Last game, last road trip—last ditch effort to end season on a positive note. Unfortunately, things did not go quite as planned and we left Rotenburg with a loss. It was poorly played, poorly coached and poorly refereed, so I’d rather not discuss the particulars. This was not the season I was hoping for in a lot of ways but I am still disappointed it’s over. Hopefully there is more basketball to be played in my future. Season is over now, but in one week I begin my vacation... so I got that going for me… which is nice.
Okay people, tickets are bought, hostels are booked. Bags. Are. Packed. And let me tell you, that was not a simple job. Packing for a month long, 4 country trip is wildly complicated (especially when I have to fit it all in the one bag you see) and I have no doubt that during my trip I will kick myself for overlooking some essentials; however, one thing I did not neglect is sunscreen—figure I’ll be set for like a year with my sun protection needs, but you just can’t be too safe when it comes to those pesky UV rays. They’ll getcha. Seriously, if you saw me last summer you understand why I am mildly compulsive about this now. I got sunburned so badly I looked like an actual burn victim. Don’t laugh—that crap wasn’t funny. Thus, I intend to never get burned again. But anyways, back to my actual travel plans; let’s dive right in, shall we?
I leave Monday the 26th for Munich where I meet up with Sid and together we leave Tuesday for Zagrab, Croatia. At this point it will just be Sidney and I—Kelly’s passport expires so she has to race home to Holland and take care of that before she can join us. We will spend like a week and a half exploring Croatia, top to bottom. Our stops are: Zagreb, Zadar, Plitvice Lakes, Split and Dubrovnik. If you really want to hate your lives, google images of those places, they are incredible. The last 3 cities feature beaches that are world renowned, evidently. In each city we have different things planned from kayaking and rafting, to hiking and site seeing (museums/parks, castles etc). From Dubrovnik, we plan to head south to Montenegro—there is a city there, Kotor, which we really want to visit. After a couple days there, we will go to Mostar, Bosnia and explore for a few days. Then we head back to Munich.
At this point, I break from the group and take off solo to Spain to visit my high school friend Max. He is teaching in Madrid so naturally I convinced him he wanted me to visit. This trip is a lot less structured, probably because I am in charge of the planning instead of Sidney. So, all I really know is I am flying into Barcelona and at some point I will meet up with Max in Madrid (which is a 7 hour bus ride away) and hang out with him for a while till I come back to Germany. I will probably spend some time exploring Barcelona before I go see Max, but who knows. It’s been years since I have learned or used Spanish, but I have been brushing up on it lately. Pretty sure it won’t be any better than my German though, let’s be real. So yeah, that is the trip… just your basic 3-4 week vacation. Ha. Who am I kidding, between Bosnia and Spain I am going to get lost and end up a gypsy in some remote village somewhere learning some useless trade to earn money to support myself. But don’t worry, I’ll be sure to blog about it. :)
BUT first, before any of this, my friend Nick is visiting this week. He gets here Thursday and leaves Sunday. Gonna show him all Chemnitz has to offer (that will probs take 30 mins) and then hopefully do some day trips to Berlin and/or Dresden to fill the rest of the time. The men’s team plays Friday night so we will go to that as well. Short trip, but should be really fun.
Last night I had dinner with Raoul (my original coach from this season), our assistant coach, our trainer and 3 teammates to say good-bye. That was really nice—I hadn’t seen Raoul for months and who knows if I'll see him again. Ultimately he is the man that made this year possible by giving me the opportunity to play in Chemnitz, so I owe him a lot. He has an adorable daughter, Emma, that I also hadn’t seen for a while. She has the biggest cheeks ever! I'm gonna miss them.
What a year aye? The past 9 months (almost) have been unbridled chaos, unpredicted thrills and an unadulterated transformation. It has been this incredible challenge and this unparalleled opportunity. It’s been so many things, but one thing it hasn’t been is a mistake. Lots of people ask me if I regret quitting my UW job for this—kiddin me? Negatory. This experience has been everything I wanted and didn’t know I needed. And somehow, it’s gone by in the blink of an eye. How does time seem to both drag on and speed past us simultaneously? It’s crazy. And I can’t thank you guys enough for supporting me! But, it’s about that time. I have more than enjoyed blogging about this season’s ups and downs and sharing this whole experience with ya, but I am afraid all good things must come to an end, so this will serve as my final post (I guess till next season). Thanks for following along! Hopefully when I return to the US I will get to see all of you and thank you personally. Till then, just picture me knee deep in the water somewhere, grossly sheltered in sunscreen, happy as a clam. Ciao!