Friday, April 04, 2008

A week in Nashville?

So, in May I have to spend an entire week in Nashville. Haven't been there since the early 90's. Not sure if I'm looking forward to it or not.

This conference is being held at the Gaylord Opryland, and I've heard it's a wonderful hotel, but all that sitting around listening/training... YIKES!

Can't decide - to bring DD or not. She wants to come with me, but taking her out of school for an entire week, that close to the end of her 5th grade year? Of course, bringing her means bringing my mother - that can make for a STRESSFUL drive!

Of course it would make for a nice break for all of us. Not sure if my mother could keep up with my hectic pace - being at the rink at 5:30am, then back there again at 3:30pm. Be nice for them to be able to hang at the pool, and find a rink down there for training.

DD wants to take line dancing lessons there - not sure where we'd do that, but might look at the Wildhorse Saloon.

Either way (traveling alone, or with family) it's going to be a different Nashville than what I used to LOVE!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Time to Rant

Wow, yesterday was the day from HADES! All of those balls I had up in the air, came crashing down on me. Apparently 2 months of working until 10pm (or midnight at times) and getting up at 4:30 have taken their toll. Thank goodness for my friend Pamprin!

It all began last Saturday at DD's Irish Dance show. DD is a VERY intense child. Takes everything she does very seriously. She's hard on herself when she makes a mistake, and expects everyone around her to be the same. Well, during this show her partner (who has been dancing less than 1/2 the amount of the 7 years DD has been) messed her up - forced her to turn the wrong way, with her back to the audience. If looks could kill, the poor girl would be six feet under. But that was it, the thundercloud disappeared as fast as it arrived. Unfortunately one of the owners of her dance school caught it, asked what was wrong - so, stupid me, I pointed out the problem DD is having with dancing with such an inexperienced dancer. You wouldn't believe the storm that came down on me.

I received an email from the owner - in it she said, "I have reflected a little further on the issue with *** and her apprehension for dancing with various partners... The reason for my follow up, is *** may not be suited to show class and its team nature. We would understand if *** decided not to take show class next school year."

I was floored, to say the least. Shot back a polite, but scathing email in response. This issue of problems with various partners, etc... news to me! As far as I know, this is the first time.

Unfortunately, for me, DD really likes participating in the shows - doesn't want to dance if she can't do the shows.

So, worked through that one - it appears to be cleared up as of today, but I will continue to watch it.

Then, fast forward to last night. DD had a figure skating test. She was testing Novice moves for the second time. She was ready the first time, but didn't pass. Skated a BETTER test this time, STILL didn't pass. The funniest part is that a judge that sat on both panels, scored her lower this time than last - indicating (at least in my mind) that she skated a poorer test. I was angry! Our best guess is that at 11, DD doesn't LOOK the part of a Novice lady - so she has no business even taking this test. Nevermind that her skills are passing. Heaven forbid figure skating should be even a LITTLE bit less subjective.

My biggest concern was making sure DD realized that I was NOT mad at her, she said, "I know mommy - it's the fricking judges". I lost it, laughing SO hard.

Sometimes kids can be SO precious!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Coming up for air again

These past two months have been absolutely NUTS! At the beginning of the year a person in my office was let go and since then two of us have been trying to cover the work. In the accounting world, the first quarter of a year is NEVER the quietest time... staying at the office until midnight is not my idea of fun. But as a coworker of mine likes to say - it is what it is.

Let's see... what have we done? Went to New York to see Legally Blonde the Musical, had a new (Juvenile) program choreographed, went skiing, knitted a pair of leg warmers while sitting at the various rinks, already had one competition, visited the Great Wolf Lodge in Williamsburg, spent more time at rinks, traipsed through Old Town Alexandria for their St Patricks Parade, oh yeah, spent MORE time in rinks. Best of all, I got a new camera - Merry Christmas to me!

Legally Blonde was wonderful!

We just spent the day in the city, but was good. Can't believe how crowded it got at night - guess that week between Christmas and New Years is not the best time to visit. Loved the Juicy dog ads.

The new program - 2.5 hours with Audrey, very expensive, but very worth it. I'm sure the year will start off slow, but could be a good year, depending on DD's ever changing moods. First competition was good - 2nd out of 3. Next competition is this coming weekend, 12 competitiors, so I'm hoping for top 1/2 (fingers crossed).

Skiing at Canaan Valley has become a tradition with us.

DD refuses to ski elsewhere. She loves the instructor she gets there - Ray. This time we brought a friend of hers. I believe they both had a blast. I know I froze my bum off. Didn't plan on skiing, so didn't bring ski clothing. It wasn't too cold, so I just skiied in sweatpants. Thank goodness I didn't fall, but even so, I still got wet enough to freeze!

Fortunately we got there right after a snow storm, so the girls had fresh snow to play in. This idea of bringing a friend is wonderful! It meant I didn't have to go out and freeze in the snow!

Yes, I know, don't feed the wildlife... I remember our first visit there, our room was on the ground level. We had just dropped off our bags, reopened the door to go to dinner, and there was a deer standing at our door. I shrieked and closed the door again.

Coming home was probably the WORST experience of my life. The GPS is always trying to get me to go a different way, but I ignore it. This time, we were in no hurry, so I said, why not? Why not indeed! Long and windy road... and just when you've gotten to the point of NO RETURN... (or at least, no turn around) there's a sign - impassable in winter. Never really thought about what that means. I mean, how "impassable" can it be? The snow had almost completely melted, so it wasn't really wintery... right? WRONG! Little Passat has forgotten her German roots, obviously. Had a little trouble getting to the top, but slow and easy got us there. Just as we had crested the mountain (after we got home I looked up the stats on the mountain, the summit is only 4000') we came across a Land Rover coming the other way. The 3 guys in it had pitched a tent the night before because they couldn't get any further. Found this out AFTER I almost slid into one of them. They decided to get between me and their car, figuring at the speed I was going, if I were heading for the car, they could push me away. I knew at this point it was going to be rough. I believe myself to be a fairly good driver, and I have never been this afraid before. I truly believe it's because I had the two girls in the car with me. One lane road, ditch on the upside, cliff on the downside, and road covered in ice. After being positive we weren't going to make it all the way down, we did. As we got to the bottom I told the girls, "all I need now is for a deer to run in front of me", and BAM! no more than 2 seconds later - Bambi came leaping out of the woods, across the road. It was just the PERFECT ending to this drive.

Williamsburg, Jamestown and the Great Wolf Lodge.

I believe these two pictures say it all! I absolutely detest this hotel, DD absolutely loves it. I can honestly say they have the worst customer service I've ever run across. For the prices of their rooms, the LEAST they can do is be polite.
DD talked me into going down the Howling Tornado. BIG mistake. Good thing I don't have a heart condition. Okay, it was DD, my brother, his wife and me. I sat in the seat headed down the tube first - as we were sitting down, I fell back, almost went down the slide without the tube. Not a good start. Should have known then to get out and walk BACK down the stairs! But no, being the brave mom I am (ha!) I sat down. I thought that tube would NEVER end. As we got off we were laughing so hard people were asking if it was happy laughter, or terrified laughter. Let's just say, I didn't go on that slide again - DD went MANY times.

Jamestown was a blast. I've always loved it, very interactive, perfect for young children.

Irish Dance... stressful, in a way. DD is a perfectionist. Doesn't like making mistakes - works VERY hard to not make any, but when she does, she's very hard on herself. Heaven help anyone around her that makes a mistake, especially if it makes her look bad.

In School Feis - 4 dances, and she got 3-firsts and 1-second. She loved it - wants to compete "for real".

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Disney Again!

Whirlwind trip this was, but a blast. Birthday trip for DD, surprise trip for a school friend of hers. I wish I was that good at keeping secrets! Her friend didn't know she was going until her family arrived at the airport. They flew down, we drove. Driving allowed us the freedom (without having to rent a car) to find an ice rink.

We had 2 rinks in mind on our way down. I try to learn from my mistakes - took DD off the ice for a week and a half in August - she couldn't land ANY of her jumps for about 3 weeks. Not going there again! Fortunately RDV Sportsplex is on the way into Orlando. We had stopped for the night in Jacksonville, so the drive to Orlando wasn't too bad. DD got on the ice and had it pretty much all to herself. $13 for private ice (the only others on the ice were a coach and student wandering around the rink doing laps). Wrapped that up and headed over to see the mouse.

Arrived at the Yacht Club early. As the porter was removing ALL the luggage from the car, a man approached us and said "you must be the XXX family, and this must be DD". I just looked at him and said "who wants to know?" This was our first time staying on the club level, so I hadn't experienced this level of Disney customer service before (of course I was paying DEARLY for it). Nice touch, but really not worth the extra cost. We were never at the resort while the lounge was open, although I have heard since then that you can ask them to leave somethings in your room. Good to know.

Highlights of the trip: Hanging out with friends at the parks, Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, watching the girls go ga-ga over the Naked Brothers Band at the pool, being away from the rink and work.

Next up, thinking about going to Canada for a trip... Ottawa or Montreal. Time to start researching.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Busch Gardens

Busch Gardens Europe has been a favorite of mine since high school. Back then the fall was the PRIME time to visit. The park is open through the last weekend in October and back then the October weekends were usually cold, and the park empty.

Not so anymore! I heard the park actually reached capacity yesterday.

We've been season passholders for a number of years now - it's 2 hours door to door... not too bad. Back when life was simple it was fun to pack up DD after school Friday, and go camping in Williamsburg for the weekend. Don't really have time for that these days. This year the season pass was pretty much a waste - went yesterday for the only time this season.

The girls rode all the coasters - multiple times each. DD is a coaster fanatic, her friends aren't so much, but learned to love them.