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2013 ODP '98 Girls

 
The 1998 Girls Olympic Development Program team went to London for their international trip this year. 

Below is a recap as told by Karin Micheletti, who is on the trip with the team, as her daughter is on the team.  There is also a variety of pictures, please take a look and we hope the girls enjoyed their trip!
 

Day 7
Did the lights dim at your houses today?? The girls took London by storm and gave the English economy a good boost! We had beautiful weather and walked from Piccadilly Circus to Trafalgar Square to Oxford Circus and back. Some ventured to Harrods and some took in the National Gallery.We had proper pub lunches & shopped! We are nervous for the weight of our bags.

Everyone is excited to see their families and friends. We'll be back before you know it. We just watched QPR win & then settle for a draw in the last seconds...heartbreaking. Murray, our guide, works for QPR so we are sad for him & his side. 

Cheers - see you tomorrow!
 
Day 6
How did it get to be Saturday already!! We have been so busy & having a great time. Today the sun came out & the wind died down which made us all very happy.

 

We traveled to Croydon to the Royal Russell School (a private girls school) to play the Crystal Palace girls on grass. Our reputation preceded us & they brought out a few older, bigger girls which was a bit intimidating at first. But our girls realized that they just needed to mark tightly & play their passing game - by doing so they won 8-1!! (Kristen - 2, Kailey, Megan Klink -3, Ashlyn - PK, Sarah). Cream pies for Megan! In 4 games, the team has scored 20 goals and only given up 6!!! Wow - the girls are having a great time playing together. 

We headed over to Crystal Palace for a Champions Division game vs Barnesly. It was a 0-0 draw & the atmosphere was great. We we just around the corner from the loyal home fans - lots of singing & clapping. Some our girls got to hold the flags & welcome the players back on the pitch at the half. The lads could take a finishing lesson from our squad. as they sent everything soaring over the goal.

We stopped at ASDA on our way home - this is a store similar to Walmart & we've been there 3 times now. Not my idea of vacation, but the girls have been getting snacks & this time stocked up on candy to bring home to friends. Be sure to check their stash when then arrive. They are relaxing at the hotel tonight, storing up their energy for some serious shopping in London tomorrow. It should be sunny again, so we'll have some freckles when we return. 

Day 5
A quick note as it is late & we have an early start tomorrow.?Murray ran a great session this morning. The girls enjoyed his instruction - see photo.?3 hours at the Bluewater Mall brought the girls back to their American roots. ?QPR went very well - evening sun but stiff wind & cold again. Libby & the defense held off an initial push & then Yasmeen went 1 on 1 with the keeper & beat her. Danielle took over after 20 min & Kristen buried one. In the 2nd, Dani had a great save.  

Kailey tapped it a nice cross & Kristen put one more. Chloe played the last 20 with a strong defense in front of her. We controlled a majority of the game and gave up only one goal. The girls have scored 12 goals to their opponents' 5.?More pizza and they are off to bed! Excuse any mistakes & the piggyback email. Tech is tough is here for this old girl! 

Another great day here in England. The morning brought cold, gray skies & chilly winds, with a few flurries mixed in! The girls trained with Toril while the LaRochelles and I did laundry - a mostly successful mission. We returned the clothes smelling clean but slightly damp. :) 

We hit the ground running in London. Our bus left us off at the side of Buckingham Palace (photo op 1) & we walked through Green Park to catch the Big Red Bus tour - we all sat on top at the outset (photo op 2), but about 1/2 way through, the girls ended up below deck. It was raw!! We saw ALL the sights...some twice & took hundreds of photos (the tour took about 1.5 hrs). We jumped off & had a quick lunch followed up by Starbucks (a little shot of America). Murray led us on foot to the Royal Horse Parade (photo op 3 - London Eye in the back). The girls had a ball posing with the guard. At one point they must have gotten too close or rambunctious because he put his arm out 1/2 way, extended his sword & then YELLED! He then marched forward, turned right & marched out to a new guard spot in the yard. He startled the girls & they screamed--it was hysterical!

From there we walked over the Westminster Bridge (I think) to the Eye. Just beyond it, we caught a boat (the River Clipper) which took us down to Greenwich. Londoners use this line to commute. We got off at the O2 - a concert arena - very modern & very cool looking. Tomorrow night One Direction will play there! Keith & our coach (bus) met us here & took us to the Wharf, a restaurant (kind of pub-ish) near our hotel. We had a HEARTY meal (many got the carvery which featured hand-carved ham, roast beef & turkey, yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, green beans, cauliflower & broccoli, gravy & other condiments). After dinner, we sang Happy Birthday to Tiffany who is 15 today!! Again, we walked - home this time- lots of fresh air & exercise today.

Tomorrow after a light jog & dynamic stretching we will head back to London in search of proper fish & chips as well as a tour of the Tour of London. We play Charlton at 7:00 pm. The girls are looking forward to another match.

Everyone is during well. A couple of tummy aches & some sore muscles, but they are being brave. Jeff LaRochelle, parent of Chloe, is a doctor (internal medicine) so the girls feel very safe, as he is giving some advice.

The girls miss you, but are having a GREAT time together. We are all getting along well, helping each other & enjoying the new experiences. 

Day 4
Brrrrrrrr - snow flurries all day today & gusty winds. The girls have been troopers & kept the complaining light-hearted. We had a run & Tae Kwon Do training this morning (Toril is a TKD instructor as well).

We had a great time at the Tower of London - the Bloody Tower (torture chamber), the Crown Jewels, the White Tower (armory), the 7 ravens, Beefeater guards & our new favorite snack - waffles on a stick w/chocolate syrup! The girls are posed in front of Tower Bridge right before we went into the Tower. Construction on the Tower of London was begun in the 1060's and it was the royal palace within the city up until Buckingham Palace was built for Queen Victoria. (That is your history lesson for the day) I do keep trying to reiterate to the girls just how old things are here compared to in America. 

Tonight as we headed to Charlton, the snow stopped which was a relief. The girls had a great showing! Danielle made a great save early in the first half to deny the Reds & then it was all EPA. Kristen had 2 quick goals & we dominated the rest of the half. Feeling in control, the girls relaxed & played "the beautiful game". Nice passing combinations, good through balls, lots of communication & some pretty skills on display. In the 2nd half Ashlyn put one in, then Kailey & Kristen finished it with a hatrick! Murray says she "gets the cream pie"! We did give up one, but the call that led to the free kick was definitely a home side call!The Charlton girls were really friendly & girls enjoyed themselves.

We finished the night with a pizza party which had everyone smiling.

Tomorrow, Murray will run a light practice & then we'll take the girls to the MALL!! Yikes...the goal being proper fish & chips and some English fashion. We'll play QPR at 7pm. Til then...

Day 3
Another great day here in England. The morning brought cold, gray skies & chilly winds, with a few flurries mixed in! The girls trained with Toril while the LaRochelles and I did laundry - a mostly successful mission. We returned the clothes smelling clean but slightly damp. :)

We hit the ground running in London. Our bus left us off at the side of Buckingham Palace (photo op 1) & we walked through Green Park to catch the Big Red Bus tour - we all sat on top at the outset (photo op 2), but about 1/2 way through, the girls ended up below deck. It was raw!! We saw ALL the sights...some twice & took hundreds of photos (the tour took about 1.5 hrs). We jumped off & had a quick lunch followed up by Starbucks (a little shot of America). Murray led us on foot to the Royal Horse Parade (photo op 3 - London Eye in the back). The girls had a ball posing with the guard. At one point they must have gotten too close or rambunctious because he put his arm out 1/2 way, extended his sword & then YELLED! He then marched forward, turned right & marched out to a new guard spot in the yard. He startled the girls & they screamed--it was hysterical!

From there we walked over the Westminster Bridge (I think) to the Eye. Just beyond it, we caught a boat (the River Clipper) which took us down to Greenwich. Londoners use this line to commute. We got off at the O2 - a concert arena - very modern & very cool looking. Tomorrow night One Direction will play there! Keith & our coach (bus) met us here & took us to the Wharf, a restaurant (kind of pub-ish) near our hotel. We had a HEARTY meal (many got the carvery which featured hand-carved ham, roast beef & turkey, yorkshire pudding, roasted potatoes, green beans, cauliflower & broccoli, gravy & other condiments). After dinner, we sang Happy Birthday to Tiffany who is 15 today!! Again, we walked - home this time- lots of fresh air & exercise today.

Tomorrow after a light jog & dynamic stretching we will head back to London in search of proper fish & chips as well as a tour of the Tour of London. We play Charlton at 7:00 pm. The girls are looking forward to another match.

Everyone is during well. A couple of tummy aches & some sore muscles, but they are being brave. Jeff LaRochelle, parent of Chloe, is a doctor (internal medicine) so the girls feel very safe, as he is giving some advice. 

The girls miss you, but are having a GREAT time together. We are all getting along well, helping each other & enjoying the new experiences.

Day 2
We had a great day today! Good breakfast - very American. Off to training back at Dartford. They trained at Dartford FC on a mini-pitch. Back on the bus/quick change & out to Reading (about an hour ride). We played 3 30 minute periods so that each goalie had playing time. It was a good match (on grass - hard & bouncy with a strong cross wind). The order went Chloe (MD keeper), Libby, then Danielle. The girls played a strong match - great passing, changing fields well & good talk. We were up 2-0 (Murphy & Kristen) then Reading scored 2. Then Gianna put us ahead. Reading got the equalizer early in the third period. It was fun to watch. The Reading girls were 15/16 & pretty big. A lot of kick & run action! They awarded Murphy the "Player of the Day" award & gave her a Reading FC t-shirt.

We headed over to Windsor Castle - the flag was flying so the Queen (or some royal) was in residence. We walked the surrounding town a bit & then back on the bus & home to a hearty English supper.

The girls are upstairs showering & going to bed - they are tired!! Lots of smiles. We will head to London for lunch & siteseeing after a morning training session.

Dinner out at a local restaurant.

Enjoy the photos! More tomorrow. 

Day 1
Sorry for the late email but this is the first free time we've had. We had an easy flight - free movies/TV, a little food & a bit of shut eye. Our guide, Murray was on hand as we came out of immigration, all bags in hand. We boarded our lux coach & Keith, our driver, showed us a bit of London (Westminster Abbey, St. Paul's, Buckingham Palace, Tower of London & Tower Bridge. Most everyone napped a bit & we landed at the hotel. No rest though! We headed right out to see Dartford take it to Woking (4-1). Some good goals, physical play & great heckling by the girls. It is chilly, but everyone is so happy to be here. The girls took a light run w/Toril & did some dynamic stretching. Everyone was too tired for proper training. 

They will train in the morning & then we'll head to Reading with a stop at Windsor Castle as we pass by. Right now we are gathering to watch QPR vs Fulham. The girls are showered, weary but smiling!

 

 
 

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