Saturday, February 18, 2012

My Wonderful Trip To Nationals!

I've been meaning to share about the wonderful trip I took to the 2012 US Figure Skating Championships which took place in San Jose, but since I returned, I just got so busy. I had such a great time that the memories of that wonderful trip have to be documented, so here goes:

How my trip to the 2012 Nationals came about:

Way back in the 1960s, I became friends with Marion Ennis. I used to spend my summers skating in Squaw Valley, California. During the summer of 1968, Marion I became friends. We decided then to be best friends. We were just kids then. Our childhood friendship continued into our teens as we wrote letters to one another. Then, an adult friendship began when Marion and I reunited in college. It's a long, long story, but Marion and I have been best friends for over 40 years now!
When I heard Nationals was in San Jose, something told me that Marion and I needed to go to the event together. She lives within driving distance and there were non-stop planes leaving Denver for San Jose that were reasonably priced.

It didn't take long for us to make our plans.

My dad decides to come too!:

My plane had originally been scheduled to leave on Wednesday, January 25, but I changed my plans and decided to leave on Tuesday, January 24. BUT...on Friday, January 20, my dad called and told me he wanted to go to Nationals too. So...I changed my plans and left on Sunday, January 22, 2012 for San Jose!

I arrived in time to see almost all of the competition. The only events we missed were Novice Pattern Dance and part of Novice men.

My dad and I stayed in the official Marriott competition hotel. When Marion arrived on Wednesday, 1-25, I moved to a different hotel with Marion.

My dad stayed until Friday, January 27. We had such a great time together!

My brother, Billy, had two students competing in Nationals. In fact, they were two sisters! Mariah Bell competed in the junior ladies event and Morgan Bell competed in the senior ladies event. My dad stayed until Friday so he could see Billy's students compete.

It was so much fun to spend time with my dad. One of the highlights we both experienced was when we got to have our photo taken in US Figure Skating Team jackets and got to stand on a podium together. It really looked like we WON Nationals!

We also went out to some really fun places for dinner. I think one of the most fun times we had was dinner at Original Joes with Marion.

Saw non-skating friends too!:

A huge highlight of my trip to San Jose was getting together with friends from my past. There were some friends living in California that I had not seen for twenty (or more years). We got together several times during my trip. Seeing my friend Frank was a dream come true...

I also got to see many, many skating friends from the past and present at the competition. Below is a photo of Marion and I with Juli McKinstry. We met when we both stayed in the "McKinstry House" in our Squaw Valley days...

I was especially delighted to finally meet skating friends that I've met through Facebook and meet several of my readers and fans.

My Trip to San Francisco:

After Nationals was over, Marion and I (and my friend Jessica) took a trip into "The City." We visited the Sunset District where Dan and I used to live. It was so fun to go back there. The highlight was eating Japanese food and walking along the Great Highway beach!


On Tuesday, January 31, as I walked through the San Jose airport about to board a plane back to Colorado, I realized I left San Jose with over a week of wonderful memories of a great "Nationals." I'm so glad I attended. I'm so glad my dad came and I'm so glad I got to spend a wonderful week with Marion!