Summer blogging = hard.

My poor neglected blog. Every day I saw I will catch up, but I never, ever do.

Summer has been a whirlwind. An amazing one, but a crazy one.

  • Three days after school go out, U went to camp for a week
  • Two days after she got home from camp, she started her dance summer intensive, which was 5 weeks of dancing 6 days a week (roughly 9-5 M-F and 10-4 on Saturday)
  • Near the end of SI, she turned 12.
  • She had one week off.
  • We are now in Carlisle PA where she is dancing for one week to check out a different program for next summer.

I guess that list seems short because there is like zero time for anything else. But it FEELS exhausting.

I am tired.

What’s up with Carlisle, anyway?

Downtown Carlisle

We are in Carlisle for dance – Ursula is doing a short (one week) intensive with Central Pennsylvania Youth Ballet. She’d like to come here for 5 weeks next summer, so we decided to check it out this year. She is LOVING it! There is another family from Charlotte here, as well as some friends she made at her intensive in Charlotte (who aren’t from elsewhere in NC).

We are saying at the home of a friend of a friend – it’s a local dance family who also hosts dancers. The family is away, but one of the students they host is here with her mom. They are very nice (and fun)Β – it’s such a great experience. I am not sure that older dancers gain anything from meeting us – but it is SO helpful to meet them (especially when they are amazingly nice and kind).Β The house is ~125 years old and is right downtown, on the main road. It’s been SO much nicer than being in a hotel (I work when she’s in class, then we have a lot of relaxing time here)

Home away from home

This is the infamous CPYB Warehouse. It is a warehouse outside, with studios inside (which U says are nice – not quite as nice as our home studios, but nice, good floors, etc).

Tuesday morning at the warehouse.

I know, lovely, right? But this program is AMAZING. People come from all over the world to dance here. In a small town in Pennsylvania, at a school not affiliated with a company. They have placed dancers in tons of companies – it’s sort of crazy.

The dancers who don’t dance at the warehouse? Yeah – they dance in a barn. A for real, legit, actual barn.

The barn.

We have had an AMAZING week and I am sure we’ll be back.

Roadtrip: Coal Center to Carlisle

Our day started with a waffle. But not just any waffle. In a 5 day old hotel, there are kinks. The batter dispenser didn’t work, they had to remake the batter and apparently the waffle was hard and not good. But looked pretty?

Waffle, waffle, waffle!

So – the awesome part. We got to go to Fallingwater!!!!! Less awesome – Ursula’s placement class in Carlisle was too early to do a tour at Fallingwater (grounds open at 8:00, but tours aren’t til 10:00. And we had to be 3 hours away by 2:00, plus eat and get ready). However, it was still AMAZING!

Fallingwater

This is NO FILTER! It was the most amazing misty cloudy morning. I just can’t even…

Fallingwater #nofilter

Selfie sticks are hard. Especially with light metering…

Selfie stick. The struggle is real.

Then we drove a bunch of hours (okay, 2?) on the PA Turnpike and made to Carlisle. Had her placement class (that’s for another post), then had Belgian for dinner.

Belgian. It's what's for dinner.

Roadtrip! Charlotte to Coal Center

Little known (okay, probably widely known) fact about me: I hate to drive. HATE. I do not road trip. I am a great passenger (hello – free day to read or knit) but driving makes me miserable. I have driven myself to Atlanta and back twice (~4 hours) and also drive that far to/from the beach (we take two cars). One time I drove to Disney World (Dan was with me, but asleep – long story). I refused to drive home even though he had the flu. That is how much I hate it. I always am a WRECK for days beforehand, worry, don’t sleep, dread it.

So, of course, not only did I agree to drive Ursula to Pennsylvania alone, I also agreed to a HUGE several hour detour. Crazily surprising thing? It was not bad. It was actually fun? I can be a road-tripper? WHAT?

So, anyway – our road trip…. (ALSO – U took all the moving car photos! I swear!)

Setting out – 7:23am

7:23 PA Trip begins!!! 😎😎

We were *maybe* 20 minutes into the trip when Starbucks pleas began. I held out for 45 minutes – a victory. (Shockingly, this was our ONLY trip there since we left home – and that was 4 days ago!)

We made it 45 minutes without a stop. Considering Starbucks requests started after 20 minutes, I'm happy.

We made it to Virginia! In less than two hours!

We made it to Virginia! @ballet_wolf is in charge of my insta right now

Tunnel in Virginia (the Charlotte to Carlisle trip involved 6 tunnels!)

Just went through a mountain. 🌲🐏😎

West Virginia’s sign was a wily one

Made it to West Virginia.

I sort of only vaguely planned the route – as in I knew how long Siri/MapQuest/Google told me it would take. I knew the gist of the route, but not details. So it was a pleasant surprise when we saw a “New River Gorge Bridge, 10 miles ahead” sign. Not sure how we missed that, but it was great. And pretty close to halfway, so a good time to stop.

You drive over the bridge (surprisingly non-scary), then at the viewing area you walk down a million scary steps for pics. The walk back up is even more terrifying because the steps have open risers and you can see down. We survived.

Sightseeing break

New River Gorge Bridge

Yay for PA!

Finally we made it to PA!

Once we got to PA, our perfect road trip had some drama. We were running earlier than planned so we decided to check in at our hotel first. The hotel was BRAND new (as in, had been open for 5 days), so I was surprised when Google found it (I rerouted at a red light). Cool. Meanwhile, when we were 20-25 miles away, my gas light came one – 42 miles to go. No problem – we’d get to the hotel, check in, then get gas.

Get to the hotel – which SEEMED different from the location online (I thought it was in a business park, but there was a Wal-Mart next door). Go in. Wrong hotel. Ugh. In my frustration, I totally forgot about the gas. And of course, the gauge drops quickly at the end. So suddenly we were back on the highway and it says 6 miles to empty. Then 4, 3. The nearest exit is a country road and we had to wiggle around these narrow streets for a good 2 miles to get gas. (ProTip – that 0 miles to empty? You can still go a few more miles. Things I wish I didn’t know). ANYWAY – we got back on track and found the hotel.

And we still got to our destination only 15 minutes later than we’d said. And here it was – my cousin’s beer barn of awesomeness. (Did I mentioned that we were transporting $200 of local NC beer?)

Barn party

There was fun, there was hammock relaxing

Post road trip relaxing.

Relaxing

We didn’t stay long – SO VERY TIRED.

The end.

First day of K, last Day of 5th.

First day/last day.

After the dance – last time leaving school (as a student) FOREVER.

Peace out, Cotswold