This weekend has been fantastic so far.
We started the weekend a little early, with a birthday celebration for Joe on Thursday night. Nothing huge. Just dinner out, which we never get to do, at El Torito with a free birthday meal coupon.
The restaurant was very pretty inside.
He is now officially totally old. Do NOT bring up the fact that I am only two years behind him. Lalalalala.....I can't hear you! :)
Food was great and we had a lovely time. Picked up a small birthday cake at the store and called it a night.
Friday night we packed up the car and headed into Los Angeles for the weekend to attend the L.A. Dragon boat races. We left at seven so as to miss the traffic. It took us a little over an hour to get there.
So glad we decided to stay in a hotel. I found a really cheap room on booking.com. I wasn't expecting much for the price but it was very nice! It was a Hampton Inn. The rooms were so nice and their free breakfast was the bomb! We will definitely stay at one of these again.
It was so nice to get up at a decent time and only have to drive fifteen minutes to our destination. The free breakfast didn't suck either.
I love our dragon boat team. We always have the best time. Even just sitting around in chairs at the edge of a lake waiting for a race to begin is fun with this group of people.
The L.A. Dragon boat races are much smaller than those held in Long Beach. This is only the second year they have even had them. There were to be more paddlers there that would be considered our "peers". Other community teams of people who participated in the sport for the pure fun of it and only practice a few months a year, like us.
We really didn't know what to expect. The races are held at Legg Lake, which is in South El Monte.
Now I don't know a lot about El Monte but I wasn't expecting there to be a lake there, or for it to be pretty. But it is. It's nestled in the base of a valley with beautiful mountains in the background.
Really very pretty. It was such a beautiful day too. It got almost to 90 degrees but there was a nice breeze off the lake and sitting in the shade it was nice.
We competed in three races, with Joe and I racing in two each. It was a much smaller group for these races(only about fifteen of us total) and the boats were smaller ten man boats, instead of the twenty man boats they use at the Long Beach races.
Joe was up first in a mixed team race. They came in second, but only out of three boats. Like I said, much smaller festival. Then I raced in a women's race and we also placed second, out of four.
So far two second places. Meh. It's the times that count though, not where you placed so we hadn't given up hope yet.
The last race was another mixed race and Joe and I got to race together. In fact, we were bench mates. They put us in the middle of the boat(they load the boat according to weight). The middle of the boat is called the engine.
So Joe and I were the engine in this race.
There were four boats racing here.
True to fashion, we rocked out our last race. We were neck and neck with one other boat(we left the other two boats in the dust). We were so close that it was unclear which team came in first and which came in second but the other team was celebrating all the way to the finish line so we assumed we were second.
You should never assume things.
You should also not celebrate a win until the times are posted. ;)
Sure enough, when the times were posted we beat the other team by...
Wait for it....
LESS than a second. That's how close it was. Such a great race!!
And we won.
When they averaged all of our scores for the day we beat everyone else.
If you thought I was excited about winning third place in Long Beach, you can imagine how excited I was about placing first!
Of course we waited around for the medal ceremony for this one.
First place medal. Oh yeah.
And then I look at these photos and I realize it's THIS. Without the failed adoption we wouldn't have this.
And the friends and support we have gained through this blog. We wouldn't have any of those without the failed adoption.
In a very small way I am thankful we had to go through that, because in the end it led us to this.
Now let's all link arms and sing Kumbaya. :)
Tomorrow we are going to the Arboretum and The Huntington Library and gardens so I fully expect the awesomeness to continue. More pictures later!