Sept. 5, 2006
Follow along all season as the UD women's soccer team blogs about their road trips. This week's blog comes from freshman forward Mandi Back recalling the team's activities in Malibu, CA.
Day 1: My wish to go on the Malibu, CA trip with the team finally came true. I'd be going to the west coast for the first time in my entire life. It would be the second time ever riding on a plane in my entire life also. I must say the plane ride at first, was very exciting, but then after being on one for more than one hour it gets tiring. We left Dayton airport this morning and arrived at Atlanta. We had a couple of hours at the Atlanta airport to eat lunch and relax a little and then off we were to LAX. When we got to Los Angeles all of us were completely exhausted from traveling for 15 hours that day. Not to mention that the time changes had me so confused and off track. But anyways when we got to the hotel, we got to unpack our things and check out our rooms and then have a meeting in Coach Tucker's room, which had a doorbell and an entire dining and living room in it. After that took place it was about 8 or 9 that night and I went along with Colleen, Tasha, Mac and Caitlin and we went to this Italian restaurant, Maggiano's, to eat dinner. I ordered shrimp linguine and it was the best Italian meal I had ever eaten. I thought it was funny how we showed up in our Dayton jackets and shorts and looking tired and without a doubt were completely underdressed but it didn't even phase me because I was so hungry. And for some crazy reason our waiter, when asked where we were from, thought that it took us 15 hours to drive from Ohio to California. We were just going to let it slide and make him think about it for a little while, but Mac was nice enough to let him know that we flew. After that, we walked back to the Marriott and called it a night.
Day 2: At 8:00am we go to have breakfast at the Corner Bakery, which was a little place to have bagels and breakfast sandwiches. It was nice where we stayed at because the mall and a lot of restaurants were right in walking distance. The view of the California mountains is amazing in the morning and words cannot even explain what it looks like. The weather is perfect for playing soccer and I couldn't wait to play Pepperdine that day. After we had breakfast, we went back to the hotel until it was time to go eat lunch and then after lunch we would go to Pepperdine University. We drove through the mountains to Pepperdine University and when we finally got there the campus was beautiful and the view of the mountains and ocean was unreal. Before the game we had a meeting about staying focused for the game and getting over the "WOW" factor of Malibu and the view from the field. I must admit it was all pretty overwhelming since it was my first time to California, but I tried my hardest to not forget what we were there for. We were all relaxing on the field waiting for the OSU vs. San Diego game to be over and Colleen was waiting for her family and friends to get there as well. As we were all sitting there Colleen gets up and starts running over to her boyfriend whom she hadn't seen since she left and, I swear it was like in a movie the way she ran to him and he ran to her and she jumped into his arms and he spun her around. The whole team was watching and all were like "awww..." and saying how cute it was. After the movie, it was time to get ready for our warm up and get ready for what I thought was one of the hardest games that I have ever played. We ended up tying Pepperdine 2-2 and it was a well fought game and I got my first yellow card in my college career. After the game we went to a little plaza and were trying to find a bite to eat but there was nothing good there. However, Coach Berbary saw Tony Danza in one of the restaurants and saw him drive away in a Mini Cooper. We were on the lookout for celebrities since we were in Malibu, CA. But unfortunately I never got to see one. The drive back to the hotel with Amy was quite a scene also. Just picture her driving a huge red van with three rows of girls and driving through mountains and curvy roads. Not to mention how we were so close to the edge and it was nothing but a huge cliff. At one point all of us kept saying "Oh my god, Oh my god" and then Amy would be getting so nervous. It was hilarious.
Day 3: Woke up this morning at about 8:00 to go eat breakfast and have a meeting in Coach Tucker's room and talk about the game and what we did and didn't do wrong or right. Then we discussed what we would be doing for the rest of the day since we had the whole rest of the day in California all to ourselves. We decided to go to Rodeo Drive and be on the lookout for celebrities and not to shop because everything is way too expensive. Then we would go find somewhere to go shopping and eat and it was just going to be a relaxing day. The cars that were parked on Rodeo Drive were gorgeous and even though all we could do was window shop, it was a lot of fun. I took a lot of pictures of the notorious stores and even of the signs Rodeo Dr. crossed with Dayton Way. After Rodeo Drive we went to the Santa Monica Pier and took pictures of the ocean and such and then did a lot of shopping, mainly at this one store called Pink Ice. I bought some cute heeled shoes that were only $30. There were also a lot of festivities going on in the promenade where we were shopping at. Like, there were break dancers and a guy who can spin three basketballs and dance at the same time and then there was The Nose Painter who was pretty well-known in some areas. He would paint really elaborate pictures with his nose. It was amazing! After the shopping we went back to the hotel and ate dinner at Buca di Beppo which was actually at Universal City which was like a game place and shopping area. That is where I bought a lot of my souvenirs and is where Tasha and I bought our matching bracelets. But, too bad we had to leave because Dara and I were desperately searching for some funnel cake to eat. After that we just went back to our hotel and got a good night sleep for our game vs. University of San Diego in the morning.
Day 4: We woke up at 7:50am and got breakfast again at the Corner Bakery. Then we were all energized and relaxed for the game vs. San Diego. We ended up losing the game 2-1 and even though we didn't come out on top we owned that team and dominated pretty much the entire game. The ref called a completely terrible call and it ended up costing us the game but that happens sometimes. I missed a couple of chances and it was really just an unlucky game for us. But we learn to just move on and build from it. After the game was over I felt our California trip slowly coming to a close. We went to a seafood restaurant that was just off the beach; however most of us were too tired to stay at the beach and wanted to just go back to the hotel. But I did make sure to stick my feet into the Pacific Ocean, since it was my first time there. We got back to the hotel at about 5ish/6ish and then waited around until our flight which was at 11:30 pm. But we had to be packed and ready by 8:30pm. Tasha, Caitlin and I went to the mall and looked around at Macy's for a bit and Tasha bought some shoes and then we were all set to go back to UD. I was kind of disappointed that we were leaving California, but then again I was happy to be coming back to UD. Being in California was amazing and it is a beautiful state and the trip was a blast. I had a lot of fun with all the girls and I think it is trips like those that can bring us closer as a team and I am so happy that I got to experience it.