Take a look back from all the excitement at Late Night with the Hounds!
Take a look back from all the excitement at Late Night with the Hounds!
To kick things off, I’d like to talk about my transition. To put it simply, despite my excitement and love for the game, it was not an easy one. I have been a homebody for the majority of my life. Loyola is close to my hometown, and became one of the reasons I chose to become a Greyhound. Making the transition to move halfway across the world was difficult. Leaving my family at airport security, knowing I wouldn’t see them for many months made getting on the plane much harder, but I love basketball and knew I had to seize my opportunity to play professionally.
My teammates and fans have all been very welcoming and have helped me through the language barrier. I have gotten used to it now after living here for almost two months, but the first few weeks had my head spinning. My first trip to the grocery store was somewhat overwhelming. Everything was written in German and when I asked for help I felt like an actor. I was acting out all my questions to the grocery store employees. Talk about embarrassing! I’ve finally gotten into a routine, and things are much easier now.
Having fellow American teammates made the transition much easier. We all get along really well, and it’s nice to have someone to talk to who is going through the same excitement and challenges as myself.
At the beginning of the season we didn’t get much down time to travel, but as soon as we had a weekend free I took complete advantage of it! My teammates and I took a road trip to Koln, Brussels and Amsterdam. It was so much fun! I would definitely recommend getting an authentic Belgian waffle from Brussels.
Living in Germany opens a lot of opportunities for me to travel and experience different parts of the world that I never thought were possible. I’m very grateful for my opportunity and future here. It’s a privilege to continue to play the sport I love, while creating opportunities to get out of my comfort zone and explore the world. I know this opportunity would not have been possible without the support from my family, friends and Loyola family. All the support has prepared me and gotten me to where I am today. I’m very thankful to everyone.
My team, the Giro Live Panthers are currently 3-1. We play a game every weekend, and each game is broadcast live on dbbl.de. Check us out!
Post by freshman guard Lisa Mirarchi
Last week the team had the opportunity to participate in a fun outdoor team-bonding activity. We traveled to a local ROTC reservation where we worked together through a string of challenging tasks. For every task, the team began by evaluating the scene, then planning, discussing and finally taking action. A different team member would take the main leadership role for each mission. We were challenged, but it was very beneficial and an overall great learning experience!
This week we also finished our fitness tests. The mile was not easy, and the team did a great job working together to get all members to pass. Teammates ran with other players, pushing their fellow teammates and giving them constant boosts of encouragement. When every player crossed the finished line, it was a proud moment not only for the runners but the coaches as well. Way to go everyone!
In the classroom, everyone has been busy studying for midterms. After they are finished taking exams, there is a long weekend for fall break. The team is looking forward to a few relaxing days off!
Post by freshman guard Lisa Mirarchi:
Tons of excitement for the start of the new school year! It has been almost a month since Loyola University Maryland students reported back to campus, and it has been busy. After being on a quiet campus during the summer session, it has been refreshing to see new faces.
Everyone on the team has been working extremely hard the past few weeks in preparation for the official start of the season. Players had a variety of workouts including position work, concept work, individuals, conditioning, and lifting. In addition, fitness and strength tests have just finished up. We ended last week on a good note with the dreaded hill run. Each team member came prepared and focused and passed the test with flying colors. The coaches were very excited with the results, and are doing are great job pushing the team and keeping spirits high.
Last weekend, the women’s basketball players and coaches embarked on their first ever team retreat. No one knew what to expect from the short 36 hour time period, but the results were incredible. With complete isolation and removal from distractions, the team was able to properly focus and think about what was expected and wanted for the 2013-14 season. The team spent time thinking, reflecting, and discussing team plans and goals. We discussed team strengths and the value and importance of what each individual player brings to the team. After connecting on a deeper level, the team left the retreat house exhausted from a long weekend, but eager for the start of the season.
Practice begins Monday, Sept. 30. Despite the 7:30 a.m. start, everyone will be there with enthusiasm and a readiness to win the day. Watch out Patriot League! The Loyola women’s basketball team is geared up and ready to make our mark.
Family Reunion in Mannheim, Germany
With my European study tour coming to an end, it was time to visit family in Germany. I was extremely excited to get to go back! I flew into Frankfurt, where my dad met me and then we drove to Mannheim to visit family. Shortly, after we arrived we went to a restaurant where we had dinner with the whole family. I had never met my family overseas, so I couldn’t wait to finally meet them. I’ve seen pictures and heard stories but never got to meet them so this trip was very special for me! At dinner, I got to meet about 12 of my cousins and relatives, which was a great way to start the trip. After dinner, four of my cousins took us to Heidelberg and we walked around town and watched some of the soccer cup game. The atmosphere around town was insane because it was the first time two German teams were playing in the championship. FC Bayern Munich pulled out the victory, and it was very exciting to be among the atmosphere during the game.
The next day, my cousins Marco and Daniel were going to the gym and were nice enough to take me along. Later that day, my dad and I went over to my cousin Henry’s house and had an amazing home cooked meal. There were probably ten of us total for dinner, including my cousin Henry, his wife Mimi, his three sons Daniel, Marco, and Iven, my cousin Bernd, my dad’s aunt Ursula, and Daniel’s fiancé Laura. It was great to spend the day with the family and have some authentic home cooked German food. We had schnitzel, white asparagus, potatoes, and some German pastries/desserts. Everything was incredible!! After dinner, we hung out for a little while and then finished the night off playing Rummy. Needless to say, I wasn’t very good, but it was still tons of fun.
On Monday, I got to meet some more family for the first time. Around lunchtime, we went to my uncle Gunter and aunt Lea’s house. Their kids, Sandi and Rachel, and Sandi’s daughter Larissa joined us for lunch. It was great to meet more family. We had a traditional German lunch with weiswurst, pretzels, cheeses, and tomatoes and cucumbers. After lunch we hung out and looked through old photo albums. We then went for a little walk through the neighborhood and went to dinner at a local restaurant called Gasthaus Morgenrote, where I got goulash and knödel. I also got to try some kassaptzen, which is a spaetzel and cheese casserole. I loved it all! It was another great day meeting some more family for the first time.
The following day, Tuesday, was our last day in Munich. My dad and I started the day off just like we did all the other days by heading to the local outdoor court to play some basketball! But today when we got the courts, there were three little boys playing soccer on one side, so I went to the open half and just started my workout. After a few minutes, I noticed that the boys stopped their game and were sitting on the side watching me shoot. A little while later they wanted to play with me, 3 against 1. So we played a little 3 vs. 1, and I have to say it was really fun! The three boys were so happy and smiling and laughing the whole time. It made my day to see them having so much fun. That afternoon my dad and I went into downtown Munich and walked around and did a little shopping. Around 4p.m. we went over to my cousin Henry’s house one last time for a farewell dinner. Aunt Mimi made knödel, some different meat dishes, spaetzel, a German chicken stew dish, and a tiramisu cake with berries for dessert. It was delicious as always! After dinner we all hung out on the patio for a little bit and then some people played cards and my cousin Marco took Daniel, Laura and I to see his flat. It was absolutely amazing…I wanted to move there (lol). When we got back to the house it was time to say goodbye to everyone It was time to go home and head back to Baltimore for summer school. During our goodbyes, we all got a little emotional. I had such an amazing time meeting everyone and spending time with them. I couldn’t thank them enough for everything they did and making it one of the best couple days I could’ve asked for. It was truly an unforgettable trip! I miss my family already and I can’t wait to see them all again soon J I am so grateful and thankful for the two and a half weeks I got to spend in Europe with friends and family. But, it is time to head back home to the United States and Loyola for summer school!
Austria was absolutely incredible, but unfortunately its time to leave! Our next stop, Verona, ITALIA!! We arrived in Verona on Sunday afternoon. When we got there we were supposed to get lunch in town and have a tour around the city, but it started to downpour after lunch so the tour was cancelled. Even though it was pouring rain, the town was extremely crowded because of a One Direction concert that night. As we were eating lunch, the one Direction bus was arriving. The fans started screaming and tons of people, with umbrellas in hand, started chasing the bus down the street. It was mass chaos!! Later, that day the rain stopped and a few friends and I walked around, to do some sightseeing, a little shopping, and got some dinner. We got our first real Italian meal and it was amazing! The bruschetta was to die for, and of course after dinner we had to stop and try some authentic Italian gelato (which was delicious). On our way back to hotel we heard the One Direction concert going on in the arena. The next morning we had a site visit at Frau Shoes, where we got to see how the shoes are made and learn about their business. Some of my classmates even bought a pair. We then had the whole afternoon free, so my friend and I went sightseeing a little more and went to Juliet’s house (from Romeo and Juliet) and saw her famous balcony. We also saw some different plazas around town and did some more shopping. That night our whole class had dinner with a class, who was studying abroad, from the University of Illinois. It was pretty cool to meet some other college students from the States. The next morning we had to be up bright and early for a site visit at Masi Winery and then it was off to Rome. At Masi, we got a tour of the winery, and got to see how wine is made. We saw where the grapes are dried and the barrels the wine is kept in until ready. At the end of the tour, we had a wine testing where we tried three different types of wine. Some people even bought a bottle for their parents, but unfortunately they couldn’t ship it and I had no more room in my suitcase (Sorry mom and dad!). After Masi we had a six-hour bus ride to Rome. Luckily, I was able to get a lot of work done, while still finding time to get some rest.
We finally arrived in Rome, and I honestly can’t believe it’s our last city. I was excited to see what Rome had to offer. We got in around 8:30 p.m., and we were all exhausted so a few of us grabbed a quick dinner by the hotel, got some gelato, and then relaxed near the hotel. The next morning we had a site visit at ICE Italian Trade Commission. We had the rest of the afternoon free so my friends and I went sightseeing and shopping in downtown Rome. Unfortunately, while we were walking it started to rain but we took shelter at a restaurant and waited it out. We then went to see the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and Spanish Steps. Both places were really crowded, but we were able to walk up the Spanish Steps. The view from the top was incredible. Later that night a group of us went to Campo di Fiori and got some dinner and hung out. We had an early start the next morning because we had a visit at Johnson and Johnson where they talked about the different consumer products and medical equipment. That afternoon we went to see the famous Roman Colosseum. We were lucky the line wasn’t too long and we were able to go inside and see what it really looked like. The architecture, history, and design of the Colosseum was absolutely amazing! Since it was our second to last day, the whole class and professors had a farewell dinner at a local Italian restaurant. It was great for all 29 of us to all hang out together one last time. Our last day in Rome was a free day, so a few of us got up real early (in an attempt to avoid the long lines) and took a trip to Vatican City. Since we beat the rush and avoided the long lines, we were able to go inside St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. I’ve seen hundreds of pictures of the Vatican but it is nothing like being able to see it in person. It was so cool to see Michelangelo’s famous painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When we got back from the Vatican we were all exhausted so we just hung out around the hotel for a while until some of us went to dinner. Later that night after dinner, a lot of us went to go see the Spanish steps and Trevi fountain. It was so nice because it was all lit up and there weren’t many people there. The group of us took pictures and enjoyed the view on our last night in Rome. No one wanted to go back because the next morning it was time to say goodbye.
I honestly can’t believe that our trip is over! I had an amazing two weeks in Europe visiting Germany, Austria, and Italy. I made some great friends and unforgettable memories. I am so grateful that I was able to go on this trip and experience so many different cultures and countries! I had the time of my life and it is something that I will never forget!! I miss everyone already!!!!
P.S Rather than going back to the States, I went back to Germany for a few days to visit some family. I’m toing to enjoy Europe for a few more days before I make my way back home. Stay tuned for one more post about my trip to Mannheim, Germany!
I love Innsbruck, Austria!! Everything was amazing…the view of the Alps, the food, the city, the people; the list goes on and on. On our way we stopped at Riedel Glass, which is a well-known company that makes wine glasses and decanters. We got to see the factory and how the glassmakers make the wine glasses and decanters. It was truly amazing how quickly they can make one product and all the work that goes into it. The workers could make a wine glass in less than two minutes, and it was so cool to see how precise and exact each product was despite all being handmade by different people. The factory had to be over 100 degrees from the viewing area and even hotter on the actual floor. The furnace was over 2000 degrees. How these workers do what they do on a daily basis is truly amazing. While at Riedel, we got to go in the store and look at all the different products they have.
When we arrived in Innsbruck, we had a site visit with the tourism board. They talked to us about the city’s tourism and then at the end they talked about all the different activities we could do on our day off in the city. People could go bungee jumping, paragliding, white water rating, canyoning, and bike riding. The next day we had a site visit at Swarovski. In addition to hearing about the history and background of the company, we got to go to Crystal World, which is the second most visited attraction in Austria. It was so cool to see all the different kinds of products that use Swarovski elements. We even got see what a crystal looks like from the inside. As a group, we got to shop around in the store and get some Swarovski jewelry or products. All its products were absolutely amazing!
Innsbruck is not too big and very easy to navigate, so we got to do a lot off sightseeing, shopping, and walking around town without getting lost. During our free time we would usually walk around town and shop. We even saw a few gypsies wandering around. One day my three friends and I were walking around town and found this small little hole in the wall restaurant for lunch. I decided to try something new here and got Tyrollean ravioli. I honestly had no idea what to expect, but to my surprise it was delicious! I would definitely recommend it. During our stay in Innsbruck, we saw a few bachelor and bachelorette parties going on. They had a tradition somewhat different than the typical bachelor/bachelorette party in the States. The groom or bride were all dressed up and would be on the street trying to sell all types of little gadgets such as, Hawaiian leis, crazy sunglasses, little toy trucks, squirt water bottles, etc. My friends and I were walking around and saw a groom on the street so we talked to him and ended up giving him like 50 cents in euros and got a Hawaiian lei. I thought this tradition was so cool and exciting. I wish we had something like this in the US! We found out that there was the World Championship Rock Climbing/Boulder Climbing competition was going on in Innsbruck, so a few of us went to go watch some of it. It was incredible how these athletes climbed, swung, and hung from the boulders in an attempt to reach the top. We stayed after and saw the award ceremony, where a German placed first for the men and women. The winners got a bottle of champagne and shook it up and sprayed it all over the crowd. On our second to last night we all went on Tyrollean lantern hike. We hiked up the mountain to a small village where we got some food and listened to live German music. The view from the village was absolutely gorgeous. A few of us were selected to do some dancing too (and yes, I was one of the selected ones). We did the chicken dance and some others where we spun in circles (I don’t know the name though). Needless to say it was so much fun and we had a blast!!
On our last day in Austria we had a free day to do whatever we wanted, and do the activities that we signed up for the first day. I signed up to do paragliding and canyoning! I’m a little scared of heights, but I figured it was once in a lifetime opportunity so I was excited to do it. However, when we woke up that morning we learned that we couldn’t go paragliding because it was too windy. My friend and I were really disappointed, but thankfully we still got to go canyoning in the Alps. On our way to the site we saw wild horses and sheep wandering through the mountains. We climbed over rocks, hiked through the mountains, jumped off cliffs, propelled down bridges and cliffs, and slid down small waterfalls! It was definitely an amazing experience. Even though we had wet suits on, the water was still cold and I couldn’t feel my hands and fingers by the end of it, but it was totally worth it!! The next day though we all felt it…our bodies were tired and sore. It was without question an experience I will never forget!
Innsbruck, Austria is such an amazing city and I definitely would love to go back in the future! So with our stay in Innsbruck coming to a close, we say goodbye to the beautiful state of Austria and make our way to Italy! First stop in Italy… Verona!!