North of the Border Blog
The Manhattan women's basketball team is currently on a seven-day Canadian tour. Each day, a different Lady Jasper will be blogging about her experiences.
Day 6 (Ottawa)-Maggie Blair
Our last day in Canada didn't start until 10 a.m., when we met in the lobby and walked to the local Elgin Street Diner. We dined on delicious eggs, pancakes and French toast. Abby's parents daringly asked the waiter the lingering question...what is poutine? We had seen the word all around the diner and all around Canada but no one knew exactly what it was. The waiter kindly brought Abby and her family a sampling of the poutine, which they so generously shared with us. Poutine is a popular Canadian dish, which consists of French fries, gravy, and cheese curds. It was delicious! After breakfast we walked back to the hotel for a quick nap before our walkthrough at Carleton University. When we walked into the gym the local Carleton basketball camp was going on, so we practiced on the far side of the gym behind a curtain. Our walkthrough was brief but efficient. We then went to our pre-game meal at Johnny Farina's. After the delicious Italian feast it was time to get ready to play. We went to the gym at Carleton University at 5 p.m., where we were shocked to learn that the Carleton men's team had practice until 6:30! Our game started at 7! We were escorted to a dusty dim back gym were we began to stretch and warm up. Halfway through our warm-up routine people began roller skating into the gym. Apparently the gym we had been given had already been promised to the roller derby team! We then continued to stretch in the hallway until we finally got on the court. This game wasn't quite as physical as the game against Ottawa, but it was much more intense. We stepped up when it counted and came out with a win! After the game, most of the team went to the local Wendy's for a delicious and nutritious post-game meal.
Our journey through Canada has come to a bittersweet end. We are all eager to return to Manhattan College, but we have had such a great time in Canada we are sad to leave. As a team, we were very fortunate to have had such an amazing opportunity and so glad we could share it with everyone. We have had a very successful trip, eating lots of delicious food, seeing many beautiful sites and most importantly playing basketball. Thank you all for following us!
Day 5 (Ottawa)-Jazmine Jarvis
The fifth day of our Canadian adventure started with a marathon walk to a diner for brunch. During that stroll a townsfolk on a bike barked at us, starting the day off right! Our waiter at the restaurant was very zany! He made sound effects and sang about bacon. While waiting for our meals we stacked creamers and Karita's was by far the biggest! After seeing our stacking abilities the waiter decided to bring out a tray full of creamers for our entertainment. When we finished eating we went to the University of Ottawa for a shoot around. Then we went back to the hotel for snacks and naps. For our pregame we went to a nice Italian restaurant. Game two was a very physical one! The other team led for most of the game, but when we totaled up the scores in the end, we ended up winning by one point! After that game everyone was pretty banged up. For dinner most of us went to Wendy's and then back to the hotel for a showing of the always popular, "Love and Basketball."
Day 4 (Montreal/Ottawa)-Karita Brown
Day 4 in Canada marked our first day in Ottawa, Ontario. The trip from Montreal was pretty interesting--the luggage door on the bus popped open while we were in the middle of the highway. When we arrived in Ottawa we were very happy to see that all of our stuff had made it safe and sound. Lunch was at this cute little restaurant around the corner from our hotel. At lunch, we found out how Coach Cait had accidentally called the cops instead of the front desk to come fix her TV the night before. We may have to work on our out-of-country dialing skills! Then we headed to practice in preparation for our two upcoming games. After practice we saw the largest rainbow ever, the perfect ending to a perfect practice. When we pulled up to a local buffet, the team was pretty ecstatic. After we were all full as a tick, we headed back to the hotel for Taboo and team bonding. The perfect ending to a great day, and were so happy to have Lindsey back with us.
Day 3 (Montreal)-Nadia Peters
Day 3 in Canada had a wonderful start, as the majority of the team went to a restaurant with Coach Cat and Coach Cait for crepes. These crepes were gigantic and were at least a foot long. After our breakfast we met up with the rest of the coaches and proceeded to our amphibus tour of Montreal.
When we arrived at the Centre des Sciences de Montreal the amphibus, which is a bus that can drive on land and sail in water, did not seem safe--the microphone was not working, the bus was creaking and croaking, and the life vests looked as though they were bought many years ago. Once our tour guide Bert arrived and we began our tour, it was smooth sailing. The tour was full of information (the most outstanding was that Montreal has an underground city of the old French city, where in the winter people access this underground city in order to escape winter weather conditions).
The other outstanding fact of Montreal was when people travel down St-Laurent Boulevard, they have a multicultural experience of every country of the world.
The most exciting part of the tour was when the bus entered Montreal's harbor. When the bus entered the water, it felt like it was about to sink but some how we floated on the water.
After the tour we returned to the hotel and had free time. Some of us went to an exotic fast food restaurant called McDonalds while the others went to a small cafe. Then some us of took a nap while others enjoyed Canada's sun. I went with Coach Cat, Coach Cait, and Pat to purchase basketball sneakers since I busted a hole in them in yesterday's game. Usually when people enter different stores, it's because they cannot find their size. Well, we entered various stores because we could not find a decent pair of sneakers. We went to all the sneaker stores Montreal had to offer and were left unsatistified and sneakerless. The four of us met up with the rest of the team at the hotel and went back to the sports bar restaurant. There was a bouncer there and he tried to card us, but Coach O handled the situation and we walked into the sports bar restaurant like VIP's. After dinner, we ventured off to Cold Stone then returned to the hotel to watch Andrew treat Maggie's blister.
At the end of the night, some of us watched "American Psycho" while the others retired to their chambers.
Day 2 (Montreal)-Allison Skrec
Day two of this rendezvous began around 8:00 a.m., as we woke up to our sounding alarms and to the clean, crisp air of Canada. Then we ate Tim Hortons bagels for breakfast. Following breakfast, we took a nice stroll to our walk-through, where we were surprisingly able to open the door on the first try!! After our walk-through, we ate lunch at Bistro Sanguinet. Then our team headed back to our hotel where most of us were lucky enough to take a nap. At 3:00 p.m., we went to a local sports bar to eat our pre-game meal. Then we boarded the bus to head to the gym for our game. But this was not just any game that we were about to play...there were a few rules changes, which include (Monica, please note the following bullet points):
- the shot clock is 24 seconds, not 30
- you have 8 seconds to cross half court, not 10
- there are four 10-minute quarters, not two halves
- along with a few other rules.
During the pre-game ceremony, the other team presented each of us with a small gift. We won an exciting game 74-68. These rule changes didn't phase us and Nadia wasn't phased by the fact that she was playing with a hole in her sneaker! In the locker room after the game, Coach O announced that the "Diet Pepsi Player of the Game" was Toni, following her outstanding game where she scored off of back door cuts too many times to count!! Our fun-filled day was capped off by eating Mexican food and watching a movie. Talk about team bonding!!!
Day 1 (Riverdale/Montreal)-Maggie Blair
Our morning began at 6:45 a.m. when we boarded the bus. We dined on our Jasper Deli breakfast sandwiches and gazed out at the falling raindrops as the bus pulled away from Manhattan College. After a surprisingly quick bus ride, we arrive in Montreal several hours ahead of schedule. Our rooms at the L'Hotel Lord Berri weren't ready yet, so we walked around near the hotel and saw some very interesting locals on the streets of Canada. A surprising amount of people were outside for such a dreary day. We even witnessed a very awkward marriage proposal on the street corner! We ate lunch at a nearby restaurant called Mike's, where we truly realized several cultural differences--they didn't have cheeseburgers (which disappointed Alicia greatly), and the menu was predominately in French. After lunch we came back to the hotel to get ready for practice. At 5 p.m. the team met in the lobby and boarded the bus for the "short" drive to the gym. We proceeded to drive in circles for about 20 minutes before we finally found le Centre de Sportif. Upon arrival, we found that the arena doors were locked. After a complicated translation through the intercom system, we eventually found the main entrance. We proceeded up many flights of stairs to find the gym doors locked and the lights off. Just our luck. This commute was beginning to cut into practice time. Eventually the security guard opened the doors so we were able to practice and prepare for our first game tomorrow! After practice we went out to dinner at a local Italian restaurant. We were serenaded by violinists as well as by Brandone's laughter as we enjoyed the atmosphere and the fine Italian cuisine. When Coach O asked us if we wanted dessert we all cheered for Coldstone Creamery, which was just down the block. Once everyone finished their ice cream, we walked back to the hotel to get ready for bed. We were exhausted after such a long, exciting day of traveling.