Hello everyone! I haven’t written so long on my mom’s blog. *sigh*I am also so sorry for putting this up only now. I have so many things to write about the US trip, and so many photos to show, but I can’t show everything. However, I will try and tell you as much as I can. So here we go!
The few days before the trip were nerve-racking. I was really anxious because I was afraid I didn’t bring enough stuff. We left enough space in our bags for some shopping, and stuff we would buy. Eventually all our bags were packed, and it was time to go. The flight we took was a wee-hours-of-the-morning flight. We reached the airport at around 12-ish and then checked in our bags, took a few photos, said goodbye, and we were off to US.
During the flight, I stayed up watching movies. I tried not to sleep, in order to get over jetlag. We stopped over in Moscow. While we were in the Moscow airport, we just stood there queuing to go through security and line up at the gate, to get back onto the plane.
The flight from Singapore to Moscow was 12 hours, so all of us were pretty tired while waiting. The flight from Moscow to Houston was also 11+ hours. I slept for 3 hours. When we reached the Houston airport, Aunty Lisa picked us up.
Aunty Lisa drove us 4 hours from the airport to her house. On the way, we stopped at Panda Express for dinner. Honestly, Panda Express was not super great, but it was quite filling. Each person was served 2 portions of carbs, and as much side dishes as he/she would like.
When we reached Aunty Lisa’s house, we brought our bags into her house, washed up, and went to bed.The next day, we spent time getting over jetlag at Aunty Lisa’s house. We had lots of fun exploring the McLean’s property.
The boys and my mom got to shoot some guns, and we had a nice dinner with Aunty Tina and her family. We also got a bucket ride. A bucket ride is where you sit on clean and old mattresses and blankets in the “bucket” of the tractor, and Uncle John would move it up and down suddenly. I would really love to go on a bucket ride again! It was really a stress reliever!
The next day, Aunty Lisa drove us 10 hours to Tennessee so we could drop the boys off at the training centre. We started out really early, and we ate breakfast in the car. We ate honey nut cheerios and bananas. For lunch, we stopped at McDonalds. I ate two burgers, because they were just soooo small. The fries and drinks were larger than the ones in Singapore though. The drink was only 1 USD and you could get a refill too.
We travelled in the car, and the boys were entertaining themselves with games and stuff like that. An hour before we reached the Training centre, we ate dinner. We went to subway and packed it to eat in the car. I wasn’t hungry, so I drank a bottle of lemonade. It was really nice. By that time, everyone was very tired. Finally, we dropped the boys off at the Training Centre for their orientation and their two week stay to prepare for the conference. After that Aunty Lisa sent my mom, my sister and I to the resort we were to stay with Aunty Julianne and her children.
We spent a total of 5 days with Aunty Julianne and her 4 children. We went to Krogers, Trader Joe’s and Wholefoods. Wholefoods was gigantic! The fruits at the grocery store in the US were really cheap for their sizes. I got to buy some things that I wanted, and my mom packed her luggage with organic snacks and food. We also went to the Charlie Daniels Park which was really fun. The Charlie Daniels Park has a water play area, and a few other big playgrounds. In the resort that we were staying, there were lots of bees and wasps flying around. We had to be really careful, even when swimming. If you accidentally step on a wasp or bee that had their stings out, you could still get stung. The next state that my mom, my sister and I were going to was Kentucky. Aunty Julianne managed to fit everyone into her car and we drove to Kentucky. Before sending us to the place we were staying at, all of us went to the Creation Museum.
The Creation Museum was really educational. For a person who doesn’t like museums, I didn’t enjoy it a lot. The things in the museum were really realistic looking, so I got the creeps. However, the museum did a really good job making the animals look realistic. We had a good time at the museum and I learnt a lot of things. I really recommend this museum to anyone who visits that area. You should go there at least once.
After we left the creation museum, we went to Aunty Susan and Uncle Wes’ house. They had kindly agreed to host us for a week. Aunty Julianne and her children stayed at Aunty Susan’s house for a night too. The next morning, we all parted with well wishes and tears in our eyes. That was also the day Li-Ann and I were going to our summer camps at Asbury University.
The camps lasted for 4- 5 days. That was the first time I was away for such a long time overnight without my family. My roommate was really nice, and the people in my camp and the teachers looked out for me. During the camp, I learnt how to analyze my script, how to persuade the audience, how to audition and how to act in front of the camera etc. We had evening activities which was really fun too. We had a campfire, and ate s’mores. This camp was really fun, and I would go back again if I could. Li-Ann really enjoyed her horse camp too. After the camp, we spent a day with my mom’s friend Aunty Ssu- Chi. She drove about 10 hours to meet with us. (Thank you soooo much Aunty Ssu-Chi!)
We went to Cumberland State National Park with Aunty Ssu-Chi. The park was really nice. There was a waterfall, and it was cooling. It was really cool seeing a huge waterfall up close.
That evening we met up with Aunty Julie for dinner at Bluebird café in a small town. The small town was like those towns that you see in a movie. The town had a fair that day, and there were many stalls. I remembered seeing a man carving wood sculptures. The sculptures were huge and very nice. After dinner, we went back for our last night in Kentucky. We had to rest well, because the next day Aunty Julie would drive us 10 hours to South Carolina.
The next morning we put all of our luggage into the rented car that Aunty Julie rented. The trip was long and dreary. However, we listened to some audiobooks- The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and the Basket of Flowers. We also stopped by Walmart and I bought some beef jerky. We bought a few things, ate dinner and we reached Columbia International University in the evening.
The tournament started the next day, and I participated in the tournament. I got to listen to many speeches as well as watch the debate. I felt that I have improved a lot even though I didn’t win anything. I am more motivated to finish up my Young Speakers Guild 3 so I can do other kinds of speeches. (Young Speakers Guild is the public speaking curriculum that I am using.) The tournament was a great learning experience for me. Following the tournament was the conference.
During the conference I learnt many things. I got to know many people, and make many friends. We had assembly times, and we listened to speakers. We also had time with others in the same track, and we played many fun games.
The conference and the whole US trip was a huge learning experience for me. I learnt a lot during the camps, I met many people there. During the international convention, I learnt about different leadership roles, and made new friends. I would love to go back again!!