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Thursday, June 27, 2013

Food, Futebol, & Fun

June 22nd     Arise in San Marino and off to the Adriatic Coast to check out the Italian Riviera. 
 Rimini is known for it’s night life. During the day, we soaked up some sun, went for a swim and checked out the town.  Team dinner at a local restaurant at about 8:00 PM.  Our bus driver insisted that a flat screen t.v. be relocated to our section of the restaurant so we could watch the Italy / Brazil Confederations Cup match.  Not quite sure that would fly in America but am glad it does here. Go Roberto!  I mentioned the night life and we assumed it would pick up and we’d get to see some of the colorful sounds the city is known for.  Increasing numbers in the streets were obvious with each passing hour, but our tired bunch departed by 11pm and supposedly Rimini doesn’t start hopping until after midnight.  It’s a good thing we left as the town flooded uncharacteristically early the next morning.  We saw some photos on the internet and couldn’t believe it was the same beach town we had spent time in the day before.

Rimini at dinner time

Kelsea Brajkovich, Lindsey Bos & Jaclyn Softli

Boys sticking together on the beach

June 23
We arrived in Venice via boat to St. Mark’s Square where we had half a day to see the immense city. 
Rose Baker and Kasha Roseta

XL Travel Guru John Dickinson & Ben Griffin

Venice; a great place to lose yourself

The Archers in the Piazza 
Many floated past the shops, the Basilica, the Prisons, Dodge’s Palace via gondola while others were curious to go deep into the city via narrow streets and throngs of people to find the perfect memento.  

Newlyweds,  according to Alfonzo the gondoliere
Surreal to see water lapping against the edge of the storefronts while boats silently cruise by the diners and shoppers and businessmen with ease.  Elena, our guide, entrusted us to meet where she dropped us off.  From the outside, it seemed so simple, meet right back where we began.
The Piazza inVenice

However, once we walked deeper into the city it was amazing how each of us just wanted to go ‘a little further’ or see what the next cobblestone street or canal lead us to.

Up to this point, each bus back to the hotel has been full of chatter; either about how that was their new favorite city, how they wanted to stay longer, or how many gelatos our trainer Chris Melton had consumed.
Let's meet back at that one bridge... you know... with the boats underneath
Slowly but surely, the mealtime seating arrangements began changing.  Early on they were predictable: roommates together,  the freshmen class… what you would expect.   Our time together is allowing our team  time to realize we do have plenty in common and at the same time appreciating and enjoying each others differences. They have learned it is  more fun than always staying in their comfort zone.   Ben and Nick are steering clear of their boring parents and finding a seat next to a Husky.  They have been watching the Huskies play since they were born, they know them by jersey number and position.  I am happy they get to hang with fantastic young women at a young age. Between the castles and pizza, the boys can only soak up so much history so they constantly ask:  “When is the next game?” 

Lesle split the team into groups that will study, take photos, and present once back on American soil.  Topics to be discussed are;  Religion, Politics, Sports and Art & Culture.  It is no coincidence that players who were grouped together have different backgrounds and opinions about their topic.  Some players originally were hesitant to fight for their point of view, others frantically scribbling on a receipt to make sure the fact they heard was not forgotten. I look forward to hearing their points of view. 
Another day at the office
Throughout our journey many have been  appalled that  a public restroom  can cost one Euro.  I wonder what their take will be when they return to the states and they hit the public restroom.  I hope at least one thinks, “I would pay a Euro to have a clean toilet seat, a door that latches, some t.p. and a floor that isn’t damp”   I think a spotless public restroom is worth the Euro. Then again, I am not a college student… and the age where my quads are on fire when I have to hover over the seat. 

Heading back to the hotel 

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