Well, we won our game on Saturday which meant that we got to play in the championship game on Sunday. After the game on Saturday, we had a team dinner/potluck at our teammates’ apartment (Sofia and Ana). It was really fun. Jen and I brought a fruit salad and a vegetable tray. We also brought a big bottle of Ranch dressing which was quite a hit :-) We just hung out, ate (chicken, rice, salad, bread, and some AMAZING chocolate cake), talked, watched some soccer, etc. This group of girls is so easy to get along with!
The next morning we went to Mass at 11:00. Most churches that I have gone to in Europe do not seem to have any heating/cooling system. In Slovakia the last 2 years, the churches were always FREEZING! It was warmer outside than inside. A lot of times the holy water that you dip your fingers into was frozen. Jen and I would always wear pants, our big winter jackets, and mittens. This year is quite the opposite – I am totally sweating during Mass (not really a big surprise to those of you who know me – I sweat a lot!) Fortunately, I was sitting next to two ladies who had little hand-held fans so I got a little airflow :-) One of our teammates showed us where another church is near our apartment so hopefully we can stop by there sometime this week. The church we have been going to on Sundays doesn’t have daily Mass so we are trying to find a church that does.
After Mass we went to watch the U16 girls from our club play. They invited us to their game so we wanted to go support them. We only stayed for a little bit because we wanted to get home, eat some lunch, and get ready for our game. When we were walking down the stairs to our apartment (our apartment is down one flight of stairs), I turned the corner and saw a cat. It scared me at first because I wasn’t expecting anything to be there. Jen told me to see if it was friendly so I got a little closer, and it let me pet it. We didn’t know how long it had been in the stairwell, and we felt bad just leaving it there so we invited it inside our apartment. We were pretty certain that it belonged to someone since it was inside the building and because it looked well fed. We gave it a little ham, made it feel at home, and then when we were getting ready to leave we put it back in the stairwell. It was nice having a pet for about an hour! :-)
Our game was pretty disappointing. We lost. The team we played was definitely the best team we have played since we have been in Portugal (in my opinion), but they are a very beatable team. I’m upset that we didn’t win because I hate losing and because we were capable of beating them, but I am optimistic that our team is going to continue to improve, and when we meet this team in the regular season we will be ready!
(Jen): Today (Monday) was a great day off! Tina and I both slept in until 10:00am. We made plans with one of our teammates, Barbara ("Ba"), to go to Cascais. We met her at the train station to get our tickets. She helped us understand the train schedule so we could travel locally without her. (Side note: If we ever do get lost, we won't be able to call anyone because our prepaid phone has no money on it. Our teammates always call us and leave us text messages when they need to talk with us, but we can never respond. We need to talk to our little sister Sara to help us get some minutes).
Barbara told us that Cascais is a place where a lot of tourists go because of the beaches, shops, and restaurants. The weather was about 80 degrees and beautiful! For the first part of our adventure we just walked and talked. We ran into some Americans from Texas and Florida. There were a few carts selling necklaces, bracelets and clothes. I shopped around for a little bit. I may have something for my family when I come home :-)
After shopping we went down to the beach and laid our stuff down. Ba told us the Atlantic would be cold, and it was, but after a while, we got use to it. Tina and I found some good rocks to skip in the water. We did our usual...you know, 5 or 6 skips...But Ba stuggled a little bit. After we told her "it's all in the wrist," she got it to bounce twice! Proud of her. After skipping rocks, I found some beautiful sea shells in the water. One had a snail in it! Ba told us how Portuguese people enjoy eating snails. I tried escargot once on a cruise. It actually wasn't that bad. It tasted like garlic and butter. I doubt this one would have tasted like that!
We had 30 minutes until our next train so Tina and Ba played paddle ball on the beach. After three tries they counted up to 147 hits! Not bad for two post players! :) After paddle ball, Tina took out her umbrella to shade herself from the sun. It reminded us of the time we went to Spain with our college team. We had a few girls on the team who didn't want to get any darker so they put towels on their legs and shaded themselves with an umbrella. We will always remember that Moons and Bridgey!
After playing at the beach we started to walk back to the train station. We stopped at this wine shop because I saw a sign that said something about wine and chocolate for 1 euro! Ba talked to the lady inside and got it all set up for me. The lady poured some sweet wine into a chocolate cup for me. I have never tried anything like that before, but it was very tasty! After my dessert we hopped on the train back to Alges!
Have a great week everyone!
Jen and Tina
With some teammates at our team dinner (Ana, Tamara, and Duca)
The Ranch dressing was a hit!
Sara, Sofia, and Joana
In honor of Tamara
Goofy girls :-)
Our pet cat for 1 hour
Learning about the trains
Cool castle-looking thing at one of the train stops
Our first day at the beach since being in Portugal
The water was cold!
Jen and Barbara (Ba, Pete, Petey, Barb)
She is a good paddle ball partner. It was our first time playing together, but I think we have a lot of potential!
Ashlee and Jess: I know it's not the same pose, but this picture was taken in your honor :-) We miss you guys!!!
Jen about to try some new wine
She liked it :-)