Greetings from the Aaron Hotel in Southport, England!

Our trip started at 6 p.m., Friday upon our departure from the DuFour to Dulles Airport. As we were checking in, we found out that our flight was delayed an hour, which actually turned out in our favor. We were able to have a sit down dinner at the airport before our flight to London. After six hours on flight, with quite a few movies viewed, we arrived at Heathrow. After 15 girls fell asleep on the floor of the waiting area, it was time for our flight to Manchester. Another hour later and we were in the bus on our way to Southport, where we are currently located. After the trip, about a total of 12 hours, we were able to settle in and have our first dinner, spaghetti and meatballs. All in all, the team was sound asleep by no later than 9 p.m.

Our gracious hosts Adam and Leslie made us breakfast and lunch before our first training session with Ray, the coordinator of the trip. Realizing that we were all still adjusting to the time change, he took it rather easy on us. We were able to get a good warm-up, stretch and some quality touches on the ball in a nearby park. Being able to walk to the park allowed us to see what downtown Southport was all about (rather different than what we're used to in D.C.). Adam once again made us dinner, turkey and mashed potatoes with apple pie and ice cream this time.

With our downtime we've been able to relax, watch professional soccer games on tv and spend time with each other. I also dominated Jackie in our first of several chess matches to come. And by dominated, I mean I took out her entire back line without losing any of my pieces. We'll keep you posted on the results each day.

Tomorrow morning we have breakfast at 7:30 a.m., and our first training session at the Liverpool FC Academy from 10 a.m. -12 p.m. We also have our first game tomorrow night at 6:30 p.m., versus John Moore University.

                                                                                                                - Diana Napolitano #16