Travel, Timing, Thanks and Technology gets me to the "Teams"

Nov. 23-25, 2011 Adventures at the NATT Teams in Baltimore by Karl Augestad,  

Day 1 Wed. Nov. 23rd: Patriotic flags and signs greet the troops home at Baltimore airportLeft Anchorage at 6AM and arrived in Baltimore after about an 8.5 hour flight with a very short connection Travel experience.  DeIcing out of Anchorage took extra time and ended up running in the spacious Minneapolis airport from gate G to C with a short 10 minute layover.  Jogged quite a distance hearing on the intercom the "final boarding call" arriving at the gate they were expecting me.   The timing was seconds from the door being closed.  And only after on the plane did I see the terminal mapWelcome home troops indicating there was a "short-cut" walkway.  SEE ALL THE 2011 NATT TEAMS PHOTOS

Arrived at BWI airport at about 6:35PM EST I was destine to the ground transportation.  While inroute I heard the cheers of supports, family and friendsFamilies greet their parents, brothers, sisters and friends just days before Thanksgiving welcoming back our troops serving over seas.  A thankful time with plenty of emotions from spouse, kids and groups.  Food packages, signs and American flags were abundant by the voicstrous gathering.  Then took the public transist "Light Rail" train to Camden Yards about 15 minutes away. While on the train I checked my email and saw a link to the hotel website with on-line check-in.  Then a short walk to the Hyatt Regency scoping the GPS making sure I went the right direction.  Used the bar code on the iPhone at the interactive kiosk to pay and dispense the room key.  Avoiding the line at the front desk.  Got setted in to the room as my roommate is arriving tomorrow. Occupy B-More, located just across from the Inner Harbor & Hyatt Regency  I then went out late  dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe.  The "Occupy" movement was well comfortably camped out in B-More.  The 99%ers were visiable out in the park ajacent to the Inner Harbour.  Not much action that night.  Then had a nice meal at the infomous Hard Rock Cafe located in the historical Power Plant near the harbor.  A nice rockin' sandwich and a stroll back to the hotel.  I am guilty of over dressing with the winter coat, hat and gloves.  But my mom and the boy scouts Historical Power Plant home of the Hard Rock, Barnes & Noble, Dick's Last Resort & Phillips Seafoodstaught me well with "being prepared". 

Day 2 Nov. 24th: The next day was Thanksgiving and briefly watching the Macy's parade on TV.  Wow a few of my favorites were Grover, Mr. Potato Head and the new giant Sailor Mickey.  I took a walk around the Inner Harbor looking for a place for a late breakfast.  Took a photos along the way and checked the iPhone app "Urban Spoon" for local cuisine.  It pointed out a few nearby places but while inWhole Food Market, my favorite place for pre TT tournament energy food route walking though the local Little Italy I ended up finding a Whole Foods Market.  What a great place!  The local Anchoage Carr's and Fred Meyer's Stores tries to duplicate the experience but fall short. While on a trip in Portland with Todd and Brent Woodhouse we found a Whole Foods Market in Bellevue while at the Pac Rim TT Tournament in 2008.  Fresh flowers, seafood, meats, deli, cheese, produce, organic & health food.  Love the convience of the unique hot prepared food.  Had my Thanksgiving dinner of Turkey, Sweet Potatos, Walking on the board walk on the Inner Harbor just after Whole Foodsstuffing and a mixture of salads.  Saving the pumpkin pie for Sunday.  Stayed a bit to eat there and watched the people shop on Turkey day.  Then picked up traditional tournament food of bananas, juice, apples and bread for the weekend sandwiches.  Penty of people were out as it was nearing 3PM.

My teammate and roommate, Ralph Stadleman arrived at the hotel as I was returning.  We walked over to the Baltimore Convention Center at 4PM and met up with Andy Hutzel and his teamOne of the many rows of Table Tennis Tables... only 144 tables captain, Robert Hodgson while in line to check in.  Then went downstairs to the spacious venue hall.  Rows of tables as far as the eye can see.  Nearly 150 with Klick-itty-Klack of balls from the many players batting the ball on Thansgiving day.  Took close up photos on the iphone of the schedule, opponants and brackets for the nextTeam registration and player check-in day.  The technology was useful to allow me to review the schedule and photos.  Warm up on Thanksgiving day ended about 8:30PM.  

FRIDAY NOV. 25th day one of competion, the Preliminary rounds:  Teammates Kyle Yan and Zack Gholston will be arrived Friday morning.  Keeping in touch with text messaging to update their location on the way to the opening days matches.  Along with Andy and Robert's Teammates, Justin Fine from and NJ and David Elliott from MN. The first day is considered the Preliminary round of matches where all teams get to challenge and jockey for position placement of their team.  All teams consist of 3 to 5 players.  The top 3 rated players scores are added together to represent thier team rating.  We were at about 5300 point placing us in group 9.  We would play two teams above us in groups 7 & 8 and two teams below our rating in 10 & 11.  The objective is to at least stay in your group with wins over the lower teams and expected loses to the teams above.  An upset of a team above will place you in their group the following day.  As captain I chose to place our strongest players against the teams below to asure we would not move down.  The stratigy paid off with easy victories at 5-1 and 5-1 respectively.  

What greets you inside the venue of the North American Table Tennis Teams

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Reader Comments (1)

Karl, Andy, and Kyle:
Nice pics and Happy Thanksgiving. I am jealous of your ongoing tourney fun and challenge. Have fun and "kill that guy". Good luck and God Bless. -Iceman

November 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterWoody

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