Earnest reflects on VU's trip to Europe

Aug. 5, 2012

Earnest Blog July 27 | Friendship Games | Photos | Rome Postcard | Paris Postcard

The Vanderbilt bowling team recently completed on a 10-day trip to Paris, Rome and Florence, the latest in a series of Commodore varsity squads to see a different part of the world. Below, rising senior Jessica Earnest recaps the team's travels.

Our European adventure came and went in the blink of an eye. I had been anticipating this trip ever since I first heard we were going. Excitement, joy, anxiety; every emotion you can think of I personally felt.

Paris— I was going to get to visit the city of romance, lights, and fashion. It was everything I could have ever imagined. This was one of my top favorite memories of the trip. It felt welcoming to me, and this is probably due to the fact I love fashion. I love seeing the differences between our countries when it comes to the way we dress and act.

The city had an affect that made me feel like I could be the next great writer or the next famous stylist or (if I could paint or draw) the next great artist. The city is that historical and that cultural it is no wonder that so many creative people idolize this city. The Eiffel Tower was just as amazing as anyone could anticipate. This is especially true when you see the light show at night.

The city is constantly full of life and energy. Sadly, we could not stay in Paris. I would have loved to, but I also was excited to see Italy and what it had to offer! The people of Rome are very proud of their history, as they should be. Seeing the place where Julius Caesar was cremated gave me chills (literally). People to this day still leave a flower at this historical site. When we were growing up, we had to use our imagination when reading Shakespeare's play, but getting to see it is indescribable for me.

Rome was a very beautiful city in itself. However, Florence seemed to be our main destination for the simple fact that we were bowling there. Bowling the Italian team was an honor. I had the privilege to bowl in Thailand this summer at the World Youth Championships and there was a major difference between the two tournaments. This tournament was much friendlier, but it still had a highly competitive edge to it. It was friendlier in a sense that everyone wanted to bowl well, but we were bowling a friendship tournament.

The World Youth Championships is a tournament that can only be compared to the Olympics for our sport. Everyone trains in hopes for the opportunity to get a chance to win a medal for their country. I got to experience just that. I also got to the opportunity and experience of winning an international competition with my collegiate team. Being able to say I got to experience both of these things in one summer is an amazing feat in itself. I had the honor of representing my country and my university. I am grateful that the Italian team allowed us to compete against them, and we enjoyed their company during an authentic Italian dinner that they hosted for us (which was absolutely delicious!). We appreciate the effort put in from everyone who made this trip happen.

Other than the bowling, Florence was amazing. Seeing the David statue was mind blowing. It is amazing to think this famous statue was once a giant block of marble. Michelangelo's artwork is incredible and beautiful. The detail of it is astonishing. Being able to reflect on his work, I was amazed at how much patience he must of had while creating his sculptures. The patience and planning of all the artwork we saw makes you realize how they cherished what they were doing. This is why, I believe, that you feel the creativity start to flow when you are in these European countries.

Our European trip came to a close on July 31. The flight seemed to take a lot longer on the way home than it did to get to Paris. This is probably due to the fact that the excitement had been drained from my system. I am happy to say I get to spend a couple of weeks relaxing at home before heading back to the great city of Nashville. I am happy to say this was a summer full of adventure and success for our program. This trip was amazing; something we will forever cherish. I hope this type of trip can be provided to future student-athletes. This trip provides such a cultural experience that many people can only dream about. I am happy to say I have had the opportunity to wear my Commodore uniform overseas, and be successful while wearing it. The opportunities seem endless from here, and this trip has provided some of the confidence I need to make many of my dreams a reality.



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