Oops, forgot to practice

Sunday: Today is our travel day for the Colorado Suzuki Institute. And it’s also the first day since we began guitar lessons, over a year and a half ago, that I forget to do something I can call “practice.”

In my defense, it was a long day. Because S and I made the stupid decision to go out for dinner and a little shopping yesterday instead of packing, I was up until 3:30 am getting us packed and getting various CDs ready for the trip. (It’s a 2+-hour car ride from the Denver airport to Beaver Creek, where the institute is held, so we need listening material.)

Travel starts at 9:30 with a ride to the airport, where we wait for about 2 hours. We see lots of families with instruments en route to Denver, and we run into some folks we met at last year’s Suzuki Institute at Macphail. The mom’s husband had recommended the Colorado institute to me, so I’m a little surprised that the mom complains a little about the institute’s director, who is apparently somewhat rigid and frowns on scheduling changes.

We have a nice flight, during which M curls up for about a half-hour nap on my lap. It takes a little of the sting out of yesterday’s tantrum.

We arrive and, after struggling with Budget Rent-a-Car (they couldn’t be bothered to send someone promptly to show me how to adjust the seat in my ludicrously named Suzuki Kizashi sedan), make it to M’s teenage cousin’s house for a short visit on the way to Beaver Creek. M and her cousin take a quick dip in the pool, we play a short game, and then we hit the road for the 2-hour drive to Beaver Creek.

On the way, we mostly listen to an audio CD of Old Testament stories. Good CD; grisly stories! We stop for dinner on the way at a Noodles & Co. in Dillon, which is about 1/2 hour from Beaver Creek and a good way to break up the trip.

When we get back in the car, for the rest of the way, we listen to the CD I made of Book 1 songs plus Rocky Mountain Twinkle.

Beaver Creek is beautiful, and our condo at the Charter turned out to be a good choice. The decor is a little absurd (in our room, a lasso and a shotgun are mounted on the wall, and a gun holster is draped over a bedpost), but the rooms are big, the kitchen is functional, and our view is terrific (we’re on the third floor, with a balcony overlooking the outdoor pool). The only serious negative is the terrible electronics (some rooms actually have VCRs!) and, surprisingly, analog cable. Which makes watching the last quarter of the last game of the NBA finals somewhat unsatisfactory (the picture quality is poor). But we didn’t come here to watch TV.

S puts M to bed when we arrive, while I watch the basketball game. After M is asleep, I suddenly realize that we didn’t practice.

This is not, of course, the first day we’ve gone without putting hands on the instrument. We always bring M’s guitar on vacation, but sometimes we’ve had days when it hasn’t worked out to sit down and practice. On those days, we’ve done something in the car that I called practice — singing some songs, counting beats, quizzing about music theory or note geography, or some other combination of things related to the guitar.

Today, though, I forgot to use car time this way. Which means we’ve broken our streak of practicing every day. Now, we’ll just have to say that we practice every day that we can.

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