Hey guys, how’s it been? I hope everyone is doing well and enjoying their Summers. As you know, I just got back to Sweden a few days ago after a much needed mini vacation back home in the US. Like most breaks, it went by way too quickly, but I had a wonderful time and miss you all already. After being away for 6 months, I have a newfound appreciation for what being home really means. In college, going home was nice for short periods of time– maybe getting some home cooked meals, having a stocked fridge, sleeping in your own bed, etc. However, I always kind of took it for granted, seeing as it was just an hour and a half away. This time it was a much different feeling; the combination of homesickness and the maturity that comes with moving away gave me a newfound perspective on just how important and valuable moments with family and great friends can be. Can’t put a price on some tender loving care from Mom or Grandma, or the chaos/joking that ensues when all 5 Pothast boys are back together (4 sons and Dad who normally is at the center of it). With all that being said, I will run through some of the highlights of my week back in the greatest country in the world. There are a lot of pictures in this post, so just keep scrolling!
First things first. I got straight off the plane, reunited with my brothers who were picking me up from the airport, and they got me to Chipotle 5 minutes before close. Legends. Things were off to a great start. The plan was then to spend the night at home in Lake Zurich, before heading up north to Door County and the lake house early the next morning. Despite the wicked time difference, I slept like a rock and it was off to Door County with Johnny, Caleb, and Jack (neighbor/honorary Pothast bro). It felt weird spending those 4 hours in a car. After biking most places and bussing to games, I have spent little time recently cruising around in cars. Given my track record of not being the best driver coupled with the fact I hadn’t driven in 6 months, Johnny took the wheel and it was nice being able to chat and catch up with my bros.
Pulling in the driveway of my cottage and seeing how excited my parents (and dogs) were to see me made me feel like one lucky dude. My grandma had also made the trip up to spend time with us, so it was a packed house. After living alone in Sweden, it was a little different stepping back into the ring of the Pothast circus at first. I love having everyone around… never a dull moment! In many ways, Door County reminds me of Sweden. First off, the natural beauty of both places in comparable. The forests, water, and landscapes are very similar.There is obviously some Swedish influence in Door County (whether it be Little Sweden Resort, Al Johnson’s Swedish Restaurant, etc) and the areas just have a similar vibe.
I spent a total of 6 days in Door county separated on either side of the 4th of July weekend. The time was well spent. I got to boat, golf, fish, mini putt, go out to eat, lay on the beach, stuff myself with ice cream, and all the other good stuff that naturally comes with time spent on the peninsula. The beauty of Door County is that not much ever changes, so it was great reliving some of the fantastic memories that I have accumulated there over the years. It’s all about the simple things and whether it was the card games at night, or my grandma’s cherry crisp dessert, I indulged in each and every moment. It was great to be back in my favorite place with my favorite people.
While in Door County I also ran into my good friend Matt Hussey and his family. It’s been a while since we had last touched base and it was good to catch up and hear what he’s been up to. He’s a super chill dude and I know he reads my blog, so tip of the hat to you sir!
Being stateside for the 4th of July was such an added bonus to my trip home. As a country, we sure know how to celebrate our independence. And the city of Milwaukee really doesn’t ever need an excuse to have a good time. So I went back to my old stomping ground at Marquette to see some of the guys that were around for the Summer and to meet my best friend, Tim Kreutz, for some 4th of July shenanigans. My guy Dennis just moved into a sick new apartment in Milwaukee and it was awesome to meet up with him and his brother who are a dangerous combination, but a ton of fun. The morning of the 4th, my guy Trey had friends over to his lake, not too far from campus, where we got to ride some jetskis, chill on his boat, and enjoy the 4th of July sunshine. Celebrating America in style. Later that day, Tim came by to pick me up, and we were headed back to downtown Milwaukee and Summerfest that night. I finally got to meet Tim’s girlfriend, Alyssa, who is awesome– super nice and super cool. Tim, for what it’s worth, Eric approves. It feels like I have known her for years already and she was a champ for putting up with the Tim/Eric bromance. We were also joined by Ashley, Julia, and Julia 2, more friends from LZ!! We all shared a hotel for the night of the 4th and the night of the 5th to avoid having to crash in my brother’s house (no offense Herm/N8/Johnny). It was a great crew that only got better after I found out that the one and only… MATT LEONARD was in town as well for the night!! We all met up at Dennis’ new place, got a little goofy, and then rolled across the street (yes, talk about a sick location) to the Summerfest grounds. We all saw Timeflies, a group that Tim and I have been following for quite some time (I was like their 400th Twitter follower, NBD). It was an absolute blast and a good time was had by all. The next day was spent enjoying Milwaukee before meeting up with the group again later that night on good ole Water Street. It was a fantastic 4th, and I was able to see so many familiar faces, some planned and others that were fun random encounters. Shoutout to everyone I ran into, I was so happy to see you all!!!! Tim you the man, and I appreciate you making the trip down from Michigan to see me!! Can’t wait to be reunited again in November!!
I was also home for Caleb’s birthday! He’s already 19 and leaves for college in like a week… just let that sink in. Growing up too fast, but I was stoked to be around to celebrate with you bro! I’m proud of the dude you are becoming, keep up the good work!
The only damper on my otherwise awesome week at home was that my Swedish bank card got hacked somehow. More than $1,500 was spent in Cambodia at a single restaurant…talk about filet mignon and champagne for everyone!!! It was a headache to call my bank from the US, given the long distance charges and the time difference, but I was able to cancel my card before things got worse. I should be able to get my money back, but like anything in Sweden, it will be a process and take time requiring police involvement. Just another one of life’s punches but I’ve learned to just roll with them at this point.
Since I have been back, training has started up again. The coaches are treating this time before we start up again with games on the 21st as a mini preseason. We are doing conditioning and they are working us hard to knock off some of the rust we may have gotten during the vacation. The past few days here have been uncharacteristically warm… like mid 80′s. Trainings have been hot and sweaty, but luckily I have been able to hit the beach and jump in the refreshing ocean to cool off afterwards. The sun doesn’t set until well after 10 here, so we have been at the beach after 9 pm no problem. The perks of living in Angelholm!
So how bout that World Cup final huh? Man, this tournament did not disappoint and provided some quality entertainment over the past month or so. I think Germany deserved to win as they were the best team of the tournament for me… solid top to bottom. I’m just bummed that we have to wait 4 more years until the next one, but I suppose there’s plenty of soccer to be enjoyed until then. Watch out world, the USA will be an even bigger influence in the next tourney!!
I hope I covered it all… it was an eventful week to say the least! I can’t wait for games to start up again and get things rolling. The team ended the first half of the season in good form and hopefully that continues on here as we strive to climb higher up the table. Everyone have a good week, and remember, don’t take family and friends for granted!! Be blessed!!
Ps… follow me on social media for more instantaneous updates if interested.