May 12, 2012
– Bonjourno from Milano!! Today’s blog is from your one and only, Percy. I know y’all have all been waiting for this moment to come. So, sit back, relax, and enjoy looking at Milan, day 1, through the eyes of a really bad tourist… myself.
After enjoying another authentic European breakfast and Quinn [Evans] and I getting stuck in a small elevator, we set off for Verano, Italy, home of Romeo and Juliet. After a quick team chat, we took off on our own for lunch and sightseeing! Well, Bailey [Hunter], Nicki [Meyer], and I decided to be loyal Americans and chose to eat a great, affordable, sit down lunch…at McDonalds. But hey, we saved some euros! Some of our teammates went to the house of Juliet and put padlocks on the famous love gate. The pad locks and rubbing the breasts of Juliet’s statue are both supposed to bring good luck to your love life! Unfortunately, to our surprise, Bailey, Nicki, and I (aka the three most hopeless romantic people on the team, with me captaining that ship..) never made it there as we were stuck in the famous shopping area. Nicki tried on 6 inch pumps and wedges, and Bailey and I tried to find clothes under 300 euros the time went by much quicker than we had imagined. On our way back to the bus, I got a quick picture with a man dressed up as a gladiator in front of the beautiful Colosseum in the middle of the city, which I soon found out cost me 2 euros. After that, we had the great idea of sitting down for a cup of coffee, with access to their FREE restroom, before heading back to the bus. Time quickly passed and apparently in Italy no one is ever in a hurry for anything, so after waiting over 10 minutes to get our drinks, we took off, still drinkless, once our waiter went back inside..oops?
Now on to Milan..
After another bus ride and a quick viewing of everyone’s new goodies, we finally made it to the highly anticipated city of Milan! We then quickly changed and headed down to the lobby of our AWESOME hotel where we went over the tram routes and map (and took bets on who was going to be the first to get lost). Before we knew it, we were out in the magnificent city of Milan, eager as could be to explore EVERYTHING. And yes, it is as beautiful as people say it is. We went into a few stores, but our main interest was bargaining with the street vendors. There attempts to sell us fake designer purses for 60 and 70 euros where quite useless and we fought them for probably what ended up being around an hour. After getting them down to 30, we decided we didn’t want them after all. I mean, who really wants a Louis Vuitton purse when you can get the authentic Italian brand of Luvista!!
Side story- While in Venice, I was sprinting to the train station to make it on time, when I ran into some street vendors selling purses. Quickly stopping to look, I bargained with them for fun and got one Louis Vuitton purse down to 8 euros. Without even thinking twice or really even getting a good look at it, I quickly bought it and took off running. When I got to the train station and showed everyone my purse I realized it really didn’t look like LV at all and actually said Luvista on it.. Needless to say I won biggest tourist of the day and have really been carrying that title ever since. Especially with my giant camera bag around my shoulder and giant camera, with strap, around my neck… Well, that’s the just of the story. Now back to Milano adventures!
The long night of bargaining, that eventually led to pleading, wore us all out and yummy desserts were calling our names. Susan [Carlson] and Nicki found a stand that had incredible looking chocolate burritos. They quickly purchased one and we all stared drooling as they took that first bite. This climatic moment soon came crashing down when they exchanged the most shocking look of disgust with one another…it was AWFUL. So, we continued on, looking for something else to satisfy our sweet tooth (which wasn’t hard). We later found a nice little cafe, (after walking back and forth passed the vendors we had ticked off), that had gelato, coffee, and most importantly free wi-fi. But of course, knowing us, after they took so long to get us seated and take our order, we bounced. We have the patience of true full-blooded Americans, to say the least (GO USA). Following our night adventures in Milan, we navigated back to the hotel on the tram and crashed in our rooms as we laughed about all our stories from today.
Europe is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and this trip has been unreal. It has definitely made me realize how much I take for granted living in the great UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Throughout this trip I have learned a great deal of independence, knowledge of volleyball overseas, how American our team really is, how clumsy my coaches really think I am, and how my gullibility has made me the favored target for pranks and jokes. But hey, I guess its gotta be someone.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this little peek into our day to day experiences here in Europe. I know we sure have enjoyed living this dream! We really appreciate all y’alls support and GO JACKETS!!
Over and out from Milano, Italy! Ciao!