September 6th, 2008

Atlantic Stampede 2008—Day 2

I thought I had set a wake-up call for 8:00, woke up at about 8:15, and then discovered at 9:00 (by the ringing phone), that I'd actually set it for 9:00.

As expected, the weather outside was dreary, due to the fact the Tropical Storm Hanna was making her way up the eastern seaboard, with expected arrival in the DC area around noon and affecting the weather until about 6:00 PM.

Before their scheduled 10:30 start, today's rodeo events were canceled, which left us with a totally relaxing day hanging out in the hotel.

Robert and I ventured out for some breakfast, so that we could be back before noon in case the weather really did turn nasty. We went to a nearby mall, actually one a tad bit closer than the one we went to last night for dinner. It had a much smaller selection of restaurants, but the one we found was a gem.

It was called the "Corner Bakery," and was a little café section of a Maggianos restaurant. We both had a scrambled eggs, hash-browned potatoes, and toast plate that was delicious. I think it had "California" in the name of the dish, as avocado was one of the ingredients that came in the scrambled eggs.

The weather never did get really horrible. It rained pretty continuously all afternoon, but it never got windy, and there never really what I would call "torrential rains" or anything.

To that end, we ventured back out at around 2:00 or 2:30. We had a late lunch at the Silver Diner, where I had a club sandwich and Robert had a BLT.

Our next stop was at a 7-11 convenient store for some Diet Coke and some beer. A wrong turn without a subsequent good turnaround exit took us about ten miles out of the way before making our way back to the Hilton.

At 8:30, we "opened the bar" in our room and received guests—Rob, James, Carl, Bill, and their friends Tom and Ray, where we all had a few cocktails before heading downstairs for the Harvest Moon Ball.

I had brought my "cowboy regalia" (i.e., jeans, a hat, and boots, which I never wear), and answered the door in them just to see the look on Bill's and Carl's faces. After getting the expected reaction, I changed into my shorts and tennis shoes, and ditched the hat. Ahhh!

I had a lot of fun dancing tonight, and danced a lot. The lesson tonight was for Matador, which is a dance we do in Raleigh, so it was basically a refresher. They did do two steps in a different order than we do, but fortunately, it's been long enough since we've done the dance that it didn't get in the way of learning it the new way.

During the Barn Dance, which is a dance done in a huge circle, and after each time through the 32-count dance, you change partners, a guy named Phil said to me as we danced together, "I just love watching you dance. Please save a two-step for me after this." A very sweet affirmation indeed.

For the record, I'm counting the five hours of dancing—both last night and tonight—as a cardio workout for each day.

We danced right up until 2:00, and then everyone stopped by our room, a tad longer than I would have preferred actually, but not excruciatingly so. :-)

I did jokingly use one of my dad's old standards after a little while, saying to Robert, "Let's go to bed, these people want to go home."