Orange squad to return home
The Netherlands Softball Team closed the trip to Illinois on Monday with a sighseeing-tour to Chicago.
The team starts its journey back home to the Netherlands on Tuesday.
After returning, players and staff-members have a few days off to rest and recover.
On Friday, August 1, the 11 City Tour begins in Hengelo, the last series of games to prepare for the World Championship in Haarlem.
Beneath, Team Manager Peter Schuler looks back to Day 21, the last full day of the Illinois-trip.
Sightseeing day Chicago
The first and only complete day off during the tour (or did we gave another one in Bloomington?) was used to visit the 'Windy City'.
Well, it wasn't very 'windy' today.
It was well above 30 degrees Celsius with a clear blue sky.
After a nice late breakfast (eh, coaches Craig Montvidas and Berend Mannessen were already at the laundry at 8 AM), we left with two vans to ‘downtown’, a drive of less than 30 minutes.
But then, you must not get lost in the enormous spaghetti of roads surrounding the city.
It all went fine and at 12 PM we were at Navy Pier.
Part of the team took the city tour with a double-decker hop-on-hop-off bus.
In some two hours seeing all the best attracions of Chicago.
And you can get oof when you want at one of the 12 stops.
And off course hop on again.
Others had plans to use the Segway and other to do some bicycling.
But that appeared to be more difficult and so, it was walking through the city.
In the meantime, Joanne and Peter drove the vans towards the area of the restaurant where we would have a late lunch or an early dinner.
Everyone ensembled at Mother Hubbards for ‘chicken and ribs’ and then it was en route for 'home' again.
There we also said goodbye to Cathy & Joe Core, who had assisted us with a lot of things to prepare for this trip.
Luckily, we avoided the big traffic jams and we were back in the hotel around 7 PM.
In the lobby, the players completed the buddy-story and then some brief announcements regarding the schedule of Tuesday: travel day.
It will be a big challenge to fit all bags, suitcases and equipment in the cargo-van.
Again led by Saskia and 'Timmie', our 'loadmasters'.
Around 9:30, a brief recap by Craig, then breakfast, then bringing all our things downstairs to pack and leaving around 12 PM for O'Hare for the journey back home.
Wednesday-morning, we will be tired, with a big jetlag at Schiphol.
But, we gained another huge experience.
By the way: in the recap of yesterday, completely forgotten to mention the nice 'press presentation' of Botswana.
Shareday Christina, Britt Vonk and Nikki Harte were noticed by everyone when they walked through the lobby because of their clothing!
For the ones of you who don't know: every day, three players had to give a presentation of the seven opponents the Dutch Team meets in the preliminary round.
Unfortunately, we can't publish video- or photo material of this...
It was very original and humoristic.
A big compliment to the ladies!
(photos made by Joanne Schuler)