Women's Basketball Italy Diary - Cheri Craddock

Aug. 28, 2006

Ciao!

Today was different from all the other days - there was no site seeing, but rather a day of traveling. After breakfast we got on the bus for a four hour trip to a small town just outside of Venice. On the second half of the bus trip we watched 'As Good As It Gets,' and it was great to see an American movie. Since I have been here I have watched nothing but CNN, because it is the only channel in English. I am such a television person, however, I don't miss watching television too much. This trip has opened my eyes to a life without television. Although I am missing the end of my favorite show Big Brother 7, this trip is well worth it.

Once we arrived, we put our bags in our rooms and we were off to pre-game meal. Our guide Sara took us to a great restaurant where we had spaghetti with meat sauce for the first course, and then salad with steak strips. The beef was cooked to perfection; there was no need for any type of steak sauce. Pre-game meals always have light moods, with funny conversations. It's a time for us to be together and joke before the game. After the meal we went back to the hotel, we had about an hour and a half before we left for the game so this was a great time for a nap. I like to take naps before the game, however, quick naps, other wise I feel even more tried, and that is never good.

I have been so excited for our trip to Venice, however, I must wait until tomorrow, because today we have business to take care of. Today we played our second Italian team. Although we won by almost 30 points, they were a good team and they had a few players who actually spoke English. It was funny because as we exchanged our gifts I said 'ciao', and she replied 'thank you so much for coming.' I was shocked. After the game I was able to trade my practice gear for one of their jerseys and a nice leather ball. These are a few things that I will treasure for the rest of my life. After the game we stuck around and watched a men's team from Long Island play. It was great to see another group of Americans.

For dinner we went to a nice pizzeria where we had all types of pizzas. However, the pizza that I will always remember was the hotdog and French fries pizza...Now I know that it doesn't sound the best but it wasn't bad at all. And I am not the type to even try something like that, but it was good. Everyone on the team seemed to like it. I guess now when we order pizza in the states we will ask for hotdogs and French fries on top. But all together this was another wonderful day in Italy. This is one of the greatest experiences in my life, and I am glad to be able to share it with all my teammates. Everyday is better than the one before, and it makes me wish that everyone could experience the things that I have over this trip. Italy is truly amazing!

Cheri

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