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Italy: June 11-13 Journals with Katherine, Sarah and MacKenzy

June 14, 2010

Sophomores Katherine Culwell, Sarah Bullock and MacKenzy Harper recount the team's final days in Italy, June 11-13.

June 11 - Katherine and Sarah
Today we got up and had the usual ham sandwich and boiled egg breakfast and time limit by the pool, but instead of our usual pool activities, some of us went to explore the beach! Unfortunately, it got extremely hot, so we wandered back to the hotel pool to cool off. That was very delightful indeed!

After our sun time was up, we headed back to the room to nap, so we'd be ready for the finals!

Our nap turned into a 4-hour snooze..... but we were still ready to play! After our snooze, we had pre-game meal at a restaurant on the beach.

At 7:15, we departed for the gym, in our handy Mercedes Vans. We played in a different gym for the finals, called Pala Snoopy. The place was decorated with a ton of snoopy characters playing volleyball. We weren't sure about the Snoopy part, but it was really cool! We played Scavolini in the finals and won 3-1! Everyone played really well after our slow start.

After the match, there was an award ceremony. Everyone received medals and a team trophy was presented. Kelly Fidero was named MVP of the tournament. We took a ton of pictures with the other teams and exchanged jerseys/gifts. It was a really cool and unique experience. We left the gym at midnight and went to celebrate our win with some Italian Gelato! The perfect ending to a perfect night!

June 13 - MacKenzy
We woke up this morning to our last sunrise in Pesaro, Italy. After a quick breakfast of croissants and cappuccino, the team hauled our luggage (substantially heavier from accumulated purchases) and began the four hour bus ride to our last stop, Venice. As the bus rode over the bridge to the 180 Venetian Islands situated on the largest lagoon in the Mediterranean Sea, we all quickly sat up from our naps and admired the waterfront. A boat took us from the mainland and we caught of first glimpses of the famous canals and gondolas from afar. The 1,200-year old nation-state was breathtaking but hard to appreciate initially. Our tour started at midday and the heat was sweltering. We walked back and forth looking for our elusive tour guide for half an hour but eventually set out. Unknown to us, who had neither sunscreen nor proper clothing, the popular way to fight the heat is by sunhats and umbrellas. The Venetian history and culture was so interesting and the local crafts the most unique we had witnessed yet. A few of the girls chatted with the gondoliers and admired the architecture- none of the buildings have right angles! Glass art and silk was around every corner and a popular last minute souvenir splurge for the team.



Our walking tour tired us out and after three hours and almost missing our boat back, we headed back to the mainland and checked into our last hotel of the trip. After showers and some food at a local pizzeria, we laid around the hotel to enjoy the first free wireless internet of the trip, watched some World Cup soccer and turned in early to prepare for the trip back. What an awesome experience to play in such a beautiful country and experience a rich culture!
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