I realized this was getting really long, so I'm breaking it into four parts.
Alright. Motown tango- how can I remember everything I did?
Starting Friday- I drove from Iowa to Detroit. The directions I got came from google maps, and were apparently designed to avoid toll roads. I got dreadfully lost after exiting 80 and not being able to find the highway I was supposed to find. After stopping at two gas stations (without maps, but with friendly people telling me how to get to Indiana- um, I wanted to be on a very specific road in Indiana, so it didn't seem like these directions helped, as they were telling me to get back on 80) I found a walmart and bought a map and found at that I did indeed want to stay on 80. Stupid google maps. While being lost I found the Artic Ice arena we skated at for synchro nats. How odd that I would get lost in the only part of Chicago I had ever been to, not like it helped. Due to getting lost I got there too late to meet Kristin at the rink for a tour.
I checked into my hotel, a Candlewood Suites and made myself a dinner of spaghetti shells. The hotel was picked due to it having a full kitchen, and I was very happy to find that it ALSO had an extremely comfortable bed. After a long drive a comfortable bed was very nice.
Saturday- I woke up Saturday morning with the same feeling as the first rehearsal of the ice show "never mind... I'm not going"
I resolved to get there early, and to my surprise I got a text a few minutes before I had planned to leave from Kristin telling me she was already there if I wanted to meet her early. The rink was easy to find, and I got there about 1 hour before the clinic was going to start. Kristin and I got on well immediately and we chatted quite a bit, she showed me the layout of the rink (3 sheets, a ballet room, weight room, nice locker rooms. Only downside is the bathroom is about as far out of the way as it possibly could be). Then while we were talking another woman, who I sort of recognized, came up to me and introduced herself to me as Susan. Susan is an Iowan skater who I've been in contact with online for quite awhile but never met. She was there for ice dancing.
Notice the sign welcoming us all to "Mow"town.
About 10 minutes before the off-ice portion of the clinic was going to start, we were evacuated for a gas leak. This was a MAJOR disappointment, but word came around soon that it would only be about an hour, and we would be allowed back in. Reassured that we would get to skate, I enjoyed the sun and the company. After the sun became overbearing, we moved further away to the shade, where I was shocked to see quite a few ice dancers out without guards on. There was no way to get to this spot without walking on the grass, and at least a little concrete, so short of a fire and immediate need to run out, I sure wouldn't do that. (In our haste to evacuate, haha, some dancers even changed clothes.)
We suggested to the man running the clinic that the freestyle off ice could take place outside, but he thought it would be too hot, so we waited to get back into the building. Alas, the issue was taken care of, and we were allowed back in.