From the title of this story I think you can already get a sense of how this is going to go, but please, bear with me here.
Background Info/Setting the Scene:
For those who don’t already know, I’m currently in Germany playing for the Gießen 46ers. We are currently smack in the middle preseason. For my fellow athletes, I need not say anymore, you know what that means and what I’m currently experiencing. For my non-athletes that aren’t familiar with this particular time of the season, suffice it to say that it’s one of the more challenging/grueling portions of the season, and in some cases more so than the grind of the actual season.
During this time, off days are one of your most prized possessions, or favorite past times so to speak. Usually we get one per week, and when they come about they are to be thoroughly enjoyed by doing nothing (speaking for myself of course). My off days are what I like to refer to as my Triple R day (Triple R = RRR = Rest, Recover, Recuperate). That basically means I quite literally lay on my a** all day and not do a damn thing. Even for food, I don’t cook, I order in. Full fledged bum mode is in effect all day. Only thing semi-strenuous that I do is go to the bathroom and maybe stretch but even that on some days, depending on how the previous week went, is pushing it.
The Actual Story:
About a week ago, after two back to back tough games on the road (we won one, lost one), we were given a day off. Now you can imagine how happy I am about this. I’m ecstatic. I can’t wait to get home and activate my bum mode. Also keep in mind that at this point it has been about a month since I left the crib (Houston, TX/USA), so I’m missing home very much. More specifically, I’m missing some good ol’ Nigerian food. This craving has been building up for quite a while now. So much that I found an African restaurant here in Gießen but they only served Ethiopian food which I don’t mind but definitely nothing like the Nigerian food I want.
I get home after these games, eat some leftover food I had in my fridge, hang out for a little while, and finally go to sleep. I wake up the next morning hungry as usual (if you know me you know I don’t play with my food). However, at this point, I think it’s too early to start ordering food so I decide to kill time doing other things. To help keep me from going crazy from hunger I eat a Twix bar, a couple of Twizzlers, and cookie. As time passes, I start to peruse my little food delivery app; seeing what restaurants I might like and what I want to order. Is it going to be Chinese? Indian? Pizza? Or even some German spots that I hadn’t tried before? Then it occurred to me that I’m still craving Nigerian food.
The lightbulb went off in my head at that point. I started to think if Gießen, a relatively small city, can have an African restaurant with Ethiopian food, then Frankfurt a very large metropolitan city, and a world hub for that matter, definitely has to have some Nigerian food. After-all, we Nigerians are everywhere (no joke, not bragging either, we really are everywhere). Next step was to fire up google and do some research. I proceed to open google and do a simple search for “Nigerian restaurants in Frankfurt.” Lo and behold, the hits came pouring in. Ok I’m lying it was only about 3 but still, that was more than I had bargained for so I’m gushing at this point. I can already feel my mouth watering...
Earlier this week, through my affiliation with HSB Camps, I got the opportunity to visit Sun Valley, ID. When you first think about Idaho, elite, upscale, exclusive, and a great experience aren’t the things that first come to mind. At least those weren’t the things that came to my mind. However, this trip definitely was one to remember. I’ll be the first to admit that for most of this trip I was in awe. The sights were breathtaking and the people I got to meet were phenomenal. Add that to the fact that some of America's elite reside or are affiliated with Sun Valley and you start to get a sense of the type of experience I had.
The two highlights of this trip for me were going up to Red Fish Lake and being a guest bartender at the Corner Stone Bar in Ketchum. The drive to and from Red Fish Lake was very scenic. I believe that if I start describing the sights and how scenic the drive was, a thousand words later I’d still not have done it justice. Simply put, I got to see the mountains and the vastness of nature. The lake itself has beautiful and clear water. I was tempted to jump in but the water was too cold and I am not about that life.
The second highlight of the trip was being a bartender. I’d like to preface this story by saying that I have a lot of friends and associates that are and were bartenders. I have always been intrigued by bartending and at one point I was considering being one for a little while, so when this opportunity came up for me to be a bartender for the night I immediately jumped on it and I loved every minute of it. I along with my bartending partners made about $400 in tips that night (all the proceeds went to charity...HSB Cares). The best part of the whole bartending experience was the conversations I got to have with the different people that came into the bar. That was the part that I enjoyed the most. The actual drink making part was kind of tough because I definitely did not know what to put in almost all the drink orders I received. Luckily for me a young lady by the name of Molly who was a bartender helped me out every step of the way.
Another key note from the bartending was I now know what my specialty drink is going to be. It’s a drink that I was already familiar with but I made quite a few that night and I think in the process I perfected the ratio of alcohol to mixer in order to make it just right. So for general knowledge, my drink of choice, and my specialty drink if I was ever to be a bartender would be Patron & Pineapple with a splash of Grenadine (someone call Patron, I may need a little compensation for that plug).
All things considered I think this was a great trip. It was both entertaining and educational. It’s an experience that I’m very happy I had and I’m looking forward to having again sometime in the future. There are a lot of other things that I saw and a lot more that occurred that I’d like to talk about, but as the good old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words and I took over a hundred on this trip. Check out the following slide show and you’ll see some of the things that I got to see. I know it's not the same as actually being there but at least you'll get the idea. I hope you enjoy it.