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Tuesday, February 15, 2022

States, lunch with the boy, and the Super Bowl.

We had a busy weekend. Sarah and the Bishop McGuinness swim team boarded a bus at 5:00 pm on Friday and headed to Raleigh, NC for the state championship swim meet. I was extremely happy that they were able to take the bus for the trip because half the fun is being together on the bus going to and from Raleigh and the other half is staying overnight in a hotel.  They stopped for dinner at Panera before heading to the Hampton Inn for the night.

Dan and I left after he got home from work on Friday. (Have I mentioned that he is back in the office? He went back full time to the office 2 weeks ago and it has been an adjustment.) We stayed at the same hotel as the kids and booked the room through Dan's Hilton app since he is an Honors member.  

As we were driving there, he mentioned that he received an alert earlier in the day that he could do a contact-less check-in on the app.  He was too busy to do it at the time so I opened up his app so we could get checked in. Side note: I prefer the contact-less check-in - not because of covid but because I don't want to talk to anyone! :) 

The app told me that I could pick the room but then it alerted: ONLY ONE ROOM LEFT and automatically checked us in to A SUITE!  I can not tell you how happy this made me.  It was like a little gift just for us. I know that a suite at a Hampton Inn is probably not that exciting but it was so nice instead of being crammed into one room.  

Dan stayed up later than me watching tv in the living room while I was in the bedroom falling asleep to Forensic Files, blissfully unaware of whatever he was watching on the History channel. And the next morning, I was up before 6:00. I closed the bedroom door, turned the living room lights on  and headed to the lobby to get coffee. I then drank the coffee at the kitchen bar with the lights on, playing Wordle without disturbing Dan who was still sleeping.  Typically when we stay at a hotel, I am sitting at a tiny desk drinking my coffee in the dark so as not to wake anyone up.  

I fear that staying in this suite has ruined us forever.  I can only imagine how excited we would be if we were ever upgraded to a suite at a fancy hotel! 

After we got into the hotel room on Friday night, we grabbed dinner and hung out with some friends at the bar in the lobby and saw Sarah and the other kids hanging out/having fun.  We headed to breakfast the next morning at 7:30 right as they were all heading out the door to take the bus to the aquatic center.

The meet started at 9:00. Sarah was swimming the first event and the last event so we were there until around 12:15 when the morning session concluded. Her times qualified her for the afternoon finals round so while she and the rest of the team went back to a large conference room at the hotel to have  Olive Garden and to nap; Dan and I headed to NC State and picked up Peter for lunch.

It was a beautiful day in Raleigh - it was in the 70s! We picked him up and headed downtown. We decided to eat lunch at Beasley's Chicken + Honey. We got there around 12:40 and the wait was 45 minutes. We put our name on the list and walked a few blocks to the N.C. Capital Building and took a quick tour around.


After lunch, we dropped Peter back off at school and drove around Raleigh for a little bit.  The afternoon session didn't start until 4:45 so we had some time to kill. We went to two Asian grocery stores. I wanted to get some Kewpie Mayonnaise but neither one had any. (If you waste all your spare time on TikTok like I do, then you have heard of Emily Mariko and her viral salmon and rice dish that uses Kewpie Mayo. Kewpie mayo is an Asian mayo that is supposed to be better than our mayo.  I can't believe that it is any better than Duke's but I really wanted to try it in this salmon and rice dish.  I have made it for my lunch several times before using regular mayo. I *think* the Kewpie mayo is supposed to be a little sweet but I could be wrong about that.)

After unsuccessfully locating the mayonaisse, we headed back to the aquatic center to cheer on the team. Sarah's medley team finished 11th in the state and the 4x100 finished 14th overall. It was a very long day for everyone but we had a really great time.

I knew Sarah's relays weren't going to be in contention for medals so my prayer for her was that she have a wonderful time with her friends and make lots of memories to cap off her four years on the high school swim team.  

She had some great final swims, made lots of memories with her friends, and told me that she had a great time.  I think my prayer was answered.  We are all sad that it's over because she's been swimming competitively since the summer after kindergarten. But, I guess it's time for the next thing.

Here are a couple of pictures she texted from their time hanging out at the hotel on Friday night:

The Seniors!

Sarah and her friends are obsessed with little Polaroid cameras.  She likes the "retro vibe". I think it is crazy since these kids are literally walking around with awesome cameras at all times during the day. To go back to Polaroid makes no sense to me.  But, I guess I'm just old and it seems like taking a step back. Maybe kids like being able to hold an actual photo since no one prints them out any more.  Anyway, they were having fun hanging out, talking, taking pictures and being kids!

The captains. Sarah likes this shot because it's candid.

On Sunday evening, we watched the Super Bowl.  I made a few appetizers: pepper jack pimento cheese toasts, spinach and artichoke dip in phyllo cups, and a hoagie dip.  We ate too much and enjoyed the game even though we were pulling for the Bengals. And then just like that, our weekend was over!

Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Some swim pictures, a foggy tree, and a cute cat!

We had a fun and busy weekend.  Peter wanted to come home this weekend since we hoped we would be in Raleigh next weekend for the state swim meet and he knew that he would have plans for several weekends after that. So even though he's only been back at school 3 weeks, Dan picked him up on Thursday night and brought him home!  If you will recall, Peter doesn't have class on Fridays so that made the weekend feel a little bit longer.

Dan had actually taken the day off from work on Friday because he has tons of vacation days and Sarah's regional swim meet in Raleigh was being held in the late afternoon and we didn't want to miss any of it.

Sarah swam in 4 events: two individual and two relays. BOTH her relay events qualified for states and she swam well in her individual events - she even managed to shave 8 seconds off her medley. She was so happy with that and was even more thrilled that one of her relays came in 3rd which meant she got a medal and got to stand on the podium! 

Here are a few of the professional pictures from the day:


Peter went to dinner with Colton while we were at the swim meet. Saturday was errands and doing things around the house. Sarah went to the hockey game with Cheyanne while Dan and I hung out at home with Peter.  When Sarah got home, she and Peter went on a milk shake run and long drive around Winston while Dan and I watched a Jim Gaffigan special on Netflix.

We all went to mass on Sunday morning and then had lunch at mom's. After lunch we all piled in the car and headed to Raleigh to take Peter back to school.  Even though he was home an extra night, the weekend went by way to fast. 

There was freezing rain on Monday morning and while most of the public schools went in on a delay, Sarah had school at the normal time, although they did send out a text saying no one would be penalized for arriving late due to the weather.  Sarah made it in on time and with no issues thankfully.  There were a lot of traffic accidents due to the icy roads.  

Sarah is pretty sad that this is her last week of swim.  She and the other captains are going to dinner tonight after practice to set up room assignments for Friday night.  (The swim meet starts very early on Saturday morning so the team will be heading to Raleigh after school and will spend the night in a hotel.) And they will also be working on Paper Plate Awards. This is a really cute Bishop swim team tradition.  The captains always give out these awards at the end-of-season swim banquet.  They give each swimmer an award based on a characteristic or trait of the individual swimmer.  Last year, thanks to Covid, there was so banquet but the captains still did the awards and handed them out the swimmers during the last practice of the season.  I'm so happy there will be a banquet this year!  I will try to remember some of the cute awards that they come up with. I'm always impressed with their creativity.

 It was foggy this morning and I couldn't resist taking a picture of my tree:

And it doesn't feel right to end this post without a picture of Dan's favorite cat, Buddy! He loves to sit on my lap in the evenings - but he will only sit with me if I've got a blanket.