Three days after graduation, the extraordinary Flint Hill Classics Club set out for Italy to see the sights we study -- in Rome, Siena, and Florence. The ten-day trip was full of games of Ghost, rap battles, and loads of learning.
Soon after our return, the Gill family headed to Cancún, Mexico. I had the privilege of accompanying the World Bank's country team for Mexico on its ecological explorations of Chetumal and Tulum, including a day spent swimming through a natural channel connecting two lagoons in a mangrove forest in the Sian Ka'an Biosphere Reserve!
When we got home, Priya and I hit the books hard as we prepared for this year's National Junior Classical League Convention in Richmond, Kentucky. The Convention was a blast, made extra special since I got to room with my sister, who was enjoying her first Convention as a JCLer as I marked my last, and also because my close friend Daniel Kim was elected NJCL President for the 2011-2012 year!
Next, we left for Canada, spending a week with our cousins in Vancouver and making day trips to tourist destinations such as Harrison Hot Springs, Whistler, and Victoria. After hectic days, we took some time to slow it down with jam sessions in the afternoon: I sang, accompanied by Aashish on guitar (and sometimes Priya on piano!) under Divya's direction.
We set out for Alberta from British Columbia, driving through Glacier National Park on our way to Banff. This trip was full of some of the most stunning sights I have ever seen. Our family's favorite spots were Lake Louise and Lake Moraine (pictured below), but every drive from our hotel in Canmore was absolutely breathtaking. We even explored Jasper and Yoho National Parks before flying out from Calgary.
After a few days spent at home in Vienna, Virginia, we ventured into the impending Hurricane Irene to attend the Sweet Sixteen of my cousin Supreet in Edison, NJ. The party was a blast, especially the non-stop dancing!! I also performed a surprise song for Supreet -- "Sixteen Going On Seventeen" from "The Sound of Music" (one of my favorites!).
We left New Jersey just in the nick of time to arrive home, safe and sound, and start preparing for the school/work/gap year!