On the road again

My National Women's Soccer League team, the Chicago Red Stars, just took a weeklong trip out to the West Coast to play the Seattle Reign and Portland Thorns. Although we didn't come out with the points we wanted -- we lost to Seattle and tied Portland -- we showed a lot of heart and determination. Here is a peek into what we do when we aren't out on the pitch.

My teammate Alyssa Mautz at the Old Spaghetti Factory living the dream (and eating sweets) on her soon-to-be birthday.

A shot of the Portland pitch, the day before our game. It ended up being a packed stadium on game day, and we had an amazing comeback. Mautz, most likely due to all the whipped cream she ate, made the big difference and scored two goals.

One more of Mautz, still on a sugar high.

Dre Leon and Michelle Wenino at wonderful Panera, starting the day right.

Another morning shot of the Red Stars' international flava table: (from left) Rachel Quon (half-Canuck), Maribel Dominguez (Mexican), Lydia Vandenbergh (American) and Jen Hoy (American). Lydia speaks Portuguese with Maribel, who is also learning English with Jen's help.

Floyd's coffee shop in Portland had some killer collectibles on the wall, like this shot of Blanche from "The Golden Girls." I know Robyn Gayle of the Washington Spirit would love this, since she has every season of the show!

The infamous Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, where a doughnut in the shape of a voodoo doll is displayed, pinned down with a pretzel stick. People are often lined up around the block to get in.

Getting my German teammates (Inka Grings and Sonja Fuss), general manager Alyse Lahue (we usually call her GM) and Ella Masar to pose for this was like pulling teeth!

Last of all, this is me working on my 14th piece during a little bit of downtime. I'm getting ready for my art show in September at the Jane Roos Gallery in Toronto.