Pirates First Day In Paradise
Nov. 19, 2009
Quite a lot has changed in the last 36 hours. Yesterday morning we woke up in Greenville and after an hour bus ride and a couple of 2-hour flights later, we're in the U.S. Virgin Islands. By the time we arrived, it was 9 o'clock local time (8 o'clock Eastern). We stepped off the plane and into the muggy heat that apparently permeates the islands after a storm. After locating our baggage we piled in to a pair of open air taxis to take us to our hotel that looks out over the harbor. The view was unbelievable. The only real indications of the mountains around us were the lights that hovered above the expansive resort. After a long day of travel, the team was ready to retire for the night.
My first full day at the Paradise Jam got off to a great start. Each of our rooms has a balcony that overlooks the crystal blue water and the rocky beach below, a view that certainly trumps my view of the parking lot at my apartment complex back home. It didn't take long for us to meet some of the local wildlife either. A 3-foot iguana that shuffled past the busy buffet line interrupted breakfast on the patio of the hotel. After a 2 hour study hall, we left for practice at the University of the Virgin Islands to prepare for our game tomorrow against Tennessee. We got up a lot of shots, went over the game plan and headed back across the island to the hotel.
This afternoon, we had some free time before dinner. Brock Young, Chris Turner, Evan Salzano, Jontae Sherrod and I headed to the beach. Upon finding out who we were, some young Purdue fans were happy to help us bury Chris in the sand. I've never seen a place like St. Thomas. The clear blue water contrasting with the mountains around us is a special sight. There's no question I have a new favorite road trip.
Dinner was an event as well. We took a gondola ride 700 feet up the face of one of the larger mountains on the island. The view of the island was unbelievable at night. There were lights everywhere. Ships in harbor, homes on the mountainside, and the busy streets below were a sight to see. After another hearty buffet, we stepped back into the gondolas and rode down the mountainside to the resort.
Day one will end with film study and the final scouting report in a few minutes. Tomorrow is game day, and though the surroundings are strikingly different, the goal tonight is the same: Get a win tomorrow.
Thank you Pirate Nation for checking in on us, and I'll do my best to keep you posted. Go Pirates!