The excitement on this trip started before we even left the city of Chicago. Surrounded by a circle of 6’5, 300lbs bodyguards, was Aubrey Graham also known as the rapper Drake. As excited as I was, I wasn’t nearly as thrilled as Brandon Paul who hopped up from seat to plead for a picture. Brandon got his picture.
All I did is give Drake that awkward stare that says, “I know who you are but I’m not going to tell you, I’m just going to tell the people next to me.” It’s just like the stares my teammates and I get when were out to eat at a restaurant around Champaign, except on a different level.
So our flight took 8 hours and left Chicago at 6pm and arrived in Brussels at 9am the next morning. If you’re counting at home, obviously I’m missing a few hours somewhere. My Thursday night was accelerated at an alarming rate. It was only dark for three hours! (I know this because I witnessed it. It’s physically impossible for me to fall asleep anywhere but a bed.)
I see it as time travel, but I guess the most logical reason is because we traveled against the rotation of the Earth with a turbo boost of tail wind and a helping hand of changing time zones. But even with all that said I’m still seven hours in the future and you’re not, ha!
After surviving practice on the day of arrival, our first full day here we toured the city of Bruges, Belgium. Bruges is most famous for being the lace capitol of the world. Lace panties, lace bras, lace placements, yes that kind of lace. During the tour, we ate lunch in the town square, and I couldn’t help but notice the ridiculous prices for food and drinks. Considering the outrageous conversion rate from the U.S. dollar to the Euro, which is $1.30 to every Euro right now; it was 12e for a bowl of spaghetti, 4e for bread sticks, and 6e for a liter of water! The whole time I’m thinking I could go to Olive Garden in America and have this exact meal, with unlimited salad, bread sticks and WATER, for half the price in American dollars.
The first game was also that day and as you can imagine it was full of tired eyes and jet-lagged legs. Even though we were a step slower than normal, we still pulled out the sloppy win by 10 points or so. No one’s arguing, a win is a win.
The next game we played was after another nights rest, and we definitely played like it too. Everybody was up bouncing around, getting hyped and couldn’t wait to get started. We won this game too, and I even managed to put together a solid game. I blame it on the pregame meal though, which consisted of an authentic Belgium waffle, smothered in strawberries, chocolate syrup, and vanilla ice cream. It was delicious.
I think that pretty much covers everything for now, as we don’t play another game for a couple days. Tomorrow we travel to London, England to sightsee and I’m really looking forward to it. I’ve always wanted to go to England and now I got the chance. I may never get another opportunity like this so I'm going to take full advantage. I’ll make sure to post some pictures when I get back. For right now, here are some of the pictures I’ve already taken. Enjoy!
Don't forget to follow me on twitter: @tylergriffey
Even though @coachjayprice seems to be beating me to the updates.
The team in front of the Atomium in Brussels