Senior guard Melissa Lechlitner and the Irish saw some of the world's most famous art pieces in the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo during Monday's visit to the Louvre in Paris.

Melissa Lechlitner Diary Entry From Europe - Day 3

May 12, 2009

Editor’s note: During the Notre Dame women’s basketball team’s 10-day foreign tour of Europe, senior guard Melissa Lechlitner will file a daily diary after talking by phone with the South Bend Tribune’s Curt Rallo. Following are Lechlitner’s thoughts on the trip.

PARIS – Bonjour! I’m on our tour bus right now. We’re doing our head count, just like when you went on a field trip in grade school. It’s ridiculous, but it is effective. We would leave people. We really would. We’re on Paris time, and coach McGraw time. When she says 8, we need to be here at 7:45. Whatever she says, it’s always 15 minutes before. Although she is slightly more lenient on this trip because she wants us to have fun, but still, when she says six, you’d better be at least five minutes early.

We woke up at 7:45 this morning, had breakfast at 8, and left by 8:30. It was another busy day. We went to the Eiffel Tower. It was raining, but it wasn’t pouring. It was misting mostly. They said on a clear day, you can see 35-40 miles. The Eiffel Tower was still a good time. The panoramic view is captivating. The funniest thing we saw, up on the top level, one of the employees of the Eiffel Tower just hopped outside, harnessed himself up, and started cleaning the viewing deck windows like he was on the sidewalk instead of 900 feet up. He was smiling for us. It was hilarious. He acted like it was nothing, but we were all freaking out for him.

Most of us went to the top. Erica Solomon didn’t go to the top, and the entire McGraw family didn’t go to the top. We took a million pictures.

After that, we went straight to the Louvre. We saw the Mona Lisa. For me, seeing the Mona Lisa in person was breathtaking. It’s roped off, and you can’t get closer than 15 feet. When I was little, I would hear about the Mona Lisa and Da Vinci, and to see all these world-renown works in the most famous art museum in the world, to stand in front of the Mona Lisa, it was awesome. The Louvre, to me, is one of most amazing things that I’ve seen.

We had lunch in the Louvre, which was cool. The lunch was OK, you went to different stations for salads and entrees. There was chicken and rice and vegetables, everything that you could get in America. It was nothing spectacular.

After that, we went to little touristy shops. We had a half hour there before our game, and then went to the facility where the game was. It was a busy day, but it was really fun.

We all bought a bunch of t-shirts. You could get 3-4 t-shirts for 15 euros. We got a lot of souvenir shopping for brothers and sisters. We’re surprisingly cheap. We’re pretty tight with our money. Becca (Bruszewski) is spending some money. She is a good gift buyer.

We won our game against the French National Junior Team. It was 77-44. Everyone was talking about how the French team was going to give us a good game. Our defense really gave them trouble. We had 23 steals. Becca (Bruszewski) and Natalie (Novosel) scored 15 points each, and Erica (Solomon) scored 11 points. Ashley (Barlow) had nine points and five steals.

The funniest thing was, the French team coach, right before timeout, he was so mad when they turned it over three times in a row, he just kicked the ball and drilled it right into the wall on the far side. As far as the refs were concerned, it was no big deal, no technical. It that happened in a Big East game, wow. There would definitely be a technical.

That’s all for now. Au revoir and GO IRISH!!

Melissa Lechlitner