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Alex Smyth's Training Trip Blog: Day One
Courtesy: Richmond Athletics
Release: 03/10/2013
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Editor's Note: Senior Alex Smyth will chronicle her time with Spider Tennis on the team's trip to Florida, this Spring Break. Below is her first entry.

Today marked the first day of Spring Break 2013- my last as a student at the University and as a member of the tennis team.  My first thought prior to coming on this trip- "Where has time gone?!? I cannot believe this is it... Somehow I need to figure out how to get Spring Break once the real world life begins..." When my alarm rang this morning at 5:30am for the 6am departure time, I somehow had the energy of a 5 year old going on their first trip to Disney World.  My teammates were a bit surprised at my enthusiasm so early in the morning, but quickly caved in and openly shared their excitement as well.  Our flight left Richmond at 8am and landed in Orlando, FL at 9:45.  It was a very smooth, easy flight, and mostly everyone was able to catch up on a bit of sleep.  After working out some details with the rental car company, we finally were on our way to Tampa!  The whole team, including my pale northern self, was very thankful for the Florida sun and being able to wear sandals for the first time in what seemed like an eternity. It was probably quite a site for all the travelers in the airport who watched us take off our Uggs and sneakers in a fit of rage, searching for any type of shoe that could get a glimpse of some sunlight. 

The drive from Orlando to Tampa took 2 hours.  I was responsible for driving one minivan, a Richmond red one to be exact, with Georgina, Melissa, and Elizabeth.  The four of us cruised to country music most of the way, and screamed at every palm tree, Disney sign, Tampa sign- basically the entire ride to be honest.  We were beyond thrilled to be with the team on this amazing experience and to play tennis in some 'real' tennis weather.  Once we arrived in Treasure Island, we checked into our hotel, the Sunset Vistas.  The rooms are absolutely incredible and very spacious.  I am rooming with Elizabeth, and the minute we opened the door, we started yelling "SPRING BREAK! SPRING BREAK!!!!! FLORIDA SUN!!!" Hopefully we didn't disturb any of our neighbors, but hey, we have been looking forward to this for quite a while! The first thing we did was go out on our balcony and take in the glimpse of the pool and beach (which we are on).  Unfortunately we didn't get to walk on the beach today, but definitely tomorrow we will be working on getting some quality sun time.

After relaxing in the room, we heading off to hit the practice courts.  Due to traffic and faulty directions, we unfortunately missed our courts, but were able to take in the great sites of the Yankees training facility and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium.  Tomorrow we will be back at it bright and early!  Following our little walk around the Yankees training facility, we headed back to our hotel where we finally were able to put our feet up.  It still has not hit me it is Spring Break time, and almost approximately 2 months away from graduation.  My personal goal this break is to enjoy every moment I have with my team, win matches, hopefully have a healthy knee, and create lasting memories.  It has been some time since I have played a dual match because of my knee, and I am looking very forward to training in Florida and being back out there with the girls.  They encourage me everyday to keep doing the best I can, which I am extremely grateful for.  With the amount of time I have left with these girls, I hope I can play in the rest of the matches from here on out and get some points on the board.  Florida is a great place to start my re-comeback, as I lived here for 2 years when I was in high school.  I am very excited for what this break has in store, and can't wait to get back on the courts tomorrow in beautiful weather!

Go Spiders!


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