Viterbo University Women’s Basketball Canadian Journey with President Jim Walker

Wednesday October 16

An excited Viterbo team departed LaCrosse, Wisconsin in the early morning, for their day long bus ride to Niagara Falls, Canada. The hungry and tired team arrived just in time for dinner at the Skylon Tower Summit Buffet overlooking Niagara Falls, which was lit with colored spotlights in spectacular fashion. After eating and viewing the falls along with a 360 degree view of the surrounding area, the team made their way to the very comfortable Courtyard by Marriott hotel for a good night’s rest.

Thursday October 17

Following a great breakfast at the hotel, the team boarded the bus and headed toward their Hornblower Niagara cruise straight into the mist under the Canadian side of The Falls. Riding into the mist was truly a breathtaking experience. It was like being in a torrential downpour and despite the ponchos everyone was wearing, they were still soaked at the end of the cruise. Everyone then went for a walk along the Niagara River rapids, where the extremely fast river current travels at up to 50 km/hour and roars so loud that it is hard to talk to the person next to you. After picking up sandwiches for lunch the team continued to the Welland Canal Center in St. Catherines where the they had a chance to learn about Ontarian history and see the workings of the Welland Canal which connects two Great Lakes, Ontario and Erie, as part of the St. Lawrence Seaway connecting the Great Lakes with the Atlantic Ocean. After lunch the team drove to London, Ontario for a game against Western Ontario University. After battling through a hard-fought game which neither team led by more than 3 points, the Lions fell behind at the end to lose by 15 points, 92-77. They then enjoyed a great post game steak dinner at Moxie’s Grill, before continuing to the TownePlace Hotel and Suites for some much-needed sleep.

Friday October 18

After breakfast the team traveled to Toronto for a guided bus tour of Toronto, Canada’s largest city. Janet, their tour guide, provided them with an interesting look at Center city Toronto, including Toronto University, multiple sports venues, city hall with its iconic Toronto sign, and several of Toronto’s many ethnic neighborhoods. They then enjoyed lunch at Fran’s, a popular city diner. From lunch the team went up the CN Tower for some amazing views of Toronto and Lake Ontario. Then it was on to Paisano’s, one of Toronto’s great Italian restaurants where the head waiter Jesse treated them like royalty. Following this great day in one of Canada’s great cities, the V-Hawks checked into the Holiday Inn Express and Suites Brampton for a restful evening.

Saturday October 19

On a beautiful Saturday morning the V-Hawks made their way into Old Town Toronto for a walking tour with their guide Adam, a native Englishman, who had a typical English sense of humor. He gave the ladies a funny and informative tour of the Old Town teaching them everything from religion, dogs, architecture, and history. Next, they had a great time with a team axe throwing competition won by assistant coach Kris who threw so well he must have been secretly practicing. After lunch at the amazing St. Lawrence Market, the team headed to Guelph to take on a very strong and undefeated Gryphons team. Falling behind early, Viterbo was never able to get it going offensively and were defeated 95-43. On the way back to their hotel, the team stopped for a post-game dinner at the Mandarin, a fabulous buffet restaurant, before returning to the hotel.

Sunday October 20

Up early the next morning, the team packed up their bus for the return drive to LaCrosse, Wisconsin and Monday classes and practice. They took with them their memories of a great team bonding experience that will help them throughout the upcoming season as well as future seasons.