Sunday, November 27, 2011

Taking the plunge...

After 11 years we have decided to take the plunge and start a blog/website where friends and family can check up on periodically to see how we are doing.  Since neither of us are too technologically crafty, I have spent the last 3 days just trying to figure out how to just get one started. Long story short, voila, here we are. Hopefully it will get better (meaning less tedious) and serve as a place where you all can get a sneak peak into our life over here. We also hope that it may lure a few of you to make the trip over to France to see things first hand, as we promise only to post the best of what France has to offer.  After all, Shaun is not getting any younger and those of you who have not seen him in a little bit will be suprised how he has aged and I on the other hand, have made time stand still..... I have posted a pic to show you what I mean.

                                   Shaun, on the right, on an afternoon walk with a teammate.

Many of you already know, but we will do a quick synopsis to catch those out of the loop up. We are back in the Toulon for a second season. We love it here, can't beat the south of France. People come here for vacation and we get to live here and we take full advantage of it. After a great season last year, we were hoping for a repeat but when we got here we noticed the ride was awful bumpy and upon further inspection, realized the wheels had completely fallen off the bus.  It must of happened over the summer.  It became apparant that at some time between the signing of the players for xx amount when the league had only approved x amount, the wheels said, "gather your things boys, we're outta here."  So needless to say, there has been a lot of shady underhanded things going on but it wouldn't be European basketball if things ran smoothly. On top of all that, Shaun went and got himself hurt (turned ankle)  after the first game so he has been out for 7 weeks. Came home from practice and said, "should of just hung out near the 3 point line...don't know what I was thinking trying to get to the basket." We all know Shaun's game is above and around the rim, (dunks, alley oops, 360's etc...I mean real AND1 stuff) so it was such a suprise to hear he stepped on someone's foot when he was driving to the basket. Talking about a guy who can't shoot a 3 to save his life.  Lol, you all saw the above picture of Shaun walking with his teammate right, notice the cane, or do I need to post it again?? Fortunately for us, he is back practicing and basketball is only 20% of our lives here ( thanks Coach Weisz for the 1 practice a day) which leaves the rest for us to enjoy. So that is where this comes in, we are going to try to do our best to share all our fun travels and adventures with you in pictures and words, and at the least, when this is all done we will have something to look back on and remember our fun times.

Having said that, we took a day trip to Italy on saturday. Just over the french border about 2 hours from us is a little town called Ventimiglia. We have been meaning to go for the last year and a half but we were just so so busy, we never made it there, hear the sarcasam please. The weather was great and the drive was absolutely beautiful, passing by nice, cannes and Monaco on the way. Got there around lunch time and ate immediately. For those of you that have visited you already know, but in europe in general, you can only eat lunch at the restaurants between 11:30- 3 ( or somewhere around there), then they shut the kitchen down and APPEAR to be open for food, but NO, you can only get drinks. It is very frustrating at times so we made sure to time it right. We have been here too long to make that rookie mistake. After lunch, dessert, and coffee we strolled around the little town. Being so close to France, french is widely spoken there so we felt comfortable. But by the time we left that night, Shaun was convinced that if you threw an Italian accent on any word, they would understand. Me, not so much. Sure they would understand us, they would understand us to be idiots.  What we did see was that the ability to communicate just with their hands was amazing. Sure fire way to frustrate an Italian- zip tie those bad boys together. We spent the afternoon wandering and walking thru the open air food markets. We also saw the smallest car in the world, or at least in my opinion.

                                         Notice the guy folding himself up to get into the car.

Shaun didn't want anyone to see him standing near the car taking a picture, so he gave me the stop, put my hands in pockets, ponder life, shifty eyes..........and ok, quick now take it. He did a good job, don't you think? The car was tiny, but hey, so are the streets in Europe so who has the last laugh!?! We stuck around for dinner which was the best meal we both have had in a long time, and not prissy little portions either. The portions were so big that we brought about half of our plates home with us to enjoy as leftovers. All in all, Italy was great. The food was unbelievable, the city was nice and the people were even better. We came away with a new found appreciation for Italian food and when I mentioned to Shaun that I wanted to start learning Italian, he responded with , 'maybe you should perfect french first'. One might think of that as a shootdown, but I choose to focus on the 'first'  part of that sentence......there is hope for me yet.

Here are some more pics from Italy

Sunset in Ventimiglia
No football no party- pretty much says it all
Yep, that's a full beard folks!!