SO a little update on my trip. Yesterday went really well honestly. Despite the delay out of DC and Newark, we managed to make it into Tel Aviv a little after 10:00 a.m. which was nice. My luggage actually came out relatively fast (usually I am the last one to get my luggage..for real haha), BUT this time I was able to zip in and zip out. Going through customs was no problem either.
Oh and on the flight to Israel I got upgraded to "economy plus" for free which allowed me to have an extra 5 inches of leg space :)...I'll take it!! AND then I sat by a super neat girl who actually is moving back to Tel Aviv area. She had been living in the States for 7 years. I also sat by a lady who was going to be living in Israel for the next 3 months just because her and her husband love the country so much...that is impressive! I was hearing nothing but good things on the whole flight over about Israel.
Then, when I landed in Tel Aviv, Rachel (the team manager) was there waiting for me with a huge smile on her face and she picked me up and we talked the whole ride to the gym which was about 30 minutes. Her English is perfect! She actually went to the States some for school and lived in New York. We went and watched some of the practice as it was finishing up. They had scrimmaged yesterday so today was more of a recovery for them which included a lot of stretching and shooting.
After practice I came to my apartment and did a little unpacking and best of all I took a shower..woo hoo!! It is pretty hot here, and I had worn a t-shirt and sweatpants over (it was cold on the plane), but once I landed I found myself wishing I had shorts on :). Once I got settled a little bit, I then went to get lunch with my Coach and Rachel. We ate at a fabulous restaurant. I had a chicken wrap that was delicious along with a little side salad. After eating lunch, my coach and Rachel took me around the city a little bit and then we came back to my apartment because my internet wasn't working, so they stayed until it was fixed. I was so so thankful they were able to get it working finally. Actually the office manager of the team ended up having to come over and call the internet company and they were able to direct her in how to properly set it up.
I then had a little bit more down time. So I spent that time continuing to organize some things and get adjusted. I didn't want to sleep because I knew if I fell asleep I would wake up in the middle of the night and that would not be good. I had planned to get dinner with a few of my teammates, so I met up with them at 7:30 p.m. We ate at the same restaurant for lunch and so this time I got chicken breasts with mashed potatoes and a side salad. We stayed out until almost 10 p.m. because we were talking and yeah just getting to know one another. There are 4 or 5 "American's" that will play as Israeli girls because they have the passport from here and then there are 3 of us Americans who will play as the actual "foreigners".
My first impressions of the team are awesome!! Everyone on the team seems great! The coach and assistant coach both know English as well as the trainers. Honestly, everyone knows English very well and you find even in restaurants it is not a problem to get English menus. Really nice!! Very "Americanized" feel I must say.
Tomorrow I have practice in the morning from 10:45-12:00 I think. Coach told me we will just be shooting and going over some plays so that won't be bad! Then, I think I may get my physical tomorrow afternoon or the next day...not sure...AND on Thursday morning I get my car :). I will be sharing one with another teammate. I was surprised to see that all the cars they have given the foreigners so far are automatic so that is nice :) whoop, although I like driving stick shift too.
I also found out that the farthest game is literally an hour away, so not bad at all! I am excited for the season ahead :) I think it will be great!! We actually will never travel through the night or spend the night which is nice. We will leave a few hours before the game and then come back right after the game.