Ah... summer vacation... brings back memories of long car trips, sunburns... some things never change.
This years summer vacation was a little early.. but was timed to coincide with the US pipe band championships. (not, as my coworkers insinuated, to miss the mad rush of start of the largest program of our fine institution. ) It also just happened that the championships took place a couple hours from my hometown so who could pass up an opportunity to run home for a lovely May visit? Not me!
The vacation started at the crack of dawn on Friday... driving 13 hours required an early departure.. with the Jetta loaded down with drums, tent and vacation accoutrements. We got on the road and off to a great start. DH doesn't mind driving and I alternately knit, chatter, nap and navigate. I even managed to get a picture or two for the KAL Have socks, will travel
That's the St. Louis Arch.... for those of you who don't drive past it a couple times a year. And right after the arch? There is a navigational decision... Chicago or Indy? We sort of decided on going through Indy this time, but blew right past the turn. (someone should have been navigating!) So we thought about turning back... but why loose 10 or 15 minutes turning back and getting on the other highway, when this road also leads to where we're going, only through Chicago instead of Indiannapolis? So, what the heck, we're flexible! We'll just go through Chicago!
See Chicago is technically shorter, but being Chicago, it isn't always faster depending on your time of arrival. This time? Arrival fell at 4:30. On a holiday weekend. And there was construction. So, almost 2 hours of stopped traffic later, we were moving on to our destination.
The rest of the road trip was uneventful. We arrived in Alma for the competition and after a beer and brief tutorial on new recording software we promptly lost conciousness. Saturdays competiton went beautifully and I even managed to record the performance without much stress or difficulty. I thought they sounded wonderful and the judges agreed and gave the band first place. And there was much rejoicing!
Sunday was much the same as Sat. much tuning and preparation, it was very hot for May in Michigan, and everyone was ready to get this bigger competition overwith. They played wonderfully and placed first in grade IV, and won the US Championship!! Everyone was thrilled, and there was, again, much rejoicing. I mean really, lots and lots of it.
The group is a crazy assortment of talented individuals who pulled it together from long distances to win the championship. I had fun meeting the folks I hadn't met, and spending a little time with those I already knew. They are fun and funny and some of the drummers even posed with my sock! They didn't even bat an eye when I asked, good sports, these guys. Congratulations Westminster Pipe Band! (click that link and go to the gallery to hear what the US Champions sound like!)
Whew, if you made it this far... I'm surprised! Stay tuned for part two.....on to the beach!