Penn State Men's Soccer Canadian Trip: Day Five
June 22, 2016
The Penn State men's soccer team has embarked on an eight day trip to Canada where it will not only take part in international competition but also see the sites of the country. Through the student-athletes own words this blog will chronicle the trip on and off the field. The Nittany Lions left State College Saturday, June 18 to head to their first stop. The fifth blog of Penn State's day on Wednesday, June 22 was written by senior Evan Finney, freshman Brandon Hackenberg and sophomore Mac Curran.
Day Five (Wednesday, June 22) - Traveling to Montreal
Evan Finney - Sr. - Goalkeeper
We set off on our next journey from Toronto to Montreal. The drive was vastly different from the bustling city and suburban life that we had become accustomed to. Farm land stretched as far as the eye could see as the three vans packed with our team made the five-hour trek to Montreal. During the journey, many of us played games like "21 questions" and "Would you rather" so we could try to pass the time and make the journey feel shorter. About two hours outside the city of Montreal, we stopped at Thousand Islands, an archipelago of 1,800 islands that stretches along the Saint Lawrence River on the border of the U.S. and Canada. We stopped at a small peninsula where we unloaded the vans to stretch our legs and go for a quick dip in the river. We all took in the views of all the islands and the amazing homes that were on them. After swimming for about an hour, we once again packed up the vans and finished our journey onto the French-speaking city of Montreal.
Brandon Hackenberg - Fr. - Defender
When we first were able to see the city, it was incredible even from a great distance away. As we got closer and closer, it just continued to amaze us all. For some of the guys, including myself, it was a new experience listening to conversations in French, and seeing the culture in Montreal. Different, but very interesting is how I would describe it. Once we arrived to the Residence Inn in Montreal, we unloaded the vans, and proceeded to check-in at the hotel. We then hurried to the room, showered, changed, and got ready to take on the city. We were each given money for food, thanks to the amazing and extremely generous alumni of Penn State. We then split up into groups and explored the beautiful city of Montreal. After dinner, we were able to explore for a little longer, but had to get to the hotel at a decent hour to get a good night's sleep in preparation for our match the next day. That brought our first adventures in Montreal to an end, but prepared us for many more to go on.
Mac Curran - So. - Forward
We finally arrived in Montreal after a long car ride from Toronto. We were all eager to get out and explore around the city for a place to eat. After we got in our rooms and unpacked we headed down to the lobby for the nightly meeting. Given a 10:30 curfew, Wes Bergevin, Brandon Hackenberg, Dayonn Harris, Pierre Reedy, and myself headed out in search for dinner. As we walked through the busy streets of Montreal we had the idea of renting bikes and riding to a small strip of shops and restaurants that Wes was familiar with. We found a station on the street where you rent a bike for the day. You basically just get a code and drive off to your destination and park your bike in the designated areas.
We cruised through the down town streets, in awe from the people who have not been here before. Block after block of magnificent city life we took to snapchat to record our ride. Finally, after 20 minutes of pedaling we arrived at the strip. Endless restaurants from all corners of the worlds, we settled down for some Italian right near the water. The service was excellent as they joked around with us since a majority of us did not speak French. The food was superb and we were happily full after a kind day of traveling.
Right after paying we hurried to stop by a convenience store, which Wes recommended, to grab some ice pops. We jogged back to the bike racks and unlocked our bikes and headed back to the hotel. Once again cruising through the city streets with one hand steering and the other hold the ice, I was content with where I was. We arrived to the hotel just on time. I truly am thankful to all the alumni and donors who made this trip possible, we owe it all to you to make you and Penn state proud.
Bienvenue a Montréal!