Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pig Snout Salad

Monday just saw me cruising the La Croix-Rousse district again still on the lookout for the perfect croissant and cafe.
Several good candidates reside on this Bohemian hilltop for sure. I shall continue my research in this area in future weeks.

In the evening, our Cadets and Juniors both had solid practices on a very chilly night as their first contests near.

Tuesday was an interesting day that started positively with a good football/lunch meeting with our GM Julien Urgenti in the St.-Just district at a fine little restaurant called Les Caprices de Sophie. As a foriegner eating in this quaint establishment, I was required by custom to use Sophie's official black permanent ink marker to write of my loyalty to the fine cuisine that they served us on the ceiling. No problem, my inability to reach said ceiling was easily overcome when the owner invited me to just stand on the nearby table where others had recently been dining.

The main topic of conversation revolved around a very pressing issue, our latest import QB had decided that he had changed his mind about joining us and we only had three more practices before our season opener.

Back to the drawing board.

For some unknown reason, I was drawn to the nearby Cimetiere de Loyasse for a stroll. I find these ancient burial sites in Europe of interest.

Halloween IS Wednesday after all.

Our Senior team practice Tuesday night was in intense one. We are slowly but surely getting better each and every practice. Thursday is a National Holiday so we will not have a Senior practice that evening. That means that we only have two more practices before our season opener against our crosstown rivals, Les Gones.

Wednesday, I went to the La Part-Dieu district to first purchase a Lyon Library Card. My first check out was a Sherlock Holmes anthology.

After the library, I strolled to the train station across the street and, after a pain chocolate and a cafe, purchased some train tickets for the weekend. Because of the National Holiday and no "B" team game this weekend, I decided to take a holiday of my own.

My destination is Normandy to visit Rouen, Caen, Bayeux, Mont St. Michel and, of course, the D-Day beaches. I am really looking forward to these wonderous places.

I met our team President Christophe Thuau for lunch at one of his favorite Lyonnaise restaurants, Cafe du Nain. That translates into The Cafe of the Dwarf.

No PC in Lyon.

I asked Christophe to do the ordering but not tell what we were eating until after we finished.

That is how I came to eat PIG SNOUT salad before digging into my delicious andouille sausage swimming in a savory mustard sauce. Andouille sausage is mostly made of PIG TRIPE. It actually all tasted pretty darn good! The red wine was strong and good as well.

Christophe also gave me a gift of two very nice bottles of red wine to enjoy in The Villa at my leisure.


We only had a Cadet practice tonight and we were missing quite a few players, still a lot of good work was accomplished, especially in the passing game.

Normandy, here I come!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cold Weather, Rugby, Cancellation and Scouting

On Saturday night, I travelled across the city to attend a rugby game between our local heroes, the LOU Wolves, and a team from Colomiers. It was very entertaining to watch on a cold, windy night that saw a small snow flurry for about two minutes at halftime. The Wolves led at the intermission 12-0. The Colomiers squad scored the first six points of the second half to narrow their deficit to 12-6 but our red and black clad Wolves responded to the challenge to pull out a 24-6 victory in the end.

Sunday morning, it was still cold and the wind was now howling! Overnight about a foot of snow had fallen in the French Alps town of Grenoble where our "B" team was scheduled to play. We were informed at about 9:00 a.m. that the game had been cancelled. Upon returning to The Villa, I was excited to find out that the compound's gate would not open and that I would have to wait about ten minutes in the elements for help to arrive. Such is life in France.

Not wanting to sit at home for the day, I opted to travel to Chambery with Falcon players Geoff Moulton and Armand Richard to scout the Division III season opener between the host Aigles and the St.-Cergues Bulldogs. It was wicked cold and we did see snow on the way to the game. Fortunately it did not snow on us during the course of this game, but it was  a very raw day. I was glad to get a chance to get a feel for the teams in our league. It is going to be a very physical season if these two teams are an accurate barometer of the league.

This weekend marked the beginning of play for the 46 teams that play in the nine French Division III leagues.

Let's take a look at what happened this weekend in our Senior team's five club league, the D3 - Sud Poule C.

D3 - Sud Poule C
Week #1 Results
Lyon 7 - Clermont Ferrand 6
St.-Cergues 12 - Chambery 6
BYE: Bron-Villeurbanne

Lyon Les Gones 1-0
St.-Cergues Bulldogs 1-0
Bron-Villeurbanne Falcons 0-0
Chambery Aigles 0-1
Clermont Ferrand Servals 0-1

Week #2 Games
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Bron-Villeurbanne (0-0) at Lyon (1-0)
Clermont Ferrand (0-1) at St.-Cergues (1-0)
BYE: Chambery (0-1)

Less than two weeks until the Falcons play, can't wait!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

We've got some catching up to do

Without photo uploading abilities while instill await a new computer, blogging on the iPad continues to have drawbacks including the inability to use proper French accent marks.

On Wednesday, I returned to the Parc de la Tete d'Or to explore this huge and tranquil greenway. I ended my splendid walk by visiting Lyon's Musee d'Art Contemporain. The museum's main exhibit was the work of Erik Satie's musical minimalism.


We had good Cadet and Junior practices that night.
Thursday was marked by transportation issues. My ride to Lyon's downtown usually takes 30 minutes, today it took 75. This included being trapped in a Metro elevator for 5 minutes and nearly getting hit by a very silent electric bus. LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET!

I joined Mary Robinson Hubert for another "Thursday with Mary." This time we met for the dedication of Lyon's new America House that hopes to promote for further improvement of all Franco-American relations. Lots of dignitaries were in attendance including the U.S. Ambassador to France. The food and wine were both nice touches.

After the ceremonies, I took the funicular up to Fourviere to see the St. Michael the Archangel art exhibit at the museum next to the Notre Dame Basilica.

Lots of supporters in their colors of Spain's Bilbao Athletic Club soccer team who played Olympique Lyon in a Euro Cup game. OL won it 2-1.

Our Senior practice was VERY good Thursday night!

On Friday, there were two highlights. First, my first kebab at the Aki Baba 1 Kebab store . . . GOOD!

I joined Falcons Ludo Dornier and Mathieu Paredes for a huge wine tasting festival in Lyon in the evening that featured  well over 200 independent vineyards from all over France. In a very pleasant surprise, we were joined by Mathieu's future bride, the lovely Floriane Ponsard. Depending on Mathieu's English, they are getting married in either 2014 or 2040.

I'm guessing he meant 2014.

The great thing about attending the wine festival with these three is that they really know there French wines. Thus we were able to go directly to their excellent choices for tasting everything from Champagne to Beaujolais to an excellent Bordeaux and everything in between.

What a fantastic night with good new friends.

Saturday it rained all day, so I stayed in The Villa and watched a Big Bang Theory marathon on TV followed by the original Frankenstein movie with Boris Karloff as The Monster. The main reason that I opted to stay out of the weather today was my desire to see Lyon's rugby team play at home tonight at 18h30 against Colomiers. I think, hope, that the stadium is covered.

On Sunday, our Falcon developmental "B" team (1-2) will travel to the 1968 Winter Olympic host city of Grenoble to play the Centaures "B" club. It is predicted to be in the mid-30s at kickoff time and snow is a possibility. It should be interesting as usual.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

And the beat goes on . . .

Blogging on the iPad is quite frankly a pain in the ass!

Pardon my French.

To finish up Monday, I did get out to Lyon's beautiful Parc de la Tete d'Or. It was very nice on a rare sunny autumn afternoon.

Tuesday night we all enjoyed a very solid "A" team practice. It was our best one to date with the linemen getting much better.

I need a new computer!

Life Without My Mac Book

After five years of faithful service, my lap top computer has relapsed into a coma after snapping magically back to life for three days last week. Though now on life support, I have not issued any DNR orders just in case another miracle occurs.

I await the purchase of a new, state-of-the-art Mac Book Pro to continue blogging properly. My current problem is my inability to upload pictures to my iPad. My other problem has been the inability to get into the blogging program via said iPad until now.

So, here is what has been going on the past few days.

Last Friday and Saturday were fairly routine as I continued to explore the Croix Rousse and Vieux Lyon neighborhoods of the city. My hope to travel on these two days to nearby cities by train were spoiled when two emergency meetings were called for 6:00 p.m. each day plus having an emergency Junior practice suddenly scheduled for Friday night at 7:30.

This lack of down time has really cut into my travel plans so far this tour in EuroBall. 

The meeting on Friday dealt with team issues starting the weekend of November 10-11. The Senior "A" and "B" teams as well as our Junior, Cadet and Flag teams all play that weekend wreaking havoc with both our coaching staffs and our limited number of uniforms. We talked through several solutions and I believe that we have things worked out at least for now.

The Saturday meeting was of graver concern to me, the Senior "A" team. This group has got to be the main focus of my energy and the primary reason for my being here in Lyon.  The concerns here are threefold.

First, the ongoing problem with our two coordinators missing practice due to work commitments on the offensive side and back surgery on the defensive side if the ball. Some workable solutions were discussed and agreed upon.

The second problem was the conflict of coaching the 9-man "B" team at the same time as the 11-man "A" team with our limited staff. Again, solutions were discussed and agreed upon.

Our final concern was still not having Scott Boer, our import QB, in Lyon with only three weeks left until our first Senior "A" team game. We are still working on this issue.

On Sunday, our developmental "B" team (1-1) traveled to Valence to play the Sharks. We were demolished 57-0 by an very good team that beat us in all three phases of the game.

To try and heal the pain of this devastating defeat, I attempted 
to journey into Lyon on Sunday night to join some of the Falcons at a bar that was showing the NFL's Baltimore at Houston game. On Sunday nights the usually dependable greater Lyon transportation system tends to shut down a bit. The usual 30 minute ride into Lyon took me 75 minutes that evening. My timing was a little better coming back to The Villa after the game.

Monday featured a nice lunch date with staunch Oregon Duck fan Mary Robinson Hubert, her husband Gerard and their friend Jocelyn who is a very interesting character to say the least. He is into acting and directing primarily while splitting time between Paris and Lyon. On a side note, he starts walking the Camino de Santiago in St.-Jean Pied-de-Port next week.


On Monday night we had a solid Cadet practice followed by a GREAT Junior workout. We were joined for the first time by 
Kelly McCoid who will be working with our WRs on these two teams. Welcome aboard Kelly!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

One Month in Lyon

The Whole World is to the Right! 

I left the comfort of our home in Camarillo, which is located about an hour north of Los Angeles, four weeks ago today.

I really do miss my family and friends, that is definitely the hardest part of living abroad. Thank goodness that the internet is able to keep us all in touch easily.

Autumn is in the air in Lyon

I wonder how long these cobblestones have been here?

Mother Mary watching over Lyon 

Cleaning Up to Start the Day

 Tapestries For Sale

The Always Colorful Vieux Lyon 

Getting Ready for a New Day


Specializing in Old Books

The World's First Pharmacie? 

My reason for being in Lyon early this mornig was to join up with Mary Robinson Hubert for our weekly Thursday morning AVF meeting. The AVF is the club for people living in Lyon that are ex-pats from just about every country that you can mention.

Today the AVF had a food theme at which members from a country share food from their native culture with the other members.

Japanese Food Day at the AVF



 Pulley Up Close

Have I mentioned that Lyon
believes in vibrant colors? 

Still have to buy Christmas
presents for the grandsons

Notre Dame atop the hill 

Hearts remind me of Laurie 

End of a Morning Market

Fleurs are always nice

Another Pharmacie

"I live above the Le Boui Boui Café" 

Almost Lunch Time

Nice Shop

This  STEEP rue eventually
leads to Notre Dame

Julien Urgenti tried to kill me the first time that I met him last spring by leading me up this winding path.

Puppets are big in Lyon 

Nice looking Café 

I like red restaurants

Lyon Lion

Blue is good too

I like this street! 

Smoke Break
but not for me

St. Georges

I know that I said that I wasn't going into another church in the month of October, but it was dedicated to St. Georges for goodness sake. What else could I do?

Cool Pulpit

St. Louis

St. Joan of Arc

I went to school with John Walsh
from the 6th through 12th grades 

In France? 

Delightful narrow rues

Saucy Pigs

Trying to make
St. Georges'victim cute? 

 Old Door

Part of the Irish Invasion
into France

St. Georges Church

A European Tradition

Fall in love.

Buy a lock.

Attach it to a site near water with your significant other.

Throw the key into the water.

Voila! A symbol of your undying love for each other.

Leaves are falling 

The Color of the day is Red
on the Saône River

Laurie would like this I think 

 Chez Jackie

That is Jackie herself in the kitchen. The aromas were wonderous, so I decided to try their cuisine.

The chicken pasta was

Artist At Work

I was trying to take a picture of the
Merry-Go-Round in the background
when she got in the way

It never ceases to be a joy
to roam the streets of Lyon

The Senior practice tonight was well attended and brimming with enthusiasm. The Falcons are just a great group of young men to be around.

I like our chances for the fast approaching season!

This Sunday our developmental, everyone plays "B" team (1-1) hits the road for a game with the Valence Sharks. It should be another interesting afternoon.