Towson, Maryland, Louisville, Kentucky, Long Island, New York, Branford, Connecticut … home. Wait, what?
I know I’ve been away for a long time again.. When you are on NDA time, it’s almost as if real time has stopped, the rest of the world passes at a glance and not one staffer could confidently tell you what day of the week it is.
The past 3 weeks have been nothing short of ridiculously busy. Here is the Sparknotes version.
3 Saturdays ago (the day after my birthday), I pulled myself out of bed at 5am to catch and early flight to Louisville, Kentucky. After a much later night than I had anticipated, I was
cranky, a total bi-otch. The flight was originally delayed a half hour and when we finally got on the plane, the captain informed us that we would be sitting in the plane for an additional 2 hour delay before embarking on the 2.5 hour flight to Chicago, IL. Needless to say, I missed my connecting flight and had to take a much later one.
However, despite my ill-willed travel, I arrived in Louisville and was greeted by NDA staff friends that I had come to know and love from previous years/camps. I dove headfirst into a 5-day, very large camp with 10 other amazing staffers and came out alive and happy. Slightly worse for wear, maybe, but happy nonetheless.
The last day of my Louisville travels marked the first day of my next camp: Adelphi on Long Island, NY.
Of course, American Airlines decided to be difficult once again and I was delayed in Louisville for an extra hour and a half, therefore missing my connection in Chicago. I’ll just say it now: I hate the Chicago Airport. Sorry Chicago friends (if there are any out there), but your airport stinks.
I made it to Long Island and met up with another rock star staff. Together, we pulled together our routines, staff assignments and inventory (broken trophies and all..) and headed out for our first night meeting at none other than 16 Handles.
Yes, friends, guilt-free indulgence at it’s finest. Then we laughed a lot.
Unfortunately, Adelphi was only a 3 day camp rather than 4 days so before I knew it, awards had come and gone, applications had been given out and I had to say goodbye to one of my favorite buddy teams of all time. Specific details aside, it was easy to become close with this team and when they gave me one of their camp t-shirts and signature heart pins at the end of Day 3, it took all I had not to start crying hysterically.
I cry a lot, it’s whatever.
When I got home, I proceeded to unpack to repack, saw Stephen for about .02 seconds before falling asleep and didn’t wake up until the early afternoon hours the next day.
Keep in mind, that day was my only day off.
After repacking, having lots of coffee and making myself look half-decent, I left for DanceWorks Boston auditions in the Prudential Center. Apparently, the travel gods didn’t like me in the month of July because a trip into Boston via train that should take not longer than 30 minutes took me a hour and 45 minutes. I showed up flustered but somehow, miraculously on time. Just in time, in fact, to hear Lisa, our director, introduce herself, the company, the day and our first showcase piece: mine.
I got up, said my shpeal (spelling?) about my piece, cried halfway through (of course), and did a small demo of the routine. All in all, it went well. I watched the rest of the routines (9 total), decided which ones I wanted to audition for (two) and which others I would sign up for (six). I held my auditions, auditioned for the other two I hope to be in and then got Pinkberry with a few of the girls.
Oh, and I made cookies. I forgot that part. Pretzel M&M cookies, recipe courtesy of Brandy’s Baking.
There were none left. Win for the baker.
After auditions, I returned home to finish packing, get some last minute travel details out of the way and fell asleep around 11pm. Just the way I like it.
Monday morning, I was back at the airport, this time to catch a flight to Wisconsin, a state I have never been to. And I have to say, Frontier Airlines makes everything so easy. Nice people, no delays, arrive on time… makes Marie a happy
A short drive with my Head Instructor and 1 other staff member brought us to the small town of Whitewater, Wisconsin, where I was clearly not in Boston anymore. Seriously — it was like a set of a (mid-)Western movie.
Although I didn’t know the staff as well as those I have worked with at previous camps, we clicked minutes after we met, breezing through our Day 0 to-do lists, grabbing dinner at an adorable (and cheap!) little restaurant a few blocks away and sweating profusely in our non-air-conditioned dorm. (Oh, the gym isn’t AC-ed either. I think I lost about 5 pounds of water while there.)
Whitewater proved to be a great time. My buddy teams were wonderful and I feel like our staff worked great together. Sure, they took a staff picture without me, but I’m sure they can crop me in!
A few days later, I drove down to the small town of Branford, Connecticut…details aside, it was the wrong location. With only one other staffer, coincidentally the same one I convinced to apply to NDA, we would have had a small 3-day home camp ahead of us. That usually means a 9-4 day, comfy hotel beds and more time to learn my routines (!) Due to a mix up, I came home a little earlier than planned, but hey, it happens.
I have 2 camps left this summer but not for a week and a half. They are back to back, one in New York, one in Rhode Island. Until then, I have quite a to-do list in front of me. Including LOTS and LOTS of blogging.
Now that we are all caught up, I promise to have more pictures when I can get my camera to work. I plan on doing a full summer recap right before I go back to school (ugh… did those words really just appear on my screen?) and there will be many pictures to accompany it.
Until then, I want to know: What’s the best and worst travel experience you’ve ever had? Did you get stranded somewhere or was a flight attendant particularly nice to you? Which airlines are your most and least favorite? And finally – what is the best part of your summer thus far?
PS – I plan on hosting a personal giveaway when I get home (for good). Anybody interested? Shoot some ideas my way!