Well it’s day 3 of our tour so far and it feels like we’ve been here for a week at least! We are so far removed from home and normal routines, everything we see is new and different, it has been a crazy fun few days. We feel like we’ve been on The Amazing Race, it’s been a sprint from one destination to the next, to make sure we leave on time to get there on time, to follow directions on google maps and Tom Toms is a skill we are perfecting, feed hydrate hydrate again and keep going, whew! We have packed a lot in and the kids have been exposed to so many different tennis environments in a short space of time. They have bonded quickly and are having a blast!

Our trip over here was looooong, us adults were very jealous of the kids curled up on their aeroplane seats fast asleep! We then missed our connecting flight to Tampa cos of various delays, including dwardling kids – no names mentioned!! Finally we arrived in Tampa, unfortunately minus Tim and Johan-Louis bags- and made a speedy transit to Bolletieri. Our mouths were hanging open at the size of the place, 90 something courts, fancy dormitories, tracks, fields, golf course, plus ice and water machines on every few courts, wow! Feeling stiff and sluggish we went for a jog around the golf course, spotted a few rabbits, blue cranes and gators 😉 Next stop, food, water bottles and to the Super 8 hotel where we crashed out for a few hours.

An EARLY 4.30am start the next day got us to Sanchez Casal Academy on time for a day filled with hitting conditioning and match play. Our first taste of clay was really funny to watch, slipping and bounding awkwardly around the court, getting sock loads of clay in our shoes and the ball bouncing really higher than expected. After 3 hours of playing the kids joined in with an hour of conditioning. A buffet lunch was laid out and showers in the fancy rest rooms, a refresh before the afternoon session which was 1 hour tennis and 1 hour fitness AGAIN!

It was time to hit the road again and we followed the long Alligator Alley Highway to Coral Springs. The Road trips have been a great time to hang out for a bit, listen to music, joke around with each other and see the local landscape. We had our first bit of rain which was a nice cool down to the sticky Florida heat we have had so far. We arrived at the La Quinta hotel where the boys are staying. alas the lost bags were still not delivered, it was another deodorant- free night for Tim…eeeuww. We eveeeeeeentually found Justine’s house where the girls are staying and Justine had had supper waiting for us. It was our first home meal, delicious.

Our Amazing Race today started with a hunt for tennis balls and clay shoes for some who haven’t found any yet their size. We weaved and bobbed thru traffic and eventually found Match Play and a few pairs of shoes and some balls. Then we had 15 minutes to get to our next port of call which was 45 minutes away..hmmmm well our Tom Tom lady is very confusing and had us doing u turns n swearing a good few times. We did find Gerrit though, at his awesome house with 2 clay courts and the best treehouse ever. It overlooked the courts with a bar type set up with a tree up the middle of it. So the kids had a fun session of hitting to music with frequent water breaks, and met Lily the pig who quite liked sniffing in their tennis bags-not sure what smelled so good in there?! They also had their first lesson in brushing a clay court after playing.

Mac Donalds for lunch…we had 10 minutes so it was speedy. Now for Tom Tom lady who we were starting to get, she led us to Pompernal Tennis Club which was 36 minutes away we had 34. Norman led Tony at pace and we got here in time for coach. He is really strict about time so we dare not be late. Kids are now playing matches against the local kids here, really awesome.

And that is where we now leave you. Tomorrow is our first tournament day, so bring it on!