Originally written 11/20/2010.
For the first time since my very first trip to the regional championships as a teacher, I don’t have any team dances. That meant that I didn’t have anyone competing on Saturday. Not that I got a day off, though. Teachers are required to do 5 hours of volunteer service at the championships, and I get mine by running stages. At this level, running a stage mostly involves announcing and troubleshooting, but I was still a little nervous. Stages I run tend to have bad luck, like the time there was a gas leak in the room.
Fortunately, everything went smoothly this time. My competition was a small one, just 7 teams, so with preparation & then dancing I was only there an hour. Then I went out to walk around the area a little bit. Since my hotel was right across the street from the convention center, I hadn’t seen anything of the rest of downtown yet.
The area right around the convention center is very pretty. There are several parks (including an extensive one around the capitol building a couple blocks away) and lots of trees. Sacramento’s climate makes it possible for them to have palm trees and evergreen trees planted in the same place, which I’d never seen before. There were even orange trees, with oranges growing on them. In November. Crazy!
There are some chain restaurants in the area, including (of course) a Starbucks, but even more funky local coffee shops and delis, including one I stopped at for
a late breakfast. There was an old movie theater, lots of sculptures, and a beautiful marble cathedral hemmed in on all sides by cages and office buildings.
Being a downtown area, there were less picturesque parts, too. On J Street, where the convention center is located, a whole block of older buildings were boarded up, including an old hotel with a metal fire escape running across the front. There was also a man sitting on corner of the K Street Mall and shouting obscenities and prophecies. It was a little spooky, because just at that moment there wasn’t anybody else in sight except the two of us, which made me realize that downtown exploration in a strange city is more fun with my husband along.
I passed a lady at a bus stop a little later who was muttering to herself. Bluetooth headsets make it harder these days to tell whether people are crazy or just talking on their cell phones, but I don’t think she had a cell phone.
After lunch, I got to take a nap, which was an unbelievable luxury at a championships. That was great. Then I had a nice practice with my last two dancers, who are competing tomorrow morning. Now a bunch of us are going to watch Harry Potter at the movie theater next to my hotel.