Saturday morning we took off for Minnesota to go watch Ashley and her college dance team in a competition. It had snowed the night before, but the roads weren't as as bad as we feared they would be. The right lane was great the whole way, so it was only when we wanted to pass was it tricky. The closer we got to Minnesota, the better the roads got.
About half-way into our 3 hr drive, Jay and I remembered how important communication really can be. I assumed our GPS was still in the glove box, and didn't realize Jay had used it 2 days earlier in his truck. He thought I knew that, and assumed I had put it back into our Vue.
You know why you shouldn't assume...right? ahem
It was near the Minnesota border when we came to the realization that the GPS was still in his truck, back home. We had no directions for our hotel, only a street address. But, I knew it was directly across the street from the Mall of America, and since it is known as the "Mega Mall" there HAS to be signs everywhere, right?
Long story short...there were no signs. We went left when we should have gone right, we got lost, Jay called a friend familiar with the area who guided us back to where we should have been and we finally found the hotel.
We checked in, unloaded our bag and headed to the mall to meet up with Ashley. It was a HUGE competition! I mean it. Total craziness! There were so many people in the entire mall that at times you could hardly move. It made shopping tough, but we did make it into a few stores. My back kept going into spasms, so I had to take frequent breaks too. We did manage to get a few cool things, so it was a good day.
This competition was for the categories of Youth through College. There was even a high school team from New Mexico. NM to MN...wow!! That has to be one long drive!
Ashley's college competed in 3 categories. The varsity did 2 routines and the JV (team Ashley is on) did 1 routine. We got to see her during the day until she had to go get ready.
If you've been to the Mall of America, you know there are 4 floors. On the main floor, people were standing 3-4 people deep trying to see the dancers. On all the upper floors there were people all around the railings looking down and watching. Thankfully they had a special VIP section for family, friends and team members to get to sit right in front while you're school was performing. Otherwise we probably wouldn't have gotten to see much.
It turned out that their JV team was the only college JV team in the entire competition. Therefore, in order for them to get to even perform, they had to bump up to the varsity level of competition. They did awesome, however varsity does much technically harder moves, so there's really no way to compare the two, which was unfortunate for them.
Ashley's team was recognized and they earned an honorable mention for their efforts.
But, they held their heads high, as they should have. Their jazz routine was beautiful and they performed it flawlessly! They were all in sync and flowed so gracefully from one move to the next. Knowing this is only Ashley's 3rd year to even be on a dance team or do any dancing at all, I'd say she's got a gift. She looks like she's been dancing forever.
Here's some pictures from their routine.....
This is as they are taking the floor to perform:
This is as they are taking the floor to perform:
Here they are waiting for the music to begin. That is Ashley's roommate behind her and one of her closest friends at college. We feel so blessed that she has the roommate she has. She is a doll.
The ending pose...isn't that cute?!
While waiting for the awards presentations, Jay and I walked around and got smoothies. They were awesome! Mine had 3 kinds of berries, yogurt, protein powder and orange juice in it. Jay's was the same only instead of the 3 berries he had strawberries and bananas. We were looking over the menu of this place and it is a total health food stand. They even sold shots of wheat grass. I kept daring Jay to try one, but he was too chicken. I even tried to bribe him. "I'll give you $5 if you try a shot." He of course, being such a "guy" said "It'll come out my nose or something and it'll be all green. Then my shirt will be stained and in about an hour who knows how badly it will affect other parts of me, so no way!" What a goof!
By the time the awards were over it was after 8pm and Jay and I were starved! Since it was dark out and we had no GPS, we decided to stay in the mall to eat and went here:We've been here before and eaten and it's always been great. This time however, we were not pleased. We were seated in "time-out". Literally! We had a small table, in a corner, with the 2 chairs facing into the corner. That was our view. A stone wall with vines and they were approximately 2 1/2 feet from our faces. Our backs were to everything and everyone. It took forever to get our order placed and then it took forever for our food to arrive. When it did it wasn't very hot. Not our best experience there.
The misery continued...We got to the hotel and I don't believe we had an actual mattress on our bed. I think it was solid plywood. Seriously, I have never had to try to sleep on a bed that hard before. Currently I spend a lot of my time sleeping on one side with my arm propped so it doesn't go numb. 3 times during the night I woke up with my hip so sore from laying on it on this bed, that I had to get up and move around. Poor Jay could barely walk in the morning! I was just grateful my doctor told me to bring my own pillows so my head would be supported good. We brought Jay's also. At least our heads rested comfortably.
Our trip home on Sunday morning was quite interesting at times....stay tuned.