Well, this weekend we found ourselves already at the last comp of the season for Emelia and her Cheer team in Ottawa. Given that it was so far away, and the last one of the season it became a get-away for us all. And while we originally had planned staying at a hotel, when our camping friends the Jornitz’s got wind that we were going to be in their neck of the woods, literally a 25 minute drive from their house, the invite to stay with them for the weekend was extended and we happily accepted as it we had not seen them because of COVID and how all of our camping styles changed to permanent sites since 2019. But, also staying with the Jornitz’s would also put me close to my pal Jim so I could get in a visit with him too!
But, the other thing that happened this weekend was I was finally able to pick up my new bike. I had ordered this bike almost a month ago, but the only MEC store that had the bike and size in stock was Ottawa. Given that we were going there it made sense to pick it up this weekend. The only hitch was that I had to wait almost 4 weeks from buying it, to actually see it and get my hands on it. That was tough. But this weekend, and Friday precisely, was my chance to finally pick it up and then as we were minutes from the Trans Canada Trail at the Jornitz house, take it for a shakedown run which was also very exciting. Once I finally got my hands on the bike and able to lift the carbon frame and feel how ridiculously light it is I was so happy with the upgrade.
Friday after we got the bike and settled in at the Jornitz house I took the bike and rode it over to see my friend Jim’s house and have a proper visit with him. It’s been a minute since I’ve seen Jim (Thanks a lot COVID) so it was good to be actually able to see Jim and hang out with him and catch up face to face. We talked bikes, bug zappers and bib-biking shorts—it was the best kind of visit albeit briefer than either of us wanted. We both know that if we lived in their same wonderful town those visits would be more frequent and never short of something to talk about.
With Emelia competing later both days that left me time in the mornings to get out and give my GT a proper test on the section of the Trans Canada Trail that runs right through Stittsville. It’s a rail trail similar to the G2G that I could get out and give a proper assessment of the new bike on. There was a 10 km section to the East I rode out on Saturday and then looped back on, and then Sunday I went West and did a similar section that was a little more fun as you rode through the downtown core and then as you rode out in the country side you could find signs for each planet in our solar system. I managed to find my anus, and then out to Neptune and back. The summary about the new bike is that I love it! It is everything I had hoped it would be!
So, on to the comp… As usual it was two days of performance—Day 1 was worth 30% of their score; Day 2 was worth 70%. Because they performed later both days we found enough things to do to help distract the girls from stressing. Saturday we got out in downtown Ottawa proper and walked down to Parliament and back. Sunday we went for a huge nature walk in Stittsville with the Jornitz’s. Both days were such great, laugh filled times that before we knew it was go time for the performance. Day 1 was definitely their cleaner performance compared to Day 2. And while 4th wasn’t where they wanted to finish, we’re still so proud of the girls and their accomplishments this year: A 1st, 2nd, a 3rd, and a 4th in what was often loaded divisions is something to be proud of. Plus the team came together and such great friendships were made.
After the awards ceremony wrapped after dinner time last night, we made a beeline home to get home and to reflect after an amazing weekend, but most notably hit our beds after an amazing weekend spent with Cheer friends, friends of old and new, and with tons of laughs all around. It was bittersweet that it was all over, but we weren’t – for sure – sad that it all had happened.
This was a long but the most amazing of weekends. We managed to jam in a ton of amazing activities in 3 days. The weekend flew by in a a flash but filled with the best memories. And what more could you want? What a great way to finish Emelia’s Cheer season! She was delighted, as were all the girls and families. We were all just so proud at how far they’ve come!
We got up early on Friday morning and were on the road to Ottawa by 9:00. We made decent time and took the old route we used to take to go to Bon Echo for so many years. It was a beautiful drive full of amazing memories of past trips. After more than 6 hours we made it to Ottawa to our first destination to pick up John’s dream gravel bike. After a quick stop we drove another 30 minutes to arrive at the 4 C B&B that our very sweet friend Crista set up. We haven’t seen Chris, Crista, Chloe and Courtney since 2019 before the pandemic. We have camped with this family since we met in 2014, Our kids love each other and we have become close friends with their entire family. We have missed seeing them so much so when they offered to generously put us up when I told them we were heading their way we jumped at the chance to catch up with them.
We had a great first night with them sharing lots of laughs, great food and drinks. After a long day of travel we crashed for the night to take on the first day of the competition. Emelia’s team did not compete until very late in the day so we coordinated with some of the other families to meet up in downtown Ottawa. We met up with Rob, Fred, Steph, Justin and all the girls for some drinks and sightseeing. The girls loved walking down to Parliament and all the other sites. We had an incredible time before heading over to meet up with more friends so the girls could get ready together. We shared some more laughs and memories before heading to day one of competiton.
The kids hit the floor and other than a few wobbles had a good first run. We were proud of Emelia and her stunt team they had a solid, strong run with clean stunts and full of energy. We left the event and were off back to the Jorniz’s for some drinks and an incredible dinner. The girls played some VR and games and there were lots of laughs and even a visit to the hot tub before getting some sleep.
We woke and had a slow start of the day before going on a long hike with our friends before I had to start getting Emelia’s hair ready for the last day of comp. We headed off to meet up with her cheer friends and to take on the last day of their last competition as this team. It was a very bitter sweet day. The kids have worked so hard, gelled as a solid team over two increidfly brutal years. They didnt have the perfect run the hoped for but they finished with a solid 4th in their division. They came out with smiles and memories to last a lifetime.
We realized as the weekend wrapped up how much the friendships that Emelia has made has meant and how much the parents who have made lasting friendships mean to all of us. I will miss this group as some of the kids move on and the team changes with new teams being developed next year. I will be forever grateful for what this sport gave our daughter in the most difficult time in her life. Thank your CSR for being our daughter’s safe place when she felt like she didn’t belong anywhere else.