Goodbyes finalizes, we drove over to the roadside hotel hosting the after party. Within the hotel lobby, I finally saw the model of Mt. Rainier Val had scaled at the beginning of the weekend. The fact she'd been given permission to climb it and then yelled at by the same concierge in the hotel on Friday was why she had decided not to stay there. I love a woman that understands that contradicting statements call a service provider into question.
|Regrettably, this is the closest we'll ever get to reliving that moment.|
The DJ was on point; mixing the very recent beats with mainstays (on my iPod anyway) like "Atomic Dog" and Earth, Wind, and Fire. Is it the West Coast that has the best DJs? Or is it more the fact I live in Boston? It didn't matter. Things had taken a turn for Right-the-F-On.
|Philly continues to bring that East Coast love to everything.|
Seeing Philly at the after party was a dream come true. This was the equivalent of going to a European club, getting drinks, and then finding out that other Americans are there, not jerkwads, and easily understandable while you dance. You don't have to worry you are going to be put into a "specialist movie" at a hostel and instant camaraderie is flowing through you like cheap wine.
|Sin City did pretty well with leg wrestling.|
The dance floor was packed, and many of us who went to get water soon had to make due with the carpeted spaces surrounding the hard-top. It was no biggie, though. One of my favorite dance partners
|The 90s NYC Club Scene apparently lives on in the Pacific Northwest!|
Watching Satine dance is hard to describe. It's more of an eqaution:
Incredible rhythm + yoga-enhanced mobility + outlandish attire = somebody who's ready to impress the crowd.
With her bringing the game's level up faster than a Nintendo cheat code, the rest of the announcers formed a circle and a dance battle ensued. Skaters quickly got involved, as did officials. Challenges were thrown down between dance squads from competing leagues. Denver broke out the double worm. Jet City answered it. Remember this fact, folks: The best way to nurse all bruised bodies and egos is to dance the wounds off.
|A half second later and there was a circle of 30 people, because pervs are everywhere.|
|MoTown Philly is indeed back again.|
|Frenchie and Draggin|
Since I started this series of posts, I have been asked what it is like to travel with Lady Oshun across the country, call games, and spend every waking hour together. It's like this:
|EVERYWHERE WE GO. EVERYWHERE.|
I had to throw the camera back in my pocket at this point, because just standing there every thirty seconds felt weird. Dancing with Justice, Clobber, Philly, and Rose City was the balm that soothed my aches and pains. Both of which were given to me by a rambunctious Draggin Lady who hip-checked, punched, and kicked me throughout the night's festivities. A knee pressing into one's sciatic nerve is predictably unpleasant. She had some steam to blow off. I get it. Should you come out for Eastern Regionals, Draggin, I'm sure you'll understand my needs, too. They're simple. I want to walk in the morning.
A huge round of applause should be given to Denver who brought it to the after party with awesome outfits and attitudes as well as a (mostly) synchronized dance to "Thriller." I have seen hundreds of drunks try this over the years. You, ladies, delivered.
At the end of the night, SECURITY(hat) allowed the DJ to play one more dance song, and the DJ played a long one. We danced the last bits of energy out of our bodies and went back to the hotel. Flopping into bed, Val, O, and I talked to one another until we all passed out with a synchronicity normally reserved for swimming routines. Wait, would that mean we would drown?
The next morning, we left our hotel and went to the Family Pancake House for breakfast, where we were once again confronted by the helium stand in its Pennywise cozy.
|Damn it, Bremerton. Stop it.|
|In its defense, what would it do with a Discover Card?|
|Religious pop band in the works.|
|This looks pretty until you realize those posts are covered with pick-pockets.|
We dropped Val off at the airport with a tearful goodbye before Lady O and I met my cousin and his wife downtown. Looking for a decent lunch spot, we were checking out the fish market's eateries when we heard, "FOUR LOKO, BITCHES!" Turning around, there was Junction City. Again. Those girls get around, I tell you what. We explained the story to my cousin ("s"? Is someone married to your cousin considered a cousin-in-law? Internet? Help?) of our daily run-ins with the carbonated booze peddlers from Utah and had a good laugh while looking over the Puget Sound one more time.
After a few hours, I drove Lady O to the airport and shared a tearful goodbye before making my way to West Seattle for more family time. Lady O leaving days before me signaled two things about the trip. The first is that the Wild West Showdown was officially over. The second was without my announcing spouse keeping me grounded in what I loved about the sport, it underscored that Dread WASN'T with me and how necessary O had been to keep me from missing the missus.
Coming home late at night (thanks, Hayley!), I crawled into bed with my sleeping wife, held her close and tried to fall asleep before our dog wedged between us. I failed, but I didn't care.
Goodbye, Pacific Northwest. I leave you in capable hands:
If you want to see more shots from the Wild West Showdown, go here.
Feel free to use the pictures on your Facebook if you credit me taking them.