Sunday, October 21, 2012

Night Out :-)

We are enjoying a very beautiful and relaxing day off today.  We were traveling this weekend for a game in Bucharest, the capital of Romania.  It was about an eleven hour bus trip (22 hours round trip).  We left Friday morning and arrived Friday night.  We slept in a hotel, woke up the next morning, played a game at noon, ate some lunch, and got back on the road for the drive home.  It was a lot of driving in a short amount of time, but it was honestly not as bad as I was expecting.  I think I listened to about 10 podcasts (thank you Catholic Answers!).  While we didn't have time to see a lot of the city, we got a sort of bus tour through the center which was nice.  Our assistant coach is from Bucharest so she pointed out some of the main attractions and gave us a little bit of a history lesson.  We will go back to Bucharest at least once more this season so hopefully we will have a little more time to explore then.

Things have been going well since our last update.  We are currently 6-0 in league play.  Our next two games are against the top teams in the league so those games will be a little tougher.  We'll let you know how they go.  

Last week, before we left for Bucharest, Jen, Kari, Carla, and I went out for dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  As most of you know, Jen and I are pretty cheap so going out to eat is a big deal :-)  We figured that we should celebrate completing another month of being in Romania...and getting paid!  We had seen this Mexican restaurant a couple of weeks ago when we were at the mall so we made a mental note to go try it out sometime.

In terms of the actual food, it was an interesting experience.  We were all prepared to have the food look and taste a little different than what we're used to, but it was a lot different :-)  We ordered chips, salsa, and guacamole to start.  Our waitress (the sweetest person ever), asked us if we wanted our chips soft or crunchy).  We weren't really sure what soft chips were so we ordered crunchy but asked her if she could bring a few soft ones so that we could try them.  Interestingly enough, I actually preferred the soft ones :-)  The salsa was pretty spicy (although I'm a pretty big baby when it comes to spicy food so I may not be the best judge), and the consistency of it was not what I expected.  It wasn't bad though.  The guacamole was pretty good.  Next, we ordered our entrees.  Carla ordered a quesadilla, Kari and I ordered beef enchiladas, and Jen ordered a chicken burrito.  When the food came out, we weren't really sure what was what.  The enchiladas were shaped like a pizza, and to be honest, they sort of tasted like a pizza without sauce.  They definitely weren't bad, but they sure didn't taste like any enchilada that I've ever had.  There was no sauce, very little cheese, and I don't even think they used tortillas.  It basically tasted like pizza crust with seasoned hamburger meat and a little cheese.  A little dry, but not bad :-)  Carla's quesadilla was funny.  It was pretty much the same as our enchilada (in terms of ingredients), but it looked like three small calzones.  Our enchiladas looked more like quesadillas :-)  Jen's burrito was pretty much what we would expect a burrito to look like.  None of the food was bad, it just isn't the same as what we would expect to see if we ordered Mexican food in America.  

It was a fun night out.  The atmosphere of the restaurant was nice, our waitress was fantastic, and the company was good :-)  And as an added bonus, the food was super cheap!  The restaurant is offering a 25% discount all during the month of October.  Jen and I had ordered together and shared our food, and our bill came to about 42 lei.  Sometimes the big numbers here make things seem expensive at first glance, but when we actually figured it out, we were each paying about $6.  For chips, salsa, guacamole, beef enchiladas, a chicken burrito, and a side of avocado, $6 isn't too bad :-)  Needless to say, we felt pretty good about our big "splurge."  

On the tram going to the restaurant

Carla's quesadilla 

Kari, Jen, and Carla with our waitress

Funny faces

Ice cream for dessert...only 4 lei! :-)

Hanging out at the mall

Waiting for the tram

Borrowing Carla's hat :-)

She didn't really like the previous picture, but here we are being friends again :-)

Thursday, October 11, 2012


On Tuesday afternoon, we traveled to Targu Mures for our Wednesday evening game.  It was a relatively uneventful drive.  We did a little reading, a little podcast-listening, and a little talking.  In general, it was a good trip.  When we arrived at the hotel, we had dinner and then we were free for the night.  

For some reason, we did not have shootaround on Wednesday morning.  Instead, we took a team trip to the zoo!  That was a nice surprise.  I think I have been to the zoo in Europe more than I have been to the zoo in America, and every time I go, I really enjoy it!  It's nice being outside and walking around, and animals can be hilarious!

After a good trip to the zoo, we ate our pregame meal, rested a little bit, and then played at 6.  Immediately after the game, we had dinner at the hotel and then got on the road for the drive home.  We arrived back in Arad around 2 am.  

We have a couple of days of practice, and then we play again on Monday :-)  We hope everyone is having a great week!  God bless you all :-)

The zoo in Targu Mures is the second-largest zoo in Romania

Imitating the monkeys

Feeding them some sort of nut that we found on the ground outside

Talking about what they would do if a lion got out of the cage

Visiting the elephant.  It smelled horrible!

"Hey ya'll!  His eyes look just like Chad Ochocinco!"  -Carla Bartee

"I've never been this close to one.  We usually just shoot 'em."  -Carla Bartee

This poor camel was struggling.

Jen getting close to the lion.  She actually got a lot closer than this, but I didn't get a picture.

She got so close that the lion actually peed on her!  It was hilarious!

Kitsy found this mushroom and was pretty excited about it

The little baby was so cute!  And all of the other monkeys were super protective of it.  

"Look!  It's Lebron James!"  -Carla Bartee

Team picture

Funny faces!

We spend a lot of time on this bus! :-)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Beautiful Sunday!

Hey Everyone!

Tina and I just wanted to give an update. Basketball is going well. We are undefeated in league play. We have a game on Wednesday and another game on the following Monday. Today was an off day so Tina and I woke up early and went to Mass. After Mass we stopped and had breakfast at McDonald's (very delicious in Europe). After that we walked around the center and went to the park. There is a very nice view of this big Orthodox Church close to the center.  It was a beautiful morning, and it was nice to just spend some time outside.

Enjoying a nice McDonald's breakfast :-)

Government building in Arad

Beautiful Orthodox Cathedral - it is pretty much finished on the outside, but the inside is still under construction

In the park