Nationals 2015....St. Catharine's, Ontario.
Monday, June 15th, I rolled out of bed at 3:45 am to catch my 5:30 am flight to Toronto. Got through security, grabbed a Starbucks (first coffee I saw, I was going for it). Then found the rest of the crew sitting in Tim Horton's. We boarded at just after 5 for the flight. Flight was good. Landed in Toronto at 10:40 ish ( I think) Toronto time. We were picked up by a school bus and driven around the terminal because we had to wait for a few more people to arrive. We arrived at the hotel at around 1:30 I think. Time had become a blur at that point. We checked into our hotel room, dropped our luggage off and were on a mission to find food!! We walked across the street to an Asian restaurant, no one came to serve us, so we left. Boston Pizza it is! Headed to the LCBO, liqour store, after we ate. Priorities people.... Had a few drinks and then headed to bed. That was day one....pretty uneventful. Long, but no darts.
Tuesday, June 16th, Ladies doubles. Doubles and I don't get a long....that is what I have told myself forever. It is a mental thing that I have to get over. I don't know why I think that I play worse when I play doubles. But I have talked myself into believing that it is true and therefore I play like shit. I have to get out of my own head. Not an easy thing to do. Needless to say that I didn't play my best and felt like I let my partner down. She needed a partner and I failed. We had some good matches but we just couldn't get over the wire to put them into the double. Frustrating first day. After the darts were done, we had our team supper in the hotel restaurant we were staying in. Minus the error in my food it was good. Apparently I need to pay more attention to what I am getting....I was hungry....that is my excuse. It was good anyway and they discounted my meal. Meh....It didn't bother me none. Watching Karsten eat his Jambalaya was entertaining in itself, you should not sweat that much eating food....seems like too much work. Day 2.....not a great dart day...but a great day anyway.
Wednesday, June 17th, Singles. Ok...the week wasn't great...I will get to by better games but singles wasn't bad. It definitely was not great...I didn't make it out of my section but I didn't shit the bed. It could have been waaaay better and it could have gone worse. One of the matches I won I completely thought I was going to lose. She is number 2 or so in Canada and I won. Floored me. Everyone is beatable on any day. Just some people you play against, you walk into the game thinking you are going lose so you loosen up. At least I do. And I also took a game off of another top 5 ranked player in Canada. So I am happy with that. I will take it. After we were done singles, a group of us headed down to Niagara Falls.
Best afternoon ever!!! If you have never been to the falls, go. Plain and simple. You have to see it. It was so amazing. The amount of water that is constantly rushing over, it's mind blowing. We did the Hornblower, which is the boat that goes down and close to the falls. It was so cool.....and wet. Good thing for those ponchos!! Haha. They helped a bit. Took a few pictures, yes if you have seen my FB there are a lot haha. It was so much fun. After the Hornblower we walked down to Journey behind the falls. It is underground tunnels that give some history of the falls. The sound alone is worth it. Hearing the water rushing over top of you is so cool. They had little "look out points" you couldn't see past the water. But you could see the water mist swirling around and the sheer volume of the water.....crazy!! There was a little look out point about half way down the falls that you could walk on too where you could see the water coming over the end of the falls and more pictures were taken. After the falls we went and walked to a little pub on the strip. It was cute, drinks were drank and then a little bit more wandering took place. We headed back to the falls to see them lit up. Once again....so cool. I was definitely a tourist!! haha. Niagara was awesome!!
Thursday, June 18th Mixed doubles. Once again, not a bad day. But doubles...We just couldn't get over the wire. Should have had more games than we did. In the evening was the banquet. It is where everyone who is there for Nationals gets together for a supper and dance. It was slow to start, but the food was brought out. After the meal, they did the awards for almost everything. It is an important part of the night but it seems to take forever. But it did end....and then the "comedian" came out....he was not funny. He was punny.....very very punny. It was terrible. It kept getting worse and worse. After he was done torturing the crowd the dance started. I went to bed!
Friday June 19th, Nodor Cup. To explain the Nodor cup, it is basically one province pitted against the other in a team game of sorts. There are 8 women on a provincial team and 8 men. Saskatchewan women played Northwest Territories first. They randomly select who you will play from that team. Once 5 games are one from a province they move on to the next round. We made it through to our second round and played Manitoba second. We beat them 5-3 as well. The next round was against New Brunswick. We unfortunately stopped there. Which placed us in joint 3rd for the second year in a row. We got hardware people!!!! After that was the World cup qualifier, where the provincial champions have the opportunity to play in. This year the cup is in Turkey, but with all the issues over there they chose to do a pay out instead of sending someone over in the fear that something terrible could happen. Bonnie and Danny played in the Cup qualifier. Danny made it to the final and lost out to Quebec. Bonnie made it through her first three rounds and lost in the forth. They both played amazingly!! There is a reason they were our provincial champs!!! After that a few of us went for supper before the Canadian Open Mixed Doubles started....yep...I decided to play in that as well....poor Ashtin! haha. Mixed doubles play started around 8:30 that evening. Late start...especially when I had to be up at 5:30 to catch my ride to the airport so I could fly home a day early...whoopsie! Ashtin and I played really well. We made it out of our section with only one match lost....I played better that night than I had all week. The "pressure" was off. I could have fun, it didn't seem as serious as play had been all week. I just played my game. We advanced to the first round of knock out and we both became serious for the first time all night, and lost in our first round of knock out. I had fun that night tho...thanks!! Finally went to bed around 1, I think. Pretty sure I didn't make it to sleep until 2 or 2:30 though. Makes a really early morning.
Saturday I flew home to be at my Grandma's 85th birthday party. Two flights, a 40 minute drive to Moose Jaw, an afternoon spent with family and another 2.5 hour drive home and my Nationals 2015 was over.
The fun I had, the memories that were made will never leave. The people I met and the new friendships that were made will continue as the years progress. I am already looking forward to Nationals 2016!! Richmond, BC. I have work to do to keep my darts at the level they are and progress them even further. I have already started on that. Practice, practice, practice. I have a goal for next year, and I hope to reach it. I think it would be amazing just to make the team again. Our team this year was so great!! We are really like one big very dysfunctional family!! It is worth every minute of it.
Thank you to everyone who has supported me this year for my journey to Nationals. It means the world to me. I have the best support system around. I am really one lucky girl!!
Here's to Nationals 2015 being amazing and Nationals 2016 next year!!