"We are going to France." We all said it. We told our friends, relatives, professors and anybody else who would listen. We all said it since the day we decided to join the Green and Gold, but it finally became real when we all stepped into the airport on that June afternoon.
"Now, we are going to France."
We didn't tour a different country each day. We got to feel, eat and breathe France and indulge in it. And for 10 incredible days, indulge we did. We felt a Parisian rain. We ate enough baguettes, croissants, and Nutella for a lifetime. We smelled some of the most wonderful foods and perfumes that you could ever imagine.
As an extra added bonus for me, those six years spent studying French in high school and college finally paid off! I was nowhere near fluent, but nothing describes the sense of accomplishment like being able to order the exact sandwich you prefer, ask for more of the citrus-scented duck-shaped soaps, or read the team's daily horoscopes in a magazine in the native language.
Forever, I will get to say I checked off on my list of life accomplishments:
- Visit the Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre
- Touch the center rock at the top of Mont St. Michel
- Feel the sand on the beaches of Normandy
- Play basketball overseas
- Stand atop the Eiffel Tower
- Admire the Mona Lisa
- Light a candle in the Notre Dame Cathedral
- Climb the Arch de Triumph
- Stroll the gardens at Versailles
- Shop/dine on the Champs-Élysées
- Skip rocks on the beach in Nice
There is a tradition on select Parisian bridges. Couples bind a lock to the bridge itself and throw the key into the Seine River to symbolize the bond that cannot be broken between loved ones. Our party may have been greater than two, but it still counts in our books. In Paris that afternoon, the McDaniel women's basketball team started a new tradition, forever bonding together in friendship, love and basketball. It wasn't the most extravagant or exciting portion of our trip by a long shot, but it is a moment that I shared with my team and will treasure for the rest of my life.
Coach Martin was right all along. Going to France was the opportunity of a lifetime, not only for things on and left off this list, but because we got to experience every moment whether big or small with our teammates that have grown together to become a family. We're no ordinary family; we are a Green Terror family, sharing our love for McDaniel College and the game of basketball.