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Monday, February 9, 2015

Houston May Have Smelled, But It Didn't Stink

Gymnastics travel lead us out of Houma again this weekend.  It was our first time in Houston, TX and it may not be our last.  We missed out on visiting people we know in the area, so we will just have to mosey back out there sometime.

The drive was 5.5 hours.  It really felt short because we had a lovely Mom and daughter pair who were fantastic company.  We jabbered on and laughed the entire trip and before we knew it the city erupted in our landscape.  The girls were very well behaved in the back seat.  They even created a story together!

My first impression of Texas via vehicle wasn't the greatest.  I'm still not sure what the odor was, but Texas is a little smelly.  The only thing I can think of is that there is a landfill in that area.  PU!  Houston is huge and I had to revisit my New York City driving skills just to maneuver on the crazy, busy highways.  Luckily there was only one close call.

The Houston National Invitational was a large, international meet held at NRG stadium.  The JAG girls cleaned up!  There were 3 All Around trophies!  Our athletes dominated in so many events that their gold medals were clinking around that place like they were wearing jingle bells!

We obviously celebrated the high scores and pride in the results.  The thing that really made me proud though was the reaction of the girls to their teammates.  Their support for one another made me tear up.  The joy of them hugging each other and celebrating each other's victories was wonderfully team focused.  Every kid should get to experience the joy of team spirit.  We are so proud of all of the girls' accomplishments.  This gym is a Houma blessing.

After the "victory laps" that everyone took, we got the cool experience of meeting another Olympic gymnast.  We got the autograph of Danell Levya who was the bronze medalist for individual all-around in the 2012 London Olympics.  He signed the girls' score sheets and congratulated them on their victories.  What a thrill for the girls!

We then had to venture back to home sweet Houma.  Houston was bonkers busy at dinnertime.  We tried 3 or 4 different restaurants trying desperately to find one that didn't have a 45 minute wait.  The restaurant we finally landed in was Pappa's B-B-Q and we were not disappointed.  When I bit into my pulled pork sandwich, my toes curled!  It was without any doubt THE BEST I have EVER had.  My co-pilot loved her burger so much that she refused to leave it behind!  The kids were happily stuffed and quickly zonked out in the back on our drive home.

Though we got home in the middle of the night, the drive was worth it.  We had the entire day on Sunday to just chill out and recover.  It was a quick weekend, but a very fun weekend.  Traveling, competing, and being around positive people made it great.  

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