The Stingers first full day in Israel was spent here in Israel.
No basketball just yet, as the team continues to adjust to a seven-hour time difference.
There was an early-morning run however, both on the beach and on the boardwalk.
I took part in the run and kept up just fine, but let me tell you, running on the beach, on the soft sand, is no picnic- not for me or any of the Stinger players for that matter.
Very tough on the legs. It's like running with weights attached to your calves.
Looking forward to another early-morning run tomorrow though.
Coach John Dore insists the runs are early in order to avoid the extreme heat that sets in before lunch. The players though see it differently and say they can read the message- behave at night so they can survive the morning run. You can be the judge on that one. Curfew tonight was at 12:30.
Saturday in Israel is traditionally the least active day of the week, with much of the country in shutdown mode because of the weekly Sabbath.
Due to the Sabbath, weekends are a little different in Israel, beginning on Friday afternoon and lasting until Saturday night.
For most Israelis, Sunday is the first day of the week, with a regular workday for professionals and a full day of classes for students.
Tel Aviv however is among Israel's most secular cities, and it remained lively today on this "day of rest," with plenty of traffic both on the streets and on the beach.
'Rest' and 'Tel Aviv' should never really be used in the same sentence anyways.
A number of Stingers were in fact were woken up in the middle of the night, with music and car horns filling the air at four a.m. It seems in Tel Aviv there is neither a drinking age, nor a standard closing time for its watering holes.
We made it to the beach today around lunchtime, taking a much needed dip in the Mediterranean Sea. Not a cloud in the sky today and temperatures in the high 20s. We've been told to expect warmer weather in the next few days.
There was also a walking tour of Tel Aviv today, as well as the neighbouring city of Jaffa.
Jaffa's history is said to go back at least 5000 years.
Tomorrow we leave for Beer-Sheva, a sister-city of Montreal.
Montreal has raised over the years, significant funds to help build the Israeli city and its establishments. It is common for elementary school students to have pen pals in the sister-city, and many high school students visiting the other country, are housed in the sister-city.
The Stingers will remain in Beer Sheva until Friday, as they participate in a warm-up tournament leading into next week's Friendship Games.
This 16-team tournament includes Concordia, teams from Serbia and Estonia as well as 13 Israeli-based teams.
The tournament gets underway on Monday.
No doubt the Stingers can hardly wait to get on the court.
Said 5th-year Stinger Patrick Perrotte today, "I'd rather run like crazy with a basketball, than run like crazy just to run."
We'll check in next from Beer Sheva.