Begonia Gymfest 2006

The third meet of [Caitlin’s 2006 gymastics season][] was the [Begonia Gymfest][] held last weekend in Scotts Valley, near Santa Cruz. This was the compulsory team’s “away” meet this season, and it was *packed*! Our session was Saturday afternoon/evening and included 69 gymnasts. (The maximum allowed is 72 per session.) This wasn’t the worst possible session for us, but it wasn’t the best either. (I think the best possible would have been the first Sunday morning session. This would have given us all day Saturday to explore Santa Cruz. We were all staying in a nearby hotel, so getting to the meet on time would have been easy, and we could have gone to Autie Mame’s Cafe for our post-meet party. More on the cafe below…)

The meet ran a bit slow and seemed a little disorganized, but the high school gymnasium was a pretty decent venue. We could see all the events without following our gymnasts, and the gym had light panels (translucent windows) that let in quite a bit of natural light. (Lighting is a big deal for all the parents taking non-flash photographs of their kids!)

[Caitlin’s 2006 gymastics season]:
[Pozsar’s Gymnastics]:
[Begonia Gymfest]:
[Scotts Valley Hilton]:
[Maya Mexican Restaurant]:
[Auntie Mame’s Cafe]:
[Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway]:,_Big_Trees_and_Pacific_Railway
[big trees state park]:

Caitlin had another *beautiful* beam routine, and she seems to have overcome her cart wheel problem. I thought her performance on the uneven bars was excellent, but the judges must have spotted some technical flaws that I missed. She did a very nice floor routine, but she put her hand on the floor when she wasn’t supposed to, which gets counted as a fall (an automatic 0.500 deduction). Her all-around score is still climbing, and I think it will continue to do so throughout the season. She placed third all-around in a very crowded field. Great job, Caitlin!

Event Score Place
Vault 8.450 5th
Bars 8.850 4th
Beam 9.375 1st
Floor 8.775 3rd
All around 35.450 3rd

[Pozsar’s Gymnastics][] team took first place again at this meet. I don’t think any of the parents were expecting this, because there were some *very* good teams competing in level 6. We have only a single gymnast at this level, but between her and the outstanding efforts of our level 5 team we managed to take home the first-place “trophy”–a plastic bucket.


Many of the gymnasts’ families spent the whole weekend in Scotts Valley/Santa Cruz. Most of us stayed at the [Scotts Valley Hilton][], which was pretty nice, although (like everything around Santa Cruz) it was pretty expensive. Given the choice of saving ~$20 by staying in a dive, I would fork out the extra $20 to stay at the Hilton again.

After the awards ceremony, about half of us got together for dinner at [Maya Mexican Restaurant][] to continue our new post-meet tradition. The food was okay, but I think we’ll try to find someplace else to have our team dinner next year. We also need to coordinate a little better–we heard that several of the families had been planning to go to the team dinner, but we must have missed them after the awards ceremony. We should research our dining options before the meet (when we have Internet access), then make plans while the girls are warming up.

Begonia_team_dinner.jpg Auntie_Mame's_Cafe.jpg

On Sunday morning our family had breakfast at [Auntie Mame’s Cafe][], a funky little family-owned place with great biscuits and gravy. (Actually, *everything* was good, but the biscuits and gravy were outstanding!) We learned later that most of the team had eaten here at least once during the weekend, and everybody loved it. We’ll definitely be coming back to Auntie Mame’s Cafe next year!


We spent Sunday afternoon at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. All the kids liked the boardwalk, but the beach itself was the biggest hit. (And it was free!) Parking near the boardwalk was a pain, and it was fairly expensive–$10 IIRC. The first thing we saw when walking up to the boardwalk entrance was the [Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway][].


If we’d known about this earlier, (and we had a bit more time to spare), we could have driven to the [Big Trees state park][] and looked around, then taken the railroad from Felton right to the boardwalk. Ah, well… It gives us something to look forward to next year. We had a great weekend in Santa Cruz, and hopefully next year will be even better!


About Jim Vanderveen

I'm a bit of a Renaissance man, with far too many hobbies for my free time! But more important than any hobby is my family. My proudest accomplishment has been raising some great kids! And somehow convincing my wife to put up with me since 1988. ;)
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