Thursday, October 30, 2014

WINTER IS COMING...but seriously....

Wowza! It has been WAY to long since I have sat down at my computer to write an update on my life her in the Swiss-land.

I guess I want to start with saying again how grateful I am to be in such an amazing place to play the sport I love. It is amazing that there is so much to do by just getting on a train. Half the time we don't even have plans and everything just always seems to fall into place. The weather when I wrote you last was still amazing. Warmer day with crisp nights. Fall was in the air.

We took our last trip of the preseason to a little country called Austria. We drove there which was long, but nothing short of amazing.  The view from the car were beyond gorgeous. I tried to take pictures but nothing could really show just how pretty it was.  We did well and won all four of our games that we played in while there. We went literally under a mountain range. We were in a tunnel for 30 minutes at least!

After we got home we had a free day and my good friend Peter happened to face book me to let me know he was going to be Zurich on Tuesday! (October 14th) He was coming back from a trip with his family from South Africa and had a layover for about 5 hours. To say I was excited was an understatement.  Peter happens to live with my boyfriend, so we all hung out all the time together and it was like having a little piece of home over here for a few hours. I had to get up at 5am to catch a train to get to them and only had a few hours but it was so worth it. Here are some pictures.

Coffee selfie on the train :)

His parents were so nice and took us to breakfast at an amazing breakfast place. Quiche and bagels with goat cheese. AH-mazing. 

Peter, Evan and I overlooking the lake. 

Pano from the bridge

There was a farmers market going on and everything was so colorful! Loved every second of it.

Pretty sunflowers

I want all of this

Fall :)

cool view. You can kiiinda see the Alps in the back...

Famous Church in Zurich


Where I was shopping the whole time, duh. 

This really fun store I went into that had a bunch of fun stuff in it!

The boys. Miss them!


They had to catch their plane home around 1pm and I had the rest of the day to myself. I spent some time walking around and shopping but mostly spent my time at the Starbucks. We had a game that night about an hour train ride north of Zurich so I did not want to wear myself out. Also myself and the roomies were coming back to Zurich in a few days. We had 2 days off and were coming to explore again so I knew I would get more time to see the city.

We had our first game of regular season on October 18th. It felt good to finally be playing games that counted towards our season after a month and a half of preseason.  We played against Toggenburg. We had gotten to see them a little bit at our home tourney a few weeks before and were excited to play them again. We ended up winning in four.  It was not our best match but it was good for us to see what we needed to work on more for the rest of our upcoming games. Plus I am always a little nervous so I think we may have had some first game jitters and need to get those out.

We had the next two days off and we (Mayf and Dezzie and I) ended up getting a hotel in Zurich for a night so we could explore and see what we could find and not have to worry about coming back that night. We checked into the hotel, took a quick nap and then went out to find some adventure. While we were out we walked past a local bar. When we looked in, we saw people dressed up like they were going to Oktoberfest with big liters of beer. We wanted to come back later to see what that was for! We walked and shopped and enjoyed the rest of the day. When we came back to the bar, they had live music and it was crowded so we found a seat and ordered a round!

Mayf and I before getting on the train!

So much fun! Never had a beer this big.


Another view of the Church! We sat right on the river and ordered some warm drinks and food. The restaurant even had blankets for us to use.

Cause why not...

Another view of the river :)

We had a great time in Zurich but were excited to get back home and get ready for our next game against Neuchatel. Last year they got 3rd over all so we were really excited to play them and it was our first home game. We ended up losing to them in 4 and not playing our best volleyball as a team. This week we are going to focus on having really good practices mentally and physically so get ready for our next game on Saturday.  Every game counts here because unlike where I have played before, Switzerland plays with points. If you win your match in 3 or 4 you get 3 points and the looser gets 0. If you win in 5, you get 2 points and if you lose in 5 you still get 1 point. At the end how many points you have determines your seed. We had some photos taken at our match. I will add those at the end. I am sure most of you have seen them on facebook.

Last week I had my first real taste of winter while being here. It was getting down to mid 30's- DURING THE DAY. Needless to say I was a little shocked on the way to and from practice (we walk) and how cold it was.  I promptly bought a coat, scarf, gloves, hats, etc, etc to keep myself warm. I looked like a stuffed animal walking to practice, but hey. I was warm.  Now this week it is back to normal. I have noticed that my "normal" has changed. Before last week, sweater weather was so cold. Now low 60's feels amazing! haha  Funny how that can change so quickly. I am excited for the first snow though, which they say can be as early as mid November. 

Here are some pictures from the match on Saturday.

Team Picture

I love being apart of a team and having the same goal in mind. We are a long way from where we can be but I am glad to see us making changes and working hard every day in practice.  We have fire on the court that I have not felt for a long time and makes every day fun, which is why I continue to play this sport.

Next game is Saturday against Chesseaux!  Wish us luck...

Happy Halloween! BOO!


Monday, October 6, 2014

Fall is in the air and yes, I already got my PSL...

Hi All! 

It's October! Everything is starting to change colors and you can definitely feel the brisk fall air starting to creep in.  The weather for the most part is still pretty good but getting crisp at night, which I really enjoy and like to tell all my CA friends how cold I am here since they have been having hot hot days lately. I am guessing that will come back to haunt me later when they are on the beach in February and I am bundled up like a an eskimo walking to and from practice. Brrrr.

We had our free weekend last weekend (Sept 27th-29th) and we really wanted to go to Germany for Oktoberfest but it did not end up working out. Good thing for us there is plenty to do around Switzerland.  A girl on our team has a sister that lives in Neuchatel, which is about an hour away from us by train and right on the coast of a gorgeous lake, and she said there was a wine festival going on so we decide to head there Saturday mid day.  We really had no idea what to expect, I was expecting something small (its not that big of a town) and like a few streets closed with food and wine (duh) tasting etc etc.  Boy was I wrong.  We got off the train, and there were tons of people around, they all were walking one specific way so we just followed them.  We walk to the main part of town and we can hear music off to our right but can't really see anything yet. We decide to go down to water because it looks so pretty.  Which it was. 

This was the view. It was so pretty.  There was a large park with grass and even a sand volleyball court.  Everyone was hanging out and there were a ton of people. 

We started to walk towards the music we heard and we turned a corner and bam! Thousands of people. There was a carnival with rides and games. SO many places to get food. Any kind of food. It was like a fair on crack! So many kids and people just hanging out enjoying live music and getting drinks.  They had local DJ's playing every few blocks with all types of music.  Our first stop though was a booth that sold Sangria! We met these fellows at one of the bars and had to take a picture. Who doesn't love a kilt??

Surprisingly we didn't have any wine..just the Sangria and then beer. It was easier to find I think with bars on every corner.

How can you not be happy in a place like this?

Roomies <3

Mayfers and I

Soooo if you know me you know I love Mexican food and there was a Mexican restaurant right by the festival. We may have went twice. This is Dezzie and I with a Mango Margarita. Oh yes. 

Look at that. Slice of heaven right there.

So many people! They said that over the course of the 3 days it ran there was 500,000 people that came. 

A marchant selling sunglasses told me I had to get these since I had flowers in my hair. I mean why not? Flower Power. 

Mayfers looking purdy on the water

One for now, one for later! It's a long train ride home :)

We had so much fun on Saturday we decided to go back on Sunday.  We dance all night with a DJ playing awesome music. Dez even made her way up to the DJ booth. It was a great weekend overall. 

This was the second night.

Let me take a selfie...


Over all successful weekend with some great people. Love my job!!

We had a good week of practice and were preparing for our home tourney that was on Oct 4th.  There  were 6 teams all from around Switzerland that came so it was our first time playing teams that we will be competing against when season starts here in about two weeks. CRAZY. Preseason flew by!  

We had team pictures this week, and finally got to try own our jerseys and stuff! We are blue and gold Fitting since most of my friends are UCLA alumni, including my boyfriend, and having worked at USC last year...have to admit its kinda funny. Here are some pics from that!

Here is the whole team and staff! 



The girls

So awkward haha

The Americans!


Here are some pictures from our tourney this weekend, It was really fun.  We played a total of 4 teams. 2 games to 25 each. We had pool play first and got first in our pool and moved up. We split with a team and then beat another. The next pool was the winner from the other pool (Kuniz) and another team from our pool who got 3rd overall in points from the leftover teams.  We lost both games when we played Kuniz, who got 2nd place in the Swiss league last year, and even though its tough to lose sometimes, I also think it's good to figure out things we need to work on and we would rather figure that out now that later in the season.  

Headed to the gym and it was all foggy!

After the tourney we went home and made Mayf's birthday dinner (Tacos!) and got ready to go out in Berne with the team!

Dez made a cake and got sparklers!

Sunday = recovery day. We sat on the coach and watched movies all day while outside it stormed like crazy.  First thunder and lightning storm since we have been here. It was nice a nice day with the roomies. 

We only have 2 practice this week and we head to Linz, Austria early Wednesday for 5 days for our last preseason trip! I am so excited. We are driving there, which is not always ideal, but at least the views are always amazing. It takes a little over 7 hours so I have my kindle and snacks and I am sure it will go quick. Check another country off the list! I will make sure to  take a lot of pictures and will catch you up on how it goes.  Once we get back, the next weekend we have our first match of actual season and we will be mid way through October! Time flies...

Until next time....BYEEEE!