Thursday, August 31, 2017

The family fun we don't take for granted

Last weekend, we headed to the US Open to enjoy Arthur Ashe Kids' Day. We had the kind of fun that Dave and I don't take for granted because years ago, it wasn't something we could have enjoyed as a family.

The first thing Max and Sabrina did when we got to the center: volley with the pros. Then we cruised around, checked out the booths, marveled at the juggler and stalked the unicycler.h

We were guests of Emirates Airline, sponsors of the US Open who just launched the #EmiratesAce social campaign (check this Facebook post for info on sharing about a person who's inspired you in life for a chance to win a trip to the Men's Final Match, plus other prize-winning opps). Throughout the day, you could watch pros practicing throughout. We got to see Roger Federer in action, including that magical shot he does from between his legs. Sabrina was duly awed.  

Max was eager to get to the tent where they were doing face painting; he'd decided to get "Las Vegas" on his face, in honor of his upcoming trip with Dave and his grandpa. And so it went. He told the woman doing the painting all about his trip. Then he also needed to have a fire truck painted on his arm with the number of his favorite, 31. And yes, he was the only boy walking around Kids' Day with Las Vegas on his face and a fire truck on his arm. It was awesome.

There was a Kids' Day show with live music, rising tennis stars and a pro play-off with Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal and Angelique Kerber, which we watched from the Emirates suite.

I'd never heard of the musical guests, including the band New Hope Club, which makes me officially old. Max wandered out of the suite over to the backstage area, where we watched the musical acts come on and off stage. That's Reece Bibby exiting below, if that means anything to you. 

I've decided that Max definitely has boy band hair.

Ben, meanwhile, was thrilled to run up and down empty rows of seats, step up and down stairs and open and close doors. So a great time was had by all. 

There were many years in Max's early life where we were limited to places we could go because events and crowds unnerved him. It was such a catch-22; we wanted to expose him to as many experiences as possible to help expand his mind, but we were limited. 

That was then, this is now—but I think we'll never forget the "then." And so, when we have grand-slam slam outings like this, Dave and I are seriously grateful. 


  1. Ellen and readers:

    New Hope Club is new to me too.

    Maybe tomorrow on RAGE I might learn of them.

    And *tennis* - so good to experience the Arthur Ashe Kids Day.

    Yes - the sense of now and then.

    Melbourne is known as the "Friendly Slam" and the "Fan's Slam" for a reason. This year [2017] I experienced the other Slams with visions of Flushing Meadows; Wimbledon and Roland Garros in the Fans part of Melbourne Park.

    And the children's section was wild - especially the sponsorship of Nerf guns and jumping castles. And, yes, there was probably face painting.

    And the New York seafood inspirations were special. Metropole or somewhere like this.

    Of course Max has Beatle hair or even post-One-Direction hair. Though, even five years ago, they were very spiky.

    And there's the Gallagher attitude also. Everyone will want to know whether I think Max is Noel or Liam. "Who would rescue a cat in a fire and who would let them burn?"

    Punkhood is on my mind too and prog rock with the Pink Floyd special.

    Tennis stadia have been known to double as musical arenas.

    And Andrea Bocelli and Nichole Schwerger singing Don't cry for me Argentina in Spanish is ... magical.

    Serena was at her home tournament! And Angelique Kerber - I sort of "knew" her before she was famous; more a tennis journeymaker.

    I remember my first appreciation of tennis some 26 years ago during the time of Monica Seles and Steffi Graf and Anke Huber and Amanda Coetzer. Things intensified when Lindsay Davenport and Martina Hingis and Kim Clijsters and Justin Henin-Hardenne came into the picture.

    My tennis spectating moment was in mid-January 1998 when I yelled at Nicole Pratt. People still joke that I put her off her game because it was during a point.

    My youthful self was into bat-tennis and getting convincingly beaten by someone who had known me since I was 10 and we were involved again in the senior exercises. She had ambitions in the emergency services/first responders/law enforcement. Perhaps bat-tennis is of the Commonwealth - you hold a heavy paddle which is more adapted for table tennis [Melissa Tapper is marvellous at this - Olympics and Paralympics both - and Natalia Petyka] and work on a minature tennis court.

  2. I imagine we're at the point now, where you probably were 8-10 years ago where these types of outings aren't very enjoyable for us right now. Hoping with time and more skills learned (for all of us), that this will be us one day too!



Thanks for sharing!

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