June 22, 2006
Maribor, Slovenia - This is truly a welcome day off. No volleyball matches, no structured sightseeing tours. Just a great chance to rest, and enjoy this beautiful country which a lot of Americans may not be familiar with.
The team's morning wakeup call was provided by a noisy truck which was working just outside the team's rooms. The team hotel is brand new and is actually a ski resort. Construction of surrounding buildings is well underway.
After a breakfast which included bread, hard-boiled eggs, and fruit and cereal, the team boarded several gondolas for the 15-minute ride down the mountain hillside to the city of Moribor. The list of today's activities included a trip to the spa, a swim, a chance to do a little hiking in the surrounding countryside, race down the steep slopes on the Alpine slide.
Today's match against the Slovenian Junior National team was cancelled which came as welcome relief for this weary group of Cardinal players, coaches and support staff. Since June 15 when the team arrived in Rome, Italy, it has been a non-stop journey of playing matches, sightseeing and traveling. The team has appreciated the unique opportunity to see a different part of the world, but a day of rest is much appreciated.
Here is the remaining schedule for the Stanford Cardinal.
Thursday, June 22 - A day of rest and relaxation in Moribor, Slovenia Friday, June 23 - Leave for Vienna, Austria to spend the afternoon and evening sightseeing Saturday, June 24 - Leave for Prague, Czech Republic; sightseeing on arrival Sunday, June 25 - All day sightseeing in Prague Monday, June 26 - Match vs Czech Junior National team Tuesday, June 27 - Depart Czech Republic for home
Today's Daily Diary is provided by Michelle Mellard, who relayed her day (June 21) which included rope swinging, the Alpine slide, and climbing a 30-foot pole.
"We were all a little excited and a little nervous because of the height issue (rope swinging and climbing a 30-foot telephone pole; all supervised by trained staff near the hotel).
I know a couple players on the team are afraid of heights. But in our group, strength coach (Juan Pablo Reggiardo) was the first one to attach all the safety gear and climb up the pole (30-feet), and then stand up on top of the pole. While J.P. was about to stand on top of the pole, we heard Erin Waller nearby on the rope swing (at least 30 feet swinging in the air) and she gave a blood curling scream. J.P. had to pause (just as he was ready to place his feet atop the 30-foot pole) and almost freaked out because of Erin's screams.
That was pretty funny to see and experience during the day. Some of us tried the rope swing several times, and it was so much fun. Definitely this was an exciting day and it was great for all of us to be there together as a team. I don't think we expected to see how beautiful Slovenia is. This trip has been amazing. This is good for our team to be here and experience such a beautiful part of the world."
A huge dinner honoring Stanford, the University of Minnesota and the Croatian Junior National team was held on Wednesday night. ... The meal included beef stew and potatoes which had been cooking in a big pot throughout the day ÂŠ World Cup is really getting into high gear here in Europe. ... It seems like every channel devotes countless hours to the World Cup. ... Today, the Cardinal team will gather around the television set to watch the United States vs Ghana. ... Miami's victory over Dallas in the NBA Finals garnered one line on the European television scoreboard.