NCFCA memories part 2: Nationals
I have a blast at tournaments. Every time. So when I walked onto the airplane bound for Boston, I was expecting to enjoy the experience thoroughly. Nationals was my last tournament, after all, and I knew it would have to be fantastic. But little did I expect the deluge of blessings and joy that hit me in the face that week. It was practically perfect. We saved the best for last.
In order to get through security at the airport on the way to Boston (BOSTON!!), I had to take all the bobby pins out of my hair because they kept setting off the metal detector. Awkward.
Some of us sang Phantom of the Opera songs in the dark while exploring the college campus Monday night.
On Tuesday we organized a trip to downtown Boston (love that city). That afternoon, Nathan Exley happened to hand me a dogwood flower when he had finished examining it. I tucked it into my belt, but by the end of the day it was pretty dead. So in the car (squished with 3 other girls in the backseat) on the way back to the college, I decided to throw it out the window. Alison pretended to freak out, saying, “Grace, that flower could be the symbol of Nathan’s and your relationship! You can’t throw it away!”
“The flower is dead. What does that say?” I returned. There was some loud laughter. And then I threw it out the window, while we continued our giggling.
Owen and I gave an impromptu concert in the music hall, and the Kawaii piano wouldn’t quit ringing with that one annoying note….
The moon was heart-stopping Wednesday night.
Alison flipped out when Johnny tried to pick up a candy wrapper or something for me. And I couldn’t stop laughing while I was trying to explain her philosophy regarding guys and me.
Friday night’s train of events topped all else. It began in the music hall where Owen, Johnny, Josh, Nathan Exley, and I sat about in chairs talking of music and art while flipping through music books left there, presumably, by the college students. After an hour or so of that, we headed back to the cafeteria to grab all the flotsam and jetsam we had stashed there. But 10pm is far too early to head back to the dorms, so some of us simply transferred our belongings and ourselves to the tavern (it didn’t sell beer) next to the cafeteria. Owen and I sat across from Caroline, Johnny, and Josh, and I cannot even describe the fun we had singing along to tavern-appropriate songs, reading Shakespeare sonnets, hacking Josh’s facebook, making snarky comments about junior colleges (I added like 5 quotes to my quotebook that night), listening to Sinatra, and watching scenes from My Fair Lady and Singing in the Rain. At 11-something, we heard a lot of giggling coming from the direction of the door, and without further warning were accosted by a bevy of mothers who were having a singularly fun evening. I cannot even describe the hilarity that ensued as they surrounded our booth.
Mrs. Thompson: None of us have had a drink! I promise you!
Johnny: I think you :need: a drink! Something good and stiff!
After some time, things settled down and we listened to Rachmaninoff and Ravel until exhaustion pulled us into our dorm rooms.
I broke to finals in Thematic. It felt so strange to ask the judges “are you all ready?” for what I knew was the last time.
After LD finals, a large portion of Region 4 took off for the beach. I was a little bit enamoured of the place. It was the most fantastically fun and beautiful beach I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting. We took off our shoes and scrambled over the salt-water-smooth rocks; some of us nearly killing ourselves… several times. Danger enhances delight. We found the stairs of Cirith Ungol, but we went down instead of up, which I guess meant that Frodo’s quest had failed. We slipped on seaweed, took pictures, laughed at each other, collected rocks (okay, that was only me), and bought ice cream before heading back for awards.
The ballot party after all the proceedings had finished was… bittersweet. I won’t deny the tears. But I will assert that NCFCA has been worth every twinge of pain, and a hundred times over. We seniors decided to take what Owen called an “Elephant Walk” (?), but of course we were joined by a lot of non-seniors, which was fine by me. We wandered around the campus until after midnight; climbing fire escapes, walking on “ruins”, listening to ducks that sounded like moose, talking about cannibalism (not my fault), and probing the boundaries of sanity. Back at the dorm building, we watched Batman Begins until 3am, and said our disoriented “goodnights” which were also “goodbyes”.
Some tournaments are better than others. Nationals was the best of all.