18 June 2011

Field Trip to St Gallen

Thursday evening the whole team flew to St Gallen, Switzerland to watch the big tour team compete in the nations cup on Friday. Switzerland is beautiful. As are the Swiss Franks we had to get at the airport (since none of us knew that Switzerland wasn't part of the EU).

Passing time at the airport in Brussels 
Belgian Chocolates, Yumm!
Goodbye Belgium
Hello Switzerland
Mama Michele and her van for 9 kids!
We finally arrived at the at hotel after turning wrong more than right. And lets just say turning our bus around on the tiny one-way streets was not an easy task....

Radisson Blu Hotel
Friday morning Little Michele and her 9 giant kids piled in the van with their matching USA rain coats. Thankfully we left about 30min early because by the time we found the riders hotel to pick Lizzy and the wrist bands up, we were only 15min late. George does not like people to be late.....

View from the in gate 

Viewing hill (I think it used to be a bank for the derby)
View from the stands opposite the in gate
The ring was gorgeous and the the footing held up spectacularly even after days of rain. Miraculously the one day we were there, was the one day of the week it didn't rain! One side of the ring had a beautiful view of the Swiss Alps, and the other side a view of the biggest Ikea store you've ever seen.

During the course walk for the nations cup, George was proud to announce to the world that we are the "next generation." St Gallen was invaded by USA. Seven young riders wearing their USA rain coat, five senior riders wearing their USA rain coat, plus Michele, George and Lizzy all wearing their USA rain coats. It was quite a sight.

Nations Cup Course Chart

Jump 3

Triple Bar - Plank line 

Triple Combination
Water jump and everyone in deep discussion about the placement of the tape...
Tidy Bowl Blue! 
The dreaded last jump that came down quite a lot
Charlie 1st for USA
Rich over the 1st jump
Rich over the 2nd jump
Margie coming out of the triple
Chris jumping the oxer after the water
The winning team

To be continued....

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