First, I had our volleyball Preseason tournament where we won our division and grew as a team. Then, I spent the next four days in Canada. I had told my Mimi how much I enjoyed traveling and so she took me to Montreal and Quebec City where we had tours, incredible meals, ice cream in the park, and walks on cobblestone streets. After a day and a half in Montreal, where we saw the Olympic park, we took a train ride to Quebec City. The train ride was one of my favorites. We were first class and our table and seats were spacious and very comfortable. It was fun to see the countryside, too.
Our hotel in Quebec City was gorgeous. The architecture reminded me of a castle and its surroundings made you feel as if you had stepped back in time.
Lovely, isn't it? Probably my highlight of the trip was getting to eat our at special places where I never would've gotten to if our whole family had gone. I also really enjoyed the last day, when I got to pick where to go and I chose a maple museum and a jail that had turned into a library. At the maple museum, we tried their maple chunk ice cream. I liked it so much, I bought my only souvenir there; maple sugar chunks. I can't wait to use them in ice cream or muffins:) Mmm, they are SOOO good.
Mimi got berry sorbet and I got the maple ice cream.
There was also a mural in Quebec City. It was so fun to stand next to it and blend into the picture.
It was an incredible experience and listening to the French language was really neat. What was the best was when people would switch between French and English in the middle of their conversations. It made eavesdropping impossible! :) But as excuring as ut all was, I was ready to come home at the end of the week. I missed my family and my routine. But I really liked experiencing the European style in Quebec City.
The next day after getting back, we had a volleyball game in Kansas City and then on Saturday, we had my birthday party. My dad took us down to my grandparent's lakehouse and took us tubing and jetskiing. It was so. much. fun. wow. The water and weather were perfect; I couldn't have asked for more. We swam, tubed, played the Game of Things (an early birthday present from my mom and a must play) and ate monster cookies. I loved getting to spend and afternoon with my dad and my best friends, who are such blessings to me. Getting to read all their cards blew me away and although I don't deserve the incredible friends God has blessed me with, but He has and I am so grateful for them. Thanks guys, for an awesome birthday at the lake!
All of before getting in the water (notice the nice hair:)
Avery and Anna
Me and my "spitting whale"
Thanks to Savanna for all the water fight pics!
The drive home was as full of talking as the drive down had been. Getting to be with everyone was the best part. Then, as icing on the cake, after dropping everyone off, Dad took me shopping at the mall for my birthday. There was a sale going on (yeah, that is the only time I shop:) and I found two adorable dresses and shoes. I love shopping with Dad because he is genuinely interested in finding things I like and takes joy in getting them for me. This was after he had been pulling us around on the tube for several hours. I am blessed with an incredible Dad.
Plates that were 2 dollars a piece. How could I say no! There were like, two minutes before the mall closes and I was running through the store with these, trying to get to a cash register in time. Very classic. :)
One of the dresses . . . I really like this one.
And I haven't even had my actual birthday yet! It's tomorrow, along with Natalie's and Anna's, so happy birthday ladies! This year's birthday has really humbled me, for I realized how wonderful my friends and family are. They know me and care about me and do things for me that they know will bless me in deep ways. Thanks for such a wonderful birthday!