What’s this? An actual update in less than a year? What??
So, I think I want to start making regular updates again. Not really for anyone else..just for me. Which is good since no one really reads this anyway. 🙂
First, though, an update.
Em first: We went to the Charleston tournament last weekend. Em was out the preceding week from school for Winter Break. So, Chris took the day off of work on Friday and we drove up. It’s a little over 5 hours drive for us. We got there around 12:30 and went right to a restaurant to meet some friends for lunch. It was a GORGEOUS weekend. I don’t know about where you live, but here the weather’s been kind of schizophrenic. It was in the high 70s, low 80s last week. We had a good breeze, so it was totally comfortable during the day and a little cool in the mornings and evenings. So, we got this awesome corner table at this restaurant right on the water. Our view was great. The food was good, but not great. To be fair, it was a seafood place and I’m allergic to seafood, so I just got a chicken sandwich and veg. The food was fine, but there wasn’t a whole lot of it….for anyone. Still, we were with good friends and it was fun.
After lunch, we went on to the USS Yorktown for a tour. I’m going to be honest: neither Em or I could really care less. Chris was SO EXCITED. Em humored him when he kept calling her over to point out this or that. And we both played some Pokemon Go while Chris was drooling over everything. 😛 Or friends seemed to all enjoy it, so that’s good. We saw the Yorktown, the sub, and the destroyer there. We were there for quite a while. Afterwards, we decided to try a bbq place we’d heard of. Now, here’s where websites seem to be misleading for the weekend. Or the restaurant proportions are odd. For lunch, the restaurant was plenty big, but had parking for only about 20 cars. For dinner, the website made this look like a reasonably large place, but it was SO SMALL. And had parking for only maybe 5 cars. Seriously. Chris dropped us off and parked several blocks away, in a residential area, in front of a house under construction! They told us it would be about a 20 minute wait, which was totally acceptable. It turned out to be about 40 minutes. Once we sat down, it was another 20 or so minutes before they took our order and then another 30 or so before the food arrived! Not ideal! I got a roasted 1/4 chicken which was SO TASTY, but had SO LITTLE meat on it. Seriously, there was maybe 2 ounces? That’s a guess, but it was tiny. Everyone who got bbq loved it. But we all agreed that the wait was so not worth it.
After dinner, we went and found our hotels. We were both staying at Hampton Inns, but different ones. 😛 Our hotel room was fairly small, but it was very nice and comfy. We got up early the next morning and headed to a local college I’d never heard of for the tournament. It wasn’t marked great, so we ended up walking through an entire large building to eventually find the room for the tournament. It was a pretty decently appointed room. There were plenty of rings for the competition. It was set up so that there wasn’t a whole lot of room to walk around the rings though. Em’s ring was called around 10 I think. That’s when we found out that since there were only 2 2nd degrees and 4 1st degrees in her age category, they were all going to compete together.
Let me tell you why this is bullshit. Okay, there are several levels of tournaments. There’s AAA, which is World’s. There’s AA, which is Fall and Spring Nationals. There are As and Bs, which are open to anyone, but an A is usually larger and better attended. And then there are Cs, which are school tournaments and can only be attended if you go to that school. You get more Points for the higher the tournament level. So, the most at AAA and the least at C. When they figure your points, they will be like this: Any points from an AAA, plus any points from either or both AA. Then, of the As and Bs, you get the top 5 highest points. For instance, at an A, you get 8 for a 1st place, 5 for a 2nd, and 3 for a 3rd. A B will get you 5 for a 1st, 3 for a 2nd, and 1 for a 3rd. Now, this is different at an A if they don’t have enough contestants to make what they term a full ring. I believe it’s at least 5 competitors. Now, this year, they changed Bs so, that no matter how many people are in your ring, you get full points. So if there are 8 competitors, you get the same amount of points as if there’s only 1 competitor. They changed it so that more people would come to Bs. (Then you add on any points from Cs…and a school can only do 4 a year, I think.) So, when you have only 2 2nd degrees and 4 1st degrees, there is absolutely NO benefit from combining them. In fact, it hurts everyone, but mostly the 1st degrees because they haven’t been competing as long at ALL.
So, now this actual tournament. Of the 2 2nd degrees, one is a two time World Champ in Sparring from Florida. She’s VERY good at sparring and her form is also pretty good. The other was a 2nd degree from NC, who was also pretty good. Of other other 4, one is Em’s main competition from NC for Districts. She’s got a SUPER high kick that she can stick up there and leave with good balance. *I* don’t like the way her form looks, but I can objectively see how she can beat Em. There was another girl, also named Emily, from Florida and she was just a jerk. She kept rolling her eyes at Em and she had ZERO control in sparring. She punched Em in the back once, giving Em a penalty point, and she punched her in the head twice (no penalty points for that and they didn’t even call her on it). Anyway, her form was NOT good. Like, at all. Chris recorded it and when we showed it to her instructor, he wouldn’t watch more than 20 seconds of it, he said it was so bad. So, you’ll imagine my surprise when Em came in 5th behind her! Yeah, I don’t know. There was another girl from SC who wasn’t good. She had no power and didn’t look once at where she was punching and kicking. Em was beyond upset at her scores. She got a 5,6,5. Awful girl got a 6,6,6. She went on to completely kick ass on her weapon, beating even the 2nd degree. She got 1st place. At the end of the day, she only NEEDED points in Weapons to get back the lead for a State title. So, it was okay in the end, but still. Now, I’m not one of those moms that always think my kid’s the best and always deserves 1st. But I’ve seen a lot of kids do their forms. And last year, I freely admit that Em was nowhere near the best. And this year, I can see how there are things about NC girl that the judges might like better. Though I personally don’t like her form, I can totally see it. And I’m not sure Em will be able to beat her at Districts. I can see that. And the the two 2nd degrees were pretty good too. The NC one, I think, was better than the 1st degree NC girl. But the 1st degree won. But in the end, my first statement on how this was bullshit is that if they had separated the 1st and 2nd degrees, Em would have gotten a 3rd. Gah!
So, we watched everyone else and most of the people from our school came away with a medal. Us and the other family we were with finished around 3. We had missed lunch. They had a food truck, but it ran out of food fairly quickly. So, we decided to all go to dinner really early. We had decided to save this other place for dinner that night since the website made it look a lot bigger. And we knew from the previous night that EVERYWHERE there is PACKED. So we headed over there and there was no parking that we could see anywhere. Our friends called them and asked them how long it would take to be seated and they told her right away. We were skeptical, but we spied an unobtrusive parking deck with plenty of parking, so we tried. It ended up being at least 15 minutes before we were seated. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be bad, but we’d missed lunch and were SO HUNGRY. Turns out, they were doing a Madri Gras Bar Crawl, so that’s why it was packed at 3pm. The food was yummy. I decided to splurge and got french fries with my grilled chicken sandwich. Yes, another…they were also mostly seafood. But it was super yum. We didn’t end up finishing until after 5pm. We decided we’d head to the downtown area where they have a cool, open-air market. We got there and finally parked and walked to it and got there around 5:55. Guess when they were closing? 6pm. Gah! So, we ended up looking at the few regular shops in the area. Got candy, then ended up doing dessert at Ben & Jerry’s. I splurged again (more on that in another post…and back to the dieting talk) and it was so good. We ended a fairly early night and left the next morning to drive back home.
And wow, that was a lot longer than I thought it would be. This is what happens when I don’t blog for a long time. So, to be continued.