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Author: Nate Fisher

Tags: North America, USA, Vacations

The Halfburger Trip

When it comes to our annual family trip from Texas to Colorado, my dad doesn't believe in modern technology. No Ipods, no airplanes. No TV in the car. Cell phone for emergencies only.

I'm surprised we actually even use an automobile, given that I'm sure somewhere 'round these here parts we could rent us a fine team of horses and a conestoga wagon.

"We drive,'' Dad says, "so we can talk.''


Author: Brenna Gilman

Tags: New York, North America, Quarter Finalist, USA, Vacations

Leave No Trace

        The Adirondack Mountains, located in Upstate New York, hold forty-six High Peaks above 3,790 feet.  One of my favorite vacation activities is hiking some of these peaks with my family.

Author: McKenzie Hartman

Tags: Europe, Finalist, Italy, Vacations

Italy: The Path of the Gods

The narrow, serpentine road hugs the hillside, rocks and vegetation to the left, a sheer drop to the Mediterranean to the right. We’re taking the Sita bus from Positano to Amalfi this morning, the third day since my family flew into Naples. The driver complains about the hulking tour busses that aren’t made for this sort of road; when we manage to squeeze past one, there’s barely a centimeter between the opposing mirrors.

Author: MH

Tags: Australia, Finalist, Pacific, Vacations

Climbing to New Caledonia

The American flag waved above me as I paraded across stage with forty other Americans all wearing red white and blue. We were surrounded by the reds, whites, greens and yellows of twenty-six other flags and their flag bearers, all cheering for their home country. Reminding us all why we were on stage, a fifty foot tall rock wall covered in colorful plastic climbing holds loomed behind us. We waited on stage with anticipation for the next day when we would all climb on the wall to compete for the title of World Champion.

Author: Sarah

Tags: Europe, Italy, Semi Finalist, Vacations

Pompeii Dreams

Young and hopeful, I dreamed of seeing the places from my "Who Was" books and History Channel documentaries. I wrote stories of going to Egypt and discovering King Tut’s tomb for myself. I wished I could go to India and return, having found the ghost of Mumtaz Mahal lingering in the Taj Mahal too. I wanted so badly to climb Mount Vesuvius, visit Pompeii and see the people who were left covered in volcanic rock. Over the years, I slowly began to visit the places that my 6-year old self had waited so patiently to see. London..Paris..Barcelona..Rome..until..

Author: AGM D.

Tags: New York, New York City, North America, Quarter Finalist, USA, Vacations

New York Two Ways

     The air is sharp, like the people who glance at our mini-man for but a second before discerning our place as outsiders looking into their world. The pale, yet colorful, cynical, yet hopeful world of New York City.  It’s the center of the world, bustling with life, and energy, feeding off the short clicks of high heels counting the seconds. Among it all stand a group of four Indians, carrying back packs colorfully decorated with groovy tie dye color schemes, and pinstripes. The smallest of them is me, rocking a pair of neon shorts and a t-shirt.

Author: koalatree

Tags: Caribbean, Finalist, Vacations

Fifteen Cent Priceless Glossy 4x6's

I can still see myself standing in the middle of the Budget parking lot, basking in the scent of rental cars, trying to imprint the moment in my memory for the rest of my life. My mom had just returned the car when the shuttle came to take my family and me to the Norwegian Cruise Line’s newest ship, the NCL Getaway. It was going to be my first time on a cruise and I felt jittery, as if pure sugar had just been injected straight into my veins. 

Author: Anna H

Tags: California, Finalist, North America, San Francisco, USA, Vacations, Wyoming

Uprooted in Gold

It was that night by the gas station when I felt it. A liquid, a lightness, kind of like the golden air over my shoulder as I sat on the curb. For a moment it was stretched out soft, carrying me with it. The van was parked to my left and Nevada plains lay to my right. The future was spellbound. I was here, and the possibilities were endless.
I’d forgotten what it felt like to be a little kid.

Author: Rashmi Kumar

Tags: Alaska, North America, Semi Finalist, USA, Vacations

God Was Having A Good Day When He Made Alaska

          Alaska is more a humbling experience than anything else. There’s something beautiful in every direction you look. My dad knew this when he planned our day in Juneau.  

Author: BrookeSokoloski

Tags: New York, New York City, Quarter Finalist, Vacations

The Boardwalk Where Footsteps Align

The way Coney Island is, you can never pinpoint how exactly it’s supposed to feel; it’s different every time. On the last day I visited it felt especially gritty, from the way the gray overcast sky made the small shops look even more battered to the way the wooden boardwalk creaks with each passerby, the same wood that gave my dad splinters as a barefooted kid. Hearing the whirring of the Cyclone harmonizing with the screaming of its passengers and smelling Nathan’s nearby is enough to conjure a more glamorous idea of Coney Island though.