Friday, June 17, 2011

In the Meantime

Whew - a bit of a blog break there!

Last week I was able to take the Young Adult and his friend, Cupcake, to a Highland dance competition in Kansas City, MO. About an 8 hour drive from our place. Not too bad. Most of the driving is through Oklahoma and Kansas, where there are lots of long stretches of road without a lot to see. Well, not totally true. We drove through the lovely Flint Hills of Kansas, where it looked like you might see a shepherd herding sheep at any moment. And of course, we drove through the Turner Falls region of Oklahoma, our family's favorite local vacation place.
Stretching our legs at a "scenic turnout" near Turner Falls, OK

I can almost feel the cold spring waters of Chickasaw National Park!

We were able to stay with friends in Topeka, so that made it like a vacation, and not just a trip. It was so fun to catch up to a family we could totally be related to. We miss them since they moved!

It was nice for the kids to meet new friends and dance in a different competition. For starters, while it had been 100 degrees in Arlington, Tx the weekend before, at the North Texas Highland games, we hit Kansas City at just the right time. It was gorgeous weather, highs in the 70's! We loved every second of it!
Saturday was beautiful! The venue was on the banks of the Missouri river.

The Young Adult has been struggling in his dancing lately. He had "hit a wall", and just could not seem to get past some stuff. He has put a lot of work into it. Even as he was dancing on Saturday, Cupcake told me - "I hope he does well and gets a medal. He has really lost a lot of confidence lately, and that would help." I couldn't say it any better than Cupcake!
Cupcake in the swords dance

Well, he did! The Young Adult managed a 2nd place in the Sean Truibhas (usually one of his more difficult dances), and a 3rd in the Swords! So, he got a stamp for his dance card, and was almost giddy with relief! The next day he even pulled out a 3rd in the Lilt!
Swords - catching some air!

Cupcake did pretty well, too, but she was in a very large group. She is one level ahead of the Young Adult, and the dancing can get very tough in the Novice group!

I was really proud of them, because I almost totally screwed things up! It was over an hour drive from Topeka, where we were staying, to Kansas City, MO. On Saturday morning, we left plenty early. It should have worked. Only we didn't plan on:
  1. an evil GPS, which refused to find the address or park until we had been lost a long time, and were in the general area
  2. the fact I only realized I forgot my phone when the GPS would not find our destination
  3. we got lost on the wrong side of town. The really wrong side of town....
Short story - I finally delivered the kids at the festival 20 minutes late! Not 20 minutes after registration, but 20 minutes after the dancing was supposed to begin! I had them do some light warming up in the car (a Volkswagen Beetle - so, yeah, not much room in the back there!), and directed them to finish getting dressed (shoes, socks, accessories!). You could hear the panic in their voices ("Are we going to miss it?", to which I did not have a positive answer), but they held themselves together, which helped to hold me together!!!

As we (at long last!) pulled up to the gates of the park, I yelled, "run! run!", and they took off! My guardian angel helped me to find a parking place nearby (a miracle), and I got in to the park to find that the little kids were going first, so they had not missed anything yet! I even had time to put Cupcake's hair into a bun (another miracle, since I am kind of out of practice on that kind of stuff!). They were able to settle down and dance.  Kudos to those two young people, for their fortitude and stamina!
After the Saturday competition, with their medals and ribbons

Ribbons and medals get you free cookies from the Welsh cookie guy! Jealous!!

By the end of the trip, I was more than exhausted. But, I really enjoyed it. Cupcake and the Young Adult are easy travelers together. They are fun to take around! And thanks to ArtGuy, who took a few days off so iIcould take this trip!

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