Thursday, July 12, 2012

To Louisiana for the Mid South Regional Tourney

It's been a while since I've updated this Blog........but there has not been a lot to report about our life at The Villages...... It's pretty much pickleball, pickleball, bunco, pickleball, bunco or pickleball........... Tim and Marlene, and Cathy, and Cindy and Nancy have all gone back to their homes, so it's just me and Rich and miss them all so much!

 On Wednesday we headed out for the Mid South Regional Pickleball Tournament in Mandeville, LA.   We  drove as far as Pensacola and stopped to spend the night at a Days Inn before heading on to Louisianna.  Both of us were pretty tired so we just ordered Pizza delivery from Pizza Hut.   Crossing the panhandle of Florida we passed into the Central Time I'm not sure what time it was when we called it a night.

On Thursday morning we continued or trip into Louisianna.  I ALWAYS have my camera with me wherever I go........but for some reason I put it in my pickleball bag, and put the pickleball bag in the trunk of the car!   As we drove along I-10 through Alabama and Missippi I could have kicked myself - with the overcast sky - I could have got some great shots.    I'll have to catch them on the return trip, I guess.

We  arrived at the Microtel Hotel in Pearl River, Louisiana about 1:00 - and checked in to our room .  We stayed here last year when we came for the tournament; it's a brand new hotel - the rooms are great - the breakfast is excellent AND free, and the price is reasonable...........

Tonight , the night before the tournament begins - there was a social for all the players held in Covington, LA.  We received our tournament bags, with our t-shirts, our beads! ( Hey - we're in Louisiana!), got our tickets to win some great door prizes, and bought some raffle tickets.  

But the best part of the evening was seeing old pickleball friends, and meeting new ones. 

Below (top left) Rich with Tom Burkhart - the USAPA Regional Director for the Mid South Region, Rich with his mixed doubles parter, Winnie Montgomery from Texas, Rich with his EX Pickleball partners, Roxanne Ware ( his parter from Texas at the National Senior Games - they took the Silver!) and Cynthia Boudreau ( his partner last year at the Mid South tournament - where they took the GOLD), and Rich with his doubles partner Paul Coletta, from Flat Rock, NC.  They played together last year at this tournament and took the Gold!

The bad part was not being able to sit with all our friends.......Our table was all the players from Florida - Marcia and Byron Fresno  ( Waumauma, FL),  Cathy and Gary Miller ( Poinciana, FL) - Gary is my mixed doubles partner in the tournament.  Cindy Eddleman and Nancy Meyer (Ft. Myers, FL) - and Cindy is my doubles parter.  And the last picture is Donna and Gary Ball.  Actually - they are now living in Michigan - but are previously from Sun City Center, Fl.  Gary says they are really still Floridians!! Mark and Kandy, from The Villages should have been at our table - but Kandy got a bit of food poisoning the night before - so was resting up to play in the morning.  We missed them.

Dinner was great.......and true Louisiana style.  You had your choice of Jambalaya or  Black Beans and Rich with potato and tossed salad and bread, with cake for dessert.   Some great door prizes were given out -but ALAS..... neither Rich nor I had the right numbers tonight.

Neither did Byron - so he took to playing with his beads and caught the attention of everyone at the table.  What a ham!!

Many of you know that I am the Regional Director for USAPA for the Atlantic South Region.  That includes AL, GA, NC, SC and Florida.  We had a great group of players from our Region show up for this Mid South Tournament - and I had the opportunity before dinner to invite everyone here to our upcoming Regional Tournament in February in Naples.

Below are some of our new acquaintances from the North Georgia area.

And from Alabama - this is Jerry and Virginia Corker from Mobile.  We met them here last year.  They brought with them two younger players that will also be competing.  Bob Husky - from Opelika is also playing - but did not make it to the social tonight!

And one of the best things about the whole evening was seeing our friends Prissy and Marty Martin - from Louisiana.  We met them here in Mandeville last year and told them about The Villages.  We spent time with them last summer when they came and stayed at The Villages.  It was just wonderful seeing the two of them again.  I hope before this tournament is over that we get the chance to spend some time with them - maybe dinner one night!

Well the doubles competition begins early tomorrow morning.  Rich and I will be referees until our age group plays.......... so I guess it's time to call it a night!

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