The restaurant we ate at on competition night was wonderful. It was within walking distance of the hotel. It was full of all kinds of local people – prom attendees eating prior, retirees having dinner, families eating out.
The Malibu Grill in Bloomington, Indiana was worth the few minutes it took the staff to set up the three rows of tables for our group of over 35. The menu was wonderful – from pasta to steak to pizza to Thai chicken to homemade soup of the day. I seriously could not decide what to have. The wine list looked extensive, though I did not imbibe.
Foods were served quickly. There was fresh breadsticks and a marinara sauce or olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Their house salad was amazing.
Our reservations were for 5:30 p.m. as we had an awards ceremony to be at on the campus of Indiana University later in the evening. There were absolutely no problems with being back at the hotel to get the bus to campus by 7:30 p.m.
The younger, middle school students had their awards ceremony first. When we arrived at the IU Auditorium, it was still full of those competitors and their coaches and families. We waited, none to patiently, for the auditorium to empty so we could “storm” the doors.
After getting everyone seated, we waited for the awards ceremony to start. Our first event medal was a second place or silver medal for the trial event of Junkyard Challenge. This was a group of ninth graders and one tenth grader who offered to help at the last minute. It was a wonderful end to a great time that these kids had on this first trip.
A considerable period of time went by before we heard Maine-Endwell called again. This is how, as the time slipped past, we knew that we were slipping out of top five position. In the end, the team placed seventh in the nation. This is truly amazing when you figure we have about 800 students in the high school, 2700 in the district and are not a magnet district or school. We are a small, public school in upstate NY which is competing with larger schools, private schools, magnet schools and still showing a respectable finish.