Sunday, November 20, 2011

Whistle Stop Weekend

My shins hurt.

My whole body is sore.

Why you ask?

This past weekend was full of swing dancing!!!!  Whistle Stop is an annual workshop weekend in my region where a bunch of swing dancers get together and dance, dance, dance for days on end.  We take classes to improve on our various skills during the day and then we have social dances during the evenings.  Sometimes we even do late nights that can go until 3am on occasion.  All in all these workshop weekends are incredible experiences.

The weekend started on Friday morning with a stuffed fig to fuel my four mile run.


I will admit the run was pretty tough this time around.  I felt as though I was wearing a whale bone corset the whole time.  My muscles were all so sore.  I finished but only barely and when I was done I went back to the apartment, showered, and devoured breakfast.  I whipped with a bowl of peanut butter yogurt with some wheat puffs, cinni-mini crunch, and chocolate crispy oats.  On top I sliced up a banana and sprinkled some wheat germ and chia for extra nutrition.


This was a great satisfier after my run and kept me nice and full through my chiropractic adjustment and hour long massage.  Boy did I need one. Apparently I was all sorts of tense behind my right shoulder blade.  Who knew?  Before I got on the road to head to Whistle Stop, I stopped by a local Target to arm myself with a liter bottle of water and a MoJo bar (from home actually) to keep me occupied on the hour and fifteen minute drive.


I arrived and worked on some IRB training while I waited for Jack to get home.  When he arrived I was fairly ravenous so we went out to Hot Box Pizza for dinner (thanks to a Groupon I snagged a few weeks ago).  We got a salad to start (with raspberry vinaigrette on the side) and then we ordered their “Dixie Chicken” pizza which used BBQ as the base with chicken, red onion, and cheddar cheese.  We added bacon. Enough said.


This pizza chain also has sweet take home cups and napkins that love to tell you exactly what they are.  As if we didn’t know…


The pizza was great.  We ate half and took the other half home where some scruptiousness was waiting for us.  Jack picked up some pretty awesome dessert in the form of 1/2 pound Reese’s cups for each of us.


Yes, you heard me: HALF POUND!  They were a delicious treat before we left for the welcome dance that night.  This dance may perhaps be my favorite one of the weekend because it’s the first time you get to see all the swing friends you haven’t been around in months.  Essentially I see these people four times a year so we really make the best of it!

Saturday was our day of lessons so Jack and I woke up and had breakfast to get us ready for 5 hours of dancing.  I made another peanut butter yogurt mess with Coco-Roos and Marshmallow Mateys and banana.


We were some of the first people to lessons but by the time they started a little after 10am the place was packed and we had a great first two hours on swingouts and such.  For lunch a group of us went to a place called GreenLeaf for Vietnamese food.  I ordered shrimp Pho for myself while Jack and I split an order of crispy tofu.


The tofu, to me, was a bit flavorless which saddened me but the hoison sauce on the table really cheered it up.


Another picker-upper was the bubble tea I ordered!  If you have never had this drink, you really should find a place and try it.  Basically it combines flavored milk tea with tapioca pearls.  You have to drink it through a pretty wide straw so as you suck up liquid you also get some of the pearls to chew on.  You can exchange the pearls for lychee or other fruit jellies too.  It’s awesome.  I ordered a coconut chai milk tea and it was perfect.


I haven’t had this drink since I was a freshman undergraduate so I was beyond happy to have it in my life again.  Yay!

Afternoon lessons were three hours of dancing, new moves, and practice.  I really enjoyed the instructors and their personalities.  They made things easy to understand and really fun to do.  I liked that they focused more on moves and variations rather than technique.  I’d rather have a large repertoire to work with than be perfectly, technically correct on every single step.  Anyway, that’s just me.

For dinner Jack and I went out with two good friends for sushi.  We started with miso soup and some table palate cleansers.


The best part though, of course, was this grand plate of deliciousness.  We had 8 rolls and 2 pieces of nigri.


There was everything for a roll with peanut butter in the middle to one with five different kinds of fish on top.  We also had one with ribeye in it.  We all shared so I got to taste everything and I loved every bite. 



We ended up spending 2 hours at the restaurant.  That left about two hours to hang around (and finish my IRB training) before we hit up the evening social dance.

There were plenty of great dances and even an engagement.  It’s always adorable when people propose in the midst of a dance floor following a specially requested song.  As Jack said though, you had better be really sure of her answer.  Once you say those four little words, it could either be a great moment that will be applauded or a really embarrassing life experience.  This one turned out well though.  It was fun to be a part of.

After the dance ended, a group of us went to Steak N Shake to grab some food before going to a late night dance being hosted by a local dancer.  Jack and I split a Frisco melt and I had a peppermint chocolate chip shake (he got the seasonal white chocolate).


We also let loose our inner children and built some “hot rods” while we were waiting for food.  It was silly but fun none-the-less.  The dance that followed was also fun though not all of the blues music that was played was my style.  We ended up leaving at 3am and I was out cold in bed by 3:30.  I was also up at 11am the next morning to do some laundry.  While everything being washed and dried Jack and I dug into a breakfast of champions: cold, leftover pizza.  Of note: this pizza was better warmed up rather than straight from the fridge.  The crust was too tough.

Lessons started at one today and focused on two more styles of dance.  By this point I was really ache-y but I am a sucker for balboa (one of the genre’s covered in lessons) so I toughed it out and danced.  A bit after 4:30 the whole workshop group disbursed and I headed home.  Jack headed to his physics study group.

On my way home, I called my parents and chatted them up.  They have been doing all sorts of things on their vacation so it was fun to hear everything.  It also kept me awake and distracted from my hunger on the highway.  When I got home and dragged all my stuff back to my apartment, I immediately started dinner and 20 minutes later had a big bowl of mac and cheese and an apple.


This really hit the spot, especially since I was so hungry.  Because I didn’t have much to do in the way of academics (we only have two class days this week!) I decided to work instead.  I coded a bunch of tests while watching some DVRed shows.  To celebrate being done I indulged in an ice cream sundae.


As of now though, I think reading in bed while icing my shins should be my next order of business.  So, I’m out ladies and gentlemen.  I hope your weekend was just as awesome as mine!

P.S. Only three days until Thanksgiving!!  I can’t wait for it!

Questions: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish?
Have you ever done swing dancing?


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