August 18, 2000 - by

Basketball Diaries From Europe: Shinikki Whiting

Aug. 18, 2000


Today began with a nice breakfast, which the entire team had been longing for. After loading our luggage on the bus at around 9:00 a.m., we began a three-hour journey to the land of the Swiss. Not Swiss cheese, but beautiful Switzerland. I don’t remember much of the trip, except for being awakened by a sudden stop in front of a McDonald’s restaurant. I must add that we only stopped at McDonald’s because we were in a hurry. Don’t worry Mr. Hart, we are being fed well.


After we grabbed a quick bite to eat, we headed for the Swiss Alps. While waiting to board the tram, we experienced very hot weather. We were told the weather would be cooler in Switzerland, so most of us dressed in jeans. While we were on the tram we were it unseasonably warm right now. The sight of the mountains was unbelievable. The ride up was very hot, especially because we were in a cart with 30 others.


The fact there were only four windows about 12 inches long and opened two inches or less made the trip up the Alps a bit uncomfortable. After our five minute tram ride, we hopped onto a bus which took us further up the mountain. The bus driver was obviously used to the mountain roads, we weren’t. The swerving of the bus and the thin atmosphere were not a good mixture. After exiting the bus there was a sense of relief. We then took an elevator up to a tower that soared over the mountain. Wow, the sight was breathtaking! We enjoyed the scenery, took pictures and relaxed for about an hour before departing for our hotel.


We ate our pregame meal at the hotel before even checking in . The meal consisted of salad, chicken, vegetables, noodles and fresh fruit. It was the best meal we had eaten so far. Not that the meals weren’t tasty, it’s just that we are used to American food. It’s funny, you don’t realize how fortunate you are until what you are used to is gone. Our hotel rooms reminded me of the Flintsones. There were twin beds in each room and no air conditioning. We came to the conclusion they don’t have air conditioning because the hotel is in the mountains. It’s just something we had to deal with.


You aren’t able to take a trip to Europe every day. Therefore, we are going to enjoy ourselves, no matter what the conditions may be.


Finally, we arrived at the gym for the game. We had to drive about 45 minutes from Vevey to Sion. I felt out of place being in coach’s attire rather than a uniform, but until my knee heals, I have to settle for keeping statistics. Don’t get me wrong, I have fun on the bench, but it isn’t the same. We played well and won the game by 90 points. The trip is helping us become a better team both on and off the court. We’ll have a lot in store for the Seminole fans this season.


We returned to the hotel after the game where some of us experienced our first taste of horse meat. Vanessa Fuchs was tricked into eating it. The coaches told her it was beef jerky. She soon found out that it wasn’t. After a great dinner at the hotel, a few of us took a walk around town and the others took a long walk along Lake. Luckily, we will have the opportunity to ski and sail on the lake tomorrow.


We have a long day ahead of us, starting with a tour of the chocolate factory. I can’t wait. Take care and I can’t wait to see everyone when we get back to the states. Hello to all of our families and remember that we love all of you. Thanks to Nike and the FSU athletics department for giving us this opportunity. I miss you coach “D”.


Love Nik-Nik, #3

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