Sunday, March 23, 2014

Update 10!

Well, it has been sometime since I have written a blog. I figure today was a good day since it snowed for the first time in awhile. It was just 70 degrees for the past week and I had been out sun bathing at the river and now its been straight snowing for at least 10 hours.

The end of January was awesome. We beat Klagenfurt who had been in first when we played then and had not lost a game for 7 games.  My birthday also happened at the end of January and I had such an amazing birthday and so lucky to have made such great friends here to celebrate with!

We played hard for the last matches of the season and finished in 5th place. By placing 5th we were able to compete for the chance to move into the champions league. Unfortunately we lost against Linz which means we are now playing for 5-8 place. We just started the second round of playoffs and have about 4 more matches to play. The season will be wrapping up beginning of April. It is crazy to me how fast my first year has gone by. It feels like just yesterday we were leaving for training camp in Maria Alm.

So for my adventures off the volleyball court! We went to a Super Bowl party that was all you can eat and drink. It was so cool because they had "tradition American food", which really wasn't anything close to what you get at home. The place we went to have 5 different rooms, one of the rooms was a stage that they played 80s and 90s music! They had one big room that was where they showed the super bowl. It is crazy how many people are fans of American football. The next weekend we had off from games and we travelled to South Tyrol to our friend's hotel. It was so nice of him to show us around and we were treated very well. We walked about 30 mins to a restaurant in the mountains and along the way I would plop into the 10 foot snow. It was so fun and made me feel like a kid again!  We ate tradition South Tyrolian food and heard typical music that they played on a wooden stick with pots on the side as drums.  It was an awesome experience!

Fasching or Carnival which is similar to Mardi Gras and Halloween, we first went to Hall with one of our teammates. At the town party they have three different "shows", the first show was men dressed as old women and men and in different outfits that made noise. The would come around and hit you on the shoulder if you were a male and play with your hair if you were female. If they did this to you then you had to take a sip of the schnapps they had with them. They would walk around a try to scare you and make lots of noises. The next show was men who were holding "bears' (men in bear costumes) and they would come around and again tackle you or scare you. The last show was a man on a fake horse who was being chased by other men trying to put the shoe on the horse. According to them it is a way to ask for spring to come and to scare off winter. It is also at the beginning of Lent. On the actual day of Fasching we headed into the old city where they had two stages and a bunch of people all dressed up in the middle of the city. They had music and different types of food. It was a very cool experience.

That has been about it since Christmas. Day to day life is the same by practice and workouts.


http://athletesabroad.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/shannon-thompson-5-things-i-cant-travel-without/

Check out my feature on Athletes Abroad!

Also here are the pics from Fashcing! https://www.facebook.com/shannonthomp/media_set?set=a.10202312954319036.1073741840.1046910070&type=1

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Update 9 Italy!

Before I get into Italy I wanted to share how the last few weeks before break went.

In the end of November we had Thanksgiving for our friends. We made all the traditional foods like stuffing, cranberry, pumpkin pie, green bean casserole, mac and cheese, turkey (we really just made chicken legs and thighs), mashed potatoes, and we asked our friends to bring a tradition dish from where they were from. It went really well and the food was delicious. Thanksgiving is a silly holiday but it was really nice to be able to spend it with friends and be thankful for the life that I have. As far as volleyball goes we are on a winning streak coming off of break and we beat our cross town rivals to end on a win before the holiday. We are getting better and better with every game and I am really excited for the last half of season. 

Well Marvin got here Dec 17 and we started our vacation. We spent some days in Innsbruck while I finished up practice before the vacation. We explore Innsbruck and headed up to the Olympic ski lift. It was really cool to see the city from that high up. Dec 20 rolled around and that night we were off on an overnight train to Venice. It was very rainy and foggy in Venice but that didn't stop us. We dropped our luggage off and went exploring the city. We went and saw St. Marks, the clock tower and St. Mark's square. We also walked to the Academia and saw many bridges which had the padlocks on them. Apparently it is to give good luck for love. Italy is having a problem with people putting them on the bridges and claim that it is worse than graffiti. Venice was a very cute town and I loved all the canals that run through the town. We had dinner next to the Rialto bridge, which is right on a canal. The next day we were on a train again heading for Milan. Milan was my favorite city (all the cities were amazing and so different in their own way, but Milan reminded me of all the cities in America that I absolutely loved, like Boston and New York.) Our hotel was right next t the Santa Maria delle Grazie which has the Last Supper painting. Milan's Duomo is absolutely breathtaking. It stands out in the busy city and you just pass by it when you are on the trolly. It is all marble and is craved out in the most amazing way. The inside is also breathtaking and has so many stained glass windows and paintings. That evening we headed to the San Siro stadium to watch the derby game against Inter Milan and AC Milan. It was so cool to see a European soccer match! The crowd was so loud and the atmosphere was crazy.  The next day we just walked around the city and took in the sights. The christmas market was still going on. The next day it was off to Rome. When we got to Rome we discovered that because of Christmas a lot of the museums and sights were closed. On christmas eve we saw the Vatican, the Trevi fountain (which we did throw pennies into), the Spanish Steps, and the Pantheon. That night we headed to St. Peters square to see mass. On Christmas day we headed back to St. Peter's square to see the pope give the Christmas message. He looked so tiny up against the red back drop. We headed to the Colosseum before hand and saw the Roman forum. We found a restaurant there that we really liked and ate there three times! The next day it was off to Florence.  Florence was amazing as well. We didn't get tickets to see the statue of David but went by and peaked our heads through the window to see. We also saw the Duomo there and it to was spectacular. For the most part we just walked around the city because lots of the museums costed money. The next day we headed up to Palazzo Vecchio and walked up the clock tower. The clock tower made it possible to see the whole city. It was so stunning. We also saw Ponte Vecchio and walked past the Uffizi. The next day we headed to Cinque Terra. Our hotel was at the highest point on the mountain and of course we had to walked up 200 steps just to get to the hotel. The town was small but still so pretty. That night we ate dinner and just walked around. The next day we headed to Vernazza and Manrola. They all were so different but yet so similar. We watched the sunset and had dinner on the water. The food was so delicious there. The next day we headed to Rimini. Rimini reminded me a lot of Santa Barbara and I felt a little at home there. I ended up getting really sick and laid in bed the whole new years eve. Luckily our room had a balcony so I was able to see some fireworks. On New Years day it was a train ride back to Innsbruck. The food in Italy was amazing, I did eat lots of pizza, pasta, and gelato which was delicious.We ended up not being able to go to Prague because I had a scrimmage against other American girls who came on a tour like I did in August. The last few days with Marvin were great and we went up the mountain to an Igloo bar which overlooked all of Innsbruck, talk about an amazing view. 

Well we are getting ready for a game against Klagenfurt this Saturday and looking for a win. 
I posted pictures on Facebook from all the travel.

https://www.facebook.com/shannonthomp/media_set?set=a.10201869575194835.1073741837.1046910070&type=3

https://www.facebook.com/shannonthomp/media_set?set=a.10201869667877152.1073741838.1046910070&type=3


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Update 8!

It's been awhile since I posted but not too much has happened.

Week of Oct 6-13- Pretty normal week again. I lifted in the am and then had practice in the pm. I got a care package from home with pumpkin bread and pumpkin cans and lots of halloween and thanksgiving decorations! It also snowed one night which I was not too happy about. It is the beginning of October and it was snowing! Thankfully it hasn't snowed since but there is talk of snow this week. Hopefully it doesn't stick. I think this weather is crazy than New England! It will be 30 degrees and the next day be 60. It will rain one day and the crazy beautiful the next. I don't really understand it but going through New England weathers have prepared me. We also started our season this week. We lost but played well the first game. We have a lot to work on but hoping for a good season! We also started German class this week! It is really cool and we like our teacher!

Week of Oct 13-20- The routine for the week is pretty much the same. Go to class, lift, practice. I could really get used to this schedule for the rest of my life (maybe not class). We went to the men's volleyball team game! It was really cool and one of our national team members plays on the team! We had another game and lost :(. Still improving which is good though! We had another week of class and starting to learn German and getting better at understanding people!

Week of Oct 20-27- This week we made homed sushi! Of course we didn't use raw fish but we did have avocado and chicken in them! We are making a goal to do something different every week. We also had a photo shoot at our local car dealer which was cool. We headed to Vienna for a game and spent the weekend there. We won! We played really well and are still improving!

Week of Oct 27- Nov 2- This week we tried a dragon fruit. It was good, it didn't really taste like much. We had another week of practice, class and lifting. On halloween my roommate cut her finger and we had to go to the hospital. The ER was so quick and saw her right away. She has been out from volleyball and hopefully will be back soon! We had another home game on Saturday and won! We keep improving which I am really glad about. Our german class is going well and learning how to talk about furniture and what things cost.

Week of Nov 3- 10- This week again was the normal routine. We headed to Salzburg to play. We walked around the old city for a bit which was really cool and saw Mozart's house! Our game didn't go very well but looking to get back to practice and work hard. We had our last week of class. We got a certificate for passing and that means we can take the next class. About a month and half before I go to Italy, Germany, and the Czech for Christmas break. I am really excited and can't wait!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Update 7!

Week of Sept. 17-23- During the week was pretty boring and we just did out normal routine of practice and working out. This weekend we headed to Munich for our last preseason tournament. We played really well both days! We ended up taking 2nd in the tournament which is a great improvement from the last two weekends finish. The tournament was really fun and at every tournament so far they have had a player party where all the players come. This one had food and DJ. The night that we slept over we slept in a gym in sleeping bags, it was like camping all over again.

Week of Sept. 23-30 This week again we did the normal routine of working out and practice. We had Monday and Tuesday off which meant we had time to recuperate after the long weekend. That weekend we headed to the Alpen Zoo. It was a blast! The zoo is up on the mountain and if you didn't know there was a zoo there than you could walk right by it. It had tons of animals that you would typically find in Austria. They had an area where you could pet the animals and feed them. There was a goat who was very greedy and would nudge your hand to get more. The next day we headed to our friends village to celebrate Oktoberfest and watch her brother's soccer game. It was very fun and we ate wienerschnitzel  and pommes, it was really good!

Week of 30- Oct 6- This week again was back to normal routine of working out, practice, and coaching. The weekend we headed to Oktoberfest in Munich. It was really fun but a long day. It was raining when we got there and pretty much didn't stop the whole time we were there. We first got there and it look like a huge fair with rides and food and games to play. We decided we would head into the tent and start drinking. We waited in lines for 2 hours before we decided to just go ride on rides. I rode one ride while my roommates rode 2. We then got a snack of chocolate and fruit which was delicious. We then headed back to the tents to see if we could get a spot back in side. We still were unable to but we found a place outside that was semi-dri. We ended up meeting some Americans that were stationed in Germany. We also met a couple that was from Munich. We had a great time and clinked our huge beers. It turned out to be a good day even though it was rainy. The next day we headed a little outside of the main city of Innsbruck to watch some of our teammates and some of the girls we coach play volleyball. They did great! We than got dinner at a sushi restaurant which was delicious. It might be my new favorite place!
This coming weekend starts our season play and we are looking for a Win!

Look on Facebook for pictures that correspond to my weeks!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Update 6

The first week of September after we had our training camp we started to get into a routine. We have practice Monday (Montag), Tuesday (Dienstag), Thursday (Donnerstag), and Friday (Freitag). Wednesday (Mittwoch) we have off from practice but are required to go to the fitness center. Practices are late at night and we usually have the whole day to hangout and run errands. I signed up for a gym that has lots of free weights so I can continue to do my lifting and get stronger. That week we just finished some required things like get our bank cards and get our visas. I finally have my visa so I can work for the team and be allowed to play. Tuesday we went and watched wrestling matches on our day off. It was really cool to watch and we watched the Tirolian Champion wrestle. He was really good! We also watched an older guy wrestle who beat out all the younger guys. That weekend we left for Maribor, Slovenia. This was where  I had my tryout to get picked up by a team. We stayed at the same hotel and played in the same venue. I even was in the same exact room. We played Friday night and Saturday day and evening. We won one and lost two. We are a young team and are growing every game and getting better which is good! We have strong hitters but need better serve receive but most teams struggle with that. We also played a team in a smaller town an hour outside of Maribor. The drive to Maribor was 6 hours one way. It was very long but it seems to be a common thing for us to travel far for play.

The next week was just back to normal routine and I worked out and practiced. Monday's are my grocery days so I also go grocery shopping. I also do the sauna on days when practice is later. We went out to dinner on Sunday to an American restaurant. It was good and had lots of cool American things in it. I also started coaching a young group of girls with one of the girl's dads on Wednesday night and then on Tuesday night with my roommate Michi. The girls can understand english which is good because Harry (the girl's dad) is going to let me put my input in and help with drills. The week was again really low key because we had a tournament coming up. That weekend we headed to Carcare and Cairo Montenotte Italy for our second tournament! It was really cool and we were right near the Liguiran Sea. The way they do meals is different than what we do. At first you get some type of pasta and then after meat with potatoes! There was a lot of bread and pasta consumed with in the three days. Breakfast also was just a croissant and foccacia bread! Everything was so delicious. We played on Saturday and Sunday and won 3 and lost 3 taking 6 out of 12 teams. Saturday night they had a concert for the teams and brought all the teams up and gave them gifts and t-shirts! It was really cool and we played in a police school on one of the days. The ride to and back again was very long! 

We are starting another week of practice and heading to Munich this weekend for another tournament!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Update 5

So this past week we spent it in a training camp from Sunday till Saturday. Sunday we arrived at the facility and were given our rooms. I got my own room which was really nice because I didn't have to share a shower or anything like that. We ate dinner and then just hung out for the rest of the night. The food was very good there and we experienced lots of different traditional austrian food. We then had a meeting about the upcoming week and what our schedule was like.

7am- Run
8am- Breakfast
9am- 11:45am- Practice and Weight
11:45am- Lunch
3pm- Practice and Cardio
6pm- Dinner
8pm- Practice

This was our schedule every day, pretty much we napped between lunch and our 2nd practice. Then we headed straight for bed after our last practice.

On Wednesday we had the afternoon off and we pretty much sat around as a team and got better acquainted with everyone. We also spent most of the nights and wednesday afternoon learning German words.

Friday we didn't have the last practice of the day and didn't have our morning run.

During the week we all were very tired and sore. Practices were good and they worked on ball control and running different plays out of rotation.  We also hiked into the mountains and saw lots of cows. When we left on Saturday there was a Almabtrieb which is when the cows spend the summer in the mountains and they come down with their owners back down to the farm. The front cow will wear wreaths on their faces. It was very cool to see!

It was a very good week full of learning experiences and a great bonding week with the girls.

Tonight we are getting ready to go out and then have a relaxing Sunday afternoon tomorrow.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Update 4!

Wednesday- We just chilled at the apartment most of the day until practice. Nothing very exciting. Seems to be a common thing to just hangout around the apartment. I can't wait to get back into a routine once we get back from preseason camp and actually go to the gym and lift again (I have to admit I am becoming a meat head and feel weird when I don't do some serious lifting)

Thursday- We headed into town and got set up with a bank account so we can get paid! We then walked around the city and got lunch in the old city. There are so many outside restaurants and places to just sit and watch all the tourists (I am not considered a tourist because I actually have an apartment, even though I am just as new as some of the tourists walking around). We then headed home and got ready for practice. Practice was good. We then got all dolled up and headed into the city. We started by going to this place called Hofgardern (it was a beer garden or literally a bar in the middle of the garden!) Well apparently it wasn't the night for that bar because there was literally two people in the whole place and when I say two I really mean two. So we then worked our way back and went to another bar which had tons of people already at 10pm. 10pm is considered early to be going out at night. Many people won't even get to the bar till 12am or 1am and won't leave until 5 or 6am. It is a very different lifestyle here. We didn't stay that long, we mostly just watched people dance around all crazily.

Friday- We headed to the gym to get a workout in since we didn't have practice. The workout was good but still not doing any heavy lifting which stinks. We then headed to Baggersee Lake, which is a lake that you can swim for fun or for a workout and just lay out by the banks. The lake was filled with little fishes as well as ducks.  It was fun and nice that there is a place so close by to go swimming at! We came home and again just chilled and didn't do much.

Saturday- We had a scrimmage, my roommate and I couldn't play because of paperwork issues. We both were really disappointed. Our team lost but it was a very close game. After the game we came home and just hung out until later in the evening when we went and got dinner. The place we went was a southwestern bar. It had lots of mexican and american food. I got Buffalo chicken wings and there was no buffalo on them!  We came home early because we both were tired. We are still adjusting to sleeping so much which we think is making us more tired. We also got our phones, so I have two phones now! My phone is very old school and I could barely figure it out at first.

Sunday- We packed and left for Maria Alm which is where we are going for our week of preseason camp and team bonding.

Since it is Sunday, I may or may not have any type of connection for a week!