Senior Letter Series: Abby May

To all the people who have been a part of my journey as a member of the Geneseo Volleyball Program—I truly cannot thank you enough.

From my first encounter with the team on my recruiting visit, I knew this was the place for me. I had been on other visits prior to Geneseo, and nothing else drew me in quite like this. The team dynamic, the culture, the competitive environment… it all just seemed to fit. This is my one true experience with the old saying, “trust your gut.” It most definitely led me to the right place. I know I have gotten the absolute most out of my collegiate experience because of the wonderful people that are currently apart of and have been apart of this program. I know with all my heart that this experience has played a huge part in molding me into who I am today, and I am incredibly grateful for that.

So, to start off, I’d like to thank the senior class of 2017 that was here when I was a little freshman. To Dani, Trish, Courtney, and Emma… thank you for welcoming me in with open arms and for teaching me so many valuable things about life, volleyball, school, and leadership. Being a senior now and looking back, I couldn’t imagine what my experience would have been like without such great people leading the way. I will never forget the extremely odd, yet hilarious, encounters between Trish and Court whenever they were together. Somehow you guys would make it through whatever act you were doing without laughing while everybody else was pissing themselves, and it is still a wonder to me how you could. I can say, however, that Katherine Vernon is doing a great job carrying your weirdness along. I don’t think I go a single day without her speaking in some weird voice or accent, or doing some weird dance moves. I’d also like to thank our foreign exchange student that was here for a semester to play with us. Luca, you are such a ball of both fire and sunshine. I am so happy you spent a semester abroad with us. You taught me a lot about life outside of my little upstate New York bubble, and even more about how to be entirely myself. You are such a special person and always stayed true to who you are. I thank you for your boldness and constant drive to compete.

And now for the class of 2018… Madison, Kaci, Sarah, and Emily. Thank you all for being such awesome overnight hosts and making me feel at home. You all showed me just how quickly such great and genuine friendships can form at college and especially with teammates. Madison, you did freak me out a bit with your weirdness, and I wondered for a long time if that was how you always were. I could always count on you to make me laugh in a heartbeat. Emily, thank you for your incredible leadership and contribution to our team. Your positivity is infectious, and your selflessness is unmatched. I truly cannot thank you enough for everything you’ve given to us, and for getting us where we are today. You stuck with us through all the major changes and craziness, and kept your composure at times when we all needed someone to look up to. GSUVB would not be who we are today without you, buddy.

To the class of 2021… Gabby, Moose, Alex, Kiersten, Erina, Mary, Bridget, and Allison. You guys brought so much talent and fire to this team. Gabby, I love your competitiveness and drive to make yourself and the others around you better. Moose, you are such a sweetheart and an amazing supporter. Thank you for being a true friend. Alex, your love and passion for the game is infectious. When times get a bit tough, your presence reminds us of how fortunate we are to have this opportunity. You are such a genuine person and friend, and I thank you for that. Kierst, your ~coolness~ is unmatched. You keep your composure in absolutely any situation and it is so helpful to our team. You lead by example in all aspects of being a student-athlete. Erina, my reen bean, thank you for always making me smile. You have such a positive effect on us all, and your unwavering support does not go unnoticed. Mar bear, you are such an incredible human, and a weird one at that. Once again, you always make me laugh. I never know what weird things are going to come out of your mouth, or pregame dance moves you’re going to pull out. You are such a strong, motivated, and passionate person, and I am so lucky to have a teammate and friend like you. Bridget, your ability to hit the ball so freaking hard still amazes me. You have played a huge part in getting us where we are now, and I thank you for that and also for your incredible support. And last but not least, Allisoñes. You are such a fierce competitor and it rubs off on everyone around you. You are such a unique person, and I look up to you for always staying true to yourself. Thank you for your passion for the game and drive to compete.

And now for the class of 2022… MK, Morgan, Emily Bablin, and Maddie. You four are such amazing additions to the GSUVB program. MK, your ability to pancake the ball amazes me. I still don’t understand how you dive so gracefully. My dive looks and sounds like I break every bone in my body, lol. Your happy and fun spirit is contagious to those around you, and I am so grateful for your presence. Morgan, you are such a ball of sunshine and you bring so much positive energy to this team. Thank you for your willingness to make yourself and those around you better. Babs, you are such an incredible person and addition to this team. I am so happy you joined us last spring. Thank you for being such an energy-giver and driven athlete. And lastly, Miss Maddie. You are such a hard worker and an incredible person. I look up to you for your desire for feedback and drive to improve. You are such a selfless and kind person, Mads. Thank you for being you.

And now for my current froshies… Jackie, Imbo, Grace Thomas, and Emily Haber. You all bring something very special to this team, and I want you all to know how thankful I am to be able to play my last year with you all by my side. Jackie B, your positivity and energy is contagious and so crucial to our success. You are so eager to improve and to receive feedback. Thank you for making us all want to be better every day. Imbo my nimbo, you have come such a long way in just a month. You have started to come out of your shell, and your talent and energy has exploded. Thank you for being such a kind and selfless person. G.Tom, you are so talented and driven. Your work ethic in and out of the gym is admirable. I know you will continue to do amazing things during your time here at Geneseo. And finally, Haber! Your competitive spirit and defensive skills are absolutely amazing. There is absolutely no ball you let hit the floor, and I look up to you for that.

And lastly, for the class of 2020— to the girls who have been with me through it all. Grace Cergol, Sam, Kat, Shea, Scheff, and Kendyll. Thank you for being there for me through all the ups and downs of volleyball, school, and life in general. You all have played a part throughout this journey in shaping me into who I am today. I know you all can agree that I am a very different person than I was three years ago. I’ve learned a lot of lessons, good and bad, and you’ve stuck with me through it all. I am now a better person because of that, so I thank you all for that. Grace, your talent and drive to compete is unmatched. You are such an amazing player and teammate, and have played a huge part in our program’s success. Samanther, you are the definition of relentless. I still don’t understand how you dig all the balls you do. You are somehow always in the perfect place at the perfect time and you make it look so easy. But we all know your job is anything but easy. Thank you for pushing us to be better, and not settling for just “good,” but pushing us to be “great.” Kat, thank you for your constant and incredible energy. No matter what is going on in your life, you push it aside to help the team succeed. Shea, thank you for being such an awesome supporter and energy giver. You have such a great presence on and off the court, and you have an incredible ability to make me laugh. Scheff, thank you for your undeniable support and kindness. You work so hard to reach your goals, and I admire you for that. And lastly, Kendyll. Thank you for the time you’ve put in in being a part of this program. You give so much positive energy and are such a great friend and supporter. Thank you 🙂

Finally, I’d like to thank all of the families and friends that have been with us along the way. You all are our biggest fans and supporters. Thank you for everything you do. From driving hours to watch us play, to bringing us food between matches, to your unrelenting love and support. Thank you for treating me like your own. I know we don’t thank you enough, but we truly wouldn’t be who we are or where we are without you.

Thank you, GSUVB, for giving me the best four years of my life, and for blessing me with such beautiful people along the way. I will never forget you.

 

With love,

Abby May

Summer to Fall, and then… VBALL!!!

What’s up y’all?!? Abby May here. Coming to you (not live) from the good old town of Baldwinsville, New York.

My summer so far has been absolutely jam packed. It’s been flying by, as it always does. As much as I love taking a break from school work and enjoying the warm weather, I most definitely miss my GSUVB fam like crazy. Ya’ll bring such a bright light into my life that I could not be more grateful for. And guess what??? ONLY 26 MORE DAYS TIL MOVE IN DAY!!!! I cannot wait to get back in the gym with you all and to start getting to know all of you incoming froshies 🙂

Sooooo here’s a little break down of my 2019 summer…

 

Swift Current, Saskatchewan

To kick off the summer, I took a week and a half trip to my boyfriend’s hometown in Canada. Luckily, we flew (otherwise it would have been a 30 hour drive). Although I had an idea of what his town was like, I quickly found out it is very different than central New York. Everything is flat, there are no trees, it’s very windy, and it’s quite dusty. Outside the village, you actually can see for miles and miles (no exaggeration whatsoever). It is the definition of a rural small town, with almost all its land used for farming. Most people I know wouldn’t be too excited about a place like this, but I thought it was AWESOME. Even though it wasn’t what I was used to, I had the most amazing experience.

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My morning view on my warmup jogs… lol

 

I got to meet most of his friends and family, meeting a new person pretty much every day. We got to explore his town on his motorcycle (I was a tad scared), went gopher hunting (that was SO cool), went to a professional bull riding show (that was NUTS), and went fishing at the lake where his cabin is. He also taught me to drive standard, which was interesting… lol. I may have stalled it once or twice. We went on so many fun adventures that were all new experiences for me.

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Caught me a fishy and some gophers 🙂

 

That trip was such a great experience for me. I’ve never really traveled anywhere except up and down the east coast and right over the border in Ontario, Canada. I loved the small town feel, where everybody knows everybody, and life seems to be just a bit slower paced.

 

Baldwinsville, New York

Back in B’ville, I’ve been pretty busy. For the second summer in a row, I work at a golf course serving food and beverages to golfers, either in the snack shack or on the beverage cart. I also started a new job this summer at a nursing home. This job is part of my preparation for applying to PA school. I work both jobs about 3 days a week, so this has definitely been my busiest summer work-wise.

And now to the fun stuff… I’ve gone to four country concerts this summer, and have one or two more to go. It is my absolute favorite thing to do this time of year. I’ve also been going out on my boat to fish, tube, water ski, or to just float and relax. I’ve been making sure to get together with my home friends whenever I can, which is definitely one of the best parts of summer vacation. It seems to get harder and harder to make plans as we get older, so I really cherish the time I have with them.

 

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Me and my friend Shayna cliff jumping

 

 

 

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 Me and my family at the annual Paige’s Butterfly 5K Run in Syracuse

 

So that’s just a tid bit of my summer here in the ‘ville. It’s been awesome so far, but I’ve been itching to get back to school. I’m looking forward to having an amazing last year at Geneseo, but extremely sad that’s all I got left. That being said, I am giving y’all all I got this fall. I AM READY TO GO BOYS. I’m so excited to see how much we can accomplish together, considering we’ve been absolutely KILLING IT lately.

Let’s bring home the chip fellas.

Keep working hard and make the most of the rest of your summer! See you all soon!!!! 🙂

 

 

 

 

A Letter to Someone Who Inspires Me – A Blog by JR Abby May

The person I am writing this letter to is probably the least likely to stumble across this blog post at all… Anyone that knows my father knows he is not the most tech-savvy guy. Anyways, I hope mom sees this somewhere so you can read it 🙂

 

Dad,

I know I’m not the most open in expressing my feelings to you and mom, but I’ve found it much easier to write it out instead…

The first thing I would like to say is thank you. I know you don’t think we have to thank you, but it’s hard not to after all you’ve done for us. Thank you for always having my best interests in mind, for letting me make my own mistakes and learn for myself, and for teaching me that life’s too short to take it too seriously.

 

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Here are some of the ways you inspire me…

Courage

I admire your strength in the face of adversity. I won’t go into depth because I know you don’t want the world knowing, but I cannot even begin to fathom your strength in the battling of your long-lasting illnesses. The past ten years have probably been some of the toughest of your life, and somehow you had managed to trick me into thinking it wasn’t as bad as it actually was. No matter how crappy you felt, you always put your wife and five kids first. You took us on adventures every weekend and multiple nights during the week. You continued to be the amazing father we all know, love, and appreciate. I am amazed by your overall optimism and faith that your health will improve, as well as your mentality that every day on earth is a good one. I know you will do whatever possible to be able to watch us all grow up and have families of our own, which is something your parents weren’t fortunate enough to have; but I know with all my heart that they are looking down on us and they are more proud of you than they ever could’ve imagined.

 

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Always Give 100%

Something you didn’t really have to vocalize much, but rather taught us by the act of doing, was to do something right or to not do it at all. I know you said you weren’t always this way, that you learned from trial and error, but by observing you all my life, I know you almost never take the easy way out. If I ever think of taking the easy route or to not give my best effort, I immediately hear a voice in the back of my head that leads me to do otherwise. I obviously have not mastered this, as I don’t believe anyone truly can; but what I can do is strive to feel that sense of fulfillment when I give my all to something as much as possible.

 

 

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Resiliency

You’re ability to make something from almost nothing absolutely amazes me. Whether it’s something like building tree houses, beach volleyball courts, or ice skating rinks for all of us kids to enjoy; or rather something much larger, like starting your own business from nothing but a two-year degree and a $5000 loan that no bank seemed to be willing to give you. Through tons of strength-of-will tests and obstacles that I cannot even begin to comprehend, you managed to create something that would support all seven of us from day one; and for that, I am forever grateful. I know you don’t look at all of this as something magnificent you’ve done, but rather something you needed to do as a husband and father… but just know that the people you love admire you for your mental strength, resiliency, and positivity.

 

 

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Always Make Time for the Things That Make You Happy

Last but not least, one of my favorites that I will carry throughout the rest of my life… you have always taught us how important it is to make time to do the things we enjoy. No matter how crazy life gets, you always make time for the various hobbies you like; whether by yourself, with your brothers/friends, or with us kids. It’s when life seems too much to handle that these times are the most important. They are what will keep us grounded in the face of tougher times.

 

You are a great inspiration to me and are a person whom I believe has always understood me on a level no one really ever could. This connection didn’t come from having frequent deep and personal conversations–something we all know I don’t really like to do–it’s just something that has always been. Some would say it’s just a father-daughter bond, but I believe it is much more than that. You know my overall mental state in the drop of a dime, without much interaction at all. You know that if I am struggling with something, I will eventually figure it out. However, there were times when you knew I needed some of your words of wisdom and/or a push to take that first step in the right direction. Even in those times, you knew the exact point to intervene. It was somehow always the perfect point in time when I wouldn’t be angry for you wanting to help, but rather I understood and appreciated how much you cared for me.

You and mom amaze me every day. Thank you for being the best parents anybody could ask for. You both are truly an inspiration.

 

With love from your favorite middle child,

Abby (aka scoocher)

 

Summertime YAY!!

Hello all!! My name is Abby May (yes– two separate words). I am going to be a junior this year (2 years has never gone by so fast). My 2018 summer thus far has been very eventful and adventurous, right from the start.

Back in May, finals really wiped me out, as they did everyone. But instead of taking a couple days to relax, my family had other plans (always something goin’ on at the May house). For my first couple days home, I turkey hunted with my dad in the mornings, and went to a few of my cousin’s baseball games in the afternoon. My family and I spent my first weekend home in Cortland for my sister’s college graduation. Then, that following Monday, I started my new job at Timber Banks Golf Club.

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Amanda’s graduation 🙂

Although I didn’t have much down time right when I got home, I had so much fun catching up with everyone and starting out my summer keeping busy. I would not have wanted it any other way, than to spend quality time with my family.

Soooo, as many of you know I love to spend time in the great outdoors. So here are some of the fun outdoor things I’ve been doing with my family and friends…

First is hunting and fishing. Me, my siblings, and my father have gone on numerous turkey hunting expeditions and fishing trips. In May, we took a trip to my hunting camp in North Pitcher.

 

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Me and all my siblings (and my dog Maggie)                Me and a large mouth bass 🙂

One of my favorite places to be is our land up in Mexico, NY. We do a lot of hunting and land work there. We put a camper there recently, so we can camp out and hunt early in the morning without the drive. I recently learned how to use my dad’s tractor, which I absolutely LOVED. I learned how to brush hog (if anyone knows what that is).

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Pic of me “workin the land,” as my dad would say 🙂

I have also gone on a few beach/hiking trips at a state park near me with my friends and family. Me and my sisters also love to play beach volleyball on our new backyard sand court that my dad made this past year.

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     Me and my sister Carly hiking (but actually taking a break on a bench lol)

As most people know by now, all of us upstaters took a trip down to Long Island! It was an absolute blast. It was so great to be able to see my teammates again, and go on some fun adventures. It definitely got everyone excited for August! Although driving through NYC traffic and Long Island rush hour was a bit of a challenge (as Sam and Kat would know), it was well worth it. We never fail to have the best time together. I would also like to say thank you to our host families, the Cergol’s and Casey’s. You guys are amazing!!

I plan on doing some shadowing of doctors, PA’s, NP’s, etc. this summer as well. I have two lined up already, so I’m pretty excited about that. I’m hoping to get a better idea of what part of the medical field I want to go into after college.

So much exciting stuff going on for summer 2018!!! All I have left to say is I am SUPER EXCITED to get back in the gym and smack some vballs around with the coolest group of gals I know. But I cannot forget about our cool newcomers this season. I can’t wait to welcome our new froshies of 2018 to the Geneseo Volleyball family. Let’s kick some booty this season boys…

Have an amazing rest of all of your summers!

P.S. Drink lots of water folks. We got some scorchers ahead. 🙂

Who is Geneseo Volleyball? A Blog by SO Abby May

When thinking about this question, I found the answer quite difficult to put into words. I think most of my teammates would say the same…

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This is because I believe that who we are and what we are cannot simply be put into words. It is something that is rather felt; felt deeply by each and every one of my teammates. Although I do not believe I can explain with the use of words the passion, support, love, and dedication of the amazing people of this program, I will surely try my best.

What are we all about?

We are eager.

I believe this word is all encompassing of what we strive for. Each and every day, we are hungry. We are hungry to get better. We are hungry to compete. We are hungry to win. Every time we step in the gym, we are mentally prepared to push ourselves and to push one another. We are excited to show everyone what we are capable of, and what we can accomplish together.

We are determined.

I see this within every one of my teammates. I feel this among us on and off the court. We all hold each other accountable to our highest expectations. Seeing one’s hard work and dedication makes another’s drive even stronger, which creates a never-ending cycle of hard work and perseverance. For us, seeing one another succeed is a powerful source of motivation. We hold such a strong desire to get better. Not just for ourselves, but for each other. I think that is what makes us so special. The selflessness of this team. The atmosphere we have created is cohesive, not individualistic. I am certain this is one of the largest contributors to our success thus far.

We are supportive.

This program is my rock. I know that everyone will have my back no matter what. I know I can go to my teammates with anything, and for that I am forever grateful. When someone is down, there is a multitude of people waiting to pick you back up. We are dialed in. We know when someone needs an extra word of encouragement, someone to make them smile, or even just a big hug. We go through a lot of big changes from graduating high school to going through college, so having such an incredible support system is something I cannot say everyone is as fortunate enough to have.

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What does it mean to me?

Being apart of this program brings me so much joy and gratitude. This experience has had an incredible influence on my life and development as a person, and I know it will continue to do so. So here is where I’d like to begin to thank all those who positively impact my life each and every day.

For those who have left the program, and for those who are currently in it, thank you for teaching me what is truly means to have a second family; for teaching me that I can be appreciated, supported, and loved by people that are not necessarily connected to me by blood. Thank you to all the family members of our program for your help in creating such a supportive and caring atmosphere. Without you all, we wouldn’t be where we are; we would not have such a strong sense of cohesiveness that is such an important part of our team chemistry.

I can only hope these words scratched the surface of explaining what Geneseo Volleyball is all about. Everyone involved in this program probably knows very well the feelings I am attempting to explain. Moving forward, I am beyond excited to see where we can go in my next two years here, as well as after my time here is up. I am ecstatic to say the future for Geneseo Volleyball is looking very bright, and I could not be more appreciative to be a part of something so extraordinary.

I love you all with my whole heart.

Let’s keep rockin’ GSUVB!!

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Summer – Family and Friends

Hey guys!! Abby May here :).  I just completed my first year at Geneseo as a member on the women’s volleyball team.  I met so many wonderful people in such a short period of time.  These people (especially my awesome teammates) have made a huge impact on my life.  I know they will be the ones I can count on even after college is done.  With that, I miss you all so much, but now I have to share a bit about my summer vacation.

I have a job at a bottle and can return that I’ve been at for three years now.  I like it because it keeps me busy and moving around.  I also do some dog sitting and babysitting on the side, which I enjoy very much.

As for the fun stuff, I play in a beach volleyball league weekly.  Me and two of my sisters are on a team together.  We love playing together, and my parents love to come and see how much fun we have.  We also take frequent trips to a park near our house that has a beach court.  This is where my little sister teaches me and my older sister a thing or two about defense.  It’s funny to have my younger sister running the drills and giving me tips.

When I first got home f14993358_1070748103023650_5688609644087731259_nrom college, turkey season was still open.  Me, my dad, my sister, and my brother went turkey hunting as much as we possibly could before the season closed.  Unfortunately, we did not get one, but I did take my first ever shot at a turkey.  I still enjoy myself even if we do not get anything.  I love being outside and spending time with my dad doing what he loves.

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I also love going out on our boat and doing water activities.  Tubing is my favorite.  Me and my older siblings go fishing as well, but usually with canoes or kayaks.  I am also learning how to fly fish in brooks and streams.  Something I also love to do is camping.  I am going to take at least two camping trips this year.  My family and I will take our yearly trip to Canada in July, which I wrote about in my last blog entry.  This will already be our fourteenth year going.13254102_943194689112326_2301922748958115270_n

I am going to two concerts this summer.  I am seeing Dave Mathews and Tim Reynolds (my second time seeing Dave).  I am also going to a Zac Brown Band concert, which will be my third time seeing them.  I am a huge country fan, as my teammates know.  I am hoping to find another concert to go to this summer.

As much I am trying to keep busy, I still find myself with lots of extra time.  It is very nice to be able to relax at home with my family, or meet up with some friends from home.  I absolutely love laying out by the pool and listening to music on a hot summers day.  I am enjoying the break from schoolwork, but I am also excited to get back in the gym with the people I love.  I can’t wait to meet the incoming players (if I haven’t already), and kick off a great season.  See you all soon!!

Our Yearly Trip to Canada

Every summer my family of seven takes a week long trip up to a camp in Ontario, Canada. The camp we rent yearly is located on Charleston Lake.  This year is our thirteenth trip, which I am currently on now.  I was six years old when we came here for the first time. There are five kids in my family.  The oldest sibling will be twenty two this year and the youngest is twelve.  There are four girls and one boy, who is the oldest.  I am the middle child.

Even with all the kids home in the summer, we all seem to be going in a hundred different directions.  There does not seem to be a convenient time at home for us five to do things together.  If we are all actually at home and not at work or out with friends, it seems that only two or three of us tend to do things together due to the differences in age.  However, this is where our annual trip to Canada comes in.  This trip encourages us to be with each other for an entire week, and to find activities to do.  We genuinely enjoy and appreciate this trip together because there is no one to answer to, nor obligations to keep us from spending quality time with one another.

 

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This is the camp.  To the right is our little bay with a beach and a dock for the boats.

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This is the bay and dock looking from the deck.

 

 

 

 

To begin summarizing a typical week, we bring both of our boats up.  One is for fishing and one is for water activities such as water skiing and tubing.  I love tubing most, and prefer flat tubes that enable people to be whipped off of after holding on for dear life.  Fishing is something my dad taught us at a very young age, and that we all enjoy doing.  Typically we have competitions of who can catch the best or most fish.  Unfortunately, I do not usually win these competitions.

 

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These are pictures from today of my neighbor and I tubing.  They rent a camp next to ours.

Our favorite thing to do every morning is sit on the deck, eat breakfast, and watch the sunrise.  There are a lot of loons on the lake that are interesting to observe.  The parents often have their ducklings swimming alongside, and we watch as they dive down to get their babies food.

During the day we do water activities, fish, play corn hole, snorkle and relax.  Personally, I do a lot of relaxing and laying out on the beach to tan.  We like to go canoeing and kayaking, and to make trips to a little island known to us as “the rock”.  It is a large round rock that looks like the top of a turtle shell.  We go to jump off it into the water or to watch the beautiful sunset just prior to nightfall.  

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This is the sunset from the rock.

We also enjoy making boating or canoeing trips to a little convenience store called Twist’s Outlet.  We tend to go here nearly every night for ice cream.  The couple that runs the little store knows us as the huge family that comes to Canada for one week every year.  It is nice to see someone here that recognizes us.

Before nightfall we are always anxious to see the beautiful sunset.  I mentioned prior that the rock is one of the places we go to view it.  We also have a spectacular view right from the deck that wraps around the camp.  The peninsula that the camp is named after (it’s called “Paradise Point”) has trees in front of the sunset.  The colors around the sun and the way the light shines through the trees is absolutely amazing.vball blog sunset point

This is the sunset from the porch.  The trees are on the peninsula.

My neighbors back at home came to visit us for a little for a couple years in a row.  They loved it so much that they decided to rent a camp right next to ours.  They have been coming to their own camp for three years now.  That is one of the kids tubing with me in the picture.

This trip never fails to bring us together.  It prevents us from doing unproductive and mindless things such as sitting on our phones or watching tv.  I will be forever grateful for this annual week of paradise with my family.