Saturday, April 29, 2017

EuroBall Adventure IX Begins


Thursday and Friday, April 27-28, 2017:

So it begins, the ninth chapter of what has become a way of retirement life for me, an American football coaching job in Europe.

Getting my Viking on for
the third time in EuroBall

To recap our previous EuroBall adventures:
2008 Defensive Coordinator, Catania Elephants, Italy
2009 Head Coach, Catania Elephants, Italy

2010 Head Coach, Hässleholm Hurricanes, Sweden
2012 Head Coach, Thun Tigers, Switzerland

2012-13 Head Coach, Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons, France
2015 Head Coach, Murcia Cobras, Spain

2016 Assistant Coach, Wäsby Warriors, Sweden
2016 Assistant Coach, Osos Rivas & Guadalajara Stings, Spain

This Spring of 2017, it is back for a second time to work as an Assistant Coach for two months with the Wäsby Warriors located about 20 miles north of Stockholm, Sweden to work with their U15, U13 and U11 teams..

 The weather was not too bad
for this time of year

 Traditional going away
breakfast at Cronies in Camarillo

 Why the second check-in bag

I've never done that before.

Oh, that's right, I'm bringing
the Warriors 35 new jerseys

Thanks to Doug Dagan of Dagan Sales and Marketing in Camarillo for making this happen.

It was a good deal for him and were incredible prices for the Warriors!

The flight was scheduled for just
under ten hours

 On this aircraft

The drive to LAX was smooth and parking was fairly easy on a Thursday afternoon.

Then things started to fall apart . . .

Normally, overseas air travel allows 23 kilos per check-in back and knock yourself out on the weight of the carry-on luggage.

The Warriors had already paid for a second check-in bag and both of those bags were good at about 20.5 kilos each.

Or so I thought.

That is when we were alerted at the Norwegian Air check-in counter that their limit was 20 not 23 kilos. They also made me weigh my carry-on bag. All carry-on luggage, I had a bag and a backpack, is weighed by Norwegian Air and can weigh no more than a total of ten kilos. My two carry-on bags weighed 14 kilos. I was in trouble.

Apparently the charge for being overweight is more severe for carry-on than for check-in so we had some re-arranging to do.

Bottom line, I had to pay $60 for the four kilos (the man helping us rounded down to help me) for the overweight baggage.

Fortunately, they didn't weigh me.

That disaster behind us, I bid farewell to my wonderful bride Laurie for a month. She will join me in Sweden in June.

The security line was slow but I was at LAX the required three hours before takeoff so it was no problem. Finally near the front of the line, the conveyer belt stalled for some unknown reason halting our entry through the physical scanner. No problem, the frustrated security agent finally just passed five of us through a side entrance without scanning us.

Is that safe?

We pushed away from the loading gate right on time and got in line to takeoff when we found out that our left engine wasn't working properly.

The pilots thought that it was probably a bad idea to take off on just one engine so they hauled us back for repairs.

I agreed.

We sat on the plane while the Boeing mechanics repaired the engine and finally took off two hours and ten minutes late.

Once airborne, I discovered that Norwegian Air is a budget airline serving no complimentary food or beverages, not even water. Fortunately my credit card was good and proper sustenance was obtained.

 Finally we arrived in Sweden
on Friday only to find . . .

. . . a HUGE line at the Passport
Check-in gates

I stood in line for about an hour before finally being allowed to enter Sweden.

Then my two check-in bags were missing.

It took me about 15 minutes but I finally found them on a carousel advertising three other flights but not mine from LAX. There were other LA passengers in the same fix. I guess the long delay at passport check-in caused them to take our flights name and number off of the carousel's information board.

Bengt Granlund, it was his birthday today, was patiently waiting for me to drive me to the home of Aiki Parts where I will be staying.

After dropping off my luggage and before Bengt going home, he drove into the downtown area of Upplands-Väsby to drop me off so that I could stretch my legs a bit.

 Eat first, stretch your legs later

YUM

 Where have I seen this guy before?

My favorite building in
Upplands-Väsby

 I may go

 I take that back, THIS is my
favorite building in Uplands-Väsby!

 FIKA TIME!

How to ruin an otherwise
wonderful FIKA TIME!

 Now it was time for a good 30
minute walk home . . .

 . . . in the woods of course

Nice mossy rock

Beautiful and . . .

. . . pastoral

 Livestock

How did this one gets out
of Havana?

Wäsby Warriors U15 Practice

It is our team's off-season at this time. Monday is May 1st and also European Commie Labor Day, a holiday.

Thus, only nine of our 20+ players were in attendance as it is a three day weekend and many families were out of town.

Still, the mighty nine practiced hard on fundamentals. I was pleased.

Lotta and Aiki

We ate a a really good Greek restaurant after practice, if you look hard you can imagine that we are really in Santorini.

The Adventure was off to a GREAT start!

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