June 4, 2013
Kelly Murphy is next up in a series that will outline U-M's 13-day tour of Brazil and Argentina, which will include nine matches across the two South American countries.
Today started off great because we got to sleep in until 9:30 a.m. Then, after a delicious breakfast, the team loaded up onto the bus and headed to Tigre, which is a town about an hour away from the city. Along the way, we were able to see some of the other towns in Argentina. So far, Buenos Aires has been a very pretty city with the all the conveniences we are used to but we were able to see how some of the other people live. We also saw some of the soccer stadiums, which were huge! The soccer stadiums here are similar to the football stadiums in the United States.
In Tigre, we took a boat tour on the River Delta. The river feeds into an estuary where the river water and salt water mix. The boat tour was a wonderful experience. It was great to be outside soaking up the sunshine and enjoying the beautiful scenery. All along the river were houses that sat right on the water. The grass was so green and the palm trees were huge. I was surprised by how many shipwrecks we saw along the way, there must have been 20! The ships were old and looked like they had been there for quite some time but they were all along the river. Naturally, all of us being on a boat together, we took turns posing for "Titanic" pictures and sharing stories. We also got some time to chat with Kelly, our guide, to learn more about her and her international playing experience. She gave lots of helpful advice.
After some great laughs and photos on the boat, we all were given some money for lunch and were allowed to choose where we wanted to eat. I went to a restaurant right on the river with Ally Sabol, Brittany, Ally Davis, Krystalyn, Carly, Lexi Erwin, Tiffany and Molly. This was our first experience eating on our own and having to order for ourselves. Everyone's meal was delicious ... even Sabol's, who ordered a side salad with carrots but just got a bowl of carrots. It is fun to try to read the menus in Spanish and communicate with people -- even though most of the time I am completely lost. Thankfully Brittany can help me out.
Next, we loaded up on the bus again and were planning to go to a shopping area in the city by our hotel or possibly an art museum. But after Kelly saw we were all asleep within the first five minutes of being on the bus, she decided it would be best just to go back and nap before our match. Once we were all rested it was time to head back out for our match.
We played C.A. Velez Sarsfield. We won all three sets (25-21, 25-23, 25-22). This team was very talented. The court we played on was an open-air sport court so it was different from anything most of us had played on previously. It is always fun to play against some new competition and different players. I am excited to play the other teams! The stands were completely packed on their side but empty on our side except for Kelly who did a great job cheering for us. Their fans also cheered for us. After the match, all the girls wanted to take pictures with us and get our autographs, which is always fine with us!
After the match, we loaded back up on the bus and headed to dinner. During the bus ride to the restaurant, we begged our coaches and staff members to tell us their engagement stories. We are all suckers for romance stories. Kyle's proposal was definitely the most romantic but Mark was a close second. Mike also showed us his wedding photos; we could hardly recognize him with a full head of hair. After some good laughs, we headed into the restaurant for our team dinner. The food didn't disappoint and there was lots of delicious meat! We are without a doubt a team of carnivores. The meat at every meal in Buenos Aires has been to die for! Also the staff at the restaurant took a picture with us for their Wall of Fame, so we will forever be in Argentina! Afterwards we thanked them for hosting us as we headed back to the hotel for some much needed sleep.
The best part of Argentina so far is how gracious and polite everyone has been to us. Everyone has been so excited to meet with us and host us. It makes the trip extremely enjoyable and helps us all feel more comfortable. I can't wait to see what the rest of the trip hold for us!