Remember how I complained about spending my entire Christmas break working on a legal brief for the BYU Moot Court Team? Well, this past week I traveled with my teammates to Miami, Florida to do the oral part of the competition. It was exciting, exhausting, nerve-wracking work going up against some really impressive teams. In the end though, BYU team 148 took home the 4th best brief award, Adam earned one of the best oralist awards, and team 177 went all the way to finals. It was frustrating to get eliminated at the very end so that we can't go on to the national finals in Chicago in two weeks, but in a way, it is really nice to have that extra time to focus on the classwork that we have been neglecting over the past semester while preparing for this competition.
Here we are, Teams 148 (Kathleen, Josh, and Wes) and 177 (Adam, Liz, and Amy).
Wes, Josh, and Kathleen, anxiously awaiting results of another round of oral argument.
Practicing oral argument in the hotel room.
Liz and Adam - my incredible teammates who rocked the competition. They worked so hard and did so well in every round.
But it wasn't all work. The first night we got to Miami, we checked into the Doubletree Hotel downtown where all competitors stayed. Downtown is just beautiful - tall, incredible palm trees, art deco buildings, and soaring white skyscrapers abounded.
I even attended my first NBA basketball game - the Miami Heat against the Boston Celtics.
Photo-op outside the arena:
Me at the game before tip-off. I nodded off during the second quarter a little - but only because we had such an early flight from Salt Lake City that day.
We went down to Miami Beach for dinner after the first night of the competition. That place was packed with people. And I honestly have never seen so many micro-mini-skirts in my life. It was kind of insane, but interesting to say the least.
And since we had Friday morning off with no scheduled oral arguments until 6:00 that night, we drove to Key Largo and went SNORKELING. After renting snorkels and flippers, we took a 30 minute boat ride out to a coral reef.
Here is a photo of Josh in front of the boat.
This is Josh giving me the thumbs-up. I heart my underwater camera housing!
Here is Adam doing underwater acrobatics.
I won't caption all of these snapshots, but I took a bunch of photos of conch shells, barracudas, other fish with names I don't remember, and interesting coral living in the reef.
And, of course, a self-portrait of my feet. I actually really love how this photo turned out. It just feels tropical. The water was deliciously warm. The only problem was that after being out in the ocean snorkeling through swells for over an hour, I started feeling slightly queasy. Once I made my way back to our boat, I asked the captain if it was possible to get seasick while swimming. He confirmed my suspicions and sure enough, I threw up and felt pretty lousy for the 30 minute boat ride back to shore. When I told Paul about this over the phone, he couldn't stop laughing about how funny it was that I got seasick while swimming. The experience of snorkeling in the Florida Keys was completely worth it though.
Every morning and evening, we had amazing views from our hotel room looking out over Miami Beach.
And while we slept - there was the Moon Over Miami gazing down.