Soccer….Family Style


The Best Mistakes Are Made In France
July 6, 2019, 5:35 am
Filed under: Uncategorized
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Tanya and Mr. Tanya in Frankfurt, en route to Lyon, France for the Women’s World Cup Final.

I make my best mistakes in France. At the 98 World Cup, we accidentally bought a first class rail pass thanks to my complete lack of French language skills. I was broke and out of work, so it was money we didn’t have to spend, but it got us on trains with all the press, which led to my first soccer press gig of being the Midwest stringer photographer for San Francisco Bay Soccer. It got me field press access to the Chicago games of the 1999 Women’s World Cup and field access to a couple USMNT matches, and more than paid for itself.

This year, we purchased conditional semifinal and final tickets for the USWNT in France, not knowing if we’d be able to swing the trip for our family of five. When we looked this Spring, flights were over $1000 per person, and after my concussion related work setbacks for the past 14 months, we decided it was not in the cards. BUT NO ONE BOTHERED TO CANCEL OUR CONDITIONAL TICKETS.

You’d think that would be the first thing we’d do, right? Nope. We’ve been juggling our well established roles as my husband has been heroic in picking up the slack left by my post concussive syndrome unpredictability. Plus, he had purchased the tickets, but he had done it via my account, so the responsibilities for the tickets were a bit up in the air. By the time we realized what we had done, it was way past the deadline to turn the tickets back, and only hours away from the deadline to transfer the tickets to a friend.

Thank goodness for our Sammers Supporters Club family, who stepped up to help claim and sell our semifinal tickets. As we scrambled to deal with our mistake, I proposed an idea: what if instead of going through this again for the final, we planned to GO TO FRANCE and use/deal with the tickets ourselves?

By this time, we realized that 2/3 of our children had expired passports (peak parent fail), but at least that meant that we could only worry about two flights to Europe. This is why Mr. Tanya and I are so well matched as a couple: I come up with the crazy ideas like a last minute trip to France, he does the analysis and research for travel deals that make my wild dreams possible without bankruptcy. The Dude found round trip flight to Europe for under $700 a piece, which is a decent deal for Summer flights even if we had planned and a total bargain for a last minute trip.

48 hours later, I’m sitting in a hotel room in Frankfurt, getting ready for the trek to Lyon for my second Women’s World Cup Final!! (I was in the nosebleeds in 1999). Eternal gratitude for family that can watch our kiddos and kids that can drive themselves to camp (we can discuss the miracle that our 3 kids ages 4, 11, and 16 are all going to or working at the same camp later). Life is crazy as ever, but I’m enjoying the ride 100%.

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