the other way in town.  It was gorgeous park and I wanna go sit there and read since I do a lot of that now. I have read three full books since being here. Something borrowed by Emily Griffin and also Something Blue by the same author, both great books. Then I also read A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard.  Now that I have no actual school books to read and no crazy hectic busy schedule I get to enjoy reading about other people's lives, real or fake, it doesn't matter it brings me to someone elses world which I love.  Passes the time and is highly enjoyable.  Anyways sorry another tangent, for those that read this regularly you are noticing a pattern I would imagine.  :) and for those that know me I am sure that you are not surprised at all. 

The second part of our sunday was great. Angela went to workout and I cleaned a little bit doing some dishes and running some errands that we needed to Al Campo for dish soap, paper towels, toilet paper, fabric softener, and other shared necessities.  Then she returned and we got ready for Audra to come pick us up for her hubby's game that was back in Leganes at the same place that we played the day before.  She picked us up at 6 at te BK lounge and we then had a quite entertaining drive to Leganes since Audra has never driven manual and is still learning. We got off at the wrong exit so she pulled a U-turn right back onto the on ramp but stalled out in the process. We tried to get going at least 5 times before she finally got the car up the on ramp and running without stalling back out. Angela was in the front seat navigating and she was DYING laughing as was I in the back seat. Then once we got off the exit Audra's iPhone gps was telling us all sorts of wrong directions through a mall parking lot, on one way streets which we drove the wrong way down...just highly entertaining.  Then we stalled out maybe 10 times in the parking lot trying to find our way out onto the street that we needed to be on to get to the stadium.  Once we got on the right path we were set and didn't stall out anymore. We got to the stadium and proceeded to park in a no parking zone so Audra had us wait outside the ticket office while she went to go park and walked to meet us for our tickets. We made it inside after the first few minutes of the first quarter had passed.  Kirk was playing really well and ended the night with 28 points even though they lost in the final seconds of the game.  We drank a few beers during the game and enjoyed ourselves for sure.   After the game all of us met Kirks teammates at Hard Rock Cafe in Madrid for some dinner and drinks. Audra treated Ang and I to some Sangria which was delicious and then we had an American dinner so yummy. Some appetizers nachos and then some Salmon dinner with veggies and dessert was a bite of an apple cobbler that the table shared. Kirk was very nice and simply told us to pay for our meals rather than the appetizers and desserts/drinks.  So quite a delicious dinner for about 15 euors rather than 30 that we were supposed to pay.  It was a great night and we got back to the apt and crashed hard. I loved the night in general though.  So thats all for now goodnight :) we have our first day of work tomorrow at the schools.