Lacrosse Tour to the USA – Mrs Williams’ Blog
The long-awaited Lacrosse tour the USA is underway! Twenty-three girls, accompanied by Miss Richards, Miss Holland, Mrs Williams and Mrs Healey, are on an Easter Holiday tour of Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York. Mrs Williams will be sending an update on each of the days. The most recent posts are at the top.
Day 10 – Wednesday 6th April
Posted Thursday 7th April 10pm (BST)
A last post from Mrs Williams but, unfortunately, no new pictures. We’ll try to get some through tomorrow. All the photos on the School cameras have been happily uploading themselves onto a Google Drive all along, but in NYC, of all places, connectivity has not been good at all.
We’ve had an amazing first day in New York! We were very adventurous and took the subway around all day…only leaving a teacher behind one time!
We started off the day with a boat tour where we saw the Statue of Liberty and Ellis island. The weather was great with a clear blue sky and only a little bit cold! We then took the subway to Grand Central Station; it was grand, beautiful and everyone was very impressed. Next we had a lunch of a much needed salad. The girls then had a quick one hour shopping break, which they complained just wasn’t long enough! After that, we walked through Central Park on our way back to our hotel.
For our evening meal we had an incredible experience at Ellen’s Stardust Diner. The waiters were all aspiring Broadway stars and sang whilst serving food! The girls loved singing along and dancing throughout their meal and were sad to say goodbye. From the diner we walked to Times Square to get a few quick pictures.
Back at the hotel we did some team awards, and then it was off to pack our cases for the last time! We’ve got one more day of sightseeing in New York before our late night flight tomorrow night.
It’s been a fab trip; the girls have been amazing and truly great company! We have loved our trip to the USA but are looking forwards to getting back to Manchester!
Day 9 – Tuesday 5th April
Posted Wednesday 6th April 10pm (BST)
The Blog today is by Miss Holland. Unfortunately no new pictures have arrived. Hopefully the wifi will improve later.
Another fantastic day on Staten Island! The group met early at Tottenville High School and said goodbye to their wonderful hosts. Here we met our new coach driver George and transferred to the south of the island to our next opponents, Curtis High School. Curtis is the oldest school on Staten Island, built in 1904, boasting an impressive Gothic style building. We were shown around the school by Jo, an English teacher with a passion for the history of the school, having worked there for 35 years. He also showed us the excellent health care facilities at the school. Curtis has its own health centre, with doctors, dentists, counsellors and opticians. Since the introduction of this facility, the teenage pregnancy rate at the school has fallen by 90% and 400 pairs of glasses were provided to students in need in the first year of its opening.
Once again we were treated to an amazing lunch before warming up for the game. Withington took on the senior varsity team, with Curtis fielding a team of 16 to 18-year-olds. It was a closely fought match with excellent team play; showing their newly developed skills and much improved self confidence, it was a close finish with the girls finally streaking to a 13-12 win! The staff and parents from Curtis treated us to a wonderful evening of hospitality, providing yet more excellent ‘Italian’ food. Chicken Parmigiana is certainly a firm favourite with our girls! The evening ended with a ‘high school musical’ style dance off in the cafeteria. We left Curtis at 8pm and transferred to New York City with the girls in high spirits, singing the whole way! After an hour’s coach drive we arrived at our Broadway Hotel and quickly retired to bed, ready for a full day of sightseeing tomorrow.
Day 8 – Monday 4th April
Posted Tuesday 5th April 3pm (BST)
Today we had a busy and fantastic day on Staten Island! Everyone arrived at school bright and early after a night with their hosts. The girls spent the morning shadowing the lacrosse team. They went to a variety of lessons including physics, calculus and English. Meanwhile, the teachers were taken on a full tour of the school, given by the principal. Both the girls and the teachers were amazed with the school but found it quite different from our life at Withington!
Today’s lunch was something special. The principal of the school, who is originally from Italy, kindly prepared his famous homemade pizza for the girls. The pizzas were all delicious and seemed bottomless. Needless to say, we were all sufficiently full!
The girls were then taken to the school’s auditorium to watch a university lacrosse game on the big screen; a lovely low key way to spend the afternoon.
The lacrosse match against Tottenville High School was at 5pm. The girls had a very long warm up in the pouring rain!! The rain didn’t let up for the entire match, but in true Withington spirit, the girls preserved and were all very good sports. After a shaky start the girls were 9-1 down at half time. But with a (self-proclaimed) film script worthy half-time talk from Miss Richards, the girls drew 3-3 in the second half; a job well done against the older varsity team!
Tottenville High School hosted us for dinner and it was AMAZING! They prepared an Italian feast and most people went back for seconds. The pasta was followed by an enormous dessert selection; including a candy floss machine!
After a long day, the girls are exhausted but happy. They are back with their hosts for the last time, before our final lacrosse match tomorrow!
Day 7 – Sunday 3rd April
Posted Monday 4th April 10am (BST)
We are back to reports from Mrs Williams today.
There is not a great deal to report, and no new pictures, as we left the girls with their host families at about 12:30. But here is a brief update:
After a fab night with their hosts, the girls met the teachers back at Pennington High School and we all piled back into the coach to transfer to their next hosts on Staten Island.
On the way to Staten Island we stopped at Monkey Sports Superstore. The girls were thrilled to browse the dedicated lacrosse section, a luxury they don’t offer have in the UK! Many purchases were made; Mrs Healy even got into the spirit and bought her very own lacrosse stick!
From there, we drove to Tottenville High School. It was here that we said a very sad goodbye to our coach driver Brian! However, the girls quickly cheered up when they were warmly welcomed by their host family for the next two nights.
A busy day tomorrow as both the girls and teachers head to Tottenville High School to experience a day at an American high school, followed by a lacrosse match in the afternoon!
Day 6 – Saturday 2nd April
Posted Sunday 3rd April 11am (BST)
Today’s report is from Miss Richards.
We all felt sad to leave downtown Philly after the buzz and the baseball game with apocalyptic rain.
We played Pennington’s Varsity team with their record goal scorer on the pitch proving hard to deal with for the defence. 15-10 at half time and 22-11 at full time…the stop clock was testing…
The girls now look forward to the forthcoming days in New York City!
Day 5 – Friday 1st April
Posted Saturday 2nd April 8am (BST)
Another fantastic day in the USA! Day 5 began with an early start. The girls arrived at Upper Dublin High School by 7:20am and said their goodbyes to their hosts, who had quickly become new friends. We then all got on the coach and headed into downtown Philadelphia.
As we had a busy day planned we took the first opportunity in a while to relax with a coffee at Starbucks…the important things in life! We then had a walk around downtown Philadelphia and then stopped for lunch. The lunchtime destination was the chaotic, overwhelming and fantastic Reading Terminal Food Market! The choices were endless and each girl ended up with an amazing lunch!
From there we walked down to our duck boat tour of Philadelphia. The tour was excellent and we must give credit to our amazing guide ‘Warren the Great.’ Our girls were singing and dancing in the sun all whilst learning about Philadelphia’s firsts!
After a very brief check in at our hotel we got back on our home away from home, the coach! Our coach driver Brian wanted us to experience the culinary delights of his hometown. For dinner we all had some sort of Philly cheese steak, a first for most!
From there we went straight to Citizen Bank Park to watch a pre-season baseball game. It was the Philadelphia Phillies versus the Baltimore Orioles. It was here that our good luck with weather ended and we had to have an hour break from the game due to torrential rain!
Day 5 was a full on and fabulous day! Onto Pennington tomorrow for another lacrosse match!
Day 4 – Thursday 31st March
Posted Friday 1st April, 10am
The girls all had an exciting night with their host families! The more adventurous of the group even tried a Philly cheese steak!
After meeting up in the morning, we all got back on the coach and headed for downtown Philadelphia. The first stop was the steps from the film Rocky; a fantastic ‘photo op’! We then visited the Liberty Bell and brushed up on our American history in downtown Philadelphia.
After a morning spent in the past, we spent a very modern afternoon at an enormous American mall. A bit of retail therapy was enjoyed by both the girls and the teachers!
The girls attended a Lacrosse training session from 4-6 this evening with the older team from Crooked Cross Lacrosse Club. Initially a little bit restrained, the girls soon felt like part of the team and had an excellent session. They’ve now learned a few new drills and games to try at practice with Miss Richards in the future. The girls then left for their second night with their host families.
We’ve got a busy non-match day tomorrow. Starting with more sightseeing in Philadelphia, then a duck boat tour and ending the day with a good old American baseball game; lots to look forward to!
Day 3 – Wednesday 30th March
Posted Thursday 31st March, 4 pm
We had another exciting (and sunny!) day on our USA tour! Day three started with a bit of a lie-in and then packing up our hotel rooms and getting back on the coach. We had about an hour journey and got dropped off at the Baltimore Aquarium. The girls loved seeing the dolphins, turtles and sharks and being able to touch jellyfish! After the aquarium, we returned to the coach for a longer journey to Fort Washington for our lacrosse match.
We were warmly welcomed to the pitch and got warmed up for our 7pm match. The match was against Crooked Cross Lacrosse Club. It was a competitive match and Withington ended up with a win with the score being 13-11. The girls played phenomenally well and Miss Richards (and all the teachers) were so proud of all them!
After cookies with the opposing team, the Withington girls left with their host families for the night…more details to follow!
Day Two – Tuesday 29th March
Posted Wednesday 30th March, 4 pm
This morning all 23 Withington girls and four teachers woke up feeling refreshed and ready for the day! We started with a quick stop off at a couple of sites in Washington DC including the Capitol building and the White House.
We then hopped back on the coach and our lovely coach driver, Brian, took us to our first match at Georgetown Visitation Prep.
Warming up on the amazing pitch with clear blue skies with the sun shining was a fabulous experience. As it is spring break in America, the Georgetown team didn’t have quite enough players. We mixed up the Withington and Georgetown girls to create two teams; Withingtown and Georgeton!
It was an exciting match and, in the end, Georgeton won 14-7 All the girls (and teachers!) thoroughly enjoyed themselves. After pizza with the opposition, we had the amazing opportunity of watching the Varsity team play their match. It was an intense game and, if you listened carefully, Mrs Healey could be heard cheering! It was then off for a quick frozen yogurt stop and then back to the hotel to get ready for dinner.
Overall, it was an exciting second day on tour! There are many rosy faces after a day spent in the sunshine; a real treat after the Manchester winter!
Day One – Monday 28th March – The Journey
The Withington Girls’ School USA Lacrosse tour met bright and early this morning at 5am! A long day of travel followed. Some of the positives of all this travel were great food on the flight and lots of films to catch up on! The negatives were two turbulence filled landings and ending up in Washington without Mrs Healey’s case! Next, we got on our coach and made our way to the hotel. After an easy dinner of take away pizza whilst wearing pyjamas, the girls and teachers are all tucked away for an early night; all ready for sightseeing and our first match tomorrow!