Tuesday, April 26, 2016

A Looooong First 24 Hours

Monday, April 25, 2016:

EuroBall VII got off to a good start today.

Breakfast at the Camarillo Cronies

As always, we stopped at Cronies for one last American meal before flying to Europe. Co-owner Chuck Diego was there and  was a more than gracious host, GRACIAS!

Laurie took me to the ever fun Los Angeles International Airport after breakfast. The drive to the airport was easy, but as usual, trying to get into "America's Worst Designed/Never Finished Airport" was daunting. We were forced to say our goodbyes at the curb.

Damn, I miss her already . . .

Once inside the Tom Bradley Terminal, from where international flights depart, everything was smooth and easy.

I was at my gate in no time at all

The first thing that I noticed at the gate's waiting area was lots of tall, blond people speaking Swedish.


My aisle seat had good width, a must for Plus-Sized boys, but little leg room. Thus, sleeping was difficult if not a bit painful. 

I did watch two good movies to relieve the stress, Daniel Craig's James Bond thriller Spectre for the first time and Robert Downey Jr.'s Sherlock Holmes for about the 42nd time.

Two solid airline meals also helped the time go by more quickly.

Speaking of time, we left LAX on time at 2:15 pm on Monday and arrived at Stockholm's Arlanda Airport at 10:00 am on Tuesday. Actual flight time was ten hours and 45 fun-filled minutes.

When you fly to another city/country/continent for a two month stay, it is impossible to bring all that you will need in only a carry-on bag. Thus, I checked an additional bag at LAX. It only took 40 minutes for my bag to reach me at Arlanda's Baggage Claim.

This is why I like to travel light normally.

Tuesday, 26 April, 2016:

At the Arlanda Airport, I was met by Wäsby Warrior Strength Coach Bengt Granlund who took me on a nice tour of the greater Upplands Väsby megalopolis which will be my home until July while I will help train the Warriors' U11, U13 and U15 teams.

Upplands Väsby is located about a 30 minute drive North of Stockholm.

As our tour ended, Bengt drove me to his home so that I could crash HARD for about two hours before heading to a nearby market for some supplies. His bacon and scrambled egg breakfast really hit the spot!

By the way it was a crisp, sunny day today, much nicer than the Weather Channel's prediction.

The basics now in hand, we were off to my new digs, ICELANDIA II. The original Icelandia was our home in 2010 when I was coaching the Hurricanes in Hässleholm in the Skåne region of Sweden.

 Iceland II's Bathroom
just off the Kitchen

The Kitchen

Living Space and Sleeping Area

The Living Space

Top or Bottom Bunk???

After settling in and taking a much needed shower, I was picked up by another of the Warrior's key people, Lotta Douhan and her son Jesper who plays for the Arlanda Jets as he is too old to play for any of the Warriors teams.

We were off on a tour of beautiful, downtown Upplands Väsby (it really was nice) and a good dinner at the White Horse English Pub in the city center.

We were joined for dinner by Bengt, his ex-wife Kajsa and their two sons Isak and Joel.

Like Jesper, Isak also plays for the Jets due to his age while Joel is a Free Safety for the Warrior's U15 squad. 

From the left and around the table
Bengt, Kajsa, Joel, Lotta, Jesper,
me and Isak

 Jesper, Me and Isak

Joel's nose, Kajsa and Bengt

 Back at Icelandia II,
it was time to study my guide to
"All Things Warriors Related"

This was a helpful document that is going to make my on and off the field transition to Sweden much smoother.

Tomorrow beginning at 6:00 pm, and with staggered starts for our three Warriors teams, we will hold our last indoors practice of the Spring. The practices will end at 9:00 pm.


How I've missed these little
slices of Swedish Food Heaven!

EuroBall Weekend Updates

Good news this weekend as all three of my former teams that played won again!

In Italy, the Catania Elephants blanked the Grosetto Veterans 36-0 to improve to 4-1.

In Swiss League action, the Thun Tigers (3-1) exploded in a 50-21 rout of La Côte Centurions.

The Murcia Cobras finished the Spanish Serie B regular season in grand fashion in a road contest against the Gijón Mariners! The Cobras were down 0-14 at the end of the Half but showed their true grit with a remarkable Second Half comeback winning 21-14. The Cobras at 6-0 are the only undefeated team in Serie B thus earning a bye in the first round of the playoffs, putting them automatically in the Semi-Final round of play.

France's Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons (8-0) had a bye and the Swedish Hässleholm Hurricanes open their season on May 7th.

This 21-2 combined record by the four teams currently in 2016 action is GREAT! I am so happy for all of my old players, coaches and EuroBall families!!!

1 comment:

Michael said...

I'm glad that you made it safe...nice living quarters.