Nov 5, 2008

The 51st post!!!



Hello Everyone,

A lot has happened in between our two weeks off with no league game. I will start with the scrimmage we had last week. We played a division 2 team who was not very good. It is hard to get up for that game when you have everything to lose and nothing really to gain from it, and of course the other team is playing has hard as they can. For me I would still rather play the game then doing a full practice. We were handling the team pretty easily with a 20 point lead in the third quarter when one of my teammates tried to tip dunk a missed shot and broke the rim. It was comical because he is like 6'5" 200 pounds. I was in the corner of the floor next to the opponent’s bench when it happened. I looked over at there coach and told him good game. He was like "I guess it is over". It had to be a little frustrating for them driving 2 hours to not get to play almost half of the game.

I had some food mishaps during the week off. I tried to step out of my normal cooking comfort zone and bought some sauce for some noodles and chicken. I thought it was a cream of mushroom or something similar, WHOA! I was way off. It ended up being some Dijon mustard sauce with carrots in the bottle as well. Luckily I did not put it on my noodles just the chicken I was baking. I was able to scrape that off pretty easily, but what made it worse was I just covered the noodles and chicken with ketchup and BBQ sauce (hopefully your not eating while you’re reading this). I felt like I was five again when my parents had to put ketchup on my broccoli to eat it. Anyway it was a horrible idea and I ate the chicken and had to throw the noodles out. That was followed up by another terrible purchase. I bought some tuna, but I could not read the polish on the side that said covered in tomato sauce (that is just an excuse if I was paying attention you could easily tell). I wanted to make some tuna salad so I tried to rinse the tuna off (four cans) another terrible idea that did not work. The birds ended up with a gourmet meal and I had to settle for the reliable P & J. I must say the food in Berlin made up for these little mishaps.

Drew, Kevin, and Ariana (Kevin’s girlfriend) rode with coach to Berlin to tour for the weekend. We stayed at a hostel called “Generator”. It was decent, in a nice location next to the tram system, with okay rooms. It is not high time for backpacking so it was not very crowded and it was pretty cheap. I figured the best way to tell you about my trip is with pictures and I will give the stories below them.

The first night we hung out at the bar that was in the hostel listening to some comedians that hopefully they did not pay because they were not very good. Then we took a tram to a side of town where some other night spots were and found a place with some good food and a good atmosphere.





This was at the hostel and since it was Halloween, Kevin's girlfriend had a mask for me to where around Berlin. It kind of made me look like the hambuglar just with out the striped shirt.




On Saturday it turned out to be a really nice day and drew and I rode bikes all around Berlin. It took us about 6 hours and we had seen pretty much everything you could see in downtown Berlin.



Above is famous checkpoint charlie. The guy that holds the American flag was on break when I took the picture.



The famous Reichstag (spelling) .



The gate they stole from Paris (kidding but they have this same thing in downtown Paris.)






A huge TV tower in East Berlin that you can see from almost anywhere downtown and a church right in front of it.



The Berlin wall. A section that was graffiti by someone good!



How many people have rode a tiny rental bike in front of the Berlin Wall??



Victory tower!

These were just some of the highlights of our bike ride and what we got to see. We also saw the Holocaust memorial. It is a very unique memorial and hard to explain. At this point we were getting very hungry and I forget to take a picture because my stomach was leading the way. We stopped at a authentic German cafe. Drew and I ended up getting the meal for two which was a pretty good portion as you can see from the picture below. I did not get to my camera out in time to catch the sparklers that were going when they brought it.



This lunch was amazing and we followed it up with a great dinner. We met Coach, his wife, and our agent in Germany Ingo at Tony Roma's. I had steak and ribs and it was unbelievable. For some reason it is very hard to get beef here in Poland. After dinner we tried to go to a cocktail lounge at the top of a 17 floor building where you rode a glass elevator up. It was Saturday night and we had too big of a group. Instead we went to a place called Victoria bar. I would characterize it as a upscale Manhattan bar. It was really packed but a cool place.

We had no plans for Sunday and we were not leaving until 6 PM. Kevin and Ariana went on a tour of a concentration camp, but I did not feel like hearing all about that and seeing that madness. I had a class in high school called "Holocaust" and that pretty much gave me my fill. Drew and I decided to go see the Olympic stadium from 1936. It took us about an hour to get there via the tram system but it was a really good idea and the stadium was very cool. They charged 4 Euros to go inside and they had little glass information boards throughout the entire stadium talking about the history of it.






The stadium is still a working soccer stadium for the Berlin team. They renovated the stadium in 2000 or sometime around there adding the roof and chairs and all the other things to make it a modern stadium. The outside and other venues that were built for the 1936 Olympics were still intact like they were back then.

After we toured the stadium we went back into east Berlin where they had one of the biggest urban development projects. They had two theaters and all types of restaurants and even a casino. In fact they were setting up for the premiere of "007". we rode the fastest elevator in Europe I believe. It went from floor one to 24 in like 20 seconds. There was a nice 360 degree view from the top, but it was pretty foggy.

They also had a Christmas market so you know we had to get a bratwurst. That was our appetizer before we went to the restaurant for lunch. Drew called the place "Disney world of beer fest". The girls wore the stereotypical outfits you see from the movies, it was a big tent, and family style seating. The lunch again was amazing, I believe I had bread dumplings with pork, lamb, and beef. After lunch we went back to the market so I could get a fresh crepe for dessert and drew chose a another bratwurst for his. Overall, Berlin was a great time and much needed break from the everyday routine.

BACK TO PLAYING



We played the 34th best team in Europe according to Eurobasket. We were ranked 65th before the game. We played a very solid game and went into overtime. They went on a 6-0 run at the start of overtime and we could not come back from that. We gave up too many offensive boards and made a few mistakes on defense. Good teams make you pay when you do that, and they were definitely a good team. They have David Logan who is from North Central (same school as skip). I would have to say skip won this match up leading our team with 20 something points.

I played a decent game shooting 2-3 from 3, but missed both my two point jump shots in 17 minutes. I grabbed a couple rebounds and got a couple deflections. The one three I missed was right before halftime and it was down and back out.

We play 4 games in two weeks against teams that are towards the top of the league and 3 of them are on the road. We should find out a lot about our team in these games.

Until next time!

This is BC gone for now

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brandon,

great update and pics! :)

glad you had lots of fun in berlin
it was nice to read about your experiences there.

good luck and win some games!

Big Al

Anonymous said...

Great photos from Berlin :D . Thanks for the game against Prokom. Good Luck on Tuesday. We will be with you there

Karen said...

Always love your travel stories and food stories, maybe you should think about Food network..........
Miss you.....

Lv Karen

Anonymous said...

great blog
you need to thank drew for his help with the photography. love the pics.
Note: Todd A is playing in Latvia check facebook... According to his dad.
miss ya.
lookin forward to holidays
BC