European Tour Day 6 - Sunday, May 18
The team left Milan Sunday morning and stopped in Verona for a short visit before heading on to Bologna, where the Tar Heels will spend time touring on Monday morning before playing another match at night.
BOLOGNA, Italy - Milan, Verona and Bologna all in one day. Not bad, huh? We loaded the bus this morning in Milan after surviving the outlasting effects of the city's first "taxi strike" in over two years. What a perfect night for the team to be 45 minutes away from the hotel with the only words in our Italian repertoire being "toilette" and "gelato." (Both which we awkwardly find ourselves trying to throw an authentic accent on as if to disguise the fact that we are American tourists. It doesn't work.) The language barrier didn't quite alleviate the situation and made it pretty difficult for everyone to communicate with the locals with the exception of Berringer. The situation revealed not only that Kayla can find a way to talk to anyone, at anytime, but also a solution to the much-dreaded beep test. If Coach, Erik and Greg want us to improve on our running times, nothing brings a team closer or makes us move faster than trying to chase down disinterested cab drivers.
We made it to Verona by bus in about two hours. It didn't take long for the city to become nearly the whole team's favorite spot thus far in the trip. After lunch and a couple hours of exploring, we got back on the bus and headed for Bologna where we concluded the day with a five-course meal. To be painfully honest, before tonight, most of our bodies were running on purely gelato and carbohydrates. We have decided it is for the best that our nutritionist, Mary Ellen, didn't accompany us on the trip, as I doubt she'd be able to look at us the same again. But to be fair, we are merely just trying to uphold American stereotypes... Prego?
One last thing to note is Europe's neglect of ice (more upsetting for our joints than the drinks) and its disinterest in air conditioning in the gyms. The excessive sweat calls for us to take action immediately and while most have decided to hand wash their dry fit t-shirts in the sink, another option is Kaitlyn's approach. Kait showed the team a new way to do it when she gracefully chucked a dri fit in the trash can after deciding there was no chance for revival. The owner of the disposed shirt will remained unnamed for the sake of this blog.
On a serious note, we will continue to grow together as a team on the court and individually off the court as young women. My sister told me a couple days before we left that the lesson of humility is one of the most important you can learn, and I'd venture to say that traveling abroad has given me a taste of that lesson. The world extends far beyond the city limits of Chapel Hill and is much bigger than my narrow perception of reality. The process of that perception being broadened is rewarding and, above all, humbling.
To our donors, thank you.
To our loved ones, we love you.
And to those of you who we are lucky enough to have that are both, a note of gratitude and touristy souvenir will never be enough to repay you, but it's a start.
Italy is amazing, but I may be a little biased -as always... Go Heels, Go America!