Emory Women's Basketball Checks In From Italy
Ripa hotel, Rome
I believe I speak for most of the team when I say that this has been, hands down, the longest day of my life. We landed in Paris, France at 11am local time (5am EST) sore and sleep-deprived. The journey through Charles de Gaulle airport was significantly easier thanks to Jake, our resident French expert, and senior guard Katie Dickerson, who had been there earlier this summer. We spent our layover at our gate, trying to get more sleep, but most of us were not successful in getting any shut-eye until after we boarded our flight.
At last we arrived in Rome, ready to gather our luggage and continue the day. However, Air France had other plans. We waited for an hour at baggage claim, but 8 of out suitcases never arrived. After some paperwork and a long chat with the bag handlers, we were 2 hours behind schedule and ready to get out of the airport, with or without our bags (including my bag and Jake's med kit).
Our Italian guide, Mr. Flavio, patiently awaited our arrival, ready to load us onto the bus and chauffeur us to the hotel. We quickly learned that Flavio is just as eccentric as we had suspected and we knew instantly that he would get along well with our group.
As we made our way to the hotel, Flavio made a few important points about Rome that caught my attention:
1. There are a ridiculous amount of churches in Rome, over 600! We didn't see a lot of churches on our way but we certainly noticed a lot of pizzerias.
2. The drivers are completely insane and we should be extremely cautious when walking around. According to Flavio, the street lights hang there for decoration because "red is only an option."
3. Most Italians spend the month of August on vacation, so the city wouldn't be as packed as it usually is. Especially tomorrow, August 15th, because it was a national holiday for the Assumption of Mary.
If there's anything you should know about our team, it's this: we love to eat. Parents, fans and athletic trainers know that the fastest way to our hearts is through food. Flavio must have received that memo because after we checked into the hotel, he quickly escorted us to a nearby restaurant where a three course meal was being prepared for us. Once we sampled the delicious Italian food, everyone seemed to calm down. We forgot that some of us were missing bags and that all of us were exhausted. Dinner ended with a toast, originally for my birthday, but more importantly...to Roma! May it be everything we hope and more.