Today was considered a day off for all the teams in the tournament, so Team USA took the opportunity to do some sightseeing. They started the day with some soccer tennis, in order to keep their focus on why we're here and to have some bonding time. Afterwards, we all met in the lobby and hopped on the shuttle to Avenida Central, in the center of San Jose and where there is tons of shopping! Biz (our nickname for our guide, Bismark) directed us through blocks of central San Jose. There was even an area where they'll give you corn to feed the pigeons and let me tell you, those pigeons are not shy! You'll understand when you see the pictures below! Our tour ended with a local market, where the guys got to browse and pick up souvenirs for themselves and their families. The market was awesome. It was a tight walkthrough, but wasn't crowded. Each little store was filled with dresses, beautiful painted feathers, magnets, coffee products, and anything Costa Rican you could think of. The guys loved it and were able to go off on their own and explore at their leisure because the set up was perfect for coaches and staff to keep an eye on everyone. I fell in love with one item I couldn't take with me! A stray kitten that was insanely adorable. (What can I say, I have a very soft spot for animals! See picture below.) Once everyone got some shopping it, Biz took us across the street to an amazing Costa Rican restaurant, where we had one of the best meals I've had this whole trip! Seasoned chicken with rice and beans, along with fried plantains and followed with rice pudding. (Great restaurant, Bismark!) Once we got back to the hotel, the guys were directed to relax and meet for dinner at 7. Tomorrow, we begin the second round of the tournament and we play Portugal , which I believe is ranked third. (I will have to confirm that.) Make sure to send good vibes down for the team, it will be a challenging match, but our boys have proven that they have the skills, talent, and the heart to play along side every one of the teams down here! Go Team USA!!!
(Pictures are slightly out of order. Some are from my iPhone and others are from Norm's camera.)
Walking through town
Beautiful local flowers
Norm and I with some local K9 officers
Andrew and Levi
Ali, Norm, and Levi
Jowell's sister with the pigeons! (Told you they weren't shy!)
Peace with the pigeons
Now it's Ali's turn!
Norm and Jowell
Brian with Jowell and his grandmother
At the amazing restaurant
Jowell and Ali
The stray kitten that I wanted to take with me so bad! (We got her some chicken to eat.)
The inside of the restaurant
Biz and Norm with Biz's friend who worked at the restaurant
Our amazing food!
The coaches ordered coffee and this is how it's served! Brewed right in front of you. Scott said it was amazing.