Guest Post: Sweet 16

Today’s post is brought to you by Host Mom Francesca Donlan. You can follow along her journey hosting and read her last post here.


Joanna turned 16 today. We started out the day with donuts (we tried to make it look like 16) and 16 balloons.
The young woman blowing up the balloons at the Dollar Store (always get balloons there because they are big, beautiful and very affordable) was chatting us up and Katie and I told her all about Joanna.
“I’ve never heard of such a thing,” she said. “I wish I could have sent my sister to a foreign country.”
Everyone has a different take on the foreign exchange student concept.
Joanna spent the day shopping with her four Canterbury Chinese classmates and two Chinese friends attending a Naples school. They went to Miromar Outlets and then took taxis back to Gulf Coast town center where they ordered 14 different dishes at P.F. Changs. We picked her up and she climbed into the car with packages and Chinese leftovers. My neighbors – the Dunhams – came over with another birthday present.
Tomorrow night we’re going to do a family birthday dinner. Since she already had a Chinese dinner, we thought she should pick an American dinner. Her menu: Tilapia, Chinese Cabbage, Edamame, French fries and cheesecake. Close enough!
The celebration continues.