Mom and I took my neice Sam and my nephew Derek to Spokane 2 weekends ago for Derek’s Tae Kwon Do tournament. (If you don’t know what Tae Kwon Do is, here’s an explanation, with photos) We left Friday after work and got back Sunday and I am still recovering. It was an ok trip, I love spending time with mom, so that’s always great, but the hotel room the first night. Apparently the entire city of Spokane (or at least the very Eastern side of the city) was full of tournament goers, so the only room available for Friday night was the stinkiest, oldest, most beat up room the Comfort Inn had to offer. It was obviously a smoking room (and had been since the early 1920’s apparently) and it STANK – I mean, two smokers couldn’t handle it. Then there was the fact that this room was upstairs, didn’t have an elevator and mom and I were going outside to smoke every couple hours. Not too bad for me, it was exercise as least, but mom was hurting. Between the fact that her MS doesn’t like stairs to begin with, combined with the fact that she had accidentally left her pain meds at home made it a crappy weekend all around for her. Not that she didn’t have fun, just that it would have been a lot better for her if she’d had those meds. The second night we moved into another, much nicer, room at the same hotel. This was in a newer part of the hotel and the room was wonderful. It didn’t stink, it was about 10 more sq feet than the other room and the beds were 6 inches thicker . We shopped a little bit in Idaho, where the tax is about 3% less than in WA. We went to an outlet mall that we expected to have 50 – 60 shops but it had closed down almost 80% of the stores and the only ones left were mostly ones we didn’t want to go in. I bought my “Well, La De Frickin’ Da” shirt and a pack of cards at Big Dogs and then we browsed through an art/antiques store. The art was gorgeous and accordingly expensive, but it was still nice to be able to wander through there.
Mom drove the entire way there and back. which is unusual because she usually wants me to drive (and I usually REALLY want to drive). This was a nice change cuz I got the best photos of the scenery. There was this storm in the East (my side of the car) and it make the sky the dark blue-grey, with the green fields in the foreground it was just awesome! Anyway, no one cares about this stuff but me, but just to show off, here’s one from the drive, taken while mom was going 70mph, Franklin County . This Bunny was at the rest stop about halfway between home and Spokane. It was so tiny and so cute I took about 20 pics of it. Obviously , I didn’t upload all of them, but I had to put up 3 of them, just because. :)Derek came in third place in the tournament for his age/ability group in forms and third place for sparring. The poor kid had to fight a black belt (he’s a brown belt, about 5 levels lowers than a black) and to make matters worse, it was a girl. Derek held his own the best he could, but this girl was amazing! She was maybe 5’2″, 100 lbs and had been practicing TKD for about 10 years. She walked out to the line and the minute the ref started the match she would stomp her foot and scream at her opponent. I mean this REALLY loud, in your face “hiiiieee” sound. Yikes. Poor, quiet, unassuming Derek was put off before he stepped off the line. Anyway, it was a great match, Derek really didn’t do that badly considering who/what he was fighting. After this girl beat Derek and then beat one of his classmates, there was a third match to determine who was going to be 2nd place. Derek did MUCH better in that match and even though he lost, it was by a much smaller margin. So, anyway, it was interesting to watch the whole thing and the entire tournament was better run than the last one we went to. At this one, the kids were given their awards almost immediately after their matches, instead of having to wait until the end of the day to have a big awards ceremony. It made it so that we were done with the tournament and able to enjoy the rest of the day by about 2pm, instead of 5 or 6, like we were prepared for. Mom and I made a record for the longest time spent together without sniping at eachother, which made me very happy and made the whole weekend that much better because there was a lack of tension. I did kind of tick her off, inadvertently, on the way home, but I think she got over it pretty quickly once we figured out our misunderstanding. Have to get back to work now, I still need to tell ya’ll about my best legal assistant’s day ever (aka secretary’s day), office politics, men (yes, there’s actually news on that vein), 10-yr-old drama, Rules for an Evil Overlord, widgets, yahoo answers and other stuff, but for right now, I think I should earn my pay. :)