One of our latest campervan excursions took us to Reno, Nevada where our daughter played in one of the biggest volleyball tournaments around. It was Far Westerns weekend! Far Westerns is a volleyball national qualifier tournament for girls 12-18 years old from all different divisions/levels. The tournament is so big (greater than 1000 teams, 15000 players and families) that it is held over two weekends to accomodate all the age groups even in the huge conference center that can house 77 courts along with another event center that can house 8 (the 12-15s one weekend and the 16-18s the next). IT IS NUTS!
The drive through the Sierras was beautiful!There was still snow at higher elevations. People were still skiing at Boreal?!?
We made it to the Grand Sierra Resort which was our home for the next 3 nights. They have a great area for kids where there was an arcade, laser tag, bowling alley, pool, movie theater and restaurants catering to the younger crowd. Upstairs they have a number of restaurants to keep the parents happy. Overall we were very happy staying at the hotel and the girls had plenty of things to keep them occupied while they team bonded!
We didn’t take advantage of this, but the Grand Sierra Resort has an RV park (178 sites, $37/night) that have “comfort stations” with showers and restrooms. It was very close to the hotel and it seemed pretty booked. Didn’t know.Saturday games were at the Reno Events Center in downtown Reno.
Sunday and Monday games were at the Sparks Convention center. This was our second year at this 3 day volleyball tournament held every year. We were better prepared this year with the campervan and we knew what to expect. Last year, we just felt overwhelmed all the time. The parking was crazy, the convention center was too big, it felt like there were just too many people and we didn’t know where we were supposed to be half the time. This year we just knew what to do… like we earned our Far Westerns degree or something. We made our campervan home base, put our fitbits on (gotta get credit for all that walking) and just continually walked and walked- to watch games, check on everyone at the team tent, shop at the kiosks and back to the campervan to rest or eat.
The sheer number of people and the sounds coming from all the activity was intense!
Somehow we made it through the Monday games and headed home. Having played club volleyball and having experienced Far Westerns myself many (MANY!) years ago, it was special to share my daughter’s Far Westerns experience with her.
Thank goodness for another beautiful drive home.