Monday, May 25, 2009

Memphis Feis

We headed down to Memphis on Saturday. It's an easy trip from here to there, and it was a gorgeous day.

We stayed at Southaven, Mississippi. The feis is in Olive Branch, Mississippi, which is about 15 minutes east of Southaven. Rick had been down in the area a few weeks ago, and saw that this town had loads of nice hotels, shopping, and restaurants. We ended up staying at the Holiday Inn, which was built last year -- very clean, very quiet, very pleasant. We had an early supper at Jim Neely's Interstate Barbecue, then back to the hotel to swim in the indoor pool (small, but nice) and generally relax.

The next morning we checked out and headed over to Olive Branch. We checked into the feis at about 9:30, verified that the kids wouldn't be competing until about noon, and then headed back out to get something for breakfast. We ended up in downtown Olive Branch at Hazel's Family Restaurant.

Then back to the feis to put on wigs and makeup. Sheesh, we're such a train wreck with the makeup that we draw a crowd. After we managed to remove extraneous mascara and lipstick from Annabeth's face, on with the dresses, and we still had time for pictures with friends.

The champions had competed in the morning, followed by the figures. The stage is elevated -- used as one large stage during the championship rounds, divided into 3 parts for the grades. We watched the championship awards, then there was a long pause during which lots of kids got up on stage to see what it was like up there.

Along with the single/triple stage, they had 3 judges, and 2 musicians. One of the musicians was the ever-popular Pat King, who woke the audience up during single jig by segueing from typical Irish feis music into Pop Goes the Weasel, followed by the Mexican Hat Dance. Gotta love a musician who can do stuff like that so effortlessly.

Our personal results were sort of blah -- a couple of medals, a couple of ribbons. The whole thing was over fairly quickly -- I think we started about 1pm and were leaving by 4:30.

On the way home we were watching the ominous clouds to the west, then realized that there were people on the overpasses (the highest points in that flat landscape) also watching the somewhat greenish clouds, pointing and talking on phones. Tornado spotters! Yikes! We zipped on north, and arrived home without incident. When we looked up the tornado reports the next morning, apparently it had formed over farmland and had done no damage.

Overall, a fun weekend. We had fun with the trip to Southaven, and then being able to compete in a relatively short, small feis with some friends was just the icing on the cake.


Tara said...

Nice that you were able to have a relaxing time of it... and that the feis didn't end in a tornado!

Anonymous said...

Hi Gail, I saw your girls dance on Sunday. My daughter was one of the Prelim Champ dancer (in an orange dress). We're from Texas and the clouds didn't really bother us much. Tornadoes and spring kind of go hand-in-hand in the south. I am envious that you got into Neely's bbq. We tried on Sat night but it was booked with an hour wait. Memphis is a nice town.