25 March 2010

The Florida Delegation

Last week we had a visiting crew of coaches +1 from our old Florida stomping grounds. Frankie, Ralph, Kirk & Clayton will be assisting The Hub in his coaching duties when Austria lacrosse competes in the world cup at Manchester this July. The fellas arranged this trip in order to have a training camp for the weekend, develop their coaching strategy and get to know their team better.

Overall the plan was to help Chris prepare this great group of Austrian guys to kick some ass this summer. Clayton brought wife Kerry over for the trip to help me have fun and not feel left out. And thus the 6 members of Clayto Potato & the Tots began their travels...

Sadly, Coach Frankie was informed by Delta airlines that there'd been a snafu with his frequent-flyer-mile purchased ticket and he'd have to cough up $3,500 if he wanted to fly that day. Even more sadly for us all, Frankie doesn't have a tree that grows money and he had to give up on this trip. Booo Delta!! You'll all be relieved to hear that Frankie is working out the hiccup and planning another coaching trip over soon.

Here's a photo of Frankie from his last Vienna trip. We carried this photo around with us all weekend and occasionally ordered it a large stein of beer so we wouldn't miss him so much.

So early Friday morning found Clayto-Potato and the Tots (-1) arriving at the Vienna airport after an arduous journey. They were all in good spirits and ready to roll.

Quick stop home to drop the bags and crack open the first beer. Chris and I then got everybody out of the house and proceeded to drag them all over creation.

First up, lunch at the Naschmarkt. It was here that everyone got a taste of Viennese coffee, pay toilets, Turkish influences on a menu and Austrians' penchant for smoking indoors. Some things went over better than others.

After lunch? Walking, walking and more walking. We marched this crowd through some of Vienna's beautiful sites. Past the opera, around the magnificent Ring Road, up the main pedestrian shopping streets, through Stephansplatz into the cathedral, over to the winter palace - The Hofburg - and all through the grounds there. (Anybody else humming "Over the river and through the woods" right now?)

All the while, being careful to maintain everybody's beer to caffeine ratio with intermittent stops at caf├ęs and coffee houses. Here Clayton demonstrates the proper Austrian technique to rid your beer of excess foam.

Inexplicably, at the Museums Quartier there is a bar in the shape of a large colon, called...what else? The Rectum Bar. With a larger than life rectum on it, naturally. They actually sell drinks out of the sidewall of the colon, about two thirds of the way to the hole. Kirk demonstrates our appreciation of the subtle artistic message behind this installation (!?!?!)

Though they found it hard to stay focused sometimes, these guys were total troopers all day. Popping in and out of buildings, marveling at Vienna's pretty architecture and soaking up the sunshine. Nobody got cranky. Not even once! Not even for a minute!!

Kirk eyes didn't stop twinkling all day long. Not even when we made him eat mustard off his own shirt.

After some more walking and neck craning and beauty marveling we brought our tough little band of tired tourists to our final destination...

Gary & Inga's!! Yay!!
Walking into Gasthaus Franceschi is always a happy moment for Chris and I.

Bringing along some of our favorite people upped the ante. Having them love it as much as we do was the perfect topper to a great day.

Everybody was a little loopy from lack of sleep...

...a little punchy from the beer...

...and a little silly just from being all together in a foreign place for the purpose of lacrosse.

Kirk's eyes twinkled...

....Inga taught us a song in German. Something about water is for washing and not for drinking so we should all drink beer. We got the message.

Clayton demonstrates the proper Bostonian method of holding a beer stein.

The beer was flowing, the wurst was wursting - what a combination! The whole day and night flowed together to form the perfect storm of Austrian fun. And this was only day one!! More posts to follow...


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