Sunday, March 31, 2013

Insta-goodness (pretty much all of March)

{Took a walk on Easter Sunday and spent some time enjoying the sun and warm weather}

     Ok, so if you all thought I was slightly exaggerating about the crappy weather we have had, then you would be wrong. Shortly after my last post, I read an article in our local paper addressing the grayness and constant rain March brought. Since some of you do not read French, I will sum it up for basically said... I was right, March sucked. (Now if I could only get the paper to back me up on my multiple B.S. statements when talking to Shaun, I would be golden.) No, but seriously, it said we have had more rain in just 3 days of March than in March of '10, '11, and '12 combined...and that was just 3 days early on in March, and I will tell you, it continued. So with April arriving tomorrow, we are very hopeful that the weather will turn and we will be able to check things off on our end of the year 'bucket list' and if today was a preview, I like what I am seeing April, carry on.

{This guy was passing out at the club and I asked Shaun to take a pic of me with him...the guy rallied and opened his eyes. My hashtags read  #unlikefloridaclubcanhandlehimrightnow and #impassedoutbutgoingtopretendlikeimponderinglife}

{St. Patrick's Day goodies}

{A bright and sunny day which I thought was just a teaser of what was to come}

{Another sunny day and I decided I was going to have my morning coffee out at the beach from here on a little ahead of myself with the weather}

{Next morning, this is what we woke to. I had to dodge that cloud all through Antibes on my run. I am proud to say, not a drop found it's way on me}

{An unexpected and very much appreciated 'care package' from the Martins}

{The gazillionth day in a row of rain}

{Found a mozzarella bar in Nice and proceeded to eat this along with a plate of meats and then do it all again right after. I was good with Milan and their 'mozzy' bar since it was a 3 hour drive but Nice is only 15 minutes away, a little too tempting}

{Got a little giddy with the sun and pulled out an app and wrote on a picture. The sun does weird things to me}

{Visited the Absinthe Bar in Antibes and tried some absinthe. Since I love black licorice, I was in heaven but the entire process was cool, albeit a little heroin like with a spoon, but cool none the less. The ambiance added to the night with a crazy piano player, the passing of hats and singing out loud with strangers. Must. Do. Again.}

Saturday, March 23, 2013

End of the year 'Bucket List'

{Sun, water and a cold beer}
 I can pretty much guarantee that those who live the same lives as us overseas have at least once uttered the words, "oh we'll get around to it". This phrase often times doubles as code for "once it warms up again, we will do it'.  And some do get around to it, and others would... if they could. For us, I can't complain. We have lived up in the north of France where it was cold and gray but never had to worry about snow towards the end of the season so I feel somewhat bad about touching on this subject. However, there has been those years where we missed out on activities because we waited too long and the weather changed and never really changed back before we headed home in late May/early June. Now living in the South of France, one would think we wouldn't have to worry about that, but I'm beginning to worry people. March has been mostly ughhhhh with 2 or 3 days of teasing sunshine. Shaun and I have counted around 18 days already this month in where we have had rain at some point during the day. At first it went unnoticed, then while I was looking at old pictures from Toulon last week, I saw we were beach bound around this time... then panic set in. What if this is one of those years where it really warms up in mid June....right when we are heading back to the US? I know good old Atlanta will bring the heat right when we get back but there is no sea there, no crystal clear waters and certainly not located about a block and a half from our place. So in order to be fully prepared and leave no stone unturned when it does warm up (doing everything in my power to will it to be warm like wearing neon colors, refusing to wear my big jacket and buying lots of lemons for lemonade), I am gathering all my things that I want to do before we head back to the states all in one place, an 'end of the year Bucket List'. God, Shaun is lucky to have someone as prepared (anal) as me...

So here goes...

Get back out on a boat. In October, we went out with some friends to celebrate a birthday and we got the itch. Must. Do. Again.

Get a tan. I am a shade of white that is not attractive right now and Shaun has turned this weird green color. I am waiting for him to bulk up and rip off his t-shirt a la 'The Hulk'. (I know when he reads this the first thing that will cross his mind is 'bulk up'? What? Hasn't she seen me lately?) Help!!

Attend the Monaco Grand Prix. A few years ago, we went to the practice round and talked about it ever since.

Take an end of the year trip. It will be hard because wherever we go, we will leave a sunny (hopefully) French Riviera but a change of scenery is always good. We have thrown around Italy, Spain, London and even Ireland since our Irish friends are pushing it.

Make a Key lime pie.

Use our snorkel gear. We bought snorkel gear a few years ago and used it quite often in Toulon. Could knock out 2 in 1 go if we do that while on the boat.

Go parasailing. The mecca for water activities is on the beach right in front of our house so no excuses.

Do another photo shoot with our friend Romain, just Shaun and I. We have too many self photos of the two of us. And too many turn out to be boogie checkers.

Have a team BBQ. Show the Frenchies what we do as Americans with hot dogs, hamburgers and maybe some smores to boot.

Run 13.1 miles. I will not say run a half-marathon because I have no desire to wake up early, get a number and stand in line with the many others just to run 13.1 miles. So instead, I will run 13.1 miles myself through town. Need to remember not to run past the house at any time because as history has proven, it is impossible for me to run by the house and not stop.

Have a picnic on the beach. Last year, I had full intentions of cooking this elaborate meal for our sunset picnic and in the end, we picked up KFC and it was AWESOME, no muss no fuss, just awesome.

Last but not least, get Shaun in a speedo, grape smuggler, banana hammock, ding-a-ling sling, budgie smuggler, spee-don't...whatever, you want to call it, I am dying to get him in one. Think this is more funny to me because it will never happen.

{Our KFC picnic with the most unbelievable sunset...and the dreaded long arm self photo}

Friday, March 15, 2013

The long road to recovery

    Having been an athlete in the past, I understand what injuries are. Some are small, some are nagging and then some are big, or shall I say shitty. I was fortunate enough to never experience the 'shitty' injuries, just broke a few bones here and there and rolled my ankles but nothing major. Up until November, I always thought that a torn ACL was the worst an athlete could suffer but seeing Shaun's Achilles first hand, I think an argument could be made that they both are equally devastating. And not in the searing pain of the actual injury way but in the long rehab one faces after the fact. Shaun was reading an article on Derek Jeter about his recovery from breaking his ankle and how he described it as 'learning how to walk' again. Sounds dramatic, I know. But there really isn't any better way to sum it up. So in agreeance with the Yankees skipper, Shaun has had to learn how to walk again. Only this time, with a tighter tendon, overall less mobility and with a calf that has not seen use in months. I won't lie and say it has been all rainbows and butterflies, but after 4 months of constant re-hab and activity, he has started jogging again. And not just jogging anywhere, but jogging on the soft sand at the beach. Sure, every morning he limps for the first few minutes until the tendon warms up and stretches out, but to be able to run again is such a great reward for all the hard work he has put in. He is progressing almost daily and most say that this time is when progress is most visible. I have already caught him jump shooting and we are secretly hoping the surgeon replaced his Achilles with someone else's that was an incredible jumper so that when Shaun jumps of his right foot, many will refer to him as the new Jordan, only white. And only off his right foot. So I guess that is not really like Jordan-esque at all. Or, even better, in 30 years Fein will be the new Jordan. But in the meantime, I am going to take advantage of this time and go for runs with Shaun since I am sure this may be the only time I can beat him. In other words,  I will strike while the iron's hot since knowing Shaun, it won't last long.

{Not bad when this is your view while rehabbing}

Sunday, March 10, 2013

30 Random Facts (Shaun edition)

{A round at Torrey Pines in sunny San Diego}
Nikki did her random facts so I figured I would share some of mine. Here goes nothing...

1. I was born in Pennsylvania, but only lived there for a year before moving to Michigan.

2. I began kindergarten in Massachusetts after moving from Michigan to Cape Cod, and never managed to pick up the Massachusetts accent!

3. Growing up, my favorite sport was baseball.

4. I do not like eggs... onions... peppers...and most fish. (Most likely to the dismay of my parents since they ran many restaurants when I was growing up).

5. I played soccer, basketball and baseball, but concentrated solely on basketball after my sophomore year in high school.

6. I was the only player in the starting five of my AAU team to not receive a Division 1 scholarship offer out of High School. (I'm sure being 6'3" and 160 lbs soaking wet didn't have anything to do with it).

7. I first attended Stonehill College (Division 2) before transferring to Georgia Tech.

8. I don't like coffee, but love coffee ice cream.

9. I am left footed and hit lefty in baseball, but throw and shoot right handed.  I played golf left handed until I was around 13 years old when my Dad switched me over to golfing right handed. Smart guy..this was way before Mickelson's success gave lefties the options available today.

10. My favorite food is Italian, with Mexican coming in a close second.

11. I never liked tomatoes until I moved to France. Now I absolutely love them.

12. When I was a kid my parents had to set an egg timer for me at dinner because I always ate so sloooow. My brother would have to wait until I was finished until he could leave the table. I now understand why he used to beat the crap out of me. And I used to say that I was full, but somehow always found room for dessert.

13. I wanted to play hockey when I was a kid, but my parents quickly introduced me to a basketball.  Not only were they worried about me getting hurt, but I am sure they did not like the sound of 5:30am practice time. Worked out ok.

14. I first learned to drive on a stick. Good thing because there are not many automatic cars here in Europe. Unfortunately for Nikki, she did not know how to drive a stick when she moved to France and therefore, had me as her "teacher".

15. My parents had a restaurant "Whatchamacallits" (like the candy bar) growing up and it was always stocked with boxes and boxes of the candy bar. I secretly knew where they stored them and that may or may not have lead to all the cavities I had.

16. I love playing golf over the summer but hate that I have to wake up so early to beat the heat and humidity of Atlanta.

17. The first time I ever left the US (not including Canada) was when I began my professional career in France. 3 weeks before I left, my agent called me to make sure that I had my passport... and I said " Do I need one?" I had to have it expedited so I could take my flight.

18. I love dogs. I had a golden retriever when I was younger, but we had to get rid of him because he was not getting the attention he needed since we were all too busy. My parents sent him to their friend's house in New Hampshire because they had a "FARM" with a lot of room for him to run around. As I got older I realized what sending a dog to a friend's "FARM" really meant. My parents swear its true still to this day.

19. I am terrified of snakes. Just the thought of them slithering around makes my skin crawl.

20. I sometimes have anxiety when I fly. It gets worse as I get older. Ask Nikki how her hand feels when we hit turbulence!

21. I think I want to do a mini sprint triathlon after I retire from basketball.  I say 'think' because it sounds good in my head right now, but am not sure if I will enjoy the training for it.

22. I am not the leading scorer in the history of my high school. That honor goes to my brother, who may or may not have threatened to beat the shit out of me if I didn't give him the ball those two years we played together.

23. I like to watch a lot of sports on television, even golf. Cut to Nikki sleeping on the couch.

24. My favorite movie is Shawshank Redemption.

25. My favorite actor in comedies in Vince Vaughn. The way he ad-libs and goes off on tangents in Wedding Crashers amazes me. Would love to have a few beers with him. However, I say that, but I once had the opportunity to meet him at a party during the Final Four in St. Louis but was too chicken shit to walk over and talk to him.

26. Early on when Nikki and I were dating, she asked me if I was good at tennis and I may have replied "I'm an athlete, I am good at everything I do" to try to impress her.

27. Contrary to the announcers here in France my last name is not pronounced 'FEIGN' or 'FEN', it is pronounced 'FINE'. And contrary to my coach's multiple inquiries, I am not Jewish, I am Irish Catholic.

28. I am not a good cook, but I do make a mean raspberry vinaigrette dressing.

29. I would like to be a coach or stay involved in basketball in some capacity after my playing days are over.

30. The best decision I ever made was asking Nikki to marry me!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Insta-goodness (2/11-3/4)

Not much action on the Instagram front for us, but here are the ones that made the cut over the last 2 weeks. The weather has begun to turn a little Spring-like so you may notice a beach theme going on here.

{Dusk on the beach at Juan les Pins}

{The crystal clear waters are back..looking forward to being able to go into the water here soon. The only people crazy enough to go in now are the Brits}

{This past weekend was bright blue skies and warm weather, makes me want to bring out the BBQ}

{Dog-sitting for a teammate. Bear is the perfect subject, down to the sandy nose}

{Attempted to turn back time and re-enact my early 20's on Saturday night. Failed miserably, but not before getting this beauty of us doing our best Usher impersonation, 'Peace Up A-town Down". Unlike Jamie Foxx though, I will not 'Blame it on the alcohol' but will definitely blame it on the glasses. Need I mention I spent all Sunday in bed recovering. NEVER. FELT. SO. BAD. I tried to figure out where it went all wrong and came to the conclusion that it was when I sent my Cranberry-vodka drink back because it needed more vodka and less cranberry...}