VMI sophomore guard Garrett Gilkeson's (Parkersburg, W.Va.) day-by-day account of the Summer Euro '17 trip to Belgium, Holland, France, and Germany.
Bruges and Game 3 vs. Remant Basics
Even after canceling our first trip to Bruges due to rain, we decided to go to Bruges on our last day in Europe while it rained. It started off as a great day and it was definitely a day to sightsee. In Bruges, we toured around the city before breaking off and seeing things on our own. As we started touring the city, we began by seeing a famous site where nuns live. It was very peaceful and something that I personally have never seen before. As we walked into the courtyard, they had signs saying to be quiet, but somehow Coach Earl was unaware. He started talking at a fairly high outside voice, and it took one shush to realize that was a mistake. We shook that off though and continued enjoying our time together, realizing that we still stick out like a sore thumb in the streets.
As we broke off to go shop, eat, and see the sights, it began to rain and made finding good food more challenging. However, after melting a few times, we all found different restaurants that had amazing burgers, steaks, and Belgian waffles. Definitely a bonus in Belgium was the one Euro Belgian Waffles, the best waffles I've ever had, hands down. Sorry, Mom.
After touring Bruges, we headed to play our third and final game against Remant Basics. They didn't tell us until after the game that most of them were nearly 10+ years older than us, and some had full beards and gray hairs. That didn't stop us from going out and playing as hard as possible. It was a great way to finish our trip.
Knowing that we had a seven-hour flight ahead of us, a few of us decided to pull an all-nighter to help our sleep cycle a little. We got to a point, though, where we just wanted to get on a bus and leave so we could just sleep. Knowing that there was not going to be any thunderstorms or rain delays again helped a lot and allowed us to relax. The flight ended up being a much smoother ride compared to my first flight ever a week ago. However, it wasn't all fun and games: the airport lost one of my teammate’s luggage bags!
After trying everything we could to find the bag, it was time to head back to Lexington. When reflecting back on the trip, it was something that both I personally, and all of us as a team, will never forget. The different cultures, foods, historical landmarks and types of basketball were all dreams coming true. I would like to thank my teammates and coaches for making this trip a memorable one, to VMI for allowing us to take this trip, and all others who supported us to make it possible.