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Cheersport Atlanta 2013 - Day 1

I have been trying to put this post together for over 2 weeks.  I finally just decided I would post in parts, when I can (and hopefully do all the parts -- ha!).  It was a BIG trip for us :)

Nana and Grandpa Fred came down for the weekend so Tom and I could take Margaret to Atlanta for the Cheersport Nationals.

We left Friday morning after dropping the other three kids off at school and I got my sub (a good friend of mine) situated.

I'm such a nerd.  I was soooooooooo happy to visit Atlanta!  The competition was held at the Georgia World Congress Center (and my window is obviously very dirty).  And because Tom came I didn't have to drive :)

 Our first stop was for ME :)  I had the opportunity to meet the executive producer of CNN Student News, Donna Krache, that afternoon.  In an exciting journey for me she had contacted me earlier this school year after I had e-mailed CNN Student News about how great I think they are.  (I had done this the year before too but never heard back. . .for some reason I did it again this year and got a phone call!!!)  So. . .a phone call from her led to some e-mails, then an interview with CNN Student News anchor Carl Azuz which led to an article he later published. 

No pictures of that meeting. . .that would have been weird, huh?  She met Tom, Margaret, and me down at the front entrance and gave us a few CNN Student News goodies (travel mug, pads of paper, pens) and just spent some time talking.  It was a neat thing.  And I got a picture with my Margaret at the news wall:

We were starved by then and decided to eat at the CNN Center.
Then it was off to the hotel to get changed for practice that evening.

We stayed at the Airport Marriott.  Not a bad place, but not one I'd book again on purpose.

 This is Margaret's entire team and her coaches JC and Farris.  Margaret is in the back row, all the way to the left, standing next to JC.
 The convention center is enormous.  This was just one of the arenas. . .I think I read somewhere this was the largest convention center in the United States?  Anyway, there was no way to get an entire view of this practice room.  They only allowed parents and observation on Friday night. . .the rest of the weekend this part of the center was off-limits.

Here I zoomed in on Margaret's team. . .it appears that Farris is instructing Margaret about something. . .
For those not-in-the-know, each team is scheduled an hour of practice time. . .I think there were 600 teams here total?  Crazy.

All the cheerleaders got blankets that evenning -- Margaret's most favorite thing in the world.  She's my girl :)  We had stopped on the way back from practice for some carryout and when we finally found a place and parked we looked in the backseat and she was PASSED OUT.  Ha!  It was a long, long day for her.  We got some sub sandwiches, soup, and ice cream and brought it back to the hotel for a late (after 9 p.m.) dinner and a little t.v. with Daddy before our 6 a.m. wake-up alarm.


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