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Wednesday, February 2, 2022

competition season begins

when the old lady and i had an opportunity to sign up to sell our handmade wares at a local boutique at the start of the holiday season, we took it right away.  she'd been working on making fun beaded bracelets that everyone's wearing these days, and i'd been cranking out other stuff using the embroidery machine that i'd just upgraded.  plus, i still had some leftover inventory from the last boutique sale we'd done a few years ago that i figured i could unload.  and i thought maybe i'd make a couple dozen cookies that could be packaged up for individual sale.

and then we got the bean's cheer competition schedule - and found that the first one was on the very same night as the boutique.  in VEGAS.  eek.  yet here we were with all of this stuff we'd been prepping for sale, and so the old lady convinced the fiance to help her work the table at the sale.  i was super bummed to miss it because it was going to be something fun for us to do together, but i was glad that we were going to be able to make it all work after all.  especially since we had lots of fun stuff that i thought would probably be pretty decent sellers:

this "clean car tote" was a last-minute addition i threw in...basically a washable and reusable caddy that snaps around a headrest and can be used for trash, toys, snacks, etc.  i made five of them in different fabrics and added them to the mix.

we set everything up on the table at home to get an idea of how to lay it all out and see how it would look at the boutique, and i thought it turned out pretty cute.

the hub was already in vegas a couple of days before the bean and i needed to be there, so he booked us a one-way ticket so that we could fly out there and then drive back all together after the comp was over.  check out her fun new cheer team-branded gear:

after we got through security and headed towards our gate, we spotted this machine tucked into a corner that dispensed rice bowls and hot soup.  we were intrigued, but most of the items were all sold out.

and then it was time to board the plane:

except that as soon as everyone was on board, the pilot got on the mic and announced that there were high winds in vegas that caused them to temporarily shut down all takeoffs and landings.  he thought it would be about a half an hour, which resulted in some grumbling throughout the plane, but the bean and i just sat back and closed our eyes for a nap.

it ended up being another half hour, and then another hour, and finally after sitting on the plane for two hours - for a 30-minute flight! - we took off.  it felt like we'd just reached cruising altitude when we started our descent into vegas, and then we landed.

meanwhile, things were going well at the boutique.

we'd carried on all of our stuff, so we sashayed right past baggage claim and headed out to wait for the hub to pick us up at the curb.

instead of the ol' orleans hotel like in years past, competition this time around was somewhere much nicer - actually on the strip at the mirage.  yay!

it also happened to be the same weekend as some big annual rodeo, so it was pretty funny to see the combo of giant cheer bows with cowboy hats and belt buckles everywhere.

we checked into our room and then headed downstairs to find something for dinner.

there was a bit of a wait for a table at the sushi restaurant, so the hub handed me some cash and sent me off to play some slots while we waited.

the next morning, the bean and i headed down to one of the conference rooms to meet up with her coach for hair and makeup.

and then it was time for me to put my lucky shoes on and take her downstairs to meet up with the rest of the team for warmups before they hit the mats.

her team nailed their routine, and then it was just a waiting game for awards to be announced.

meanwhile, a quick peek at the cameras at home to check on the dogs showed us that they'd gotten bored.  and that we were going to need to buy a new bed for them.  yikes.

everyone met up outside the arena to chat and wait for the virtual awards to begin, which we all huddled around to hear on the coach's phone.

her team ended up taking second place at this competition, and after medals were handed out everyone went their separate ways.  we hopped into the truck and made our way to the park MGM to grab dinner at eataly before making the drive home.  

bye for now, vegas!

saturday night makes for a pretty easy drive back to california from vegas.  we made it in near-record time, stopped to grab my car from the airport, and then headed home to bring the dogs in from the back yard.  despite the shredded dog bed and a little digging in the planters, we were all happy to see each other and they were particularly excited for a little peanut butter treat, spoonfed by the hub.

the bean swears this is her last year of cheer, which means that this was our final vegas competition.  it's kind of bittersweet to think that the door is closing on this era, but she's ready for a change (even though she's been saying this for the last...two or three years, heh).  it's going to be really fun to see what she gets into next, though,  i can't wait to see what that ends up being.

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