Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Final Tournament: A Weekend in Chicago

Brayden's hockey tournament this weekend was the last of the season! And that was a lucky thing since it started on Friday afternoon (meaning we took all the kids out of school so we could travel to Chicago) and lasted all the way through Sunday. (lucky in the sense that it was the final one because it took about all the hockey out of me!)

It was also Easton's last tournament of the season on Sunday ONLY ... but in a different arena in a different town in a different state! So, Jeff and Easton left us in the big, windy city Saturday night (insert not so happy Valerie face here) and traveled to their destination so we could play Brayden's Championship Game Sunday morning and they could play Easton's 3 on 3 half ice tournament at the same time. Thankfully all went well, the driving was easy-peasy, Brayden's team got the Championship WIN and Easton did very well too ... AND we all made it back to the Cedar Rapids Arena within minutes of each other (after a 4+ hour drive for us and an hour and a half for them) to watch Jeff play HIS hockey game (whew! Exhausting weekend.) I close my eyes and all I see is hockey.
I'm amazed at how well the younger brothers deal with the travel so often. I was in LOVE with the Blue Line Bar and Grill attached to this arena as they had overstuffed chairs and a fireplace where I sat between games and thawed (ha!) and did some sewing and bracelets. The boys played on the air hockey machine next to me ... and even though it was broken, they made a game of spinning the air hockey paddles as tops. (so resourceful!)

This photo is NOT sideways. Easton mastered climbing the arena wall sideways. Crazy kid.

Easton and Nolan both loved the mini-hockey game they had in the game area.

This is a photo of the kid I thought Brayden might have his first fight with. :-o  
He would NOT get out of Brayden's face and seemed to WANT to instigate a fight! I had more than one parent come across the arena to me during the game and mention how they couldn't believe how Brayden was taking it so well and that it would not be long and Number 28 would be on his back on the ice (it happened by the way ... but not because of Brayden thankfully!) I don't condone fighting (I might have in this case though.) It was good that we whipped them 6+ to 1 in the second game (they stopped keeping score after 6) and also beat them 4 to 2 in the Championship Game.

Recognize this logo and the little spin on it? Starbucks and Hockey Moms go so well together.

 This is a photo of the fancy lamp in the lobby of our upscale hotel that we stayed at. They had TONS of rules including no running, yelling, jumping or plain-old splashing in the pool. Oh yes, and if they caught you going to the pool shoeless it was back to the room for you. It was made clear that there would be little tolerence away from the rules. Imagine our shock and horror when Nolan came off the elevator after checking into the hotel for a mere 10 minutes and decided to give this lamp a bear hug thinking that it was a solid stone column ... um ... it was a translucent plastic covered stick with light bulbs and as it crashed to the floor and everybody came running from the desk I wanted to cry. Jeff was quick to get to recovery of the lamp (that still has a slight bend to the shade) and I went to giving Nolan a firm talking to!

Random photo of Brayden at a face off ... (he's the white helmet at the top of the photo)

And what would a trip to a Hockey Tournament be without going to a hockey shop. My job is usually occupying the kids and keeping them away from things like this--rows and rows of hockey sticks most at $250.00 a PIECE all leaning against each other ready to be knocked over. 
(Thankfully we avoided that!)

And finally THIS was my favorite find ... because Jeff and my first date ... was at the hockey rink
I really should have seen all this hockey coming LONG ago ;-)

1 comment:

Anneli said...

Your hockey weekends remind me SO MUCH of my swimming weekends! I would go to meet and after meet on the weekends that lasted from all day Friday through all day Sunday. We would go up, stay all weekend, eat out all weekend (which you get SO TIRED OF) and come home exhausted. However, I really think it was a huge part of how my Dad and I became so close since it was usually he and I at these meets (he was my coach until college) and sometimes a brother or two.

Good memories! So even though it's a crazy weekend, enjoy them! After 15 years of swimming, I still can't believe I've been done 5 years! There are still times I really, really miss it.

The family

The family