by Jillian Christie & Sage Kelner
Day 1 (2/10): It was 8:00 am on a sunny, yet frosty Monday morning and Team Braemar was ready for the adventures that lay ahead! Off to Milan, Italy today to compete in the Spring Cup! Girls arrived at MSP International Airport around 8:30am with pillow pets and oversized luggage in hand. We were more than excited for our 11 am flight to New York, followed by an overnight trip directly to our final destination. Once the entire team arrived, we started lining up in alphabetical order, rearing to get to Italy as soon as possible! Suddenly, our General Manager came running up to the team and declared that our initial flight to NYC had been delayed. At that rate, we would not only have been three hours late, but we would also have missed our flight to Milan. Our hearts were racing as we waited for some better news, or at least a new set of connecting flights. After an hour of waiting, wishing, and hoping, Jane (our General Manager) excitedly told the team that we had gotten onto another flight! We were scheduled to leave MSP, at 3:15 pm and fly to Amsterdam, arriving somewhere around 6 am, and then continue onto Milan soon after.
Because of the delay, we had about five hours at the airport to spare. We all got some lunch and then met up at the gate to do homework. Finally, the time came to board! Prior to boarding, it was announced that there were 100 open seats on our flight, so once everyone had boarded we all rushed to capture an empty row with another teammate to settle in. Throughout the seven plus hour flight to Amsterdam we did homework, watched movies, and slept. Once in Amsterdam, we made a quick stop at Starbucks. We got a good laugh out of how some of the names were written on the cups (i.e. Annmarie—Anry, Savannah—Severrah, Faustine—Vaskin, Marissa—Rossel, Addie – Hobby). Then, we had to scurry to the gate to board our flight to Milan. Once in Milan, we got our luggage and met our bus driver for the week, Claudio. Claudio drove us to our hotel and we found out our room assignments. We were told to come down rather quickly, because we were going shopping!
We hopped onto the Metro to the Duomo thirteen stops away. The team got a quick bite to eat and split off into groups to shop. We all had a lot of fun shopping in the multitude of cute stores lined up along the streets. While shopping, we learned to be careful of the guys that would suddenly come up to you and grab your wrist to put a tie bracelet on and then proceed to try to make you pay for them. Our shopping group also tried a seemingly local treat—a roasted chestnut. Much to our dismay, the chestnut turned out mushy and not very good. Other than that though, we had a fantastic time at the shops. This was then followed by a metro ride back to our hotel for some off ice and dinner at the hotel. We were then planning on walking to the competition rink nearby, but it was closed. In an effort to keep us awake to avoid the jet lag, we were allowed to walk to the nearby store to all get gelato! Now we are headed to bed, excited for our first practice tomorrow. Talk to you later! Arrivederci!
Sage Kelner & Jillian Christie