21 avr. 2011

Some more visits!

 This past week has been filled with lots of excitement for me! last weekend I had Jackie my best friend from college come visit me (a.k.a my wife). Then I had my trainer from Canada basketball come visit me on Tuesday and Wednesday!

The weekend with Jackie was a lot of fun, and it was so great to see her after not seeing her for almost a whole year! Its funny how you can go so long without being around someone, but everything goes back to normal when you see them again! Jackie and I were both back to being our silly goofy selves as soon as we saw each other!

Amanda and I spent a few hours in Vilnius with Jackie after picking her up from the airport, which was nice. We had practice that night, so it was a quick visit for some lunch, and of course a few pictures.

Jackie came to practice with us, and got to see us practice with 6 people and just have shooting competitions. After that Amanda and I took Jackie to Bajorkemis, which is a traditional Lithuanian restaurant. We both have taken our parents there to try the Cepelinai (national dish), so of course Jackie had to try it. Of course she loved it!

Saturday we had a morning bike workout (sidenote.. Amanda and I decided to dress a little crazy to this.. just for fun). After that we got in our car, and headed back to Vilnius to try out this water park that our team-mate recommended. We had so much fun in this water park, it had the slides coming out of the building and then back into it. We spent a fair amount of time trying all the slides, and then sat in the hot tub for a bit. We then ventured to the swim up bar! I have always wanted to be able to go to a resort on vacation and have a swim up bar... why not just do it in Lithuania!!

After that we went to the Brazilian Grill all you can eat buffet, and enjoyed some delicious meat there. We of course looked around in the mall for a bit... took more photos, then headed back to Kaunas to see the late movie of Water for Elephants. The movie was a lot better then I had anticipated it being from the previews, so that was good!

Sunday was an off day, so we got back in the car and drove 2 hours to Klaipeda, where we took a ferry over to Nida and walked along the Baltic Sea, and saw the sand duns. The sea was awesome to go visit, although it was a bit chilly, it was great to be able to see the sea. (no pun intended).

We had an early dinner in the city, then headed back home! It was a very busy weekend, and was so nice to be with a great friend again and show her where I have been living for the past 7 months!

Here are some photos from Jackie's visit!
 Jackie and I
 Jackie and I by the Baltic Sea
Making fun of the fact that we are married on facebook!
 In Vilnius right after Jackie arrived!
 Jackie, me, Amanda right before we went to eat at Bajorkemis
 Amanda and I.. Yes we can jump high!
 Amanda and I putting our feet in the Baltic Sea
 Me being silly of course!
 Love you mom! (Had to get some brownie points)!

Of course there are about 200 photos of us from the weekend, but these are some of my favorites!

Jackie left Monday morning, and then Tuesday morning I picked up Joan and had another busy two days!

Joan was out visiting me and another national team member, just coming to look at little injuries, and do some assessment before we head into the first camp in middle of May. Also we worked on putting some ideas from a nutritionist into my daily life, so we did a lot of cooking, and treatments!

Tuesday I had a game, so luckily Joan was able to see that, and Wednesday we had off so we spent it do some body assessments and cooking up some delicious pasta sauce and some even better shrimp!

Tuesday and Wednesday flew by, and I have just dropped Joan off at the train for her to head back to Toronto.

Our team has the last 2 games on our finals Friday and Saturday, and then I am leaving early Tuesday morning to head HOME! :) I am soo excited to be heading home, and cannot wait to see all my friends and family again!

Until next time,

11 avr. 2011

Champs.. once again!

So this past week has been filled with basketball, and not much else. We had been preparing for our Final Four weekend, and to win the Baltic League championship!

We had our first game on Friday, where we were playing another Lithuanian team so we knew them well. This was the fourth or fifth time that we have played them, so there was nothing new from either team. We struggled in the beginning of the game and couldn't hit anything! So needless to say the first half was an ugly one, as we missed one wide open shot after another, while the other team seemingly hit everything.

The second half was better, and we came back and ended up winning by 12. We were all happy that game was over, and that we could play the next day for the championship!

We ended up playing a team from Russia (Spartak). They have some very talented players, including a WNBA player so we had our hands full. We started out the game pretty well, and after the first quarter took it to them and built a 12 point half time lead. Everyone was playing so well, and held their best player to 3 points in the first half!

The second half we continued to press, and opened up a bigger lead. Spartak of course made a run at us, and hit some key shots to keep them in striking distance. After a couple big shots by us and defensive stops, we had our lead to 13 again and we had won the game!

The celebration was pretty much like the DnB cup! This time we got T SHIRTS!! We got some shirts that say 2011 Baltic League Champions, so as we celebrated.. we were getting t shirts handed to us! It was like I was back in college again :)! We had the medal ceremony and trophy presentation, along with the confetti again, so of course we felt like rock stars again... I must say I do not get tired of this!

Here are some Photos from the celebration....
 Probably one of my all time favorite photos! Me and Marina goofing off
 The team, Marina had to show off for the camera!
 The team with our trophy :)
 Marina, me, Amanda, and Geidre enjoying the confetti!
CHAMPS! Before the medal presentation, with our sweet shirts!

Here are a couple links for video of the game/celebration!

Well that was my weekend!! Now we only have left the Lithuanian playoffs, so hopefully another Championship!!!  Then Jackie comes to visit on Friday, and then my Canada Basketball trainer will visit next Tuesday.. then HOME!!!!!!!!! 
I still don't have a ticket home yet, as we don't know when our last game is.. but its about 2 weeks till I will be home! :) So exciting!

Until next time,


3 avr. 2011

Baltic League Semi Finals!

So our team recently went to Belarus to play in the Baltic League semi finals. We had to play 3 games in 3 days, so we were all ready to be plenty tired and sore after the weekend! We had to win 2 games, to move onto the finals which are coming up on the 8th/9th of April.

So the beginning of the trip began with Marina, Giedre, Amanda, and I all going to the Sandwich bar to get some sandwiches and smoothies for the ride. It was there when Amanda realized she didn't have her white uniform.. so the adventures began! Amanda and Giedre left to get the jersey and make it back in time for the bus, while Marina and I waited for the sandwiches and headed off to the bus.

When we got to the bus, we were all expecting our small (VERY small) bus that we take to LMKL games... but were pleasantly surprised to find a comfortable party bus.. okkk not a party bus, but it had leather seats, and kitchen, and the back of the bus had a half moon set up with a table.. kinda like you were VIP at a club! Everyone was excited to know that our 5 hour trip would be in style!

After we took forever to get through the boarders...we finally got to our hotel 5 hours after we left Kaunas, and were greeted with smoked filled air, and what seemed to be a very sketchy country in general! Spending 4 days here would definitely be interesting!

So now the games... We won our first two games against two Belarus teams by 20 and 30.. They were not our best games, but it was great to play someone other then the Lithuanian teams! Our third game we were playing against the best Belarus team, who had 6 of the Belarus national team players that I had played this summer.

The game was very competitive, and was back and forth most of the second half. Our team got a couple crucial defensive stops and hit some big three's to give us the lead towards the end of the game, and we held onto the lead and won the game by 6! It was great to finally play a competitive game, and be in a battle! It was just like euroleague again :)

Now our team and the team we just beat are both going to the Final Four which is being hosted in Kaunas, and we will have another Lithuanian team along with a Russian team. The winner is the best of the Baltic League.. so more competitive games coming up!

My thought on Belarus as a country, is that I don't really feel the need to go back ever again in my life! It made me appreciate North America for sure... The girls tell us that the country is about 10 years behind Lithuania in most things, so we were not in a modern country by any means. Also there public toilets are really just a hole in the bottom of the floor, and you have to squat down to pee.... I refused to go to the bathroom... I waited until we got back to the hotel!

So thats it from our Belarus trip! We have a Lithuanian playoff game Tuesday, and then Baltic League Final Four Friday and Saturday.. Things are finishing up quick!

P.S 22-25 days till IM HOME :)

Until next time,