For the weekend, Erin and I went to San Diego so that we could visit with Erin's big cousin Laura, who is a sophomore at Colorado State University on a tennis scholarship. She had matches against San Deigo State and UNLV this weekend and we haven't seen her play since she started college. Laura's mom (John's sister Terri) and dad and younger brother were also visiting, so the Rams had a cheering section almost as large as the home team's. Which means college tennis needs more spectators.
The night that we arrived Laura presented us with Colorado State t-shirts so that we could be properly-outfitted fans, and Terri and Randy gave Erin a tennis bag with rackets for her and the twins and some balls. Terri and Randy have been playing tennis for years and all three of their kids have been playing since they were small. Additionally, Terri teaches tennis to young children. Since their youngest is off to college this fall, I think they should start a residential tennis camp where kids become fully immersed in tennis instruction for a good few months. As loving and supportive relatives we'd be happy to provide the first three students. Free of charge even. But I digress.
At the SDSU tennis center (a very nice facility amidst a campus that looks like it was built only last week, and designed by a gay mexican immigrant named Boy Jorge), we took our places with our new t-shirts on to watch Laura et al and cheer them on. Erin was a pretty cooperative spectator for a sport where acting like a typical 5 year-old wouldn't be appreciated. She mixed shouts of "Good shot, Laura!" (usually at inopportune times, but the thought was there) with working in the activity books we brought along for her, and getting an introduction to tennis with Terri.
Tim could barely contain his excitement.
And that's pretty much how it went for Erin. Cheer, color, try some tennis, and cheer again. It was great to see Laura play and watch her teammates as well. And Tim was still rejoicing.
After her doubles and singles matches (where Laura lost in a hard-fought tie breaker) we went to lunch with the team and then a visit at an aquarium nearby.
That night we went to a very nice dinner at a restaurant on the harbor, where Randy asked Erin to make sure she counted all the boats by the time we needed to leave. "I can't count all of those boats! There's millions of them!"
The next morning we wandered along a beach area and found some tide pools, and enjoyed the views before heading back to the tennis center.
On day 2 Laura won her doubles match handily. "Good shot, Laura!" Erin shouted, again alternating between watching and cheering and drawing and more lessons from Terri.
And Tim was still rejoicing.
By the time the matches were over on sunday and we again had lunch with the team, it was time to head to the airport. We had a wonderful trip and Erin has been talking about San Diego and Laura and tennis nonstop. She declares herself a tennis player now and says she is as good as Laura is and someday she'll be even better. We'll see about that. I hope Laura's coach observed Erin's "skills" and is planning on holding a scholarship spot on the team for her, for the year 2020.