This past weekend, we had some special visitors. Three of our friends from Slovakia came to stay with us and watch us play. They called at about 1 am on Saturday to tell us that they were almost there so we went outside to meet them and help them find where we live. Originally, we were supposed to have shootaround at 11:00, but our coach cancelled it so that freed up Saturday morning to enjoy a big breakfast and show our friends around the city. After walking around a bit, we went to lunch at the restaurant where our team eats everyday. Then, we went back to our apartment to do a little dinner prep. After that, we took a quick nap before leaving for the game.
Our game was against Timisoara, a team ranked in the middle of the league. They are most likely the team that we will face in the first round of the playoffs so it was important to come out strong against them and send an early message. We played well and won by a substantial margin.
We went back to the apartment and made a big feast for our friends. They always took such great care of us when we were in Slovakia so we wanted to return the favor. After dinner, they surprised Jen with a late birthday cake. It was honey Marlenka, Jen's favorite Slovak dessert. We didn't know that they had that planned so we had already made brownies for dessert. Not a problem...we just ate both! :-) We played a game of Farkle, and Peter won :-/ Other than the last part, the night was a lot of fun.
The next morning, we woke up early to go to Mass. Then, after Mass we went back to the apartment for another big, American breakfast. We had originally planned to go to Timisoara for the day, but after weighing our options and considering the amount of time it would take to get there and back, we opted for a closer option: Vinga. Vinga is a small village about 25 minutes from Arad. There isn't much to see there except for a big, Catholic church. We were told that it's the tallest church in Romania. We had driven by it several times on road trips and always wanted to go see it so it seemed like a good option. When we arrived, we found out that it was closed :-/ It was still beautiful from the outside, but it would have been nice to go inside. We took some good pictures, had a few laughs, and then got back in the car to go back to Arad. While we had a car, Jen really wanted to go to a grocery store called Real because they have some things that other stores don't carry. The only thing on the 'list' was cheddar cheese, but after about 45 minutes of shopping, we had a lot more than cheese :-)
After a little shopping, we went back to the apartment to eat and then help our friends get back on the road by about 5:30 since they all had work the next day. It was a quick trip, but as usual, it was great to see our friends. We're hoping to see them at least once more before we head back to the states.
Thanks for visiting us Katka, Peter, and Marek!!! We love you guys :-)
Here's some pictures from the weekend:
Peter was surprised to see all of the stray dogs in Romania. When Jen and I first came here 2 years ago, we were surprised too, but now, seeing them has become normal.
Showing our friends around the center of Arad
In front of the main government building in Arad
The Orthodox cathedral in Arad
Lunch at the restaurant where our team eats everyday
I don't think they liked the soup very much :-)
At our game against Timisoara
With our President, Marcel, holding the trophies we won in the Central European Cup
Saturday night feast after the game
We didn't have a corkscrew so Peter found another way to open the wine. Other than the mess, it worked pretty well :-)
Birthday surprise for Jen - Marlenka! It's her favorite dessert from Slovakia.
Sweet friends :-)
This is where we went to Mass on Sunday morning. We had seen this church before (St. Therese Catholic Church), but we could never figure out what time Mass was until recently. This Church is quite a bit closer than the one in the center so it makes going to daily Mass much more convenient.
There was a great sale on eggs last week so we stocked up!
Marek trying to help Jen make Eggs in a Basket
Jen did the first one to give Marek an example of how it should look. The one on the right is Marek's first attempt :-) In his defense, he didn't quite understand what Jen was going to use it for, and he thought it was wasteful to only use a small piece from the bread so he tried to get the most out of it.
Eggs in a Basket
Homemade pancakes - with a smiley face :-)
The girls working hard :-)
The Catholic Church in Vinga
Posing with the Romanian flag
Jen and Katka with their Sosovicova - a Slovakian soup