Thursday, July 15, 2010

European Adventure--Blackpool

Alright, the start of the European Adventure for Team Spence. We were able to go to England and France for three weeks for me to dance with the UVU Ballroom Tour Team. We left very early May 28th and after a flight to JFK, a layover that was supposed to be 1 hour that turned into 4 1/2, and another flight to Manchester, we arrived the next morning. We were so extremely tired, but despite our horrible night sleep on the plane, we stayed up all that day to try to adjust to the 7 hour time change. Our first stop on our tour was to Blackpool, what I affectionately refer to as the armpit of the planet.

It was a very good thing that this was our first stop on the trip, because after London and Paris, it would have killed me to be trapped in this town for 6 days. However, it was at the beginning, and although we were bored during the day, the reason we were there was exciting. We danced in the Formation Team World Championships at Winter Gardens in Blackpool, England, and ended up taking 4th the not too shabby in my books. I was in the Standard Medley, which was titled Tres Secret Medley, and was French Themed.

Our hotel we stayed at was called the Ascot Hotel, and a man named Ian owned it. He was so incredibly sweet, and his hotel was so cute. If I ever HAD to stay in Blackpool again, I would totally go back to this place. Our days consisted of me going to rehearsals (held in a tiny church's activity a cultural hall only smaller) very early in the morning, rehearsing for about an hour, and then rushing back to the hotel to shower before the latin girls could get home and take all the hot water. Logan and I would get ready for the day, and then about an hour and a half after I got home from rehearsal, we'd head down to the common room for a "full english breakfast" which I think I could live my whole life without eating another one, but it was nice to not have to worry about buying another meal during the day. A full english breakfast is a heart attack on a plate....We'd start of with some really yummy cereal (my favorite was Crunchy Nut, which is a cross between honeynut cherrios and honey bunches of oats), yogurt, and grapefruit segments. And then they'd bring out the cardiac arrest platters--baked beans (not even joking), fried eggs, "bacon" which is a huge slab of hammy/bacon type meat, hashbrowns, fry bread (deep fried pieces of toast, I never ate mine, but Logan did the first day and described it as soggy and sick at the same time), racks of regular toast, and fried tomatoes. Not gourmet, but it was a meal we didn't have to pay for, so we ate it.

After breakfast, we were free to explore the town as we chose. Blackpool is like a washed up carnival that came to town and never really left. There were two piers with carnival type things. The night that the girls had to get ready for the competitions with tanning lotions and stuff like that, Logan and two of the other husbands on the trip went and gambled a little at one of them...they lost everything...all like 25 pence. The town was right on the beach of the Atlantic Ocean, so we walked around there a few times. There was an indoor water park that we went to with the largest indoor water slide roller coaster in the world. Claim to fame, peeps. There was a decent shopping mall that we went to and tried on clothes we could never afford.
Wednesday, June 2, we competed the Standard Medley, and that Friday they competed the Michael Jackson themed Latin Medley (they took 5th, but they truly got robbed and should have taken 3rd, seriously). Here are some pictures from our Blackpool adventure...

Logan, Me, and Dane on the Flight to JFK

The Ascot Hotel, where we stayed
The Standard Team at Band Call, the morning before we competed. I'm the first girl from the left, with my partner Nick.

Yeah, this basically sums up Blackpool

Us on the beach, kissing because we love each other.
Logan and Me at the Winter Gardens Ballroom after the competition. There were three VERY FULL balconies all the way around the room watching us about nerve racking!
I had to dye my hair dark brown for the competition. It washed out mostly...some spots in my hair was tinted red for a few days after the competition.
Me and my honey. And I love our hats we got to wear.

The team all in costume. I'm the 4th girl from the left. It was hard to tell us all apart with matching hair, makeup, dresses, hats, and even nails...we all had to have super long red nails for the competition. We also had red lacy garters under our dresses that we showed off when we did kicks and stuff, mostly in the finale.

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