Wednesday, November 22, 2017

pre-Polar Bear Plunge

When we lucked into finding this cute little house to rent for our time in Georgia one of things we were most excited about was that it had a pool, something we always wish we had in Texas! At the time we moved in however the pool was a beautiful green color ;-) and it took the landlord a couple weeks to get it all taken care of and swim-ready. By the time that happened our highs were more often in the low 60s (and sometimes the 50s) than the 70s like they had been, but that didn't stop the littles from trying it out anyway. One quick plunge and they were done, but we are looking forward to enjoying it in the spring before we head back to Texas.
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Addie was such a stinker. We counted down for them to jump in together and then she didn't go haha!
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Mike recorded it all with my phone, but it was lost between the dying of my old phone, setting up the new phone, etc. Ella took this one though, so at least we have something.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Ella's First meet as a Bulldog

I think we were all a little excited and a little nervous about Ella's first swim meet in Georgia as part of the Athens Bulldogs swim team! How would things be the same?! How would things be different?! We were ready to find out :-)! It turned out to be a pretty dreamy meet and we hope most the meets here are the same. There were waaay less kids than at any of our Texas meets, BUT there were still good swimmers giving Ella competition so it was the best of both worlds. Warm-ups started at 10am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday (no early wake-ups!) and we were out of the pool in 4 hours each day! The spectating at this particular pool wasn't great, but our next meet is hosted by our team so we will be at the University of Georgia pool we are at everyday for practice and it is a gorgeous facility so we are excited.
I think overall the meet should be counted as a success. Ella didn't hit any of her goal times, which she was frustrated about, but she did drop in every event (except 100 backstroke), placed well and got to know some of the kids in her group better. And of course there was the added bonus that we got to explore another area of Georgia. Considering that short course season is typically a big waste of time for the most part for her (especially this year when she is so new to the 13/14 age group), I am thrilled with how well she is doing!
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waiting for her first race of the meet in lane 2 (white cap)
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200 IM
seed time: 2:29.16
this meet: 2:24.79 (4th/32)

(there were 10 lanes in the pool and it was impossible to get everyone in while staying focused on Ella)
100 Free (lane 10, last one)
seed time: 59.71
this meet: 59.19 (6th/38)

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100 Back
seed time: 1:12.53
this meet: 1:12.82 (12th/36)
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50 Breast
seed time: 35.76
this meet: 35.23 (5th/27)

Day 2
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200 Free (3rd from right, white cap)
seed time: 2:10.45
this meet: 2:07.28 (3rd/37)

100 Fly
seed time: 1:08.06
this meet: 1:06.97 (5th/26)

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100 Breast
seed time: 1:18.09
this meet: 1:16.88 (4th/29)

400 IM (lane 6)
seed time: 5:04.17
this meet: 5:01.60 (3rd/14)

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Exploring Augusta

We were able to explore the town of Augusta, GA last weekend thanks to Ella having a swim meet there. We drove down Saturday morning (it's a little less than a 2 hour drive from Athens), watched Ella swim and then we were off for some fun. The town is absolutely adorable with so many adorable old buildings and churches and a beautiful river that flows right through (a rowing team was staying at the same hotel as us).
The weather wasn't great while we were there so we skipped the Canal Discovery Center I had on my list, hopefully for another visit, and headed straight to the Sacred Heart Cultural Center instead. This beautiful old building opened as a church in 1900 but was vacant from 1971-1987 when it was reopened as a cultural center for various events thanks to a generous donation from a family made restoration possible. I was bummed it was closed when we went by but the kids weren't too upset ;-), it meant we got to eat sooner!
So, food is definitely my top priority every day, but especially when traveling and I took quite a bit of time picking where we were going to eat in town. Unfortunately Boll Weevil was a bit of a disappointment. I ordered the jambalaya and the sauce tasted like straight canned tomato sauce with very little meat...it was really sad for me! Mike's Reuben sandwich was a bit better but came with Lays Wavy Ruffle chips, nothing homemade! which didn't justify the price in my opinion. We did have fun selecting desserts from the extensive menu and the cakes were all good...not the best we have ever had, but definitely tasty. I gave Mike free reign to pick the restaurant the next day after my total failure haha.
Our final stop before heading to the hotel was the Augusta Museum of History which was incredibly impressive given the size of the town! There were lots of hands-on exhibits that the kids enjoyed, especially the trolley and train that you could climb in. I would go back again for sure, especially for the price!
The next morning it was back to the meet and then we stopped for pizza on the way home. Mike picked Bambino's Pizzeria because he found a Groupon for them and when we pulled up I was definitely skeptical. But we were pleasantly surprised when everything was delicious, especially the fries! I had a Greek Salad with chicken and everyone else ordered more standard Italian fare, but we all were very happy with it and it cost much less than the day before. Live and learn...you can't always go by the reviews.
I would love to go back to Augusta when it is warmer and explore the area along the river and walk around the downtown area some more. We just have too much to try and see in the southeast in such a short amount of time!
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sometimes sticking the grumpy kids at a table by themselves can make the whole day better ;-)