On Saturday afternoon I met up with Jasmina and Malen at T-centralan. We went into some stores and tried on some hats. There are so many cute hats here. All sorts of different styles. It’d so much fun to get all bundles up and look cute too! Did you know H&M started in Sweden? Supposedly we went into the largest one in the world. None of us were really in the shopping mood (or at least not in the buying mood), so we thought we’d go see a movie. Most of the movies in the theaters here are in English with Swedish subtitles. Perfect for us Americans! We checked out the theater, but again none of us found any movie that we really wanted to see. Jasmina and Malen offered to show me around Gamla Stan (Old Town Stockholm), at which point I jumped at their offer. Emma met us too as we were walking around. It was a chilly evening, but so beautiful walking through this really old part of the city. Many of the streets were made before cars were invented and, therefore, are super narrow – like hardly wide enough to walk two-by-two through. We also walked around the castle where the king and queen of Sweden conduct their business. We took a picture with a guard! I actually have a few pictures from the evening. I’m going to try to figure out how to post them for everyone. Any ideas? Anyway, after walking around for a while, we stopped at a café (actually called “Wayne’s Coffee” – lol). The four of sat inside for a long time just drinking our hot drinks and talking. Emma and Jasmina both played college basketball in the U.S., Washington State and Georgia Tech, respectively, so there English is superb. Malen is pretty good too, plus I just love her anyway because she’s happy, funny, and really pleasant to be around – makes me smile . Didn’t get to bed too late at all because we had a game the next day.
Sunday: Giovanni drove Emma, Erin, and I to Arlanda to meet up with the rest of the team to fly to Visby for an evening game. The flight to Gotland was only forty-five minutes. The plane was pretty small, with propellers and the ability to see right out the front where the pilots look out. It was pretty awesome to be able to look down at all the islands off the coast of Sweden. There are sooo many. It really is an archipelago. Plus, everything is still really green – it was very scenic from way up there. We arrived by noon and pregame meal wasn’t for close to another hour or two. We walked around historic Visby (more pictures!). Not many stores were open because it was Sunday, so after walking around for a bit we just hung out in a café to keep warm. In America, we here all the time about Scandinavian design. It really is the best (I think!). Lines are so simple and elegant. And, everywhere you go here, I feel like I’m constantly having lessons in interior design since everything is so well decorated. Anyway, eventually we had our pregame meal (spaghetti and meat sauce… want to know what I learned here? Swedes eat ketchup with their pasta!! Shout out to Kel and T – u two would fit in perfect here ;) ). Then, finally it was game time. Supposedly Visby is a hard place to play and they won the championship two years ago. We didn’t play great at all (and I played a fair bit of position 4, which was sorta foreign since I haven’t played 4 since high school… but it was fun too), but we ended up winning. Something seemingly special about this team is how evenly balanced the scoring is. For those of you who were around for my high school days, it reminds me a lot of my freshman year at NFA when everyone on the team carried a good bit of the scoring responsibility. People will stand-out in certain games, but overall everything is very well balanced. I hope it stays this way and I expect it will. I think we won by 12 points, but we were up by as much as 20 (I think… I never actually pay attention to exact scores too much). They’re team had a player that was over 40 years old! Crazy, huh?! I thought so. Shoot, if I can move as well as her when I’m forty, I think I’ll be doing great Anders was happy with the win and we headed home with smiles on our faces.