Day 1 in Europe ... Amsterdam

Day 1 in Europe ... Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands – Well, it has been a long 24 hours plus, but we have finally checked into our hotel in Amsterdam. It's been quite a journey and I have to keep thinking what day today is after two flights, a bus tour and lunch when it was breakfast back in the states.

Nevertheless, the trip has been a success so far. After a quick flight from Cleveland to Detroit, we rushed to our gate to catch our flight to Amsterdam on the largest plane I have ever been on. One of the flight attendants said it was just the second time the plane has been flown with passengers. What was supposed to be about an eight hour flight turned into a six-and-a-half hour flight thanks to a strong tail wind.

The plane was equipped with TV's at every seat and allowed me to catch up on a movie as I watched The Place Beyond the Pines with Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper. Yes ladies, Gosling and Cooper!! It started a little slow, but overall was a good movie. I was going to watch "42", the movie on Jackie Robinson, but decided to catch some sleep. Plus I told my wife we would watch that together since she also wants to see it.

We touched down around 9:00 a.m. Amsterdam time and after gathering our bags at baggage claim, we met our tour guides out at the bus. Little did I know it is Coach Waters' birthday today so we sang to him and the guides had made some cupcakes to help celebrate.

Since it was too early to check into the hotel, we received a guided bus tour through Amsterdam. The first part we went through was very industrial, but it turned into gorgeous countryside about 20 minutes in. We stopped at a little "village" where we were able to get out and explore for about 90 minutes. It was a beautiful area with canals running through it and tons of windmills.

The first stop in the "village" was at the clog shop where the group was able to see how clogs are made. There were oversized clogs outside the shop that several of the players tried on. I am working on uploading pictures and video of this, but the connection is beyond slow at the hotel so bear with me on that!

The group wandered around a bit more, making a stop at a cheese store. Tired and hungry, the workers asked if we wanted to see how the cheese was made, but we were more interested in the free samples having not eaten for quite some time.

We were going to explore the rest of the little "village", but the rain started to fall so instead it was back to the bus. We made our way toward the hotel and dropped our bags off since we still could not get into the rooms and headed to lunch. It was about a five minute walk to the Hard Rock Café Amsterdam. Yes, we have those back home, but most of the group was just happy to finally get something to eat.

It was then back to the hotel where the rooms were finally ready and everyone could catch a quick nap before meeting up for dinner at 7:00 p.m.

Tomorrow will once again be a busy day with a visit to the Anne Frank House and a canal boat tour of Amsterdam. It is also Game Day with our first of five games on the trip. Tip off is 8:00 p.m. local time against the Meppel Red Giants.

For those following along back home, please send me a note at g.j.murphy@csuohio.edu and let me know if you have any questions/comments. Would love to keep up with everything going on back home.

And best of luck to the women's soccer team which hosts Niagara at 4:00 p.m. at Krenzler Field today in CSU's second and final exhibition match of the season!!