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Tour 2005: England & Wales
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Itinerary | Journals

Itinerary

Wednesday, March 16th
Last day of winter term final exams.
9:00-11:00am: Practice in Leverone
3:30pm: Bus to Boston
8:30pm: Depart Boston

Thursday, March 17th (St. Patrick's Day!)
8:30am: Arrive Heathrow
Bus from Heathrow to Bradford-on-Avon
3:30-5:30: Practice
Dinner: Provided by Aunt Floss! (We love you!)
Lodging Info: Burghope Manor
Winsley, Wiltshire BA15 2LA
Phone: 011-44-1225-723557 (from the US)

Friday, March 18th
Breakfast Provided
9:30-10:30am: Stretch/Run
12:00: Bus to Cardiff
2:00-4:00pm: Practice with guest coach Derek Lang
Dinner in city center
7:30pm: Women's International Rugby - Wales vs. Ireland
9:30pm: Bus to Tredegar after the match
Lodging Info: HoboBackers Hostel, Tredegar

Saturday, March 19th
9:45-11:45am: Practice in Tredegar
1:30pm: Bus departs Tredegar for Cardiff
3:30pm: Watch Men's Wales vs. Ireland at Llandaff North Rugby Club
Post-match: Enjoy Cardiff and rugby fever
8:30pm: Bus back to Tredegar
Lodging Info: HoboBackers Hostel, Tredegar

Sunday, March 20th
Morning: Possible run-through practice in Tredegar
11:30am: Bus to Cardiff
2:30pm: Llandaff North U19/U16 match
Post-match: meal with host team
Evening in Cardiff
8:00pm: Bus back to Tredegar
Lodging Info: HoboBackers Hostel, Tredegar

Monday, March 21st
9:00am: Leave for Bradford-on-Avon
En-route: Visit St. Fagan's Welsh Village and Tintern Abbey
4:00-6:00pm: Practice
7:30pm: Party at Bradford-on-Avon Rugby Club
Lodging Info: Burghope Manor
Winsley, Wiltshire BA15 2LA
Phone: 011-44-1225-723557 (from the US)

Tuesday, March 22nd
9:00-10:30am: Practice
11:45am-4:45pm: Bus excursion to Salisbury, Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge, and Old Sarum
5:30: Bus leaves for Avon Rugby Club
7:15: Kick-off
Post-match: meal with host
Lodging Info: Burghope Manor
Winsley, Wiltshire BA15 2LA
Phone: 011-44-1225-723557 (from the US)

Wednesday, March 23rd
3:00-6:00pm: Practice - with guest coach Tim O'Leary
Dinner: Provided by Aunt Flossie - DWRC loves you!

Thursday, March 24th
9:00-11:15am: Practice
1:00pm: Bus to London
Afternoon/Evening: Off!
Lodging Info: Westpoint Hotel
168-174 Sussex Gardens
Telephone 020-7402-0011
This hotel is right next to Hyde Park and Paddington Station

Friday, March 25th
All day - off!
Lodging Info: Westpoint Hotel
168-174 Sussex Gardens
Telephone 020-7402-0011
This hotel is right next to Hyde Park and Paddington Station

Saturday, March 26th
12:15pm: Bus to Blackheath
2:30pm: Kick-off
Post-match: meal at clubhouse
7:00pm: Return to London
Lodging Info: Westpoint Hotel
168-174 Sussex Gardens
Telephone 020-7402-0011
This hotel is right next to Hyde Park and Paddington Station

Sunday, March 27th
10:00am: Check out of hotel
1:00pm: High-speed train to Heathrow
4:30pm: Depart Heathrow
5:30pm: Arrive Boston
Loding Info: Back in our cosy little beds :)

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Journals
Written by Katie Moerlin '08

Thursday, March17, 2005
We’re in London! After a night spent on the plane, everyone was exhausted and sprawled out on various airport benches while we waited for our bus and some other ruggers that came in on different flights. Once everyone arrived, including our bus, it was a couple hour ride out to Bath, which is where our first night would be spent. We got to the fifteenth-century manor house where we were staying, and everyone was surprised by how beautiful it was! We soon headed out to the practice field we were able to use down the road from the manor house. After practice, Aunt Flossie made us a lasagna dinner and the rookies grudgingly performed a skit, requested by the upperclassmen. It was announced by the seniors that everyone would be taking part in a talent show during tour and the groups for that were announced. A few people went to a local pub to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day, while everyone else went to bed. Soon thereafter, the go outers returned to find they had been locked out and had to throw pebbles at a window to wake someone to let them in. What an exciting first night!

Friday, March 18, 2005
We basically got up with just enough time to pack up our stuff, eat, and get to the fields for a morning practice, which quite unusually, ran a little over the scheduled time so then we had just enough time to jump on the bus to get to our afternoon practice in Cardiff. This practice was run by a nice Welsh rugby coach, who had great stuff to say, but was slightly hard to understand with his great Welsh accent. He taught us an awesome Kung Fu tackle/flip thing, but Deb wasn’t too keen on us using our new skill in games or on each other. After the practice session was over, we used the showering facilities of a mental hospital. With garbage, including rubber gloves scattered around the cement floor and an archaic training table sitting in the middle of the room, the sight of people tiptoeing around, trying to find an empty showerhead and not step in too much crap was rather hysterical. It was probably the most awkward communal showering situation ever! I think my feet may have been dirtier leaving the place than when I entered. After everyone was clean, we jumped on the bus and went to the center of Cardiff to hang out for a few hours. Everyone separated to eat, then met up a few hours later and walked to Arms Park to watch a Women’s International game. Wales played Ireland and the game was so much fun to watch! It was great to see rugby at a higher level and fun to hang out as a team. We took the bus to Tredegar, which was the second place we were staying for tour. It was a cool little hostel and we took over the whole thing! Everyone just hung out for the rest of the night.

Saturday, March 19, 2005
We jogged through a cool little park thing to our practice fields, which ended up being at the base of a sheep-covered hill and overlooking the town of Tredegar. It was probably one of the most scenic places people get the chance to play rugby. Once in awhile a sheep or two would come down to the fields while we scrimmaged. Some people ran back to the hostel to jump in the showers, since there were only three. After everyone got back and showered, we took the bus to Cardiff and went to the Llandaff North Rugby Club, where we watched the Wales vs. Ireland Six Nations game. The entire place was filled with red jerseys, besides the occasional bit of green, which looked horribly out of place. Everyone was so excited for the game…I even got yelled at by an old lady for blocking the TV during the pregame interviews. Several of the DWRC girls got razzed the entire time by a bunch of Welsh boys, whose average age was probably eight. The game was awesome and Wales ended up winning, causing them to get the Grand Slam and Six Nations championship. The clubhouse was a fun place to witness such an important game and the people were really cool. We got on the bus and our amazing bus driver, Viv, weaved us through traffic to get into the center of Cardiff, which was absolutely insane. We were given a few hours to wander amid the drunken mayhem and see how huge rugby really is in the UK. A few girls were able to trade shirts with some big, fat Irish guys, so they jumped on the bus wearing some awesome, although a little big, Irish rugby jerseys. On the bus ride home, freshmen were asked to sing some songs over the bus microphone and some upperclassmen ended up performing as well. After getting back to the hostel a group of the team started playing Never Have I Ever, which ended up being a couple-hour long game, while others just went to bed.

Sunday, March 20, 2005
Practice on the Tredegar fields in the morning! We ran through stuff for our game in the afternoon, and then got on the bus to head to Cardiff for the game. We played the Llandaff North U19/U16 team, who were young, but good! We ended up losing by a try, but it was a great game, especially for it being the first time we’d played together in a long time. We showered in their changing rooms and hung out at the clubhouse, for a little longer than we all had hoped. By the end, everyone on the team was practically sleeping in their chairs; while Deb was busy chattin’ it up with some old man. We kept giving her “let’s go!” looks, but I don’t think she caught on. After getting back to the hostel, everyone prepared for the evening’s festivities. This was the first night of the infamous first annual DWRC Tour Talent Off! Deb, Meg V, and Monique opened the show with a mime/juggling/strength performance, which shined in its originality. Next, Erin and Coldiron blew Mary Had a Little Lamb on beer bottles then chugged them. Carrie and Dale sang an old DWRC song with lyrics fitting to the tour, then Lily, Emily Luscz, Alyssa, and Christina performed some show songs and gave examples of dance moves that were inspired by the game of rugby. The night ended with the debut of the BackSYNC Ruggers, who performed short renditions of Backstreet Boys and NSYNC songs. This talented group consisted of Gifty, Kirsten, Julia, and Lisa. Throughout the performances, Meg and Deb kept the judges happy with tea, foot rubs, and spoon feedings of chicken noodle soup in the hopes to gain some brownie points. Later we sang rugby songs, and we freshmen were finally taught the words to the Gee song and Deb felt compelled to teach the entire team the Dog Song. It was a fun night in the hostel and we all went to bed a more educated rugby singer.

Monday, March 21, 2005
We packed up our stuff and left the hostel pretty early and headed back to Bath. On the way we made several touristy stops, the first being at a Welsh village. We were given three hours to wander around, but several of us freshmen were too tired to be on our feet, so we decided to refuel ourselves by making a pit stop at the Welsh village cafeteria. Unfortunately, we got there at 10:30, and the place didn’t start serving real food until noon. We bought a few prewrapped sandwiches, ate those, and then realized it was worth the wait for food. By the time food was actually served, the entire team had wandered into the cafeteria. We ended up spending most of our Welsh Village time there, but felt fully revitalized by the time we got back on the bus. Our next stop was Tintern Abbey, which was huge and very cool. Again, I found myself in a little café getting food not more than 30 minutes after we got there, but it was cold and drizzly out, so I felt it was justifiable. We headed back to Bath and had practice at the fields near the Manor house. We headed back the B & B, which was where we stayed on our first night, showered, and headed to the Bradford-on-Avon rugby club for a party they planned for us. A live band called Futari, which consisted of two 17-year-old girls, was there and the whole evening was really funny. A group of DWRC girls started dancing to the Alanis Morrisette covers performed by Futari and we soon realized the party consisted of just our team, Futari, some old men, and a few gawking English boys, one of whom Kirsten ended up slow dancing with for the last song.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005
Practice in the morning, and then we headed out for the afternoon. Skip Battle bought us all lunch, which was fabulous, but ended up taking about two hours longer than expected. We walked to Salisbury Cathedral and were given a little bit of time to check out the Magna Carta and the awesomeness of such a historical place. We jumped on the bus and rushed to our game at Avon Rugby Club. It was dark out, so we played under big field lights, which felt super cool. Here, we were able to experience another amazing rugby changing room, which actually smelled worse than my barn. Emily Battle was convinced it was the other team’s plan for us to sit in there and get slightly light-headed, giving them the advantage. The game was great, though we ended up falling behind by two tries. We had a couple of streakers during the post game talk on the field…way to go Jackie and Kir! After the game, we used their shower facilities, which had “tits” written in dirt across one wall. We hung out with the team in their clubhouse and sang some of their songs, and they enjoyed hearing ours. On the ride back to Bath, we had some on bus entertainment, which consisted of Kirsten dancing to music that was playing on Gifty’s mP3 player in the middle of the aisle.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005
We had the morning to ourselves to see the city of Bath, so we all took the public bus into town and separated into little groups. A bunch of us freshmen got to the Roman Baths, but were too cheap to pay to go in, so we just took pictures of the outside. We got back to the manor house for a team meeting, and then had practice with a guest coach. He was really nice and the drills we did were very relevant to what we needed to work on as a team. We had dinner that night at a local pup, which Aunt Flossie put together for us. It was Diana’s birthday, so we had cake when we got back to the manor house. The final night of the Talent Off took place soon thereafter. Sinny and Gemma sang a song, Morgan, Alysia, Sheila, and Noelle did a remake of a Fresh Prince song, and Diana and I sang some stupid camp song with rugby lyrics and danced around. The finals took place right after, giving little time for preparations. Deb and Meg V, but mostly Deb, were the openers for the show with some gymnastic/bar tricks. We saw some Marvin Gay, some more of the BackSYNC Ruggers, another rugby song by Dale and Carrie, and Sinny and Gemma sang. The BackSYNC Ruggers brought down the house with some British shorty shorts and killer dance moves, but Alysia as Marvin Gay was recognized with the most individual talent.

Thursday March 24, 2005
We got up pretty early, packed up our stuff, and headed out to the practice fields. We showered there, said goodbye to the Bradford-on-Avon Rugby Club for the last time, and headed to London. On the way we stopped at Stonehenge. A few of us were too cheap to pay to go on the other side of the fence, so we took turns looking through my telephoto camera lens and decided that was just as good. Monique and MegV did a fabulous imitation of a cow while we waited for those who paid, with Monique being the ass and Meg being the front. They marched over picnic tables and some two-foot high fence thing. We got back on the bus, stopped at a grocery store for lunch, then got to our hotel in London late in the afternoon. A few of us had tickets to a show, and when we got back, we went out to a club in a big group. It was really fun and we stayed out much later than we intended, partly because no one could find a taxi at three in the morning in the middle of London.

Friday March 25, 2005
Deb gave us this day to ourselves. A group of us freshmen got up pretty early to catch the continental breakfast and were out of the hotel by 9:30. We got a day pass on the underground and tried to find as many touristy stops as possible. By one in the afternoon we hit a wall of exhaustion, and decided to head back to the hotel for a nap. We headed out again later in the afternoon and saw London Bridge, the Tower of London, sat down for dinner at the steps of the Tower of London and enjoyed the fabulous view of the city at night. Some people went to a show in the evening, but it was a pretty early night for everyone.

Saturday, March 26, 2005
Game Day! It was so cool to play at Blackheath. The clubhouse had so much history and the pitch was beautiful. Viv, our first bus driver even came to watch us! The game was amazing, and we played so well together. I have never had so much fun playing rugby. Everyone played for a little while, including Deb! Right before the start of the fourth quarter, the Blackheath team ran over to us with a tray full of green dyed beverages. At the end of the game, which we won, we all took pictures under the uprights and Blackheath even joined us for some of them. They started serving us beverages right after the whistle blew. Some of us freshmen very unsuccessfully attempted to streak, which landed us naked, right smack in front of the clubhouse. Haha, dumb freshmen. The rest of the evening was spent hanging out with the other team, singing songs, playing games, and trading rugby gear. People even ended up jumping off the club bar and getting caught by a bunch of people, though the first attempt ended with Kirsten on the floor. We got on the bus at 9, and the ride back to London was great. People were dancing, singing, and making silly announcements over the bus microphone. I wonder what the bus driver thought of us. When we got back to the hotel, a big group went out to some clubs, while a few of us hung out at the hotel. It was sad to know this was our last night of tour.

Sunday, March 27, 2005
We had to be out of our rooms pretty early, so we stored our bags at the hotel in a luggage closet and wandered around for our last few hours in London. We met back up at the hotel, got on the bus to the airport, and parted ways with Carrie and MegV, who didn’t fly with us. The flight was long, but I watched so many inflight movies that it didn’t really bother me. We got on the bus in Boston and were back in little Hanover before we knew it! It was only 9:30 in the evening, but it was 3:30 in the morning London time, so everyone was worn-out. I grabbed my bags off the bus, headed straight to my dorm room, and immediately fell asleep.

What a fabulous tour we had!

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