Headed to Pensacola for the weekend – help?!
I’ve heard my friends with kids talk about “travel sports,” but honestly, I am still not sure what that means. I know what those two words mean separately, of course, and so I can take a guess at what they mean together, but a quick Google search reveals a controversial debate about whether they’re worth the money, whether they’re for kids to hone their God-given abilities or more as a status symbol for the parents, whether they will hurt or help your child’s chances of playing a sport in high school.
My younger daughter likes neither traveling nor sports. She likes watching YouTube in her bed while eating hummus or coloring on the living room floor in her underwear, also while eating hummus. She will occasionally kick a blown-up balloon around the house while yelling, “GOOOOOALLLL!” but that is not the same thing as playing soccer. Georgia and I get each other.
My older daughter likes both traveling and sports, but assuming that travel sports require talent (on her end) and money (on my end), it’s just not an avenue we’ve really pursued with any kind of enthusiasm. She has played, with varying levels of skill, basketball, volleyball, softball, lacrosse, and soccer, but the farthest we’ve ever traveled to do any of it is the Northshore.
This weekend, however, although we all remain as ignorant as ever of what exactly “travel sports” entail, we are all traveling for a sport. One of Ruby’s roller derby idols, Freight Train, is hosting a junior roller derby workshop in Pensacola, Florida, and a bunch of Ruby’s derby buddies are going. (Back when I was cradling my pregnant belly and imaging who my future daughter would be, I really did not ever anticipate typing a sentence that began, “One of Ruby’s roller derby idols, Freight Train …”)
I’m going because Ruby can’t drive. Georgia is going because she is my shadow and is in a phase where she frequently repeats, “Where you go, I go, Mama” while trailing after me into the bathroom and anywhere else I attempt to go alone. (This phase has lasted almost seven years.)
I don’t care about sports, and I hate to travel. But I love my kids, so here we are.
I’ve bought Ruby’s ticket for the workshop and booked a hotel with a pool. I’ve checked the weather forecast (rain, booooo!). Georgia doesn’t care about the beach and just wants to go to a toy store in the mall. Ruby just wants to know if she can buy four bags of different flavors of Takis to eat on the road.
But those of you who know the Florida Panhandle, talk to me. Any tips or advice? What do I need to know before I go?