Tampa 2009 – Update #1

We’re in Tampa!

We’re sitting in our room waiting for the four maintenance guys to finish replacing our toilet which, when we flushed it this morning, erupted in a tidal wave flowing out from the base into the room, out into the hall, and seeping down through the baseboards into the room below. We would *like* to be able to brush our teeth, shower, other silly things like that and they’ve been saying “just more feefteen meeenoots” for the past four hours so we’re hopeful we’ll maybe have a bathroom before the ballroom closes …

ANYWAY. It is gorgeous here, just gorgeous. Outside the room, at least. We’re on the beach! Actually really on the beach! Endless white sand! Waves! Brilliant sun! Tropical winds! Palm trees! Giant blue water slide!

Last night the ballroom was still packed when we left around 3am – very good for a Thursday night. It’s a small ballroom, small floor, so we’re wondering how it will go once everyone is here. Saturday night might be crowded.

We saw Michael O’Connor who says there’s a whole two tables of Juniors – Trey and Tori, Conner, Brennar and Torri, and evidently Renee Lipmann has a whole crew of Tampa juniors she’s brought along. Yippee!

So far from DC:
The Three Musketeers Cali, Kelli, and Kimiko; Peggy Frantz; Rob and Alice; Keith and Margot; Kay; Ellen Turner; and me ‘n Genieboy.

We’re flying Southwest – unusual for us cause we hate the cattle-call thing. But they had a sale for $149 round-trip from BWI so we gave in.  And on the flight we had the absolute nicest airplane conversation ever! Sat next to a 6″7″ writer who’s father was also a writer and his grandfather a poet. His father had been a student at Swarthmore and got invited to Germany and France to tour art museums and historical buildings, where he met an Italian Countess who invited him to come visit her in Italy. On the long train ride to Italy he met an English woman and fell in love, returned to America and corresponded with this woman for twelve years, never seeing her face, never hearing her voice, until finally, twelve years after their meeting on the train, she was finally able to sail across the ocean and join him where they married and lived in desperate beautiful love with each other until his death three years ago. They had four very tall sons, and our new writer friend, Gavin, is the youngest. All the sons were named for English Knights.

Oh – Yaaaay!!! We have a NEW TOILET!

I must say, this is THE smallest room ever in history. It’s cute, bright and cheerful, but MAN. We’re talking teency. There’s no room to put the suitcases so my Big Pink Suitcase and my Little Green Suitcase and Genieboy’s Medium Sized Black Suitcase With a Christmas Bow all have to stand right smack in the middle of the room on the only patch of floor space. There *is* a refrigerator and microwave, and a balcony just barely deep enough to fit a chair turned sideways, and you *can* open the sliding doors and hear the waves and watch the sun set into the water. So it’s delightful, but this is one small room. The toilet guys said yeah, you goat a shmall rooom, vee have olso beeger rooms theees shmall room veet note so goot toilet.

But now we have a working bathroom so now vee gonna shower and get dressed, go get some food to put in the refrigerator, and then the comp will officially begin! Novice JJ’s, Masters Routines, and Showcase are tonight. All the rest of the comps are tomorrow, along with a pool party and bar-b-que in the afternoon and a Pirates and Wenches costume party tomorrow night.

I veeel try to write, but veel note promeees I veel do theees because I sometime haf leetle trouble writink ven so mooch to do at zee comp, yes?
Love Liza


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