For the past 4 years we have traveled to Vegas during the doldrums of winter... for a soccer tournament.
Though the destination screams "PLAY! PARTY!" it typically turns out to be a well needed relaxation trip. Just enough heat to thaw my frozen Colorado bones, just enough sun to tint my winter white skin, and just enough city (restaurants, shopping) to tide me over till spring soccer season.
This year Madison's team played in the LV Mayors Cup; this tournament draws teams from all of the United States and even internationally! There were teams from all of the western states of NV, AZ, CA, but there were even teams from states as far east as Pennsylvania! Madison's team was placed in a bracket that included a team from NV, the #3 team in CA (#15 in the nation - we are #250), and a team from Vancouver Canada! Though the girls didn't win a game they played some pretty competitive soccer against some great teams.
Nevada: Lost 1-2
California: Lost... by a lot... it was incredible to watch this team play! They had some incredible plays, were incredibly fast, technically sound, and at least one of their players were invited to play on the national team!
Vancouver Canada: Tied
Their record earned them a consolation match, which pitted them against another Canadian team, this time from the province of Alberta.
It was a fun experience to play international teams, one of the customs in international matches is to give the opposing team a token from where you are from. Each of the Canadian teams gave our girls pins (which were quickly attached to their soccer bags) from their province. Our girls gave the other teams post cards from Colorful Colorado!
Overall this tournament was one of the best we had played in, it was pure soccer with very few dirty plays - unlike the Colorado league we play in where it is common place to be assaulted and come away with multiple bruises or injuries from foul play.
We did a bit of shopping at the outlets, I got a summer dress, and Madison got outfitted with a summer wardrobe... B got a hat.
We dined at a fancy steak house called the Golden Calf at the very end of the strip on Sahara. From the outside it looks old and maybe a bit shady, the inside is pure "old skool" mob boss! The a la carte menu and enormous steaks (with prices to match), and a bottle of bubbly, set our bill at almost $500.00. When Madison and Tia looked at the bill I think their jaws hit the floor. But- what the heck- you can only splurge like that once in a great while, so why not do it in Vegas!
This may be our last trip to Vegas with Madison's club soccer team. Right now she is pretty sure she will only play school athletics in high school, and not continue with the local soccer club. Which made this trip all the more nostalgic.