Gopher rower Christine O'Donnell will keep Gopher fans updated as the rowing team trains in San Diego for their winter training trip. O'Donnell and the Gophers left Minneapolis on Saturday for a warmer climate.
January 12, 2008- travel day
January 13, 2008- Day 1
I woke up this morning to the sound of the ocean, a nice change from yesterday when the sound of a plow scraping against the pavement woke me up. We’re definitely in San Diego.
Practice was to start at 7:15 a.m.. My roommate’s and I made sure to get there extra early. After unloading boats we had a short practice. Though there were some kinks, we were able to row together rather well. My hands are already starting to blister, but that’s bound to happen.
This afternoon it’s supposed to be 75 degrees, so we’re going to practice on the beach and I suspect we’ll be playing a game of “duck duck goose.” Till then, I’m off to lay by the pool!
So... we didn’t play “duck duck goose,” but we did go on a pretty hardcore run.
This evening we went out to Canes Cantina restaurant to celebrate Ali’s 21st Birthday. It was a last minute idea, but luckily most of the team was able to come. We got her a virgin Dacari and enjoyed the Mexican food. After dinner there was cake back at the Hotel.
January 14, 2008- Day 2
We did some work in fours today. The first practice was perfect, the weather was warm, but not too warm, the sky was bright blue and the water was glassy. Practice number two was not as perfect; the wind had picked up, but hey, the rowing was still good. We finished both practices by 1:00 p.m. and now we’re off to the beach for some boogie boarding.
While some girls were catching waves, I collected shells with the others. One of the girls told a story about how she found a black sand dollar yesterday. She was so excited to find such a rare shell. Today she realized that “black” meant “still alive,” after she found the shell had turned grey in her purse... yuck!
For dinner we went to “Fred’s” in Old Town, San Diego for some more authentic Mexican food!
January 15, 2008- Day 3
We had an awesome practice this morning. It was nice to get some work done.
I spent the afternoon laying in the sun, under a palm tree by the pool, glad I was not sub- zero temperatures. However, I was a little afraid of being attacked by seagulls. After one of my teammates peeled an orange their “caws” got a bit louder as the swooped over our heads. In the afternoon one the girls tried to shoo them away with her magazine, waved it a bit too vigorously, it flew into the pool and she promptly jumped in after it.
The Democratic Presidential debate is on tonight. After getting some 99 cent pizza at Luigi’s and ice cream some of my teammates and I are planning to watch it.
So...I was too hungry to wait for dinner at Luigi’s and ate before hand. Then a couple girls and I got some ice cream and took a walk down by the beach instead. One of them is a bit of a stickler for astrology and was able to point out Mars. It is the closest to earth it’s going to be for a long time.
January 16, 2008- Day 4
We did a lot of technique work today. My forearms are pretty sore thanks to the pick drill.
This afternoon I spent some more time by the pool with teammates. Then I went on another walk along the beach. I might as well soak up the Pacific Ocean while I’m here, right?
Some teammates and I watched the sunset in hopes of seeing a green flash, which is an optical phenomenon that has been known to appear right after the sun disappears on the horizon in San Diego.
Afterwards 21 of my teammates and I walked, more like marched to the “Green Flash” restaurant that was about a mile down the boardwalk. People turned with gaping mouths at the site of the tall crowd of girls walking briskly to their next meal. I few people recognized us and cheered “Go Gophers!” as
we passed by.
January 17, 2008- Day 5
We only had one practice this morning and the rest of the day off.
Some people went to Sea World, some went to the San Diego Zoo and the rest of us laid by the pool soaking up as much sun as possible before heading back to frigid North. Thankfully there were no more seagull attacks.
While some of the team was at the zoo, I heard one of the girls bonded with a meerkat. I guess Goldfish crackers are the key to establishing a connection with zoo animals.
After enjoying a pasta dinner and watching the first half of the Gopher game with the roomies we attended team bonfire. It’s held in a fire pit along the shore of mission bay. The happenings of this annual tradition must be kept secret. However I can tell you that there were smores and quality team bonding.
January 18, 2008- Day 6
Eleven practices down, one to go.
This is our last full day in San Diego. The team spent the day doing several things. There was an attempt to go whale watching, Frisbee on the beach, a group who went down town, sun bathers trying for some last minute color and some people who relaxed around the hotel.
In the evening I went to watch the sunset with Sara, a fellow Saratogian and...saw the green flash! It’s a green spot that appears right where the sun used to be.
After playing in the ocean we bought some souvenirs. Then we met up with a few teammates and got dinner. It was a nice way to spend our last night in San Diego.
January 19, 2008-travel day.
We had our last practice this morning; packed up the boats and now we’re on the way back to Minneapolis!