Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day Seven-- Abe the Historian

We will begin tonight's post with the picture of the day.  After PrototypeX won their 4th match-up of the day, bringing their record to 2-2, the cheering fan section was projected onto the jumbo-tron screens in the arena.  That was great fun to see them all up there.  But here's what CRACKED me up when I looked through the pictures of the day loaded onto the computer--- Abe is taking a picture of the screen!
This is a man who takes his job as unofficial team historian VERY seriously!  I appreciate it, as it makes my job as family blogger a lot easier.
But let's start at the beginning of the day.  Abe dropped the team off at 7:00am at the stadium to begin their first of four qualification matches for the day.  He then returned  to find our hotel room crawling with many little people from the various PrototypeX families staying at our hotel  eating little boxes of sugar cereal for breakfast.  We got everyone ready and we were off to the Zoo for the morning.  Here we are walking some distance to the zoo entrance as to avoid the $15 parking fee.  Zoo entrance is free, but parking is not-- unless you park far away and walk.  It was worth $15.
Abe is like the Pied Piper, except he doesn't get rid of rats and he doesn't steal children away from their families.  But he does quite successfully lead a large group of children through a zoo with little to no force or tears from anyone.
The boys-- Cannon, Hayden, George, and Anders.
We were too cheap to pay for parking and too cheap to pay for all the kids to go on the carousel.  Only the 8 and unders got to ride.
Everyone else was given the very important job of waving to the passengers.
Abe captures wonderful moments.  We really could benefit from a better camera, but we're strangely attached to this 5 year-old Canon model.  We've tried to buy new ones, but we don't like them as well and we return them.  Someone, please help us move on!
That's just cute.
This is a very close 1st runner up for picture of the day.  We found Clark at his team's pit and George got up close to the robot.
Mid-round you can see the intensity of the fans as we watch to see how it will turn out.  This was the 3rd match of the day, but the first one we won.
The excitement got to be too much for little Georgie and he took a happy nappy.  I know I'm hiding it so well, but I was exhausted at this point too.  I needed my happy nappy.
Pathetic... but this is what kept these four happy for the afternoon.
Here's where the night got a little more adventurous.  We ate dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory right near the Mississippi River and the Convention Center.  Just as we were finishing dinner the team was ready to be picked up from the arena.  So Abe dropped our group off at the Metro station in a heavy downpour of rain and he went to go take the team back to the hotel in our mega-van;  he is the Team Chauffeur after all.
Then from our station we walked across a wet, muddy field to our hotel.
Most of the team gathered in the hotel for a strategizing meeting after turning in their PrototypeX t-shirts to their mamas for washing.
Abe was so good as to drive Camille and I to a laundromat to do some laundry.  Let me just say, Laundromats are underrated.  You can wash and dry an enormous amount of clothing in a relatively short time.  I want to git me one of them commercial washers and dryers.  That was a beautiful experience.  Except we were really tired. 
When Abe came to pick us up he took up the task of sorting through all the many PrototypeX t-shirts and figuring whose was whose.  There were about 20 of them.  Not an easy task.  We'll see in the morning if everyone has the right size.

I don't have a picture of the final thought for the evening, but let me give a little back story.  We gladly would have paid to use a coin operated washer and dryer in the hotel to do our laundry, but it was not to be.  The Ritz-Carlton and others like it do not wish to see their guests washing their own clothes.  I'm sure we could have called someone from downstairs to come and collect our laundry for us (and charge us a very pretty penny for such a service), but we are not to do such menial work ourselves.  Instead they are so helpful as to force us out into a dark and stormy night in search of a laundromat. 

But I can get over that, because it was sort of interesting to go to the laundromat and didn't take that long.  The thing I'm not quite over is the humor of quite possibly the most glamorous moment of my life:  Walking from the parking garage through the very large, fancy lounge area filled with the very type of people you would expect to find in such a setting, drinking and socializing.  Meanwhile, Abe, Camille, and I (in my very ill-fitting yoga pants and pregnant belly hanging out) are toting our garbage bags full of clean clothes-- as opposed the bags of dirty clothes we toted out earlier--and my laundry soap hanging out of my bag. 
Listen, I tried to be discreet.  I tried to find a coin-operated washing machine at the end of my hall.  I didn't want to parade my dirty laundry through your nice lobby.   If I have somehow tarnished the image of the hotel the management is trying to portray, I apologize.  If you would please just install a couple of do-it-yourself operations for those rare guests who are accustomed to such menial labor, we could avoid any awkward encounters in the lobby of your hotel next time.

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