I believe the most wonderful and funny trip I have ever experience took place in the summer of 2007. My club basketball team, ‘Forest Park Fury’ took a trip to Bolling Brook, Illinois, a little town located in the suburbs of Chicago to participate in the North America Youth Sports National Championship. The trip was planned the spring before, so we began raising funds for the trip earlier in the year. Our goal was to raise enough money to charter a bus and stay in a hotel for 10 days. To make a long story short, we were able to raise the money and venture off on the trip.
We left Forest Park about 5:00a.m. If you really want to see how a person look at their worst, see them when they first wake up. Although it was our intent to stop along the route to eat, everyone was very well prepared. We had snacks, pillows, blankets, videos, and CDs. Did I forget to mention; more snacks? We travel in a coach bus with all of the amenities; video display units and video sound systems were disperse evenly throughout the bus. We even had a circular section with a table in the middle for us to play games and cards. We laughed, told jokes, played, ate, and watch videos the entire trips. The trip took about fourteen hours to complete. We stopped at McDonalds along the way and at Golden Corral later in the evening. Now I under the saying about “You’re eyes are bigger than your stomach”. No matter how good something look or taste, you can only eat so much. Glutting is caused for an uncomfortable trip.
Upon our arrival, we stayed at an extended stay hotel. Four players stayed in each room unless you traveled with you family. It really didn’t matter because no one really stayed in their own room. In the mornings and afternoon, we played basketball. In the evenings we toured the town and its surrounding. A lot of the activities were centrally located so we were able to walk to the mall, movies, eateries, and the super marts. Our bus driver was real ‘Cool”. He didn’t mind driving us around. We played at the water parks. We travel to the different venues to watch other teams play. But most of all, we just hung out and enjoyed each other company. Our parents gave us free range as long as we left them along. If one of the advantages of playing on a travel team is to gain a new perspective on life, this definitely satisfied the requirement. The landscape of Chicago and its suburbs were vastly different from that of Atlanta.
We lost in the semi-finals to the eventual winner of the tournament. In retrospect, winning isn’t everything. The friendship and the memories of the trips will last far longer than how we felt after the lost. The bus driver missed an exit on the return trip. So the trip back home took longer. I don’t really think it matter to anyone. We were just glad to get home, so that we could get some rest.
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