Midnight in Paris

I’m in Paris! Ah.  It is sooo crazy to think that playing volleyball has given me the opportunity to travel and see so many beautiful things.  I have been looking forward to this trip all week, despite another not so exciting week of practice.  After last weekend’s win, I was pretty exhausted almost all week.  I got a long massage on Monday to get my legs in a little better shape, but playing 6 rotations definitely took it’s toll on me.  But I really can’t complain!  I was able to practice 100% this week and it was definitely good to get back into the swing of things.  Here is one of our team photos from the tournament, and my new jerseys!  I’m so happy to finally have Cikra on my back again 🙂

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To add a little spice to my week, I have started meal planning, cooking fun dinners and trying to stay paleo (as much as I can here, in the land of cheese and bread).  This week I made bacon brussel sprouts and spaghetti squash and meatballs.  I finally found quinoa at a different grocery store, so I could start having my favorite quinoa and almond milk with fruit for breakfast.

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Can you say YUM? — The iPhone 5 takes such AMAZING pictures when I don’t have my rebel with me 🙂

While we are on the subject of food…

A pair of totally not paleo, but amazingly delicious croque monsieurs (at the bakery (boulangerie) they call these croque Maries):

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Pregame meal in Paris, and tarte aux pomme, a classic French dessert:

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We took the high speed TGV up to Paris, which I am basically a pro at now after the Belgium mishap.  Once we got to Paris we all took the metros together.  The system is SO easy to get around and I can’t wait to come back.  I feel like I got my bearings so easily here.  The city is soo amazing, and what I got to see barely scratched the surface of all there is to see.  After lunch we had a little time to explore before the match, and I know that it seems crazy that we were in Paris, and got Starbucks, but I had to enjoy my first, and probably last Pumpkin Spice Soy Latte of the season while I could (the closest Starbucks to Istres is in Marseille).  Alyssa, Dana and I went for a little walk on our break to find it!   We didn’t have enough time to sight see because our hotel was about a 20 minute metro ride from many of the sights.

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So, I started the blog before our match against Paris Saint Cloud and here I am finishing it after 🙂

The Parisian team has a bigger budget than us, and has in the past been expected to beat us.  Because they have a bigger budget they are able to pay more for big players.  Being in my first year, I really go into everything with an open mind expecting to beat everyone, and Paris was no exception.  We started off slow, but our strong serving helped us get back into the match quickly.  The pin hitters for Paris are very good at tooling and avoiding the block so I got frustrated, because I wasn’t “getting paid” and making points with big blocks like I usually do.  Despite my lackluster performance, the team pulled out a sweep against a team we were “supposed” to lose to.  I think we played far from our best, but we still beat them handily.  It’s great to get another big win under our belts, because we have such a tough beginning to our season.  We are now ranked second in the league! How fun!

All the foreigners were really excited to get done with the match, even though we knew we had to handle business first, because the Eiffel Tower was waiting for us!  We ran back to the hotel after the match so we could change (and I could grab my camera) and we made it just in time to see the light show at midnight.  We took the metro to the Trocadero stop, and you go up the stairs take about 10 steps, and turn left, and there it is.  This giant, amazing thing that you see so many times in movies and magazines, and it’s there in real life right in front of you.  I was reminded of the movie Midnight in Paris 🙂 which I might now have to watch again.  We got there at about 11:45 and sure enough right at 12, the lights started going, I was so glad to have my team around me and have my camera with me to shoot!  What an amazing experience this is.  I am so so grateful.   Annnd, I get to check midnight in Paris off my bucket list 🙂

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Next week, we have another tough team, Beziers.  We take the TGV back in the morning and get to rest a little tomorrow before another week of work and preparation.  More pictures from the Eiffel Tower to come after I do some photo editing.  Bisous!

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