A two-hour bus ride to LAX airport, two-hours at the airport, fourteen-hours on Qantas flight E7, a three-hour breakfast BBQ at Lee’s brother’s house and finally another two-hour bus ride north to Mooloolaba where we could finally take a shower and unpack our bags.
Ohhhhhh, at last this group of eighteen women is happy and smiling once again!
Our trip down under has just begun. We are embarking on a twenty-four day tour that encompasses twelve games. In the International hockey world that schedule is a challenge against any side. But, when the calendar reads such talented oppositions as Australia and New Zealand, it makes the challenge even greater. It might be a physical test but it is one that ignites great enthusiasm and optimism in our preparation to London.
After arriving to our “home” away-from-home, it was impossible to be anything but excited.
Here in Queensland, we are residing on the beautiful sunshine coast at Grand Mercure Apartments, Twin Waters.
As the bus pulled up to the resort, you could not help but notice the smell of fresh flowers and overwhelming wildlife. The gravel pathway that led us to our private villas (shared by teammates) was plush with beautiful trees and the sound of chirping birds.
At lunchtime, we walked around the resort lake, which illustrated beautiful views of sailboats and fresh blue waters. Once into the main house, you could smell the fresh coffee at the café, the herbs permeating from the restaurants and see the true beauty of the building that was sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and the resort’s man-made lake.
Sounds like paradise? It is!
But, it’s time to snap back to reality. This is not vacation. In fact, my family is back in the states and I am here with my friends, my teammates. We have a mission and the beauty that surrounds us will help to keep everyone smiling, but will not allow us to forget what we are here to accomplish.
Stay tuned for more updates from the Sunshine Coast of Australia!
Keli Smith Puzo is a two-time Olympic Field Hockey player, Wife to Inako Puzo, head coach at Miami University, Mother of two young boys and your everyday kind of gal trying to keep it all together.