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Back from Beaver Dam - cellophane
the story of an invisible girl
renniekins
renniekins
Back from Beaver Dam
I'm home again, after an insane trip to Wisconsin.

It didn't start out so badly. After a wonderful Friday night filled with lots of enthusiastic dancing, I packed my bags, went to sleep around 2 or 3am, and dragged myself out of bed at 6:54am. A quick trip to the ice arena, loaded my bags into the bus, and climbed aboard with snacks, a blanket, and a pillow. The trip there was peaceful. I napped for a few hours. I read a great book. I watched a couple of movies. I talked to some people, I munched on snacks, had McDonalds for lunch.

We made good time, and arrived in Beaver Dam Wisconsin with enough time to check into our hotel and get settled and changed before our team dinner. The team dinner was at Ponderosa, because the original place we'd selected turned out to be too small to accomodate us. I'm glad I ate decently, because this turned out to be the only "real" meal of the entire weekend. (By real, I mean it wasn't fast food, and it wasn't fruit, crackers, cookies, or chocolate.)

We went back to the hotel and napped for awhile, then got dressed to go skate. We were scheduled for two practices, one at 9:40pm and one at 11pm. Because everybody was so worn out, we consolidated them into one shorter practice and left by 10:30. We were in bed shortly after 11, relieved not to be skating again.

Sunday morning I got up at 7:30am. Getting ready for competition is complicated, because you have to not just changed into the tights, skating dress, and outterwear, but you also have to carefully slick your hair into a tight bun, and you have to do heavy makeup. Anyway, I did all of this, plus had some coffee and fruit.

The competition went well. My nemesis, the back-lunge pass, was fine, thank goodness! We placed first, although with just one other team it wasn't very challenging. Then we went back to the hotel, showered, climbed back into our bus, and left around noon.

We drove about 2 hours, then stopped at a rest stop that had a Wendys and a Baskin Robins. This was just before Chicago. I had grabbed a burger before we left though, so I didn't buy anything to eat. The plan was to drive past Chicago then stop at a restaurant, Cracker Barrel or something, to sit down and eat dinner. I was looking forward to that, so I resisted the ice cream and chicken nuggets calling to me at the rest stop.

It was probably another half hour into the trip when things fell apart. Not literally, at least not on our bus. But on one of the other two buses traveling with us, carrying another skating team. (My club has 6 different teams. 3 were sent to this competition, each team in its own bus.) After much discussion among the people in charge, it was decided that my bus would turn around and go pick up the people stranded on the broken-down bus. The bus company couldn't get a new bus to them until midnight, they were our teammates (the little ones too, it was a bunch of 7-year-olds and their parents), and we couldn't just leave them trapped at the gas station the broken bus had limped its way to. Unfortunately they were about 1.5 hours back the way we had come.

One of the most frustrating things about skating synchro like this is the feeling of helplessness. It's not a democratic process; it can't be. Far too often you are just doing what you are told, going where you are forced to go. So we turned the bus around. Worse yet, our bus seated the 25 people on board quite comfortably: we each had our own double-seat to stretch out in. The stranded bus held 35 people.

We made the best of things, spreading out as much as we could on the trip back, enjoying our comfort while it lasted. Then when we got to where they were, we consolidated. The little kids sat 3 across the double-seats, and each of the adults got one seat. We survived, but it was cramped and far less comfortable.

Clearly there was no longer any time to stop for a nice sit-down dinner as planned. Instead, we stopped at that same darn Wendys/Baskin Robins that we'd stopped at 4 hours earlier. It was a very surreal feeling to be there again, having gotten nowhere in the past 4 hours.

We finally, gloriously, made it back to our ice arena at 1:15 this morning, 12 hours after we'd started our "7-hour trip", with over twice the expected people completing the journey. But at least we were home, and we were safe.

I was lucky enough to have today off of work, due to Presidents Day, so I've been able to rest and recuperate somewhat. But what a frustrating journey!
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Comments
mrdisco99 From: mrdisco99 Date: February 17th, 2003 02:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

You look really cute in that.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 17th, 2003 03:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thanks!
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: February 17th, 2003 03:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Is that the first place medal you just won? Glad you're back safely.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 17th, 2003 03:43 pm (UTC) (Link)
Actually no, that's from ND, but I thought it would do. I brought my camera all the way to WI and back without taking a single picture. Whoops. Well, we were there so briefly.
encorecrazay From: encorecrazay Date: February 17th, 2003 06:43 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re:

OK, at least, it's one of your 1st place ones.
simplykimberly From: simplykimberly Date: February 17th, 2003 03:45 pm (UTC) (Link)

cool!

Love the pic - you look great! And congrats on first place ... sorry about the LONG bus ride though - ugh!
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 17th, 2003 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: cool!

Thanks muchly! At least the ride is over...but I'm a bit concerned, since we are supposed to take that same bus company to Alabama in 3 weeks....
fjarlq From: fjarlq Date: February 17th, 2003 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations, gorgeous! :)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 17th, 2003 09:32 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thanks!! (:
cynnerth From: cynnerth Date: February 17th, 2003 05:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Congratulations! (Cute pic too)

You were in Wisconsin and didn't stop by to say hello? ;)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 17th, 2003 09:35 pm (UTC) (Link)

Thanks! Well...the bus wouldn't stop...but I did wave in the general direction of Milwaukee for ya!! You didn't sense it, around 2:30pm on saturday? *grin*
cynnerth From: cynnerth Date: February 18th, 2003 03:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

Let's see...2:30 on Saturday...Mike and Kevin had just walked out the door to go practice driving and I was sitting down to play cello. Ah yes, now I remember, I felt a call from the West and felt suddenly compelled to play Jethro Tull's "Skating Away".
;-D
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 18th, 2003 07:20 am (UTC) (Link)
ah-ha! Yep, that was me...glad you got the message!
archiedavis From: archiedavis Date: February 18th, 2003 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)

what an adoreable picture.
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 18th, 2003 07:42 am (UTC) (Link)

Why thank ya!
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: February 21st, 2003 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)
CONGRATS on the victory (both personal and jointly as a team)!
bummer on the long bus ride...
neat pic! very cute outfit (albiet very bright green! ;-)
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 21st, 2003 08:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

Why thank ya! I wasn't so sure about the bright green at first, but it actually is a really good-looking dress on the ice. Shows up really well, and the 2-tone look is very eye-catching.
retepsnave From: retepsnave Date: February 21st, 2003 09:02 am (UTC) (Link)

Re:

indeedly doodly!
have you gotten a chance to see the v'day card? I'm thining my photo storage site won't let me publically post pics... kin'd of bummed it seems to not be working anymore...sorry about that-
or email me directly at pevans@uamail.albany.edu and I'll send it to ya-
renniekins From: renniekins Date: February 21st, 2003 09:44 am (UTC) (Link)
No, I still can't see it! *pout* I think you're right: some of the meaner host sites won't let you link to them properly.

Send it to renniekins@livejournal.com! I want to see it!
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