PARIS - Greetings from France!
We departed Dulles Friday at 7 p.m. and after a long and very interesting plane ride we arrived in Paris at 8 a.m. It was easy to see that some of the team was very experienced flyers and others were not. For some, it was their first flight ever.
Fortunately, we were all placed together and we took over the back bottom half of the plane. You might even say we turned it into a party plane and made the long flight fun.
There is a six-hour time difference between the states and France, so while our bodies thought it was midnight in Virginia, we were being served breakfast on the plane. The adjustment has been pretty weird to say the least.
With minimal sleep, we had finally arrived in France. Surprisingly, we all made it through customs in one piece and then met up with our tour guide, Marthe. She took us to our charter bus for a 45-minute drive to our hotel.
Our rooms weren't ready yet, so we had to leave all of our luggage is the basement of the hotel while we divided into groups and explored the outskirts of Paris. We left Coach Pike to guard the luggage so she could catch up on sleep
Experienced readers know that Coach is not so good when it comes to plane rides. I think she needed the rest to recover from the flight.
We went into a couple different shops to scout out the best pastry spots for the week and then grabbed some lunch before heading to training. Despite being in one of the most culinary-sophisticated countries in the world, a group of freshmen decided to eat lunch in a chinese restaurant where they microwave the meals. We won't name names, but they know who they are.
We were also exposed to French pigeons which could be mistaken for a large squirrels and we also ran into a duck that was clearly well fed with french baguettes.
After walking around the town for about an hour and a half we made our way back to the hotel where we were finally able to move into our rooms. The rooms are about the same size as the dorms in Racey and the beds are really close to one another.
At about 2:30 p.m., we met in the lobby and took a 10-minute walk to our training field. The walk was a nice warm-up because we had to be agile enough to avoid crossing paths with the scooters which are incredibly popular here.
Whether we are in America or France, Pike still has the same coaching style and the expectations do not change. Following the training session, we walked back to our hotel to shower and rest a little before dinner. After the long travel day, it's safe to say that right after dinner, everyone was tucked into their beds.