Three Kids and a Dog

Monday, July 17, 2017

Italy 2017

Twenty-nine years ago, I traveled to Sweden and Denmark to play soccer. I was 14 and it was an experience I'll always remember - especially winning the Copenhagen Cup. There is nothing like hearing your national anthem played in a foreign country after you've won a big game. I'll remember that forever.

I wanted Austen to have that opportunity too even though I wanted him to be a little bit older than 10. Sometimes you can't pick when those opportunities arise though so ultimately Tom and I decided that it would be a great experience for him as many of his good soccer friends and their parent(s) - who I really like - were going.

And what a trip it was! We were gone for 9 days. Flying into Rome, we visited the Vatican, saw the Sistine Chapel, attended a blessing by the Pope and toured St. Peter's Basilica. The next day we knocked out the Coliseum, the Forum, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.

After that it was off to San Marino to play. Austen did really well as one of the younger players attending the tournament scoring two beautiful goals and adding an assist. The competition was pretty level and we won games against Morocco and Italy but letting a close one go against another Italian team and falling to a NY team. I think we could've beaten them all actually but the heat (which was a scorching 95 degrees), the ability to only be able to sub the same player out once during the match, and the fact that their team was a mixture of a few different levels of players ultimately did them in. Still what an amazing experience for them - to see how other countries play soccer, to walk in the opening ceremonies behind the U.S. flag, to tour a winery and swim in the Adriatic Sea. Amazing.

And, still there was more before we came home - a trip to Venice where we took a gondola through the city, walked up the Rialto Bridge, saw Doge's Palace and shopped in their many fine stores.

It was a great trip. A great time with Austen. A great memory for both of us. And as much fun as I had when I was 14 (but this time as a soccer mom instead of a soccer player). 

Vatican on the First Day

Austen and his teammates at Trevi Fountain
The Coliseum

Before Game Bows
After Game Picture

Opening Ceremony

Some Fun and the Sea (Adriatic)
Beach Time with the Team

A Real Italian Winery!
That Kid - Always with a Ball in His Hand

The View from the top of San Marino

Gondola Time!

Lots of Gelato (in Venice)!


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