Monday, October 7, 2013

Team Bonding Feels A Little How I Imagine An Arranged Marriage Must Feel. You Don't Know Each Other Very Well, But You Know You'll Be Spending A Lot Of Time Together In The Future. It's A Little Weird.

We're coming off a chaotic weekend of youth sports.  One in which we amazingly fit in a night in Vail for a soccer tournament.  We were never sure if we'd be bedding down in town or not because we had other sport commitments in Denver and, due to the recent snowstorm, the soccer tournament schedule seemed to be changing every hour on the hour.  But stay we did.

We're not the best at team bonding during these tournaments.  We tend to find a smallish group of like-minded families (read: those willing to conceal wine in coffee travel mugs if a weekend game starts after 4:30) and break off on our own between games.  It's not always that we don't like the other people, it's just that full-team activities become a bit cumbersome.  You end up with such a huge group that the options for entertainment and dining are extremely limited.  Don't get me wrong, we've spent our fair share of time with entire teams, parents, and siblings eating room temperature pizza in the kitchen area of various La Quintas and Ramada Inns.  But sometimes, when you're in a fun place like Vail or Steamboat, a team potluck sounds like a lot more work for a lot less fun.  We couldn't even make our lodging plans until we were driving up to Vail this time, let alone manage to cobble together some kind of pasta salad to complement the planned brats and burgers feast.

So we booked a room at the Marriott - and since we were last minute we had a built in excuse to avoid the condo complex where a lot of the team stayed.  We met our close team friends for a happy hour then dined out in Vail, as is appropriate.  We connected with the rest of the team at our morning game the next day.  I used to feel a little bad about our approach to these things, but not anymore.  I think even one night away can feel like a vacation, but having to rush back to the condo after a game to prepare a side dish for a team dinner does not qualify as vacation fun to me. Throw in a lot of small talk with people I barely know, and I'd need a vacation when the weekend was over.

I'm wearing this today.

Looks like we may have a few more days of summer here in Denver so sleeveless tops are still finding their way into the rotation.  Admittedly, they are a bit less fun to wear in October than they were in May.

And it's Meatless Monday.  Tomato soup and cheese toasts on are the menu tonight.  I would prefer grilled cheese, but I haven't figured out how to make more than two of those at a time, and the family ends up eating in shifts.  Cheese toasts, on the other hand, have the same gooey melty qualities and are made all at once in the oven, so we can actually dine as a group.  A culinary case of Function over Form.

gratitude:  the changing leaves, 24 hours in Vail, a good night's sleep, crisp mornings

thanks and love.

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