for competition, the athletes with naturally curly hair had been asked to first straighten their locks and then use a curling iron to add some big curls on the ends of their high ponytails. i know it sounds redundant, but it actually does make a big difference in the finished look. and so when we got home from the parks the night before, the bean had washed her hair and then sat on the bed while i blew out her incredibly thick and long hair with a round brush to get it as straight as possible. and then i decided that the best way to keep it from staying straight while she got her beauty sleep was to put it in a low ponytail and then secure it in several spots with hair ties. like this:
she kept it like that until we got to the coach's room the next morning for hair and makeup. as she brushed it out, i was extra glad that we'd taken the time to get it just right.
while she dreads the whole makeup routine, putting on the strip lashes was her very least favorite part. i promised her she could rip them off the moment they got the ok from coaches after the performance was done.
we grabbed some breakfast from the food court in their hotel before hopping into an uber to head back to our room and finish getting ready. because is it really a trip to disney world without at least one mickey waffle?
when it was time to head over to the espn center, we summoned another uber. i really liked the bright orange bows they'd received for this competition. they really stood out and made it easy to find our athletes among the crowds.
she wasn't happy about it, but begrudgingly posed for at least one obligatory espn center photo.
well, and also this one with her longtime buddy.
it seems like she's much more agreeable when the request to pose for a photo doesn't come from her mother.
...who, by the way, does not share her disdain for pictures.
i was pretty stoked when she showed me that a picture of her from last year's competition was used on the lanyards given to all competitors. well, on like half of them. they alternated between that picture and one of another team.
when it was time for the teams to report for warmups, that was our cue to head inside and grab seats in the venue.
the lucky shoes were in full effect, as always.
here's just a few of the official shots from their time on the mats. i don't actually know which ones were from day 1 and which were on day 2. oops.
once they were done, we were released to enjoy the rest of our day on our own. we'd packed up all of our stuff and dropped it off at the bell desk to transfer over to the dolphin hotel for the rest of our stay, and so we just headed straight over there to get ourselves checked in. luckily, it was a pretty easy process and we were in our new room in no time.
view from our window:
while the bean cleaned off her makeup and changed into comfy clothes, i headed downstairs to pick up some snacks and coffee in the market.
"turning red," the newest disney/pixar movie had just been released on disney+ that day. we were excited to see it, and so we snuggled up in the bed with our snacks and watched it together on my laptop.
figuring that we wouldn't have wanted to hit up any parks after competition, we hadn't made any park reservations and instead headed over to disney springs to find some dinner and do a little shopping. our first stop was gideon's bakehouse to snag a spot in the virtual queue for some delicious cookies, and while there hadn't been any reservation times available at morimoto asia, we were pretty stoked to be seated right away in the bar area.
but the joke was on us, as the server came over to let us know that the kitchen was closed but that she could serve us drinks. ugh. and that's how we ended up going to the daily poutine instead.
by then it was time to head back over to gideon's to check in and wait for our turn to get inside.
these cookies are insanely huge.
the original chocolate chip is delicious, but if you get the chance to order the coffee toffee flavor...run, don't walk. SO GOOD.
we repeated the shower/blowout/ponytail routine when we got back to the hotel, and then it was finally time to lay our heads down and get rested up for day 2 of competition. whew.
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