Day 7: Conigliano, Italy
March 28, 2008
CONIGLIANO, ITALY - Today we had an early wake up call in order to drive to our final playing destination, Conigliano. Preparing for the long day ahead of us, we feasted on our usual croissant and nutella breakfast! Once we arrived in Conigliano, we had a few hours to spare before our match again Mitchya's team, so we explored the local market located just outside the train station. The market was filled with an assortment items. Ranging from clothing to cooking pots, it had it all! We even found cool socks for Dierk, but unfortunately they only came in children sizes.
As usual, we began our shopping adventures by looking for clothing, jewelry, etc, but ended up in a local bakery. We discovered a cute little bakery tucked away down a side street where we met the cutest old lady! Since she did not speak English we had to rely on hand motions and facial expressions to relay what we wanted. We ended up creating a system where we showed her the amount of money we had and which cookies we wanted, and she would pile large amounts of them into our bags. I'm pretty sure we got a really good deal!
Naturally, after we got dessert we had to get our lunch. We found a little pizza shop where we were able to buy pizza by the slice. Personally, this was the best pizza I had eaten all trip. The crust was perfection! To this day I still regret not buying a second piece.
After about an hour of exploring the market it was time to play for the last time in Italy ☹. We made the short drive the facility where we watched our first professional volleyball match. Walking into the gym I was a little surprised about how different it looked without hundreds of people packed in. We made our way to the locker room, got dressed for our match, and began warm up. With a limited amount of time, we were only able to play a short three-game match. While we struggled with this match, I feel as though we learned a lot from it. We realized when things start to break down we need to rely on our communication and focus to pull us through. After our match was finished, we piled back into the car and began our long drive to Milan.
Before we began our trip, we met the exciting new addition to our clan! Tim would now take over as tour guide in place of Cory. Tim was quite different from Cory. For starters, he was a staggering 6-feet-10! I think for once everyone on the team felt like an average-sized individual. Tim also seemed to be more on the organization side of tour guide-ism (yes, that is a word); we later found out he was the one who organized our entire trip. His knowledge of Italian also came in handy when Jo broke the toll booth and Tim had to lay the smack down on the toll worker. While I initially thought Tim was more of the quiet type, I later found out he was quiet the rapper and participated in the usual van rap-offs, located in Amy's van.
When we finally arrived at the hotel in Milan, we unloaded our bags and headed straight for dinner. We walked across the street to a little restaurant where we devoured plates upon plates of delicious pasta! Once we were full, we all had the same thing on our mind: sleep. We headed back to the hotel to get some rest for our highly anticipated day in Milan.