August 17, 2010

QU Men's Basketball In Europe: Day 2

Our second day here in Amsterdam was great! After a full night's sleep, the jet lag wasn't as bad today. I still needed to take long nap in the afternoon to really get in sync with the time difference. It's really weird to think that when we are waking up, some of you back home will just be going to bed. And as I write this right before bed, people back home are probably just coming back from work, and eating dinner.

The food here is a lot different and most of the guys have been trying to stick to foods that we know from back home in the States. For breakfast we were mostly eating things like eggs, bacon, and mini-pancakes. For lunch and dinner, burgers and chicken have been popular items. After breakfast, at about 9:30 a.m., we got on the bus and rode off to one of the canals in the city to start a boat tour. This was a great tour, with a lot of "Kodak Moments" for sure. We saw sites such as the canal locks, the Amsterdam Harbor, a parking garage for bicycles, and even one of the homes of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Everyone here rides bikes. Our tour guide said there are over one million bikes in Amsterdam. They are really everywhere and those who are riding the bikes don't seem interested in stopping for pedestrians. I think everyone on the team, has had a close encounter with a bike or scooter so far.

After our canal tour, we got on the bus and drove to the Anne Frank House. This was an especially intriguing landmark. We were in the actual house were Anne and her family hid for two years from the Nazis. As we walked through the house, there were quotes from her diary on the walls, and actual artifacts in all the rooms. Once we got to one of the upper levels of the house, we arrived at the hidden entrance to the Frank's "Secret Annex." It was hidden behind a moveable bookshelf. We walked behind the shelf and up the steps into their living quarters. It was unbelievable to be in a place like that, with the history that occurred in the very rooms we were standing in. At the end of the tour we saw the real diaries on display.

After the Anne Frank House, our day of sightseeing was over. We went out to dinner to a great restaurant. We had the upstairs room all to ourselves, and that gave Kevin Tarca the chance to show off his skills on the pool table, as he ran through about six teammates, before Deontay Twyman came up and finally beat him. Deontay almost took down Coach Doherty in the following game, but blew it when he knocked in the eight ball, and also scratched at the same time. It may have been the only time in history a pool game has ended in an eruption of cheers. According to Coach Moore, Coach Doherty showed off "how they play pool in Worcester."

It's going to be real important to get our sleep tonight as we will play in our first game tomorrow night. Everyone is looking forward to getting to play, and it will be the first time we get to play together this year, so it will be a fun game to play. As I write this, it's 6:30 p.m. back in Connecticut, but its 0:31 on our hotel clock, so it's time for bed. Goodnight to all from Amsterdam!