Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bahamas Team Trip

Another team trip in the books and again, it was a safe and successful trip.  Last Thursday, we met at Myrtle Beach Airport at 6:30am to head to Nassau for our annual Team Trip.  Our parent in charge this year was Rachel Sprouse and we were also joined by John & Marlette Watson.  Other than that, it was Louie & myself and 10 of our Level 9 and 10 gymnasts.  We had no problems getting to the Bahamas and by 3:00pm were checking in to our hotel.  We stayed at the Atlantis on Paradise Island and our rooms were in the very-affordable Beach Tower.  It was nice and we had a great time. The girls had fun hanging out around the resort, made full use of the free water park and the available and affordable shopping.  We worked out Friday morning and THANK GOODNESS we did....the lighting was really weird because it was in a ballroom and I'm glad the girls had a chance to feel the equipment and get used to the lighting.  Friday afternoon/night, we hung out in the gorgeous 80 degree weather most of the day and let the girls get what they wanted for dinner since it was the night before their meet.  Saturday we ate a good breakfast just off of Atlantis property and came back to the hotel to get ready for the competition.  The girls did great for their first meet of the season and we were really proud of how focused they were.  After the meet, the girls got all dressed up and we took a cab to downtown Nassau to eat at the Green Parrot and watch the Christmas boat parade.  In typical island fashion, they didn't honor our reservation (although they totally remember talking to me and greeted me with "Hey Rebecca").  So we waited about an hour for a table.  THEN, once we finagled a table, we wanted another hour and a half for our food.  It was ridiculous.  The food was good and the atmosphere was cool (I liked it....some of them didn't).  It was an open-air restaurant/bar on the water and was laid back......too laid back to handle large crowds but definitely a cool place to hang out.  I think what compounded the frustrations was that our girls hadn't eaten a meal since breakfast.  Oh well.  Life is either a daring adventure or nothing and this experience just made them appreciate timely service even more.  Sunday was our "funday" and we let the kids pick what they wanted to do.  Louie was taking a group snorkeling on a catamaran and I was taking girls to a dolphin encounter.  Seven of the girls did the snorkeling and five of them did the dolphins.  Both seniors did both activities which was appropriate and so fun.  I've never been one to care about petting/hugging/kissing/dancing with dolphins but it was really cool and I'm so glad I did it! That day wore everyone out pretty well and we had a few people that were in bed by 8:30pm that night!  We were leaving the next morning so it was crunch time for the kids to find last minute gifts/t-shirts/get hair braids.  We got picked up from the hotel at 11:00am, flew out of Nassau at 1:45 and were back in the states by 2:30pm.  We had a 6 hour layover in Ft Lauderdale and although I was dreading it, it turned out to not be so bad.  We took the girls out of the Spirit terminal (which is more than terrible) and we ate decent food and laid around playing cards, talking, etc for a few hours.  It was another short flight to Myrtle and by 10pm we were home!  All in all, a great trip with great people.  My hope is that the kids remember this trip forever and cherish the experiences they get because of gymnastics.  Nothing is better than traveling with your team and getting to know them (& coaches) on a more personal level.  It truly was a great time.

I'm even more excited that I was allowed to go on the trip and came home still pregnant (Louie mentioned one time how cool it would be to have the baby in the Bahamas......totally not cool).  Anyways, it was a different experience being pregnant and not doing all the activities but I still had a good time.  I go to the doctor in the morning and can't wait to find out any new news on Baby Fort.

Christmas is so close and I still have a little shopping to do!  I am looking forward to this year's Christmas as it will be our last calm one for a while!

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas and a Happy & safe New Year!

The group at Virgils when we first got to Atlantis

The view from our room

The team before practice on Friday

A beautiful Friday morning

Poor Jaymie & Marci

Level 10's on the beach

Olivia, Sara, Marci, Bug, Emma, Lo, Lyss, Gilly, Courtney and Jaymie

After the HUGE drop slide....they all survived!

Sara & Bug heading to another slide

The girls running around the water park

The not-so-lazy river

Dressed up for a night on the "town"

Bug & Lyss

Rachel & Lyss

The girls with Louie & Becca

Olivia & Jaymie after the braids

Fun times with Andy, the dolphin

Emma & Courtney.... last team trip as an Ocean Flipper

Olivia, Jaymie, Emma, Courtney & Marci 

Dolphin Encounter at the Blue Lagoon Island
Group picture of Andy and the Ocean Flippers

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