Friday, August 24, 2012

European 'personal space'

  We all know that Europeans have a different definition of 'personal space', or to be honest with you, I don't think they actually have a definition for that word at all. Any American has had this are in line waiting for something and the person behind you is so close, they can read your mind. Or when you are driving, the people behind you are so close you can only see those who are riding in the back seat. For me it's normal, I have been here too long for anything like that to bother me (although ask me in May when I have been here for 9 straight months and then it may bother me). HOWEVER, the other day I was at the beach enjoying the nice weather and the water and after swimming a bit, I came back to my towel and decided to lay face down for a bit. There was a lot of people that day at the beach but there was a good bit of space where I was. So after I nod off, I look up and this picture is exactly what I zoom, nothing.

 All I see is this man's junk nearly on my head. He is so close that his legs are split to go around my that is the kind of European close I can't deal with. I had to snap a picture, if anything to make him aware that it was a bit weird he was so close. He never got the point, and I packed up and left shortly after. After I left, he spread out even more and the more I think of it, I think that was his plan all along. So there is a method to their madness....

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Confessions...(or 'may haves' if you will)

These are our confessions (Usher has nothing on us) from the last few days which have been our first few days back in France, you stick with me there?

We may have sat at the bench just across the street from the cafe/restaurant that offers wifi every day (our Internet is still not up and running). Karma got the best of me though when I stepped in dog shit while staring at my iphone trying to get a better signal. Karma 1, Nikki 0.

We may have said the word 'awesome' or the phrase 'freakin' awesome' a gazillion times in reference to our new city.

We (or maybe it should be said that I) have eaten equal parts butter/bread for the last few days. So good to be back in the land of oh so creamy/salty butter. On another note...hello cholesterol!!

We may have walked until our feet and backs hurt these past few days..then we walked some more.( I'm sure Shaun's coach will be happy to hear that.)

We may have turned our air-conditioning on full blast because...we can and it's hot as nutz here.

We (I) may have gotten pretty excited for the rolley/grocery thingie left at our place since I will be the one walking to the markets every day for fresh produce. And I am thinking that looking like a pack mule in this heat would not be my best look. Nikki 1, Karma 1, don't really know if it's karma that I get a point against but I needed to get it back. So yeah Karma, take that!!

We may have gotten up super early (ok, not super early, maybe 8 something, it's all relative people) to beat the tourists to the beach and get a good spot. What we found was that they must have slept there because by 9am, the place was crawling with speedo-clad dudes, nutters and saggy man boobs...lovely.

We may have had glasses of rose...multiple days and multiple times a day, you do the math. (Again, I'm sure Shaun's coach will be happy.)

We may have used our car 1 time in the last 5 days because we are that central to everything.

Speaking of cars, we may have put the wrong gas in the car and had to sit on the side of the highway and wait for a tow-truck. DISCLAIMER...the club informed us of which gas to use and even after us saying the car sounded awfully dieselly (if that is a word), they stuck with telling us it was regular gas. Come to find out, it is not....and no, that is not why we only used the car 1 time.

While at the beach, we may have seen the weirdest water/air craft ever. It was a dingy with wings. Our curiosity got the best of us and we may have stayed an extra 20 minutes at the beach to watch this contraption land. Shaun's pale skin is thanking us as we speak.

I may have seen the guy who runs an outdoor candy stall getting his stall set up yesterday. And I know, no denying it, I saw his dog pee on the bags of candy he placed on the ground while setting up his table. Note to anyone in Antibes- steer clear of the candy stall towards the end with the dogs and soggy candy.

Shaun may have asked me last night if the baguette we brought home to eat with dinner was going to actually make it to dinner. I replied honestly and with a full mouth, " I don't know."

We may have watched 25 minutes of fireworks last night just outside our place because the original  fete national fireworks (think July 4th) had to be cancelled and postponed to yesterday. Halfway through the show, Shaun leaned over to me and whispered, "I did this all for you." Seriously...?

I may replace my Bumble and Bumble sea spray with the real thing because I have been rocking some great beach hair for the last 2 days.

I may have been stung by a jellyfish 2 minutes into going into the water today. (Didn't really hurt too much so the verdict is still out if it was really a jellyfish sting or just the saltwater hitting a previous scratch.) But from here on out for stories sake, I will refer to this as 'sharkgate" where I was bitten by the world's smallest shark. FYI- I asked Shaun if he would pee on it if needed, to which he replied "Sure, but back at the house." Who knew he had public 'pee-fright'.

Did I mention we may have used the word 'awesome' to describe our location??? Well that is what you get when your new place is 100-150 yards off the ocean. And we are not talking about any ocean, we are talking about the French Riviera..

Oh, and I may have written this post at said cafe with free wifi and a few glasses of rose under my belt so excuse the grammatical errors.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Olympic fever

{Our uniforms all laid out before the finals by our manager...even sprayed a rose gold for us}

     Unless you have been living under a rock, you have caught Olympic fever or know someone who has. It is all around us,not even sure hiding under a rock will spare you. There are the billboards, the t.v. ads, and also NBC's awesomely terrible coverage of showing marquee events on a 5 or 6 hour time delay (don't get me started on watching swimming already knowing what the results are). And seriously NBC, how is that possible when we can access anything from anywhere in the world on the NBC, shame on you. But I think we can all agree that the Olympics bring out the country pride and the competitiveness in all of us. And I have to admit, it is pretty darn cool being from a country that is either a favorite or a top competitor in all sports. So needless to say, I have enjoyed the last week or so, so much so that there is a permanent ass print on our couch, not really proud of that but I'm going for honesty here. But the Olympics hold a special place in my heart. Not just because it is an awesome event but also because I was fortunate enough to be on the 2000 Olympic team in Sydney. Yes, we won a medal..although it felt more like we lost gold than won silver (happens when you are the favorite) but the experience off the field was what I will remember most. For some reason, this Olympics has me reminiscing more than ever. I am thinking it could be 1 of 2 things.... 1- I am getting older and need to hold onto my 'glory days' or 2- my mom made me go through all my old soccer stuff when we were in San Diego and bring everything back to Atlanta so it is fresh on my mind. Please let it be #2 cause I would sure hate to be one of those people who need their 'glory days'.  But it was a once in a lifetime experience (for most) and I am hoping by re-visiting it, it will resist fading in my memory for a few years longer later on in life... hopefully. I won't go into all the details (I could go on forever) so I will let the pics tell the story.

Marching/Opening Ceremonies

Hands down, my favorite part of the Olympics. You get to spend time with all the other athletes for hours and just mingle and meet each other. It doesn't matter if you are in the NBA or you are on the Ping Pong team, everyone asks each other for pictures and autographs, no one is too cool. Actually I take that back, there were 2 female tennis athletes that were sisters who were not too approachable. I won't name names but it's pretty easy to figure who these two are.  But other than that, it was unreal. And the chaos of when you actually march... you start with your team and by half a lap, you find yourself intermixed with all the other sports, very cool indeed.

{Waiting to march}

{We chose not to wear the footwear provided since they were very uncomfortable. So instead, we all looked like idiots...but we were comfy}

{Tommy Lasorda}

{Taking a breather before marching..we waited for hours before we were called to the stadium since it goes in alphabetical order}

{The start of marching}

{Love love love Tubby Smith, so after this picture he asked me where I was from, and I became flustered and said "umm, USA". To which he replied, "yeah, I figured that. Your outfit gave it away." Really!?! That was the best I could come up with? Still kicking myself}

{Bri and I}

{Mingling with tennis folk, Lindsay Davenport}

{Marion Jones was huge in the 2000 Olympics and was extremely friendly. Her and her husband are soccer fans so they attended a few of our games}

{Danielle Slaton and idea who we were with at that time}

Soccer/Medal Ceremony

We lost in overtime to Norway in the final. It was a great game but just didn'g go our way. The medal ceremony was still emotional and awesome to hear the National Anthem being played, kind of bittersweet.

{Getting into the 'American' spirit}

{Brandi and I cheesing it up}

{Being idiots, guess Julie Foudy didn't get the memo that we were all smiling}

{Medal ceremony}

{Team pic after showering and decompressing a bit}

{Carl Lewis at the Nike hospitality tent}

{The Today Show...after a few drinks}

{Katie took the time to speak to all of us and take pictures with us}