Thursday, July 2, 2009
In Gran Canaria
The trip from Mallorca to Gran Canaria proved much easier than the trip from the United States to Mallorca. The travel time is about five times shorter, but I was thankful nonetheless.
Only got about three hours of sleep last night thanks to the lingering effects of jet lag and a few loose ends at work, so I was hoping to catch some sleep on the short flight from Palma to Madrid, then even more sleep on the longer flight from Madrid to Las Palmas, Gran Canaria.
First plan worked perfectly. I crashed out before the fasten seat belt sign had turned off and awoke in the middle of decent into Madrid. I was hoping to repeat the performance on the next flight, but as soon as I saw 40 or so preteens all wearing the same shirt and standing in line for the flight to Gran Canaria, I knew my prospect of getting some solid air snooze was destined to be thwarted. I found no respite between the constant seat kicking and the overemphasized screaming ever time the plane hit the slightest bit of turbulence. No big deal though. I'd be doing the same thing if I were in their situation. Live it up ninos.
After a nap in the hotel, it was off to the lobby to meet up with Sergio Rodriguez. Serg, despite the fact that he's no long a Trail Blazer, has been very accommodating. As KP noted on draft night, Sergio has been a big part of our franchise over the last three years, and I feel like I owe it to him to tell his story here in Gran Canaria.
It's amazing how different life on one island (Mallorca) is from another (Gran Canaria), at least as it pertains to my pursuits. To my eyes, Mallorca was a sleepy, old world paradise. Gran Canaria? Far more industrial, a city of the world. Granted, I stayed in a small town in Mallorca, and currently I'm in Las Palmas, which is the hub of Gran Canaria, but the differences are valid nonetheless.
It's also worth noting the camps have a completely different feel as well. Rudy's was relatively small, about 100 or so kids. An intimate experience in a small town. Sergio's camp tops out at over 300 estudiantes, something Rodriguez is quite proud of. He's got corporate sponsors. Kids chant his name when he walks in. It's no better or worse than Rudy's camp, just different.