Ella and I are still in Colorado Springs. Our flight out of Denver isn’t until 8 tonight. But I am just so ready for this trip to be over. It hasn’t been a good one.
First there was Hotel Hell, which just everything started on the wrong foot. Even though our new hotel is perfectly clean and nice, I still keep expecting something awful and gross to pop out of a drawer someplace.
We came here for Ella to climb at Nationals. I knew it was going to be a tough competition for her. She just moved to a new age group, and the big girls in her division all look like 16 year olds, not 13 year olds. Plus, due to a lot of stuff going on at home, Ella hasn’t been climbing nearly enough.
I volunteered at the comp on Friday morning while waiting for Ella to climb. It gave me something to do other than sit there and worry. The actual volunteering I did was great – I got to talk to all of the climbers as they came out –but the goings on around the whole volunteer group? That’s a story for another day.
Ella climbed well. She flashed her two first routes and then didn’t finish her second two. But she stayed calm and collected and kept trying. I was proud of how she climbed and how she handled herself.
She ended up 28th in her group, so she was finished climbing for the weekend. Her one consolation was that her best climbing buddy, who lives in Houston and who also just aged up, didn’t make it to semifinals either. The coaches and I all reassured them that next winter, they’ll be the big girls in the group at nationals.
On Saturday, Ella and I both volunteered at the comp, after waiting around a cold gym for two hours because the volunteer coordinator told me to be there way too early – a story for another post, again. Ella got her dream volunteer job – escorting climbers from the isolation gym over to the staging area at the venue. I don’t know why she wanted this job so badly, but she was thrilled to do it and had a great time.
After our shift ended, we wanted to escape the dust and noise, so we went out for a drive. I decided to go up to the Broadmoor, because I’d heard it was old and lovely and elegant. What it was was enormous, cold and not very interesting. We took a walk around the “lake” on the property and then headed back to the car. Ella was not impressed by any of it – except for the amount of goose poop on the path.
We went back to the gym to meet up with other climbing team members and watch the big kids compete, which was a lot of fun. But then things went south. I told Ella that she couldn’t go back over to the climbing gym because we needed to get back to the hotel for her to work on a massive school project.
She proceeded to lose her mind. And that’s all I’m going to say on that.
So we spent all day Sunday in the hotel room (thank dog we switched hotels) while she worked on her project. To her credit, she worked hard and stayed in good spirits. But it was a loooonnngggg day. I walked over to the burger joint next door at one point and picked up lunch. But before that I stood in the parking lot between the hotel and the Carl’s Jr and had a long talk on the phone with B. I got lots of odd looks from people driving by, and a few obscene gestures. I told him I looked like a daytime hooker and needed to get off the phone.
Today Ella is finishing up some little bits on her project, and then we’re going to check out of the hotel and see if we can cram in a little bit of exploring. Mostly, though, I just want to beg the airlines to put us on an earlier flight. I want to go home.