Posts Tagged ‘Detroit’
April 14, 2014
Good Afternoon! I realize I am posting a bit later than normal, but I promise that there is a very good reason for it.
Last night not only marked the end of an NBA season for Scott and I, but also a closing to a chapter in our lives together.
(Also, linking this marvelous milestone up with Katie!)
Those of you who have been following the blog for a while already know that NBA Entertainment is what brought Scott and I together.
Back in the summer of 2007, I tried out for the Orlando Magic Dancers, and to this day we still have the professional sports entertainment itch in our bones. Last night marked six seasons performing in the league together, and today I am scratching my head at how in the world it all went by so fast.
My Last NBA Game
This year has proved to be a challenging one for me, both mentally and physically. Going into auditions this year, I had no idea what to expect and can without a doubt say that I was a part of a one of a kind experience.
Coming from another team, I did my best not to compare this to that, and took the opportunity to experience being a part of a different team in a different city. The 2013-14 season proved to be just that!
Without much time to reflect right now, I wanted to quickly highlight the game last night… but I will be sure to check back in the next couple of weeks with more posts and pictures.
Just like all games, I arrived at the arena hours before the doors opened for practice on the court with my team. We spent the next few hours getting ready in the locker room for Power Hour, appearances on the concourse to interact with fans before tip-off.
As I changed from my sequin dress and into our first half outfit, I couldn’t help but think that really was the last time I will be donning sequins, with the exception of the occasional fun birthday or New Years dress. The feeling of turning that along with the rest of my uniforms in was truly surreal.
Into our cut up tees, I made sure to snap a few photos with some of my teammates.
Unlike my closing game with Orlando, I knew ahead of time that this would be my last time dancing with these ladies on court and did my best to soak every little thing in.
Ready for intros, we grabbed our white hoodies and team chiropractor, Dr. Chad McKernan for a thank you photo.
As we made our way back stage, we spent a little more time getting to our spots, knowing that was the last time we would all be experiencing intros together.
With the dimming of the lights, we took the court for one last hurrah as the 2013-14 Detroit Pistons Dancers.
Even though we didn’t end up getting a win, we finished the season on a good note with an amazing and loud crowd cheering us on.
While changing out of our uniforms for the last time, the reality of turning in more than costumes set in. For a lot of us, we would also be turning a page and embarking into a completely new chapter in our lives.
After saying many goodbyes, we stopped for dinner at Trattoria Da Luigi in Royal Oak before arriving to our entertainment teams wrap up party.
(Unpictured spaghetti dishes as well as multiple baskets of bread!)
Everything was delicious, and Scott and I made a note to revisit more this summer.
One hundred percent content after a couple of glasses of celebratory wine and a good Italian meal, the group of us walked over to Fifth Avenue to say our goodbyes one last time.
There, we caught up with fellow entertainment teams and wrapped up the end of our season with lots of laughs and hugs.
After a full day of smiles and tears, we each parted our ways and only hope to see each other again over the summer.
It’s crazy going from seeing the same group of people multiple times a week (sometimes even every day!) for eight months to nothing. Each year, I take what I can from the experience and feel blessed to leave with a handful of friendships I know will last much longer than our time on the team together.
This morning, I woke up feeling good. A little sad, but overall happy with my decisions over the past few years. Through the good times and the bad, I made my way through six seasons getting the most I could out of every opportunity, and took in everything I possibly could without any regrets.
I am looking forward to sharing more about my time as a professional NBA dancer, but at the moment I must hurry out the door to my post-season treat to myself: a massage!
Thank you for following this journey with me, and I promise to have much more to share coming up!
April 7, 2014
I can’t believe it’s already well after lunch time. So sorry for the delay in posting this morning, friends!
You guys. I have been so incredibly tired lately. I can attribute going to bed at an unreasonably late hour directly to my husband, but really, I should be better at this.
Ahhh. One more week of the NBA season shenanigans to push through and then it’s summer time (…also known as normal sleep and schedule time!)
Speaking of shenanigans, this weekend was full of it. With hopes of getting in a long afternoon run and some actual content out to you later today, I am just going to dive right in and share our weekend with you in a flash. Ready?
First of all, thank you again for participating in last week’s Friday Favorites! Throughout the day, I kept peeking in see to what you guys were loving and it really made me smile.
Okay, so back to Friday. It started out eventful with an appearance with some of my teammates, our crazy horse mascot, HOOPER, and our hip hop dance team D-Town at a local Detroit elementary school for NBA Green Week.
Since it was raining and nasty outside, we took our projects inside and helped a special first grade class plant vegetables and herbs for their classroom. It was really fun!
We made our way back home, and in a couple of hours, Scott and I were out the door to celebrate a friend’s birthday.
The party started at Rochester Mills, which is one of our favorite spots in Downtown Rochester. The food is great, and they always have a wide variety in menu selections and specialty homemade brews.
We ordered the Southwest grilled chicken salad and veggie pizza on whole wheat crust to split.
Our service wasn’t fantastic this time, which was kind of a bummer. But, we still had a great time listening to live music and enjoyed our night!
Scott left the house by lunchtime Saturday, which left me home to take care of some things on the computer and to clean up the house a little. Before I knew it, the day completely passed by and it was time to head out to a Pistons home game!
Being our second to last home game, I tried to snap more photos than normal and managed to sneak in a few with these blonde beauties below.
It was Cristi’s (left) and Hailee’s (right) last game with us, which made the reality of the season ending set in even more. We played the Boston Celtics, the stands were full, and we came out with a win! The game was a fun one, but I know we were all a little sad when it was all over.
To celebrate one of our last nights all together, a group of us went out to celebrate in Downtown Rochester. (Yes, again…)
As you can imagine, the night turned into a late one, but it was well worth the laughs and talks I shared with the girls.
We are officially done with having Sunday morning practices. This means we now have an excuse to attend the later services at church and enjoy a nice brunch with friends afterwards. Woo hoo!
A group of us decided to make a trip over to Royal Oak and enjoyed an afternoon at Lily’s Seafood.
While I was tempted by the eggs benedicts and waffles, I was boring and stuck to soup and salad after a weekend of eating “whatever”.
Mimosas, half a Fushion salad, and a cup of seafood gumbo.
I also indulged in sharing a round of group appetizers including seasoned sweet potato fries (SO good!), brie, and crusty french toast. To say everything was wonderful would be a serious understatement.
Somehow, the day completely passed us by, and we didn’t even make it back outside until around 5 p.m. Even though it was so late, we still appreciated the sunshine and had to stop to show you just how excited this makes these two Southerners.
It was marvelous!
(And, I am also liking the marvelousness up with Katie today.)
All right. Time to boogie. See you all again in just a bit!
March 17, 2014
Hello, and a top ‘o the mornin’/afternoon to ya!
For those of you wondering where the Irish slang comes in, I hope you are wearing green today to avoid getting pinched by strangers.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I am thrilled to report it is a warm and sunny one for once up here. Okay (at 18 degrees), maybe we will just stick to sunny.
Regardless, the snow is finally starting to melt which makes me very happy!
This weekend went by in a flash, but when does that ever not happen? Although it was crazy there for a bit, I did enjoy some much needed down time last night with the fur kids.
I have just been told we are planning to cook a traditional Irish meal for a small group of people tonight, so I guess I better boogie. Plans to hit the gym, the grocery store and get ready for cooking dinner ensue!
Before I leave, I wanted to quickly share my weekend with you. It was filled with yummy meals, celebrations, and time with friends, so I figured it would be a great way to kick start this Monday into marvelousness. (<-Thanks for the link-up, Katie!)
Scott had a busy Saturday morning and talked me into joining him on a few errands. My morning and time in the car can always be paid in full with Starbucks.
(Blonde roast with skim milk and brown sugar + whole wheat egg white turkey bacon sandwich.)
I returned home around lunch time and spent the afternoon getting the house ready for possible visitors. We had some fun friends in town for a very special game… HOOPER’s Birthday!
Every year, our mascot hosts a birthday party at a game and invites a handful of fellow (crazy) NBA mascots to join the party. As you can imagine, they usually cause havoc and it becomes a very entertaining game to watch.
We didn’t end up doing the halftime show with the mascots this year, but here is last year’s performance. Easily the most fun halftime of the year!
The game was a loud one and although we went into overtime, couldn’t pull the W. Eh, you can’t win ‘em all.
Eventually, I found Scott and a small group of us went out to dinner to celebrate a fun weekend anyways.
We went to Rochester Mills Beer Co. which doesn’t sound like an ideal spot for dinner, but it really was. They are first and foremost a brewery, but also provide a wide variety of quality meals on their menu!
(Crab stuffed sole with quinoa, jasmin rice, and asparagus.)
Over dinner, Alex and I enjoyed the company of Scott’s friends and continued our night down the street at some local bars.
(You can always count on Scott for an awkward photo with friends.)
Sunday also was a bright and sunny one! Although I ended up listening to my body to sleep in and missed church in the process (fail), Alex came over afterwards and picked me up to join the boys for lunch in Troy.
One of them had an anniversary present to buy for his wife and we totally talked him into a Pandora bracelet with the prettiest sparkly heart charm. If there are any guys reading this, you really can’t go wrong with that gift idea for any woman in your life. I have yet to own one (<- hint, hint Scott) but both my sister and mom love theirs, which makes it easy for me to add to their charm collection around the holidays.
We grabbed lunch at California Pizza Kitchen, and I loved the ambiance of this location. It had been ages since I had been in one and adored the herb wall displayed right in the middle of it!
Since Alex and I have extremely similar palates, we almost always end up splitting our meals and did exactly that with the pear and gargonzola thin crust pizza.
It was great, and I also loved the salad that showed up on top of it. (We’ll take payments for our shopping services in food, thank you.)
After running around for a bit, we made a savory stop at Sweet Island Yogurt in Downtown Rochester.
Please tell me you find that sign as hilarious as I do. I died.
We went right for the flavors and I gravitated towards the mint chocolate and cookies and cream swirl without hesitation. Anyone who knows me knows that is the automatic answer here.
(Mint chocolate + cookies and cream frozen yogurt topped in strawberries, blueberries, cinnamon streusel and Andes mint crumbles.)
Don’t mind if I do.
We made it back to the house right before 5 p.m. and I figured it was time to play with the fur babies for a while.
I’m not going to name any names, but one of them in particular can’t stand not being the center of attention and plops down between anything that is going on at all times.
The bed, the couch, the floor… wherever you go, there he is.
I enjoyed the second part of our CPK lunch for dinner since we were too full to eat it earlier. It was the Vegetable Salad and was quite delicious!
Scott was busy crossing the border and back for a dunk show in Canada, so I spent the rest of my night unwinding and getting ready for the week.
I am really looking forward to celebrating Scott’s favorite holiday tonight!
What about you?
Anything exciting on the agenda?
Anything fun on the menu?
Have a great rest of your Monday!
March 9, 2014
Hey there! I hope you all had a great weekend.
We are close to wrapping ours up over here, and since I am pretty certain nothing more than a long family walk and possibly a movie in is happening, I figured I would go ahead and share some of my weekend happenings.
Two main highlights are in the title of this post, but just for fun, I’ll include some extra shenanigans too.
Snowy Trail Run with Roadie
After being well into what everyone living north of Tennessee has admitted to being the worst winter in over twenty years, it is a serious breath of fresh air when the temperature rises above thirty. Pair that with the wind dying down and the sunshine making an appearance, it all equals up to the best day I have seen up here since October! Sad, but so unfortunately true.
Obviously, I needed to take advantage of the “warm” weather and decided to do so by taking an overly anxious pup out for a little afternoon run in the sun Friday.
Holy geez, was he excited! When we reached our normal winter turnaround spot around the mailboxes (around a quarter mile), we started jogging straight instead. I think this is when he realized we were taking our chances on a run outside together and he started sprinting like Seabiscuit.
I was more than down for a challenge, but when we made it to the two mile mark, I became a bit discouraged to try out our normal path home through the trails. Surely people don’t actually run them when there is this much snow out right?
Wrong. As soon as I snapped this photo, a runner darted right past us and proved us wrong. (You get on after it, ambitious neighbor friend!)
All right… I guess people do run trails in the snow. Knowing this, I did what a lot of you would do and tested the concept out for myself.
(We got this!)
At first, it was really fun and reminded me of running in the sand. I didn’t mind the extra challenge, and Roadie seemed to be equally okay with it.
After a half mile passed and I started getting thrown off by tracks and dips in the snow. Then it seemed a little more annoying than running on the beach. Plus my feet were getting damp, which always makes me crabby.
Whenever I thought one of us (or even our ankles!) needed a break, I stopped to take pictures of the winter views.
These sights right in my back yard around this time of year really are stunning, and I know I don’t always give credit where credit is due up here.
As the sun started creeping it’s way down, I knew that was my cue to head back to the house. Without even looking at my distance until I made it there, Roadie and I knocked out 5.27 miles together! I was so proud of him!
Upon our arrival home, I dove into a heaping serving of blue corn tortilla chips and salsa, showered, and got ready for dinner plans with Scott. We went to Bar Louie, a fun dinner and night spot we used to frequent in Orlando with plans to see a movie right next door afterwards.
We ended up meeting a friend there and all split a hummus plate to start.
I ordered the Chop Chop salad for my entree and added grilled shrimp to it for extra substance.
Shrimp, iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomato, avocado, carrot, blue cheese crumbles, onion, garbanzo beans, egg, cucumber, tortilla strips, house dressing.
It was even better than the last time I ordered it and for the extra cost for shrimp, I justified having enough leftover for an entire additional meal later.
We had plans to see a movie, but both Scott and I agreed it might be a waste of money with our drooping eyelids. Instead, we made a quick stop at the grocery store and then went home to turn in.
Saturday in Downtown Detroit
February through April is Scott’s busy traveling months, so it isn’t out of the ordinary for me to spend a weekend alone here and there. Thankfully, this is also when my friends intervene with my “me” time and take me out or stay in with me to keep me company! Particularly this one.
Around 10:30 a.m., Alex arrived at my door to take me to brunch in Downtown Detroit. Before moving here, I already ruled Detroit out of my options of places to spend the weekends. Growing up, I had heard horror stories about how unsafe the city is, and while that is true in some areas, Alex is determined to show me it’s not true in all areas.
She had a Groupon to use at Good Girls Go To Paris, an adorable crêpe place in Midtown.
She mentioned this spot a while back, and I was excited to finally check out more areas in Detroit besides the Boardwalk and Greektown.
Wanting a combination of sweet and savory, we ordered one from each category and split them along with two side salads.
The Allison: hummus, spinach, herb de provence, hot sauce.
The Katie: apple, brown sugar, caramel, salted butter.
They weren’t quite as filling as the ones Scott and I experienced in Paris, but hey… that’s pretty rough competition!
With content but not overly full bellies, we were on our way back to the car and passed a great vintage apparel and boutique en route. I believe it was called the Peacock Room, but their website alludes to being mostly women’s apparel and accessories, which is not exactly how I would describe the store.
The funny trinkets is what drew us in, and as soon as we started reading things we both labeled this shop unexpectedly hilarious.
I mean… you just can’t keep a straight face in here!
With a few small purchases in hand, we left the store in a great mood and drove back to our part of town to get ready for bible study. I have really been enjoying getting together with some of our team in a small group setting on the weekends!
The discussions are always relevant to our lives and there are always more than plenty of snacks to go around.
After our session ended, we hung around and chatted the night away. For being a Saturday night and having the next morning off from practice, we all joked that we should be out doing something fun. Eh… apparently that meant a cleaning sleepover at our house instead.
Channeling the complete inner grandmas/dorks we are, Alex and I cracked open a bottle of wine, cranked up the *NSync Radio and cleaned our entire condo. We finished the night off with face masks and it really was the most fun I have had in a long time.
Sometimes you just need those relaxing nights in!
Today flew by, and I spent the majority of it doing laundry and preparing for the week ahead. It was chilly, but also sunny again outside, and I am getting really pumped that some of the piles of snow are slowly melting down.
I was about two seconds from going on another afternoon run outside, but took a clue from my extremely sore shins to back off. Maybe tomorrow!
Tuesday, I am off to New York City for an exciting trip I can’t wait to share more about with you. With a lot of dance reviewing to do and posts to plan, I’m also off to pack.
See ya in the morning!