Krusen Around The World – Part 3

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.

ImageWe 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. ImageBoth 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.Image 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. ImageLater 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!!!!Image

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!

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Krusen Around The World – Part 2

ImageI 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!

ImageInnsbruck, 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!!

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Krusen Around The World – Part 1

*Senior guard Nicole Krusen is traveling to Europe this summer, follow her posts as she blogs about her experience.

ImageGuten tag!! Hello! So part of being a business major at Loyola requires you to complete some sort of international study. I am fortunate enough to be able to go on a 13 day European tour with 25 of my classmates from Loyola. We left for our first stop, Munich, Germany, from BWI on Sunday afternoon. The first plane we took was a really small plane with only 10 rows, so it was a little bumpy ride (kind of reminded me of a roller coaster ride a little). We connected in Toronto, Canada and then flew through the night on a huge plane with over 300 people on it to Munich.

First stop… Munich, Germany!  We arrived in Munich around 10am (German time) so it was really like 4am East coast time. So to say the least we were all exhausted and jet lagged when we arrived, but we survived and I think we are all finally used to or semi adjusted to the time change. Once we arrived in Munich, our professor took us to the train station to exchange our money and grab some lunch. Here we got our first taste of authentic German food!!! I had a weisswurst or a white sausage. When people say foreign food is always better in the actual country they are not kidding. It was the best weisswurst I have ever had and I’ve been eating them since I was a little kid because I’m part German so my grandparents

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make German food occasionally. After we ate, Professor Klink took us on a small tour of Marienplatz, which is the heart of Munich. Marienplatz is like a big plaza with tons of shops, restaurants, businesses, a few historical sites, music, and lots and lots of people just hanging out. We got to see the glockenspiel and the inside of a few churches.  One thing in Europe is that people walk or bike everywhere. There is a bike path right next to the sidewalk so you have to be really careful because bikers don’t slow down and they will hit you. I can’t even say how many times my friends and I almost got hit by bikers and had to jump or get pulled out of the way. The first night in Munich the whole group went out to dinner at Löwenbräu, which is an authentic German restaurant down the street from our hotel. Here I got to have my favorite German food of all time, Knödel, which is a German potato dumpling. It was even better than I hoped and expected. So as expected I was super excited. All the food was amazing! To start my days, I would go for nice run around the town, so I got to see a lot of different places and sites that I probably wouldn’t have seen. Every morning we had breakfast in the hotel and it was not your typical American breakfast. Instead there were various types of breads, meats, and cheeses. It took a little getting used to but it was pretty good. For our first site visit, we went to the BMW Welt and Museum. It was cool to see the history of BMW and all the cars from the past and today. A majority of the cars people drove were BMW cars which was pretty cool because even though they were all same brand they we still so different. After BMW, we took a trip to the Dachau Concentration Camp. I personally loved this visit! It was really interesting, but also very sad (as one could expect). We were able to walk around on our own and see where the prisoners were kept at the camp and get a sense of what really happened during the12 years the camp was running. A few things we saw were the execution centers within the camp, the bunkers where inmates lived, their living quarters, and some monuments that have been build since liberation. I learned a lot about the torture they endured. Later that night we all went downtown to the famous Hofbräuhaus, where we got to try some famous Bavarian pretzels.

The next day we had a meeting at Adobe headquarters in Munich. A few workers talked to us about the company and their different products. After our meeting they served us a typical Bavarian lunch, which consisted of pretzels, potato salad, bread, and meat. After adobe we got the rest of the day free. Two of my friends and I went to a traditional German bakery and had Apfelstrudel or apple strudel. The pastries are some of the best ever! A group of about 12 of us later went to visit Olympiapark, where the 1972 Olympics were held. It was so much fun! We went to the top of this huge hill and from there we could see the entire park, Munich, and even the Alps in the distance. While we were at the park I went in this big blow up hamster ball on the lake in the center of the park. I would keep trying to run on water in this ball but would keep falling.

ImageIt was funny to see videos of myself wiping out (I wasn’t very good at it). On our last night in Munich, a group of us went to dinner at a local restaurant and then our entire group went to see a traditional Munich beer garden. We walked across town to the Englischer Garten, which is a large public park with many surrounding restaurants in downtown Munich. We also saw the US embassy on the way… I tried to take a picture of it but got yelled at in German by the authorities (oops..). Thursday we said goodbye to Munich and made our way to Innsbruck, Austria. I honestly can’t believe that this is day 5 in Europe and we are on our way to our second city.

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Farewell Seniors, Hello Post Season

Hi everyone,

The 2012-13 season has finished and our post-season workouts have begun. In the words of Coach Booth, “Today’s another day to get better”.

We headed to the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament as the 8th seed. We faced the No. 9 seed Manhattan College Jaspers, a team whom we split the series earlier in the season. The MAAC tournament is the best time of the year in my opinion. There is a high level of competitiveness and intensity. Every single team wants to be cutting down the net after the championship game and head to the NCAA tournament. No game is an easy game to win and on any given night, anyone can beat anyone. The Jaspers are a team whose primary defense is a 1-3-1 zone. In order to be successful, you need to shoot extremely well from the perimeter or be able to get the ball into the post. We did not shoot poorly and we played our tails off, but in the end, we could not walk away with a win. We wound up losing on a heart-breaking buzzer beater. Walking into the locker room after the game was just devastating. To see the look on the seniors’ faces, knowing that their collegiate basketball careers were over, was one of the worst sights I could ever witness. It made me realize that I only have one more year here at Loyola, and that time flies, even when you don’t want it to.

Post season has not been easy. We have had lifting and conditioning nearly every day, as well as an individual practice with the coaches once a week. By 8pm, I am ready for bed because my body is thoroughly exhausted.

One day, we were told to run/slide/ bunny hop up and down the bleachers holding heavy medicine balls. It was difficult, but fun and different at the same time. I’m excited to see the outcome of all of the hard work we are putting in now. The offseason is the time to improve. It’s the time to get in shape, improve your skills, and get stronger. We all want to enter the Patriot League next year with a bang.

Easter Break is about to begin in a few days and I cannot wait to see my family (I’m sure everyone is excited to be going home). This is actually the first full break the team has gotten all year. The coaches were nice enough to let us go home and come back with the other Loyola students, having Thursday through Monday off. It’s going to be so weird being home for so long! Especially since I spend the summer working at school, so I don’t get a lot of time at home.

I was able to capture a lot of footage of the team on away trips, so hopefully I will be able to make a recap video of our season soon. Steph Smith offered to give me a hand because she has done something similar before. I think it will be cool to show everyone what the team experiences on the road.

The spring sports are just beginning their seasons, so make sure you follow and support the Loyola Greyhounds! 

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In The Midst Of February

Hi everyone,

A lot has happened since I last wrote! I apologize for the blog delay, as much has been going on academically and in basketball, so there has not been much time to write it all down.  We recently just returned from a long trip to Buffalo, NY and the team has been pretty swamped with schoolwork, trying to catch up in their classes. It is also around this time of the year when professors hold their midterm exams, so I know several teammates have three or four tests this week. Thankfully I only had one to make up. The hectic week is definitely dying down, and the team can’t wait to play Manhattan on Friday.

Over break Coach Logan had Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer, Theresa Grentz, come guest speak to the team. Coach Grentz was a co-captain of Immaculata College’s national championship team from 1972-74. Along with leading her team to three national championships, Grentz also earned three First-Team All American honors. Hearing her speak was truly inspirational and it taught the team a lot about basketball and life. She spoke about how players are losing their love for the game and that they need to find that passion and want to win.

The Alumni game took place a few weeks ago. A number of former Greyhounds came back to play, and stayed to watch our victory over the Siena College Saints. It was really nice to see players return to Loyola for the day and show their support. The Alumni game seemed to be really fun for everyone who came, as spectators got to enjoy my wonderful PA voice. When I say wonderful, I actually mean dull, boring, and lifeless. I should never go into sports announcing.

We were able to keep a good show going after the alumni game, and played very well against Saints, winning 53-37. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned before that we really pride ourselves in our defense. We believe that if we can hold a team to under 40 points, we will be able to win that game. Our win against Siena happened to be a payback game, after losing to the team in January, as it was also the third win of our three game wine streak.

Time is flying by and we unfortunately only have seven games left in the regular season. Hopefully we will be able to play to our potential and finish the season off with a bang. The team will face Manhattan College for Play 4Kay day Friday at 7pm, and will be heading to New Jersey to face Rider University on Sunday.  Please show some support and come to Friday’s game wearing pink for breast cancer awareness!!!

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Start of MAAC Play

Hello everyone!

 

Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and are enjoying 2013. Thankfully the world did not end on December 21st like the Mayans predicted, so there is still basketball to be played!

 

Last Friday was the start of our MAAC play against the Fairfield Stags. We wound up losing the game 64-54 in Fairfield’s gym. Coach Logan was pretty upset with the loss and everyone knew we did not play to the best of our abilities. Our defense, something we pride ourselves on, was lacking, and many of Fairfield’s scores were uncontested and not earned. It was a frustrating start to our conference play and it showed us that winning games in the conference is not an easy thing to do.

 

We had to both keep in mind the feeling of loss against the Stags, but we also had to move on and mentally prepare for our game against Saint Peter’s, which was held on Sunday afternoon right after our men’s team defeated the St. Peter’s men’s team 74-58. Saturday’s practice consisted of a lot of defensive work. We went back to preseason drills of closing out and defensive positioning. No one wanted a repeat of the Fairfield loss. We told ourselves that if St. Peter’s were going to beat us, they would have to really earn it and be the better team at the end of the day.

 

Our team played pretty poorly in the first half, shooting terribly from the free throw line. Six free throws were missed and four of the six were the front end of a one and one. That’s a potential 10 points that we could have added to our score in just the first half. With the way we started off the game, being down by only six points at halftime was not terrible and we knew what we needed to do in order to come back. We successfully defeated the Peahens 56-47 and got our first MAAC win.

 

The team is traveling to Poughkeepsie, N.Y., on Friday to face the Marist Red Foxes and will be facing the Rider Broncs Sunday afternoon at 4pm in Reitz Arena. If anyone is in the area please come support us hounds! Hope to see you there!

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A Win Before Break

Hello everyone!

I am currently sitting on the bus on the ride home from our Syracuse-Army trip. We just finished up our last game until after the Christmas holiday. Loyola University Maryland has it’s final exams starting Wednesday, so everyone on the team will be able to focus on their schoolwork now that we don’t have a game for a few of weeks.

A few weeks ago, Coach Logan warned us that the next few weeks were going to be extremely busy, and he was right. We would have 6 games within a 13-day period, along with all of the schoolwork professor’s pile on you since it is the end of the semester. He also warned us that we would be missing the last week of classes, which is usually when assignments are due and professors review the material that would be on the final exam. Thankfully everyone was able to manage their off time wisely and get their work done ahead of time, so we would be able to focus on our games when we needed to.

We faced American, Lehigh and Pittsburgh all within a five-day period. We were hoping to get our revenge on all three teams from our last years games, where we had lost to each of them. We were able to defeat both American and Lehigh on our home court, which was awesome, but couldn’t leave Pittsburgh with a win, unfortunately. Because the games were scheduled within a couple days of each other, we did not have much time to reflect on our previous games. We would finish a game, then have to immediately focus on the game to come.

The team came home from the Pittsburgh game around 2 a.m. last Thursday morning. We attended our last day of classes that day, and headed to Syracuse Friday morning. Although this was my first time to Syracuse, I feel like I had been there a million times before because Syracuse is Alyssa’s home town and I’ve heard so many stories. The Carrier Dome was unreal and everyone was so excited to be playing in it against such a great team. Although we lost the game against Syracuse, it was an unreal, once in a lifetime experience that I think everyone enjoyed.

After the game, the team got to go to Alyssa’s Nonna and Nonno’s (Her grandmother and grandfather’s) house for dinner. Being from Italy, her grandma made AMAZING homemade pasta, sauce, meatballs, desserts, etc. Mrs. Sutherland also made her famous brownies and Oreo balls which are to die for. Let me just say that the food was so good that I had to lie down on a couch afterwards from consuming so much. The whole family was so welcoming and the team had an awesome time. Thank you again Sutherlands/Ponzas!!!

Before our game against Army, we were allowed to walk around the beautiful West Point campus. It was awesome to see all of the historical monuments and have Alyssa give us a history lesson about every statue we saw… Smarty pants. She even quizzed us on our walk back to our hotel. To her surprise, we actually got a lot of her questions right.

The Army women’s basketball head coach, Coach Magarity, was nice enough to give us a tour of the athletic building where the gym is located. We got to walk through the Army sports hall of fame. It was so cool and interesting to see all of the history the school has.  We also got to touch a piece of the Berlin wall, which was located in the same building. I wish we could have stayed another day or even another hour because I feel like I only got to see a tenth of the school’s history.

Tonight’s game was an awesome, well deserved, team win. Coach has been saying, “put 40 minutes together” meaning, play all 40 minutes to the best of your ability. Execute the offense, play good defense, out hustle the opposing team, and just play solid Loyola basketball for the full 40 minutes. Coach was pretty impressed with our performance tonight and gave the team credit for putting together about 34 minutes of the 40 (6 minutes were taken away from the 40 because we let Army come back in the second half). 34 minutes might be the most amount of minutes put together all season. We defeated Army 53-47.

Alright, well I better start studying for my first exam that will be on Wednesday at 9am! Accounting…bleh. Hate it. Wish me luck and talk to you all soon! 

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