Monday, June 15, 2015

"Imitate Jesus" - Convention 2015

It's Monday afternoon after a busy convention weekend in Red Deer.  The days preceding a convention always seem very focused on our physical needs.  Planning for lunches, getting laundry finished so that packing is possible, getting the house clean enough to come home to later.  Never mind the unnecessary but special little things, like painting little girls' toenails!

We finally headed out Thursday afternoon.  It was a beautiful drive as the further South we got, it seemed that they have had much more rain than we have so it was lush and green.  We were blissfully unaware that we were driving through a severe thunderstorm and tornado warning region until we arrived in Red Deer around 4 p.m. and had internet access again!  Thankfully the weather stayed calm and everyone was safe.  

When we got there, the hotel offered us a no-charge upgrade to a family suite right beside the pool, which we were happy to accept. The kids were over-the-top delighted over bunk beds AND their own tv (which had a Lego Star Wars episode going when we turned it on).  We used the extra floor space in the kids' room to keep our clothing bags set up and organized.

Called "Dibs" on the Top Bunk

Then it was time to settle in and enjoy the hotel pool before supper.

Relaxing in the Hot Tub

Finding gluten-free options in a new city was a bit of a challenge, but Friday night we ended up at a Thai-Cambodian fusion place in the North East industrial park (Blue Dragon) that was recommended on Trip Advisor.  It was a touch spicier than we are used to, but filling and delicious.  Grilled beef skewers, mango-prawn salad on rice noodles, eggplant curry in a coconut sauce over rice and lemongrass chicken.  Asian food is usually our fallback position when in doubt, and this did not disappoint.

Friday morning came early, but everyone was eager to begin.  (The early a.m. weepiness kicked in Saturday!)  Every convention is like a giant, annual family and friends reunion.  My kids were thrilled to meet up with Uncle David (aka "Uncle Stinky", as Rz calls him) and all his girls in the parking lot, and we sat in the same row for Friday.

I can't give away any program details for the sake of anybody reading who still has their convention to look forward to this summer.  But yes, it was the "best one ever" because they always are, but this one... Over and over again, friends who have posted convention photos on Instagram say the same thing:  #lifechanging.  I've never cried so much while being so happy!