Thursday, March 3, 2011

POLAND! and SLOVAKIA

After Venice we trained two days of slalom in Hinterreit, Austria.
Maddy striking a pose after training!
I did a couple loads of laundry in the sink and we headed to Bodele, Austia. We raced one day in Bodele, but decided to leave a day early because the snow was so soft. The soft snow, mixed with the flat hill and FIS race made our decision for us. So the next day, we hit the road! We drove 10.5 hours and FINALLY arrived in Poland. As everyone has been saying "Back to the Motherland"! It was my first trip to Poland.. ever! 

However, many of the situations we ran into were questionable. We arrived at our "hotel" to find that everyone, coaches and athletes were staying in a house. This is pretty unheard of. The girls took one floor while the coaches took another. Britt Phelan decided to "improve" her bed, by putting a foam mattress from the futon under her mattress and putting a few sheets over top of both mattresses. There is nothing like waking up in the middle of the night to find that the sheets have been pulled off of a public mattress. Five girls sharing one washroom is another adventure in itself. Usually everything was okay, but in the morning, when it is rush hour, be prepared to hold it. The other funny thing is that the bathroom door had a tinted glass window, so everyone could see your silhouette... strange. The food at the hotel was another interesting venture. 
However, I did find "cows", a type of polish candy that my Baba Cecile would bring back from Poland for my sister and I at Christmas. I guess they are actually called Krówki! 

Anyways, on to less delicious things. Since we left a day early from Bodele we were able to train at the hill in Zakopane before the race. The snow was a little soft, but it was a beautiful day!  
Apparently the people in Zakopane still use coal to heat their homes, so it creates a layer of fog over the city.


After training Maddy and I decided to go for a few free runs in the soft snow. We put on our mirrored lenses, took down our suits and pretended to be skiing in the '80s with over exaggerated pole plants. Excuse the band-aid on my face...

 MAD-DOG!

My fellow Collingwood skier! I love having her on the road!! 

I'm working on my Camouflage skills.

Maddy slouching and me standing up straight so that we could be close to the same height... FAIL 

"Erin, try to lick your bar... Wow, I thought that would be a lot funnier." 
Apparently, it is a little close to my face. Big chin?

I felt at home in the mother... no fatherland, especially when Shania Twain came on over the speakers. 

That night I went to my first public bib draw! A little girl drew my number out of a hat, then I had to pick another kid out of a row. That girl gave me my bib and it was EIGHT! My favourite number and the lowest number I could have chosen!

The next day we were at the lift at 6:30am to start warming up. Apparently Eve was not happy about the early morning. Or maybe she hit traffic on the way to the bathroom?

I guess it turned out alright...


They had to run the race early and fairly quickly because they were worried that the snow would get soft again. The first run was really turny and a bit of a grinder, but that's what I like... turning. I just love to turn. I ended up second on the first run, 1 tenth behind the leader.
On the second run, I won't lie, I was a bit nervous. My run was solid, but I held back a little bit and that was enough to move me into third. However, it was still an amazing day! My first Europa Cup podium.



And my bags were already overweight... Glass vase not included. 

After the race we met with our sponsor from Hermes, Dariusz Jasiczes,and his family for coffee and cake! They were so thoughtful and brought me a box of traditional Polish candies and a book about Poland, so I could learn more about my roots.
After this we headed to Jasna, Slovaki for our final Europa Cup race of the season. On the way we played Boggle and got a high score!!

The race in Slovakia didn't go very well. The hill was very flat if you aren't on it, you are slow. I wasn't on it...
After the race we drove to Bischofsweisen, Germany for a couple of GS races. You know you have been on the road for a while when a 7 hour drive is considered fairly short. We have a day off today and I was hoping to find a laundromat... so far Fail.

I'll leave you with some funny things that have happened recently:
- I hate when I misspeak and say something I didn't mean at all! Tim at dinner "Hotel- $75, Beer- $3, Erin's embarrassing comment- priceless"
- Things Eve says: "What are those two holes in your nose called?" Elli- "Nostrils" It's like Catch Phrase real life...
- Stuff Tim says: "It takes the Canadian Team 2 hours for dinner, 10minutes to eat 1h 50min to decide what to get"
 - Stuff Tim says "I got so bored I blow dried my hair" Maddy "It looks very... tall"

Now on to GS... I don't need shin guards for that one right?

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