Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Nathan Jones, Jason Halverson and David Benson

Who are these three people you ask?  They are the Catania Elephants three newest fans that's who.  How did this happen?

Well it all started with a 4:00 a.m. wake-up call on Tuesday at the Sandos Caracol Resort to get me to the Cancun Airport for a 7:55 a.m. flight to Atlanta.

While in the Atlanta Airport I got connected to the internet in their food court of all places, imagine that.  After about an hour working on the blog and answering long overdue e-mails, these three guys sat down next to me and I overheard them talking about their trip to Catania.  Small world is it not?

From left to right: Nathan, Jason and David

They are three Mormon missionaries who will serve their mission in Catania unless they are transferred to another city in Italy's  south.  They were excited about seeing at least one of our home games... the fan base keeps growing!


You see some interesting sights during a 5 hours layover in Atlanta.  I think they were trying to take NASCAR concepts to a new level.

After a 9 hours and 17 minutes flight from Atlanta to Rome,

Il Gelato di San Crispino is generally considered the BEST gelato shop in Rome.

After another layover, this time 3 hours and 35 minutes, I finally arrived in Catania at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 26 long hours after that wake-up call in Mexico.

All was fairly smooth and on time except for the Blu-Express "Carry-on Nazi" at Rome's Airport.  First, after ten of us waited in line at the Blu-Express ticket window clearly labeled "CATANIA" but not yet open, he came over to us, asked if we were going to Catania and then gave us this how stupid are you guys look as he directed us to a new ticket window about five stalls to our right.  How dumb were we to line up at the "CATANIA" window? 

Then he had the guy in front of me put his carry-on into one of those boxes near the ticket window that shows you the size of the allowable carry-on.   He did and it stuck out of the top of the box by about two inches... "EEMPOSSIBLE!"  The bag had to go in the plane's cargo hold.

Next came two girls in their early 20's who wanted to check into the flight to Turin which ticketed at this same station until they changed it to "CATANIA" five minutes ago for us.  Apparently, their connecting flight got in late and they were running late but still had 25 minutes before the plane actually took off... "EEMPOSSIBLE!"  The next plane for Turin leaves in three hours, you can catch that one.

Finally, I brought two bags with me, one was full of clothes for Laurie's future use.  Their combined weight was 25 kilos and Blu-Express only allows 15 kilos per person so I'm 10 kilos over the allowable limit which will cost me 7 Euros per kilo. i.e., 70 Euros.  After much haggling he agreed that since a carry-on is allowed to weigh 5 kilos, he would only charge me for the remaining 5 kilos, a charge now down to 35 Euros.  Thank goodness they did not weigh my backpack that must have weighed another 20 kilos.

I have demoted him to Blu-Express "Carry-on Collaborator" due to his softened stance in my situation.  

Wednesday night's practice on a SOFTBALL field???

They have decent grass in their outfield areas and we had a solid practice on a very cold and windy night.  Many of our teammates are saying this has been the coldest winter that they can remember in a long time.

Another sign of Global Cooling.


DPLassen said...

I'll be honest — after my recent trip to New York, where people were carrying on two and three big bags to avoid American Airlines' checked-bag fee, I'm not sure a Carry-on Nazi would be totally a bad thing.

And you omitted a crucial detail: What flavor did you get at San Crispino?

Claud said...

my butt(together with my 11 fingers) is still frozen from last night,i can't sit,dammit.

coldest winter ever period.

George said...


Honey, it is their signature flavor and quite good.


George said...


ELEVEN fingers... I don't want to know!


Claud said...


i just found out i unexpectedely made one of the best jokes of CoachinForPizza Blog history EVER!

Yours truly,

Il Naturale.