The Trip There
This part is for Aunt Elaine. Check out what we discovered when we stopped at the rest stop!
The art work below is supposed to be grade school renditions of Matisse. I'm not sure what this had to do with anything, other than adding to the general surrealism of the experience.
Okay, onward. We stayed at the same Holiday Inn Express as last year, but this year there were actually other people staying there because it wasn't snowy. As a matter of fact, the weather was gorgeous. It was sunny and in the 70s on Saturday, in spite of which the hall where the feis was held was still cold. But not as cold as last year.
Much better attendance than last year (which featured a blizzard), but still not very crowded.
The kids had enough dancers in each of their competitions for them to "count" (you need at least 5 dancers in a competition for it to count towards advancement). As a matter of fact, Annabeth often had more dancers in her competition than listed in the schedule, which was sort of odd.
The big stage is divided into 3 sections for the grades, then lots and lots of chairs (wow, you usually don't have so many extra chairs at a feis -- it was amazing), then tables in the back. Plenty of room to move around. And the musician showed up -- woot! Overall, a well run feis, with only a couple of minor quibbles (quibble #1: all of Thalia's competitions had the same judge, so if the judge happened to prefer a different style of dance you were out of luck -- would've been nice to rotate the judges; quibble #2 -- the results were posted in a hodge podge on the wall -- couldn't they have color coded them? or posted them in numeric order?). We didn't purchase food this year, taking along our own, so I don't know if it improved since last year.
As for our personal results, Thalia got a 5th. She also got sicker and sicker as the day went along. By the time we left I thought she was maybe crying, but she said her eyes were watering and her nose was running not due to distress over the feis, since she'd long ceased to care about that, but because she needed to be home in bed. On the other hand, Annabeth danced her hornpipe in a lackluster fashion (Rick commented, "Wow, that was awful," when he saw it) and got a first in it.
They broke for lunch around 1pm, after hornpipe, before Traditional Sets. That allowed the people who don't do Trad Sets to pack up and leave without having to wait around. We stayed for Trad Sets, then packed up and left during non-champion Treble Reels. It was around 2:45pm.
The Trip Home
We stopped at an exit between Springfield and Rolla -- I think it was exit 161 -- to get something to eat and some gas. After we got back on highway 44 I commented to the kids that fiction writers often keep a notebook in which they jot down interesting things so they can use the ideas in stories ... and that exit was FULL of weirdness. The girl in Panera's with the nose stud, multi-colored hair, and fugly high heeled boots who zoomed into the restroom, dug through the (unused) disposable diapers in her purse to pull out a toothbrush, and announced to us that she was "kind of obsessed with tooth brushing." Rick's comment after exiting the men's room that he couldn't imagine how someone would manage to get poop on THAT part of a toilet. The semi driver what was standing outside of the cab of his truck at the gas station with his cat perched on his shoulder (and then got back into the truck cab by the time I got my camera out).
And Annabeth got a cookie to celebrate first place:
I'm not sure how she got the solid black background -- she was taking pictures in the backseat while we were driving home.
Anyway, a thumbs up for this feis again. More people should attend!