Thursday, July 29, 2010

Resolved Volleyball Tourney

On July 24th 2010, the 2nd annual Resolved Volleyball Tourney solidified itself as a tournament to be visited again for years to come. At 11 am, 41 competitors assembled on the Sand Beach Volleyball court in the Yoder's backyard braving the 97 degree high with the heat index surpassing 100!

The first round of  group play action showed Team Macarena in the A division and Team Alan in the B division to be the tops of the groups both tallying up a 2-0 record.
After bracket play advances by Team Octapi over the Salty and Team Magnificent over Applicious the semi-finals were set.
The first upset of the single elimination round came quickly as a tight 1st game unraveled giving Team Octapi the win over a foiled Team Macarena - despite their best of dancing, singing and chanting. The 2nd semi-final match set the stage for an all division B Final as Team Alan took down Team Magnificent handily.

After Hours of Volleyball and many victories and defeats Team Octapi overcame their play-in game weariness and beat Team Alan establishing themselves as the 2nd annual Resolved Tourney Champs. Congrats to Team Octapi for swiping the Winner-take-all Gift Cards Prize.
                                                                                                      Many thanks to everyone who made this our best tourney yet..
HUGE thanks to the Yoder family for the upkeep of such an amazing venue and the kindness to allow us to party on it all day long.

See you at Resolved!

Big Props to the 2 teams the brought home Zero Victories.... this one's for you


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Charleston Chew

I recently took a trip to Charleston with my family. Though the drive was a little long it was fun. We even made up our own road game that will soon be packaged as a board game and sold in stores nearest you. 
Though Charleston was amazing and the company was even better my highlight or higlights of the trip were the time of chewing away in Charleston at local restaurants.

While yes the Charleston Chew is a favorite candy bar of mine and its delight is increased by freezing it the little places we found to eat while in Charleston were amazing. Here is the tale of our eating adventures.
Night one- Shoney's
  I know what your thinking, but at 11 pm when you have been driving for 7 hours and the last bit in the pouring rain Shoney's can do you well!

Morning one - Charleston Cafe
  If your ever in Charleston it is well worth it to go to this little spot. It has some incredible breakfasts like amaretto French Toast with a stuffing of cream cheese. But what was most amazing to me was their specialty that i have found no other place in all my adventures - Potato casseroles.  I ordered the Dewey's Island .  This delicious plate was a heaping portion of homemade thick potato chips with Turkey, Bacon, Scrambled Eggs, and other goodies in there and topped with a spicy tomato sauce-- unreal. The Sweet Potato Biscuit was also out of this world.


Night Two- Long Point Grill
This spot was another locality that made amazing plates and portions. Every plate was incredible. I ordered a Chicken plate that was stuffed with cheese and perfected by a vinaigrette with a side of exquisite broccoli and potatoes. I also ate some of Bekah's Crusted chicken.

Lunch-  A little sandwich shop right off the open market. A good pick me up as our energies were waning.

Night 3 -Sticky Fingers
This Charleston great has been visited by loads of celebrities who have left their John Hancock on the restaurant window.  It was a great meal to finish a day of shopping around Charlestons open air market which is known to be open every day of the year.   Known for its barbecue pork sandwich (my order) it a fun place with sauce bottles on each table. You can try them all or mix them for a perfect personal combo to dump on your meat.

Lunch - A burger joint right off the beach where we rode our bikes.. the normal stuff really. Our highlight here was discovering an Island. I found the route to get there through the current and claimed it Connor Island.

Night 4 - The Mustard Seed
This restaurant was the first of a locals 9 restaurants that excel in the Charleston area. It's a quaint little spot right between two roads with cozy seating and friendly servers. Though my parmesan crusted Chicken wasn't what I ordered, it was great and the free "I'm sorry I messed up dessert" was huge and tasty.

Morning 4- Charleston's Cafe
If you can't tell this was our favorite for morning and I was glad to return for another Dewey's Island. This time the memory was made complete with purchases of Charleston's Cafe used mugs for a quarter!

Well, Its been about 2 weeks since the vacation, maybe three... and that's all I can remember of the restaurants. Sorry if its spotty, but if anything you can see. When you in Charleston you can eat better than well. Make sure to hit up Mustard Seed and Long Point Grill family of shops and of course the Charleston Cafe!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Back In NJ

Well, I guess its official, I am back in NJ.
Yes, I have been here since last tuesday, so make it around 10 days, however, I had not yet unpacked everything until today making this the first official "back in NJ day" to me.

Though it was a bit shocking to be released I am excited to be back at my church home in New Jersey -- South not North. No, there aren't black jeans, gold chains, and a ton of greased up hair here, that's the other state that's known as New Jersey... up North. You know, people like the Fonz from Happy Days...
(Is that Jeff Boettcher???)

Being back in the place that has been my home for the past two years is pretty comforting, I have so many great friends and of course my girlfriend here that were difficult being away in the D. I know what you are thinking... why New Jersey.. Isn't that the armpit of the world.. or at least the US.

Well, I thought the same way for the majority of my life. In fact, I even went so far as to say aloud once, or maybe a few times, "I will never live in New Jersey." I also said, I would never play NFL Europe or AFL - both of which I have now done. (Proverb 16:9)

South Jersey is actually a nice little place regardless of what your preconceived notions may be. Its a short little skip into Philadelphia (10 minutes) and less than an hour to the shore (where you can swim in the masses of people on the sand and boardwalk).  Though it may lose some of its appeal to those who are fans of "The Jersey Shore TV Show," that's not how it is around here.

So in summary, I am glad to be back and thankful, so thankful to the church in which I owe for so much support, friendship, and growth. 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Facing the music

The Chorus of George Michael's "Faith"---- cus I gotta have faith, faith, faith...
is on repeat playing in my head today. Though I don't know the rest of the lyrics, I am pretty sure they wouldn't apply to my situation.

After a strong showing here playing in Dallas through OTA's and Mini-camps getting bigger and stronger and even kicking off well, Coach Phillips released me today.  He said I did well but it was a numbers thing for training camp. 

I am left a bit disappointed as I felt I was in a good position to play this year, but I have faith that God is both protecting and providing for me through all of this.   I'm extremely thankful for the opportunity to come here and train at Valley Ranch with one of the premier teams in the NFL.  I was blessed to get to know some great guys that play and coach there and wish them all the best for the upcoming season.

As for me, I will be heading back to stay in Cherry Hill NJ, where I am excited to rejoin my amazing Church, Sovereign Grace in their new building.  I am also praying that a job will be around the corner for me as I try to keep in shape in any case of a future call from the NFL.

I am up in the air as to whether or not to continue to blog.. I guess I could still offer some entertainment value for you all and perhaps some humor about some day to day stuff.

Stay Tuned if you'd like, one thing I have learned...
        You don't have to be a professional athlete to have an interesting life!
                   or funny thoughts.

A few helpful verses
1 Thes 5:16-18
Prov 16:9

But more importantly
Rom 5:8  is more giving of joy that the other to me.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us!

See yall in NJ

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Senior Cit Dinner reminder

As I was running some errands today I became very hungry... I'm talking dinner time hungry.
I then received a text from Jon Stewart that had a time stamp of 5:30 pm, so naturally I figured it was a bit early, but I could eat early dinner perhaps.

I walked into Pei Wei, ordered some sesame chicken, got some water and squeezed some oranges into it.. (quite refreshing by the way) and as I waited for my dinner and thinking it odd I was surrounded by elderly people I looked at my watch and there it was..... 4:30 pm.
WOW... so this odd event reminded me that there have been some requests for another blog entry and on is about due (and its 9 now and I'm starving.. thanks Jon)

Well here we go.. sorry it has been too long and by now there seems to be too much to fill everyone in on fully so... I believe it might be good to give a brief summary, although I am slightly distracted by this weird "Alice in Wonderland" movie I got for free at red box.
---search "red box coupons" in google and the codes really work! -- your welcome

Since last post,
I have been to Dallas Vigilantes Arena game.. they lost to Chicago.
I have had an amazing weekend at NEXT with everyone from Sovereign Grace Church in Cherry Hill NJ. And I arrived back from PHL in DFW at 130 thanks to over 4 hours in my flight delay!
That next week, I played golf once and had 3 ota's, 4 workouts.
On that Friday I became very ill and laid in bed from Friday thru Monday... i kept my blinds shut and stayed in the dark...  pretty vampirical! -- i still dont know what was wrong with me!

Then that Tuesday through tomorrow morning everyday I have had football..  I managed to squeeze another round of golf in though and went to the Village evening service to listen to Matt Chandler speak.. and I have also reigned supreme in online Battleship over Bekah..

We finished finally our OTA's and our only full team mini-camp and then my fourth workout day this week will culminate tomorrow right before I get on a flight to go see Johnny Tsunami get married to Rip Curl Hurls.

Sorry so brief and so little  humor... so little time.

I will do better everyone.... or I will try.

Thanks for tuning in.

Hughes.. out

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Call the Guinness Books

It's been a while since my last blog... sorry. But for other who don't care or rather not have to take the time out of their day to read.... your welcome.

Things around here have been fairly boring lately.  We have begun OTA's (off season team activities)
so that means the level of seriousness has stepped up.  Three days a week we are meeting in the mornings, practicing as a team and getting a lift in.  YES kickers have to lift too. (I have actually gained about 8 pounds since coming here).  Things are going well.

That also means that I am not playing golf as much... good thing for the snakes on the course. And I am going to bed earlier... Last night I stayed up past 12 for the first time in a while and the last hour was rough. I don't know what it is about staying up. If I don't have anything the next morning I feel obligated to stay up later, regardless if I am doing anything in particular or not, which then leads me to sleep in a little bit the next morning groggily, thus changing my whole day. Instead of (as Jeff would say) "happening to life" I think it more allows life to happen to me, for what thats worth.

Anyway, last night I set a new record and this is something worth noting.  The record was the most weight in a hunter green VW cabrio convertible.  My buddy from UVA is in town playing arena football against the Dallas Vigilantes... Van's new team, and I picked up him and two of his buddies for dinner at PF Chingy Changs last night.

( I thought another visual of my car was necessary for the full effect)

We had a total bodily weight of about 880 lbs give or take 30 in that tiny little car. Of course the top was down.  Needless to say many people we drove by were pretty impressed 4 grown men could make a cabrio look so good... hardly.  I still can't figure out why so many people were laughing though, I don't have any funny bumper stickers on the back of the car. But anyway we managed to survive driving through and around Dallas despite some really really bad drivers. You really look at driving totally different when you are head height to the hub and rubber of the 18 wheels of an 18 wheeler.  No top on and no windows up.  The Lord provides.

Well that's about it for now. Tonight I am going to the Arena game in Dallas to see some former teammates and friends play. Should be fun!

Hope everyone is well

PS when there is that much weight in the car acceleration is severely limited..... and so is braking.  There is no need to call myth busters, you can take my honest word for it. SCARY.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

JJ's Golf Bash

Most of you know who I am referring to when I say JJ. He's the only man I know with more money than I can imagine.

That's besides the point, Last night I went to a party at the stadium for the Golf tournament he is holding and it was incredible. The room was a mix between a 5 star hotel and a high end bar/lounge.
Flat screen tv's adorned the walls with little pockets of couches and chairs dispersed about this giant room with a partition.  But this wasn't your run of the mill brown partition, instead it was made out of mirrors.... a wall of mirrors that had flat screens set back into them. If the tv's were off you saw mirror, but when on you saw the moving screen.
(This pic is from bigger side looking at glass divider - there are tvs hiding in it on both sides. This pic doesn't even show half of the entire room, most of its behind you)

It also had two bars, one giant 360 degree bar and the other back in the smaller partition raised with bar stool table seating around it. This place was the ultimate in class and prestige.

Girls walked about the room serving small portions (mini burgers, shrimp cocktail, cookies, shots of banana pudding and wafers), but you could also grab a glass of spicy chicken on top of macaroni and cheese (amazing and my favorite), or have some fish tacos, or sushi.

The night went fine for the most part except for the embarrassing part where each player had to stand up and introduce himself to everyone and without a mic.  Oddly intimidating.

It really is sad how this description can not do that room justice, imagine the nicest modern bar/loung/hotel lobby.. it was prolly nicer than what your thinking and it was in the stadium! I'm glad I could find a pic to show you a little of what I'm talking about.

That's all