Monday, March 22, 2010

Buongiorno Venezia!

Well lovely readers, last weekend was extra special because I went to Venice!!! I realized that this is the first trip I have taken outside of Spain (minus going back to the states for Christmas) so I was really excited. I went with the guy I'm dating on the frisbee team Alberto, his roomate Jose, and Jose's girlfriend Ani who also play on the frisbee team. We arrived in Venice late Friday night and met up with 2 of their friends Lara and Alejandro who guess what...also play frisbee! Who would have thought? Anyway Alex is studied in Venice and both are living there for the year which was nice because staying in Venice is really expensive. On Saturday we woke up to eat breakfast and have some delish cappuccinos. Then we walked around the center of the city to see the big sights. Our first stop was St. Marks Basilica, the Doge's Palace, and St. Marks Square which were all really beautiful just like you see in the movies! I hadn't realized how many canals there were in Venice and that you can only walk in the city. We were in a pedestrians paradise where you could walk all over the city and never have to worry about crossing streets or traffic, it was fabulous! We walked some more around the city to see the ruins of a 14th century castle and then it was time for lunch so we ate pizza! The pizza was absolutely amazing because it had prosciutto and lots of other delicious toppings. After lunch we walked around the Grand Canal to take pictures. Then Alex and Lara made us spaghetti carbonara for dinner. On Sunday we got up to get some typical Venetian pastries that was like a sugared bread with dates in it and watch the Formula 1 race. Formula 1 is the european version of Nascar so classier but still just as boring. However, a Spanish racer Fernando Alonso was favored to win so we went to eat some snacks, watch the race, and drink a typical Venetian drink called a Spritz. After the race we ate some lunch and took a boat ride on the Valporetto (no I didn't go on a gondola because they were ridiculously expensive). The Valporetto is the Venice version of the metro so you just hop on and can tour around the canals. After so much walking I was pretty exhausted on Sunday so I slept really well. On our last day we went inside of St. Mark's Basilica and toured around some of the Murano glass shops that are really famous. I bought some souvenirs and we ate some more pizza! After taking sips of our last cappuccino, we headed back to the airport and back to the real world (sniff, sniff). As always, here are some pictures!

With a gondolero that looks super enthusiastic to be in this picture with me.

The Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge
Alberto and I on one of the canals

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cremas Beach Challenge

After a couple weekends of not doing to much because the weather has been really terrible here lately (lots of rain and cold boooooo), I got to go to another frisbee tournament!!! This time the tournament was on the Castelldefels beach near Barcelona and it was a women´s tournament. Since our team usually plays coed Ultimate we don´t have a ton of opportunities to play/practice with the girls we do have. However, the girls team in Barcelona organized a women´s tournament since there really aren´t that many. We had 7 girls from our team go to the tournament and another girl who plays for a team outside of Barcelona met with us there to play on our team. The tournament was on the beach which was really fun but I am quickly learning that beach ultimate is almost a different game than grass ultimate. It is a lot more difficult to run and cut in sand so everything takes a lot longer in beach ultimate and is a lot more tiring. Since there is no beach in Madrid we don´t have the opportunity to practice on beach, it is a bit of a disadvantage. However, I got to layout lots of times over the weekend so I was really happy!!! We played four games on Saturday against a team from London, 2 teams from Spain, and one from France. We won the first game but then lost the next 3. After a delicious dinner of salad, jamon, pineapple, and pasta and then a fun party on Saturday night we woke up ready to play Sunday! We won both our games on Sunday which was really exciting, finishing 3 and 3. Not bad for a team that never practices together. We are going to try to make an effort to practice together more as a women´s team so we can be ready for other tournaments. Although I really like playing coed, I do miss playing on a women´s team in some ways. At the end of the tournament, we finished 4th out of 7 teams. The icing on the cake to a great weekend, was that our team won the Spirit of the Game award!!! We won a giant plastic Chupa Chup (the lollipop brand here) filled with lots of lollipops! It was great to fly back carrying our massive lollipop with us through the airport. All in all, an awesome weekend playing my favorite sport!