Yes! I finally have all of the pictures I wanted uploaded onto this post uploaded!! Since blogger only allows you to upload 5 at once, I've literally been uploading for hours. Hey, you guys asked for lots of pictures, right? ;-) They're in chronalogical order, and that's how I'll tell about our trip as well!
My mom, sister, and I started out towards Ohio Sunday, the 1st of February. We entered New York, and ended up staying in Buffalo.
When I saw this truck at night, I just loved it for some reason! My mom was nice enough to stop the car so I could get a good shot. :-P
We arrived in Buffalo fairly early, around 8:30ish pm, I think. We ate supper, then attempted to find a hotel. And that's where the difficulty started. The first one we tried was filthy (like really ew), and then the next half dozed or so were scented. Since both Emi and my mom are allergic to synthetic scents, it's really hard to find places that don't use stuff like Febreeze (which is really bad for everyone by the way, regardless of allergies), we have to try LOTS of hotels before we find one that we can actually stay in. Finally, at 11:30 pm, and after getting lost several times, we were stressed out, exhausted, and nearly in tears, when we finally (finally!) found a non sweet smelling hotel! Woo hoo! I took this pic the next morning.
The hotel gave us some coupons for a restaurant across the street, so we ate there the next morning. It was a really nice homestyle, large portion serving, place, with a really sweet waitress to boot.
We then passed through Pennsylvania.
It was a beautiful sunny day...
And it got steadily warmer the further we went. It was like driving into spring.
We were totally comfortable walking around outside in just our sweatshirts, which is certainly not something you can do in Montreal in February!
The Ohio welcome center was awesome.
Passing through Cleveland, we spotted this gorgeous building. I love it!
The car door handle just suddenly seemed really photographable...
And we made it there! Finally! It's about ten hours of straight driving, but with the amount of stops we make, it took us much longer.
We arrived at the Kalahari resort, where the UWWG was being held, on Monday the 2nd of February. That night, we were all really tired and spastic. Emi and I went down to the conference center, where everything was being held, for the Winter carnival, but we just felt out of place. I met a couple of people I knew from camp, but overall the carnival was really just for young kids, and all of the teens seemed to have come with their friends. I think we both, in our exhausted depression, decided that we'd have an awfuk time. Luckily, we were wrong!
The next day I woke up and started bouncing around excitedly trying to get my family to go down to the Waterpark with me. Mum was busy, so Emi and I went down. It's an all inclusive resort, so the waterpark, rooms, restaurants, convention center, and spa are all accessible without ever leaving trhe building! Emi originally didn't want to go in the wave pool, or on the slides, since the last time she'd been to a waterpark she was about 8 and it terrified her! However, as soon as she saw that there were tubes for the wave pool, she decided she's try it, and we both had a blast! After that, we tried several slides, which were all extremely awesome!
We wandered down to the conference center after that, and were hailed by a whole group of teens sitting around on couches, including a couple of people I know from camp. They were crazy, chaotic, and very friendly! After everyone split for food, we hung out in the hotel room for a bit...
But when the cleaning staff came to clean our room, we headed back down and met up with people again. They started a crazy girls against guys truth or dare game (I say "they" because I wasn't playing, just taking pictures :-P).
EWW! It got far worse even than that, sadly... :-P
"Why am I not on the cool fish list??"
These lights were on the ceiling of the auditorium/ballroom/really big room, and I just loved them!
I took lots of pictures of the first talent show (it was on Tuesday, I believe), but most were blurry! This little girl was just SO CUTE! She sung a song, and danced along to it too. :-)
The outdoor hot tub was awesome.
This guy was insane. Nice, but insane. ;-P
My mom took a belly dancing class on Wednesday. I took pictures. :-)
The lovely and very talented instructor. It was truly awesome watching her dance.
The endless ghallway that our room was on... The Kalahari resort is the largest hotel in Ohio with over 800 rooms, and also bosts the largest indoor waterpark in North America.
Wedensday night, hanging out in the empty, dark, grand ballroom. They played spin the bottle, we ran foot races, and some people started playing football. Emi just sat on this lion statue. :-P
The view from the windows overlooking the waterpark. A whole bunch of it is cut off at the left edge of this shot...
There were two elevaters that brought us from our room to the lobby. One we named Otis, the other George. George was cooler, because he had a heart on his floor.
Thursday, lying around in people piles. I loved watching these two (adorable little kid and Ben) interact. They just get along so well!
Group shot! Missing a few people that were part of this hangout group, but there's a lot of them here!
Riding the luggage carts was a popular pastime!
Paris Hilton ;-)
Crazy, chaotic, insane, elevator rides.
Such a cute picture! I love how much hugging and cuddling goes on at unschooling gatherings.
This was hanging around at the ball on Thursday night, our last night there. That is a petty intense look, although I have no clue what it's about! :-P
Emi doesn't like this picture, but I do!
Emi and Max looking lovely.
Nate doing a funny pose.
The woman who did the belly dancing class let people borow her coin scarves for the dance. Mum LOVED it and wants one of he own now!
This little guy made friends with a couple of the teens, and was planning on sleeping over with them on Thursday night. However, his parents were leaving halfway through the ball. He was so sad! :-( He gave his shirt, which had earned him his nickname Checkers, to the guy he's made best friends with. :-)
Myself in a mirror.
The next, and final, morning at Kalahari. I realized I hadn't really taken pictures around the lobby, so I did. The tackyness pissed me off a lot to start with, but by the last day I'd pretty much gotten used to it. :-P
The Candy Shack
More waterpark shots through the windows.
"African" (we're not so sure about it's authenticity ;-)) decor.
People, getting ready to say good bye.
Jack and Emi.
All the group, or at least those who hadn't left yet.
Bethany, the girl in this pic, did an awesome workshop at one point on raw foods. She has a fascinating story (of how she used raw foods to heal herself), and you can check out her blog here. I'm sad that I only really got to talk to her and her mother on the last day! That whole family seems really cool. The three siblings that were there are pictured below. Emi and Timmeh (the bigger brother!) spent the last sleepover night talking, and Emi only got about two hours of sleep!
Jane and Tristram are so cute together! I met both of them at camp.
Their expressions are just made of awesomeness.
We stayed so long talking to people that by the time we got going it was three in the afternoon!
These swans were in a pond just outside of the Kalahari's main doors. I love ducks, swans, and similar birds. :-)
The bridge that connected the Kalahari building to the parking lot.
We only got as far as Buffalo again going back on Friday, so we stayed at the same hotel as last time. In the morning, on Saturday, we were up bright and early for the long drive.
Oil is such a fascinating contradiction. Beautiful, yet awful.
It was a good trip, even if the traveling bit coming home was stressful as hell. We were all really tired! But it's always nice seeing other unschoolers. There weren't all that many people my age, and out of the few that were there many seemed rather cliquey, but I still met some really cool people. There's this guy, Eli Gerzon, who's doing world travel tours for unschoolers. Emi was originally interested in the Japan tour, but since she always envisioned going to Japan in a few years, she's not sure if she wants to go as soon as November. Either way, Eli was a very interesting person to talk to, and I look forward with interest to any future trips he plans.
There were also several interesting workshops. I already mentioned the raw foods one briefly, but what I didn't mention was that there was actually food to try! I was rather suspicious of it at first, but the ONLY thing I didn't like was the guacomole, and that's just because I never like guacomole! I also caught the tail end of a talk on radical unschooling by Kelly Lovejoy, which made me sad, but what I did hear was very interesting, and my mom was there for the whole workshop and really felt that she got a lot out of it.
I'd love to catch up on all of the blogs I'm following, but since I follow about 40, I just can't! Because of that, please don't be insulted if I usually comment, yet don't this time! :-S
I'm still looking for unschooling articles for Homeschooling Horizons, and I'd be much obliged (and very happy) if you'd be interested in that!