Saturday, September 27, 2014

BOOM! 1 month down.

Haaallloooo (which is how they say hi here) everyone!

I can't believe I have been here a month! I mean, sometimes it seems like its been forever since I have seen my friends and family and then again it feels like just yesterday I was so sore I could barely walk.  Two tournaments in France, a bunch of fun day trips around Switzerland, and hilarious times with the roomies and team mates have made it a great month indeed.  :)

When I last wrote we had gone to our first tourney in Nancy, France and then came home and went to Lausanna for a day, which was amazing.  The next weekend we went back to France but this time we went to Terville, France.  It is about 4.5 hours away from Dudingen, which isn't bad and as always the drive is pretty.  We left on Saturday morning (Sept 20th - just so you have a timeline) and played a team from Paris that night. They were a very good team who recently played in another tournament with mostly French teams and got 2nd out of 8. We were nervous to play them, they were older and more experienced girls and were CRUSHING balls in warm ups.  Needless to say it started a little rocky in the first game but we eventually hit our stride. We ended up losing in 5, but it was a good experience as a team to again know that we can fight back while we are down and not let the opponent set the pace for the match.  Also, playing against a more aggressive style of volleyball and having to make adjustments on the fly will be beneficial in the long run for us I think.  It is still preseason of course and every week we are figuring out things we need to work on to make us better and its coming along, even if at a a slow pace.  Our first game for season is not until October 18th so this long preseason is nice to work the kinks out.  We played a team from Belgium on Sunday morning and randomly I saw a girl that I played in Spain with on my first team in Benidorm.  She was our setter and a great player. We were sitting at breakfast in the hotel when she waved to me and we were able to talk some. So crazy how even thousands of miles from the place we call home we run into each other. The world is really so small sometimes! We won that game in 3 and even though we did win, there are still things that we need to work on.  We got home that night and promptly drank some wine to get ready for our day off on Monday!!

We didn't know what we wanted to do on our day off. We wanted to go to Lucerne but its about 2 hours away and I had a doctors appointment for my shoulder (just rehab stuff nothing wrong with it) mid morning. We would not have gotten there until late so we decided to go another time so we could have more time to explore! We ended up just going to Thun which was about an hour away by train.  We had no rhyme or reason too other than it was pretty close to home and looked pretty.  

We started the day off with mimosas at home and on the train and took the ride up to Thun! We had not idea what was there to see really but just went and decided to see what trouble we could get into. 
When we got off the train we started walking and immediately crossed a bridge that had a gorgeous view.

Met a pup that loved me too :)

"Why don't we do a little day drinkinnnn"

So we heard this commotion up at the top of the street we were at so we decided to head that way to see what was up.  What we found was...interesting. There was a guy with a creepy mask on throwing candy out a window to the people below. We obviously had NO clue what was going on but a lady next to us spoke English and was trying to explain it to us. (side note: one thing I have noticed here is that everyone is so quick to talk to us or explain something if we don't understand. It's no nice to be around people that are genuinely NICE people. Not saying we are not nice in USA but I also don't feel like we go out of our way to be helpful all the time. We are so busy with our own lives we just move along without enjoying the ride sometimes...end rant.) Anyways, we found out that it was the first day of a three day festival in Thun (side note: they get SO much vacation here. I think that is why they are so happy. We should look into that in the U S of A. For reals) and that its a tradition that happens once a year. 

 Here is some history on the holiday from what I understood and have read:  A masked man called a "Fulehung" which in German means "lazy dog". It all comes from a a battle that Thun was involved with called the Battle of Murten and they caught the jester of the lord that lived there. They chased him all through the town all while he was wearing his jester outfit and mask. Now the Fulehung wears a mask with horns and bells on it and apparently has a good and bad side.  Good side: throws candy to the kids and leads the whole town on a chase through the streets and sometimes give them free tickets for the carousel.  Bad side: (as Dezzie found out from personal experience) he has a stick with balloons on it and hits people with it!!  It was such a blast and so fun to be around the town as such a fun time!  

Because he is running through the town he usually runs up to peoples apartment for a rest, where he throws the candy from the window and is usually offered a beer! We came late to the candy throwing and were waving at him, he definitely waved back to us. We could tell even through the mask. Also the fact that Dezzie got whacked with the Soilattere (which is what the stick and ballon thing is called) afterwards, we think he may have liked her ;)

He is in the window at the top left.

So busy!

The statue behind us is what the Fulehung looks like. CREEP. Also this picture pretty much sums up the roomie love we share. We are always laughing.  

Another one with him...don't worry about my awkward hand placement...

Pano of the main square. The Fulehung had just ran through the street so everyone followed him which is why is does not look as packed....

Window selfies right after the whacking.  haha

Of course we had to ride the carousel with all the other 4-12 year olds. 


After that activity we wanted to head up to the castle so we could look around. 

View from the top!

I love castles!!!! <3

So pretty!

After that we were hungry so went to a little restaurant on the water and ate some amazing pizza. Here are some more random pictures from the day!

The usual selfies

HUGE swans next to us on the water that wanted food from us. They got none.


Train selfies


Dezzie works out.

Again...we have nothing better to do so we take pics!

Our glorious dinner on the water. 

This was on our way back to the train station to head home. Over all amazing day yet again. We love being able to have no plans in the morning and have a wonderful time just being spontaneous so close to home. 

We had a great week of practice and have this weekend off! We are very excited to 1) rest our bodies and 2) see even MORE.  Our plans or the weekend are to head to Neuchatel for a wine festival. That is RIGHT up our ally so we are excited. A girl on our team has a sister that plans for their volleyball team so we will meet up with them and make some friends.  Tomorrow we are heading to Lucerne to meet up with a girl, Lauren, who I met when I was in Spain who is playing there. We had a great time celebrating Carnival together in the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco. Here are some pics from that. We are BOUND to have a great time yet again.   Yes, she painted herself in all silver to looks like a statue.
 Best. Costume. Ever. 

It's Saturday morning (Sept 27th)of our weekend off so we are being lazy on the couch watching Wedding Crashers, blogging, playing candy crush, and reading.  I am so happy to just sit here with them. :)

We miss all you guys at home!! Cheers!

Until next time...BYEEEE!

PS: Shout out to my amazing boyfriend whose birthday was about a week ago! Dirty 30! Wish I could have been there to share it with you. Only 82 more days!! Miss you <3

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Who wants to Skype? I drink coffee you drink wine...

This time change is the weirdest thing. I am sitting here chatting with my bestie Jessica on Facebook. Its 10pm for her and 7am for me. I just made coffee (Dunkin' Doughnuts Chocolate Glazed coffee in fact, and OMG its amazing - thanks BME <3) and she is going to bed. I am glad I have adjusted to the time change for the most part. I remember it took me months in Spain.  It doesn't help that I stay up late talking to everyone of course, but that is the only time I can! Everyone is asleep while I am awake during the day. 

So I left off telling you guys about our team event we went too.  The next week we had 3 days of practice and then left for Nancy, France for our first preseason tourney of the year.  We had only had about 10 days of practice as a team, and even then I was so sore for the first week I could barely jump. Old age is hell... ;)

We left after practice on Wednesday.  It was about a 3.5 hour drive, so not bad at all.  Plus the scenery along the way was gorgeous.  Here is a castle we could see in the distance on our drive. I am pretty obsessed with castles and this was my first sighting so I was fired up about it :)

so cool!

We don't have our jerseys for this year yet so we are wearing the ones from last year for preseason.  The Libero jersey's are bright pink which happens to be Hahn's favorite color can't you tell by this picture?! 


Here are all the American's before the match (we won in 5)

Being goofy, per usual

This was the court we played on. It was a fun atmosphere to play in. 

We ended up going 2-1 on the weekend. Both games we won went 5. We lost the last match in 3, but all the games were close.  The goal of this tourney, of course yes, we want to win, but we wanted to work as a team on organizing and playing our game. I think we played well for having so little time together as a team and I am excited to see where we will be at for the beginning of season in mid October. We have another tourney in France this upcoming weekend!

On weekends that we have matches or travel we usually will have Sunday and/or Monday's free to recover and do as we please.  We woke up on Monday not expecting to go anywhere but at the last minute decided to get on a train and go somewhere.  Everything is so close by train you can literally pick a spot on the map and be there within a few hours.  We grabbed some mimosa stuff (again, no open container laws- SCORE!) and headed to Lausanna, Switzerland.  It's a town right on Lake Geneva and only about hour and 15 minutes away by train.  We get 50% off train tickets anywhere in Switzerland so it only cost us about 24 Francs round trip!! 

The train ride down there was indescribable.  Everything is so green.  As we got closer to the water you could see the beginning of the Alps and directly on our left side were vineyards and just amazing views.  Here are some pictures from that day and our adventure. 

Mimosas on the train! We were sitting next to an older couple on the train that happened to be from San Francisco! Crazy small world...and it was nice they didn't judge us on piping champagne bottles right next to them...

Some of the scenery on the way to Lausanna. This is what the whole ride looks like. We most have collectively took 300 photos.  Around every corner was something prettier than before.

When we got there we were kind of in the middle of town so we found the local Metro and took the train down to the water asap! Thank goodness we have Mayf with us. She lived in Paris a few years ago and rode the trains all the time so we didn't look like complete idiots trying to figure it out.

Panoramic of the lake. 

Huge swans that were hanging out.

Cheese! Yes that's a beer in my hand....

So the metro stop that was near the water was called "Ouchy" obviously said differently but we thought it was hilarious that we were headed in direction "Ouchy" and this pic was just too funny to not share.  




At lunch!

Gorgeous Cathedral in the center of town.  

totally not tourists.... 

Gelato! Boom.  Great day. 

Best picture of the day.  The picture is amazing and it does not even do it justice...

We have a full week of practice and then head to Terville, France on Saturday morning.  We are only there for 2 days and then come home.  We have Monday off and we are planning on going to Grindelwald to go zip lining!! So grateful for this experience and opportunity to do something I love and get to travel to these places. 

Until next time....


Monday, September 15, 2014

Playing Catch up!

I have a lot to catch up on! I am going to do it in two or 3 posts because there is so much to cover.  When I left you last we had just arrived in Dudingen and were getting to know our surroundings in our little town, which now I am realizing just HOW little it is.  The fact that we can walk to pretty much everything just goes to show.....

I love how everything here is available by train or bus.  Makes everything SO easy. Also that we live about 5 minutes from the train station doesn't hurt either.  They run all day and late into the night so coming and going is easy, even for someone who has never traveled much this way.  I am sure we stick out like sore thumbs but I feel like we are doing okay. (ps when I say "we" I usually mean my roomies Desiree and Allison aka Dezzie and Mayf, get to know them, they will be in a lot of pictures and/or stories) 

So we got settled into our apartment nicely and found out where they grocery store is and I immediately bought a coffee maker. It was worth EVERY penny. It will be a nice gift for whoever is in the apartment next. #yourwelcome 

Said coffee machine

We had the first weekend off from volleyball but were able to help out at a tournament for a few of the other leagues in the area on Saturday.  Dudingen has this really awesome fan support and most of the people that work for the club do so for free.  For example: Claire, who was there to pick us up from the airport, got us to our apartment, helped us with train passes and showed us the ropes of living here, does so without getting anything in return.  She has literally made sure we stay fed, which mostly comes in the shape of baking goods. She makes DELICIOUS cake. If I come home 20 pounds heavier you will all know why. Any who, we went out that Saturday after working the tourney and here are a few pictures from that. As you can see my #selfiegame is on point here in Switzerland. 

Mayf and I being silly

All the foreigner girls! Left to right: me, Hahns, Mayf, Dezzie, Lucky) 

Hahns making some awesome faces per usual. Its the red lipstick. It does things to her.

So on Sunday the club had a team event planned for us.  We were able to walk to a small lake and get on a boat to see some of the area around us.  The walk down was gorgeous, of course. The pictures do nothing in comparison to what we are seeing. The colors are amazing. Everything is so green.  Here are a few pictures from that day....

Cool bridge we went under...


passed houses and everyone had gardens. So pretty.

On the lake!

Huge house on the lake

Some of the girls!

Mayf, me, dez, Marie

Awesome to say that I have swam in a lake in Switzerland. And I won't be doing that for another 8 months haha It was already so cold!

After the boat ride we hiked up the mountain to secluded camp fire area where our club president's sons were BBQ-ing and we had a huge picnic.  It was amazing. Wine was obviously drank. 

The picnic area was actually in someone that works for the clubs, backyard. So when we left we were able to take a road back home. We had no idea how to get home, but we knew the general direction so we started walking. This is looking at Dudingen from her house. Fields on both sides!

No open container laws here. So we brought the wine with us! Duh. 

That was the house we were at. To the left is the forest/lake area not pictured. 

I wish this was bigger. We got a sweet panoramic of the fields. 

Found some llamas on the way. Got photobombed by this fluff ball. I love llamas.

Pretty horses that were on the other side of the field and came to say hi. Then I got shocked by an electric fence. Wont make that mistake ever again. 

Sunset from our balcony....

Roomie love

One more with the llamas because I love them.

Next up: Our first preseason tourney to Nancy, France and our first official day off where we went to Lausanna, Swizterland for the day.