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I had to get up early, so I made breakfast out of a 7-11 stop.  We won our quarterfinal with a mercy against Colombia.  Afterwards, a bunch of us (including our fan dog) went to Perkins down the street.  We then took a nap at Shaina’s before heading back for the semifinal against another American team.  We watched Japan win its semifinal and realized it was going to be one of us against Japan for the gold.  We cheered Japan on and congratulated them as they came off the rink (they were an awesome, very nice, very disciplined team).  Then we were out – and we won our way into the gold game.

With the few hours we had left before the championship game, Vyctoria and I made one of my classic runs to get slurpees at 7-11.  I always get a Zombie (every flavor).  We sang in my car for awhile, then went inside and played around on some apps while watching the men’s games before us.  Finally, it was our turn to dress.  We were spotlighted on, one at a time, and began in no time.  The game was tight for a while and the rink was nice and Olympic sized.  We used the space very well.  It’s probably a reason we sneaked in a 3-1 victory without one of our top scorers.  And with that, we had the gold.  Kyla on our team got MVP for being the leading scorer.  We took photos as a team, and then Japan joined us and we took a group photo too.

On the way out, I bought a plaque with our team picture.  Vyctoria was given one of the both teams.  Our medals are enormous and heavy… The whole family and I went back to the Smiths’ where they were moving a lot of things around.  I packed up my car, made one last reservation, then hit the road for Key West – not realizing how far it really was.  I was sad to go, but I knew I had to get going soon and that I may see Vycky in a couple weeks in Ohio.  On the way out, I made a stop at Dairy Queen in Naples and was disappointed to find they didn’t sell breaded mushrooms!  I’d never seen a DQ without those…but I got my favorite, a Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard, instead.  I took it down to 7th Street Beach and ate it while it melted.  I looked out at the pier to my left and realized I had stood on that pier 3 years ago, the same time we had all gone to (a different) DQ in Naples to get ice-cream.  I undoubtedly had the same thing since it’s pretty much all I’ve ordered since I used to get DQ after dance class in the late 90s.  I remembered the conch we had found that was still alive at low tide and how my brother didn’t mean to pick it.  We took it to this pier at night and threw it off together.  Maybe he’s still down there.  Then, as I looked down at how fast my ice cream had melted, I thought “Ice cream is SOO much better melted”, finished it in seconds, and hit the road.

I made a stop for coffee on the Alligator Alley Seminole stop yet again.  As I approached Miami, a lightning storm was setting in.  Traffic was frustrating since people were driving like they had never seen rain before.  When I finally got away from it, I found myself with a solid 2 more hours of driving 2-lane roads down the various keys to the last stop on the highway: Key West.  It was after midnight when I arrived, but my key for my hostel room/bed was locked up with my name on my information.  I got ready quickly and quietly and was glad to finally be in bed.IMG_7227 IMG_7230 IMG_7235 IMG_7242 IMG_7243 IMG_7248 IMG_7250 IMG_7251 IMG_7252 IMG_7255 IMG_7256