05 August 2009

Canada, part 2

Right now I am back in Australia, and sitting on the floor with Dori's laptop on the coffee table. We are having a pretty lazy day so I thought I would write up the rest of the Canada blog :) Unfortunately the pictures aren't uploading at this point in time so will add them when I get home on Sunday.. You can see all pics on FB though (if your lucky enough to be a friend :P )

29 July 2009

Today was our day off but we did so much it hardly felt like a recovery day at all. I didn't go to bed til 2am last night typing up this and uploading the photo's onto FB. Breakfast this morning wasnt until 10am so I was able to have a bit of a sleep in. We had breakfast at Chances R. The french toast was pretty good, and I love french toast so thats a pretty big call. The tea was shite though.

At 11.30am we all piled into 3 ParaTranspo taxis and went into the heart of Ottowa. It is such a beautiful city. Very green with huge beautiful buildings and a canal (which freezes over in the winter and people ice skate on). There are markets surrounded by little shops and shopping centres. When we were in Roots it started pouring down with rain so we stayed in there for a while. Kat was even given an exclusive Roots raincoat, made by the Roots manager himself!

After 5 hours of wandering around, the Gliders all met up for dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. By this time I was completely exhausted and very sore in the shoulders. I was actually sore when I woke up but I dont think the pushing around helped.

At 7.30pm the taxis picked us up and took us back to the Residence. During the ride our taxi driver told us the various parts of Ottowa or near Ottowa we could find bears and moose.

Since being back I have had my shoulder rubbed and am now sitting in bed. Will be an early night I think.

30 July 2009

Today we had a training sesion in the morning and then a game against the Netherlands at 5pm. In between those two sessions, I had accupuncture on my shoudler to hep relieve the tightness and pain. I like accupuncture despite my fear for needles. It works. It fixed my pinched nerve at the AIS camp earlier in the year and I felt an improvement in the tightness after having it today. I just dont like it when Miranda has a bit of a poke around every few minutes.

We won our game against the Netherlands. They hit a few clutch shots throughout the game to keep them on our tail but our shooting and defence were better.

After dinner we watched the 2nd half of that game on the projector with AC Ben O stopping it every so often to show us where we went really well and what we need to work on. We play them again tomorrow is the cross overs and I am feeling pretty confident.

31 July 2009

I'm not in the best frame of mind while writing this so don't expect anything long. We had our game against the Netherlands today. We lost. This was the game to win to get us in the grand final and we lost by 9 points. It was the game in Beijing against the USA all over again, except minus the mass crying session after. I still feel crap though.

So tomorrow we play Canada for the 3rd spot. We have to win. Losing is not an option. Going from 2nd spot on the ladder to last is not an option. Its a very long flight home and I dont want to spend it moping. My job now is to get my head together, forget todays game, and concentrate on being physically and mentally prepared for tomorrow.


1 August 2009

Pinch and a punch for the first day of the month. One of the nicest months of the year: my birth month :)

Today it was the finals. We played Canada at 3pm for the third play-off. We won!

Our defence was really good, causing loads of turn-overs and shot clock violations. We got alot of our baskets through transistions but also pulled it out and ran a few of our half court plays successfully as well. There was a point where they came a but too close for comfort but even though I managed to foul a Canadian shooting a 3 during the last few seconds (after being told not too, woops! sorry guys!), she didn't make all her free throws so we won by 4 points.

Afterwards we went back to shower and change into civvies before going back to watch the end of the final game. It was awesome to see the Netherlands give the Germans a run for their money, even being up at some stages. But the Germans got their act together and won the "gold". I put gold in " because yes they came first but all they gold was one small clear glass/plastic (not sure) trophy for the team. The Netherlands and us Aussies received nothing. Hardly even a mention in the thanks for coming speech.

All the teams then had dinner at Chances R. Everyone was treated to garlic bread and caesar salad as the entree and a rib eye and veggies as the main (except for our two food diva's who were able to order their respective vegan or vegetarian meals). It was either apple crumble or a fudge brownie for dessert.

A highlight of the night was after the dinner when us Aussies taught the Netherlander's how to play cricket, except the hotel hallway version. It pretty much consisted of a dining chair as the wicket , a water bottle as the bat, and a soft ball as the cricket ball. No innings or running. Just trying to catch or wicket someone out. The Netherlands were really funny, they wanted more rules so that there could be a distinguishable winner.

After a while, everyone had had enough and it dwindled down to just chatter in the hallways. I had packed sometime earlier in the day so I went to bed a bit before the other girls.

2 August 2009
Ottowa, Canada

Travel day!

It was schedualled that taxis take us to the airport at 9am which meant waking up at 8am to be ready and have breakfast. But because Kat was leaving with the Canadians to make her flight back home to Atlanta, I got up earlier to give her a big hug goodbye (not knowing I would see her later at the airport because her flight was delayed). The taxis were a but late but eventually we were at the Ottowa airport. Check in was a nightmare. Instead of adding the weight of the bags up as a team, each individual bag couldnt be more than 23kgs. So it took a while for there to be some re-packing, with the overweight bagged people puting stuff in the underweight bags.

Then at customs they couldn't find me in the VISA waiver system so had to be escourted into another room where I gave them my receipt number to prove that I had actually done the right thing. Even though it didn't take that long for them to sort it all out, for that small amount of time I felt like a criminal. In the "naughty" room.

Finally we were boarded on our flights (we were split onto 2 different flights to Chicago). We were able to choose which seats we wanted to sit in so I chose the first 2 seater to have to myself. It was one of the small planes where there is one seat, an isle, and then 2 seats.

Chicago, USA

I slept the entire flight so to me it felt like we were hardly up in the air before the announcement was made that we were soon landing so please turn off all electrical devices and put away your tray tables. In reality the flight was no more than 2 hours long.

Once we were in Chicago we didn't need to collect any bags because everyone had theirs checked into their own final destination. We had time to go get some food and meet some really rude Americans befor ewe had to go to our gate for our next flight. This time they put us all down the back in a 3 seat, isle, 3 seat plane. The Gliders were put together (except for me, I had 2 randoms next to me) and thankfully no one needed the loo because there were lows/mids next to each other with no way of stepping over each other. Again, I pretty much slept the whole way.
Los Angeles, USA

3 to 4 hours later we touched down on the west coast of USA and into one of the most disappointing international airports I've seen in the world. I'm disappointed because you would expect that an airport that is one of the main flight hubs of the world would be pretty good yeah? Like Singapore airport. Well in LA, in the terminal we landed at, there is only a Burger King, Starbucks and a Chili's. In the Tom Bradley terminal, the one we left from, there is a Maccas, a mexican place, a sushi place and a coffee place (thats not Starbucks, which was disappointing in itself because I really wanted to try what Kat had the other day: a banana and choc slush thing made with soy milk and a shot of espresso). So there isnt much to choose from if your like me and dont want to eat chili or seafood before a long flight.

Oh, and there is nothing to do once past security. But enough complaining. Once past security, the Melbourne bound Gliders dropped the Sydney bound Gliders off at their gate before going to our own gate in the opposite direction.

Tina, Dori and I went to sit on the floor by a wall and nearly didnt get to pre-board the plane because we didnt see the others leave to board and no one had came to get us. Matt had already organised for our tickets to be re-done to make sure we didnt have the same problem as we did on the Chicago to LA flight where lows/mids were sitting next to each other. So we ended up being upgraded to premium economy.

On the airbus I had so much leg room that I didn't need but so much elbow room that I did. I had Dori next to me so she had plenty of room to step around me even though the floor at my feet became a playground of spare blankets, pillows and what not. This flight was the mother of all flights being 14 to 15 hours long. I slept for a good portion of it, being an over night flight, but I was also awake long enough to have meals, watch the new Fast and Furious movie and read my latest Picoult (Plain Truth).

Melbourne, Australia

We landed in Melbourne around 7.50am on the Tuesday (4 August 2009). Somewhere in the air I lost a day. Good thing I (or any of the other Gliders for that matter) wasnt born on the 3rd of August. It didnt take Qantas that long to get us all off but duty free shopping (a huge Toblerone bar, and 50ml Chloe eau de parfum) and Customs took a while. Boarder Control was being filmed that day but I didn't see any cameras. Then again, I didn't try to smuggle in drugs or fruit either.
It was nice to have a shower in a proper shower and have a nice home cooked meal at Dori's. I'll be staying here until WNWBL on the friday. Dori and I haven't done anything but mope around the rumpus room and play on FB and I love it. Doing nothing is great after such a long time away.