Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Plan B to Cholula


Tuesday, August 15, 2017:

First and foremost today is . . .

Our Mother Chuny Contreras'
93rd Birthday!

Here she is with my sisters Linda and Marilyn last Christmas.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!

Now for the saga of our trip to Cholula for our visitation to the Universidad De Las Americas Puebla (UDLAP) campus.

The purpose of this excursion was to spend two days watching the UDLAP Aztecas American football team practice twice and then have a chance to meet their coaching staff to talk some more American football in depth.

We rented a van at the hotel last night through National Rent-a-Car that would be ready at 8:00 a.m. to whisk away to city of Cholula, a suburb of Puebla, about two hours from Mexico City if we got zero traffic issues at that time of the day.

PLAN B

We were in the lobby on time but the van was not. After repeated calls to National we were consistently told that the van was almost their.

But it wasn't.

At about 9:30 a.m. a man from National arrived with the necessary paper work wanting to collect the money for the rental but he did not come in the needed van.

No dice.

We waited until 9:50 a.m. and then jumped into a taxi for a ten minute drive to another hotel where a Hertz van awaited us.

But it wasn't.

The National man was pissed!

Who cares? 

 Waiting for the Hertz van

When we got to the new hotel, we were told that the van had just been checked in but that it had a HUGE dent and as thus could not be rented to us.

A new van would be at our disposal from another Hertz location within 40 minutes, i.e., 10:40 a.m.

It arrived at 12:00 noon.

And we hit heavy traffic.

Pole dancing class anyone?

The little things you see during a traffic jam.

Due to the four hour delay and the traffic, there was no way we would be able to get to the UDLAP campus in time for their 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. practice today.

Only one thing to do . . .

EAT!

This place looked . . .

 GOOD!

In Mexico, roadside food is truly healthy.

The condiments looked good

 These two ladies are hard at work
making our lunch

Cafe Olla and and the soon
to be devoured HOT sauce

Our table to the left

SO good

 Chorizo and HOT sauce
just go perfectly together

 The quesadillas were
OUTSTANDING!
 GRACIAS Señoras!

The UDLAP Aztecas
practice field

 Entrance to the coach's offices

AZTECA PRIDE!

By the time we got there, practice was over and the coaches were going to have staff meetings in about 75 minutes so we decided to check-in at our hotel and then come back for the meetings.

 Church near our hotel

The view to the left of
our hotel's entrance

 Reviewing tape at the UDLAP
Offensive Coaches Meeting

With UDLAP
Head Coach Erik Fisher
and our own Jesús Sánchez

The Aztecas staff was open with us and quite willing to share their entire program with us, GREAT PEOPLE!

Some of UDLAP's
National Championship Trophies

UDLAP's Athletic Weight Room

After all of the football talk was done for the day, Aztecas Defensive Backs Coach Remy Palacios took use to the Los Sonorenses restaurant for dinner.

Chorizo and cheese
INCREDIBLE!

Meat, meat and then
MORE MEAT!

 Seven FULLY sated people

We have not had a bad meal the entire 12 days that we have been in Mexico but Los Sonorenses was easily voted our top meal to date!

Total cost of this sumptuous feast was a meager $20 USD per person.

With Remy Palacios

Solely for leading us to Los Sonorenses, we voted him the #1 American football assistant coach in Mexico!

We are staying the night and will spend a full day with the Aztecas staff and players at practice and meetings on Wednesday before returning to Mexico City in the evening.

VIVA MEXICO!

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Restful Day at the Floating Gardens of Xochimilco and Still More Game Day Pictures


Monday, August 14, 2017:

First and foremost today . . .

Congratulations to
Grandson Kevin on his first
day of Kindergarten!

Apparently he had a great day and can't wait to go back again tomorrow, YAHOO!

Our initial plan was to attend today's UNAM Pumas practice but that changed when their Head Coach informed us that his team was just doing some rehab work in their pool.

We needed a Plan B.

The Floating Gardens of Xochimilco,
a GREAT place for a staff meeting

Colorful Mexican trajineras
are canal gondolas

Ours had room for 18 passengers, www were six, and allows you to slowly cruise through some of the 180 km of Aztec canals still in existence.

The Brenda was our trajinera

Jesús and Joey were aboard

Leo was our guide

Traffic jams even in the canals

We were told that there are about 3,000 trajineras in service on these canals on the weekends leave from ten different embarcaderos spread throughout the canal system.  Today it was a quiet day and not too busy.

Bright colors everywhere
you looked

Tranquil scenes

video
Lively music abounded
floating by

Mike Wood taking a picture
on wobbly sea legs

Somehow 24 Coronas had been loaded onto the boat by an enterprising woman.

Joey took our picture

I took Joey's

Pulque

On sale as you float downstream, pulque is an adult beverage that goes down smoothly but makes walking a tad tough.

This, we were told, is actually a
water taxi for the locals not for
we tourists

Hook four trajineras together
and you have an Armada

The two hours were relaxing and full of discussions about, what else, the Europe Warriors future endeavors and last Saturday's game.

We realized as we got back on dry land that we were hungry.

This place looked out sabroso!

OH SI!

Our new amigo chopped up
a kilo of carnitas and away
we went

Condiments next door

Let the feast begin!

DAMN we were happy!

Pulque and beer can do that to you.

And sated too

Blue corn tortillas were a BIG HIT!

As was the entire Xochimilco experience.

GOOD TIMES!

And more game photos from last Saturday's Warriors-Pumas game just keep pouring in . . .

Warrior Pride

Go get it Preston Bailey

Corey Stollmeyer with a pick

Preston Bailey again

I think the Pumas are guilty
of holding our end

No holding calls in the entire game for both teams.

James Hamilton applying the pressure

Jo Vontae Hence

Ja Vontae accelerating and . . .

. . . FLYING into the end zone
for SIX!

Connor Reilly

Great EFFORT!

Swarm!

Post Game

Jonny Ridge and Herbert Gamboa

The Spaniards
Kike and Sandro

Luca Zigliani

Luis Rodarte and Joan Gonzalez
joined by . . .

Irving Alamilla

France was in the house
Corentin Gasnier and
Charles De La Roque

Charles De La Roque's great
catch and run for about 50 yards

Charles got caught from behind,
GREAT play!
Celebrating with Darnell Smith

Erik Pérez Marquez
Special Teams Whiz

Jack Pedersen
nice tongue

LB Mike Garza

Ja Vontae Hence again

Luca Zigliani

Peter Smith warming up
to kick the tying FG at
the end of the game

Unfortunately, due to a turnover he did not get the chance.

Danny Tam

Tackling in space

Talking Stretch blocking to the OL

Who knows what I'm talking
about here

Prepping Pete Smith for his potential
FG attempt at the end of the game

Luca and Erik

Ouch!

Charles De La Roque's
great catch from a different angle

OG Kike Prado Alonso chest
bumping WR Darnell Smith
after a Warriors'TD

Have I mentioned what a GREAT experience it was being a part of the Europe Warriors team?

Well, IT WAS!

On Tuesday, the adventure continues as the six of us drive to the city of Puebla to shadow the coaches at the Universidad Del Las Americas Puebla or UDLAP for the next two days.

Living the EuroBall life in Mexico and LOVING IT!