May 24, 2012

 

European Trip Homepage (all blogs and photos available, videos coming next week)

OXFORD, Ohio – Senior Lisa Treadway of the Miami University volleyball team has been kind enough to provide a final blog of the RedHawks’ European Adventure. Enjoy a summary of the entire trip and her thoughts about it, and be sure to come back to the European Trip homepage next week to view the remainder of the videos that the team filmed while overseas.

Hey Miami Volleyball Fans,

Now that we’ve given you a couple days to check out all the amazing pictures and stories from our European adventure, and while you wait for the remainder of our great videos that should be up either Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, we wanted to give you a little summary about what this trip was really all about.

First and foremost we couldn’t be more grateful to have had this opportunity to play in and experience three very different and beautiful countries. We owe a lot to Coach Condit and the staff that put a great deal of hard work into this experience. With that being said, thanks a million to our many donors and alumni that contributed to the success of this trip. The benefits have already proven to be far and wide and, I think, will continue to do so.

Looking back, it’s hard to even highlight the best parts of the trips because every day was unique. Yet, somehow the days seemed to build upon one another and just got better and better. To recap, Vienna was beautiful, warm, and suitably welcoming for our first stop on the tour. We enjoyed walking the streets, tried authentic Wiener schnitzel and apple strudel, attended a Mozart concert and explored the vast Schonbrunn Palace. Slovenia proved to be a quiet getaway in the hills and mountains. While it was peaceful, we were on the go with great volleyball competition, a challenging high ropes course, an amazing alpine slide and an energizing youth clinic.

The second half of the trip brought us to Italy. We toured a castle, stepped into the Adriatic Sea and ate our first lasagna in Trieste. We played a great match in Pordenone and had a blast getting to know the players. A train to Venice dropped us right on the Grand Canal where gondolas, boats and beauty surrounded us. Everywhere I turned was picture perfect - small canals, elaborate buildings, quaint shops, street paintings, and of course, St. Mark’s Square and the Rialto Bridge. En route to Rome we stopped in Florence for a few hours. With only a few hours to sightsee, it was just enough time to capture the essence of the city. The breathtaking Duomo church, impeccable Statue of David and famous Ponte Vecchio bridge and leather markets were only some of our favorite places. And last was two days in Rome. The first day consisted of a tour through the Vatican Museum including the awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel. One of my favorite parts was the immensely beautiful St. Peter’s Basilica and Square. The view from the top of the cupola was like nothing else. I can’t even describe the enormity of the ironically smallest country in the world, Vatican City. That night, we played the Italian Junior National Champs in a hard fought match that we ultimately won. It was so great to end our journey with such a cohesive and competitive team. The final day we explored the Roman ruins and incredible Colosseum. Since it was the last day, my teammates and I went on an adventure and explored the corners of the city. We hit all the major monuments like Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and the Spanish Steps with so many hidden jewels along the way. We always made sure to stop and enjoy the scenery with a little gelato, of course. My favorite spot out of the all the cities was looking out over Rome on top of a hill at sunset. The skyline was gorgeous with beautiful buildings popping up everywhere yet none of them were as high or striking as St. Peter’s Basilica.

I think what made this trip so special were the amazing people and unexpected experiences. We knew we were going to be playing volleyball and we knew we were going to see some pretty awesome sights. What you never expect is to feel so connected to each other because you’ve never tried Wiener schnitzel, spent a Euro or said Ciao so many times in one day! My teammates, coaches and I will always have an amazing bond because of this trip. But I would be remiss if I didn’t speak of the special people we met along the way. From our animated restaurant waiters, to the European players, to a friendly breakfast hostess, to supportive passersby on the street, I think this trip gave us all a great deal of respect for the world around us. The connections we formed are as strong and unforgettable as the stories are endless. And even after experiencing different cultures, time zones, and currency, we found one language that stays the same no matter what: volleyball.

Thanks again for your support and we look forward to seeing you in the fall!

Lisa Treadway #7