First day on tour and if this is any indication, we should be in for a great experience. Flawless transfer and US Airways were fantastic, except our breakfast consisted of a roll. The kids actually got into trouble for their loud and unorganized behavior in Philadelphia and for that I gave them 10 team sit ups when we were going to land, then the flight crew were very leary of our group and tried to emphasize to me about keeping them under control, etc. I told them not to worry. When the flight was finished, the steward came on the loudspeaker and announced that in his 14 years of flying, that we were the most respectful and well behaved group he has ever seen and the entire plane gave us an ovation, so we have that going for us. Needless to say that after that turn of events I took away the team sit ups. But no fear, you know we have someone doing sit ups for messing around with a passport. Any guesses? Some would guess one of our younger female players, but they would be wrong. Chris Flores was our first casualty as we found his passport on the concrete as we loaded up the bus. Granted it was after our first stop, but go figure.
Getting a little ahead of myself here so let me back up just a few hours. We landed at 5:45 am and of course the kids did not sleep much, too excited. Got our bags and then met our California boys who were already there watching World Cup games, and then picked our last player, another California boy, who flew in at 7 am. Last but not least, our Swedish coach, Lennart, met us at our bus and now our group is complete. We have 20 boys total - Derek from Seattle, Aram, Tanner, Adrian, and Alex from California. Trevor, Dustin, Chris, Kyle and Aidan from Amarillo and Dalton, Chris, Will, Josh, Matthew M, Matt S, Brandon, Clay, Junior, and Ross, all from Dallas. Our 13 girls include Callan, Alison, and Hannah from Amarilllo and Devin, Ellen, Codie, Katie, Lauren, Paige, Kara, Cheyenne, Morgan, and Melissa from Dallas. Staff includes myself, Charles, Lennart, and our trainer Anita.
After we loaded our bus we then drove to the Rheine Valley and took a cable car up to the top of the vineyards, great day, sunny and bright. After some photo ops, the kids walked down the vineyards and had lunch on their own. Their first test. Most of them had authentic German food while some tried chicken nuggets and hot dogs and were disappointed. We then had our passport episode and after a quick potty break we drove 3 hours to Soest, our home for the next several days. Checked into the sportscenter and then Charles and I took the kids on a 3 mile hike through downtown Soest. Ask them about our jog, it was a blast. I am big about sweating out a long trip.
Back to the center and we got a few balls out and joined some local Germans and South Africans, who are staying with us, and played soccer or juggled for 2 hours. Time to eat, and eat we did. Pasta with chicken stroganoff and salad, great stuff. Had a few kids miss some of the kids names, Ellen and Brandon, to be precise and for that Ellen has to do 4000 sit ups and Brandon 2000 situps. 1000 for each name they missed. They get a second chance at breakfast. Kids are now learning our Stars N Stripes song and working on their Brazilian and then curfew at 10pm.
Great first day and cannot guarantee all of my updates will be this detailed but we had a great day. The kids will call home tomorrow from the internet cafe and we will speak to you then. Our first session on Friday is at 6:30 am.