Teen Travel Writing Scholarship - My Family Travels

So many people believe that vacation is all play and relaxation. These people seem to forget all the preparation time and planning it takes to make a vacation possible. My vacation took place in June of 2007, and there are two parts to it.


The first week of my vacation was spent at Girl’s State, sponsored by the Women’s American Legion Auxiliary with about 457 selected girls from Illinois. The second part of my vacation was spent in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in Stephenson. Eastern Illinois University was gracious to allow the girls invited to Girls State use of their dorms, cafeteria, and courtyard.

While at Girl’s State, we experienced three meetings a day, campaigning for political positions, and various extra curricular activities. We learned the difficulties that political figures face on a day to day basis. Aside from the learning experience, we enjoyed ourselves during recreation time by shopping at the school bookstore (where I purchased a mystery novel), enjoyed pizza parties, took place in a talent show, and sang in the chorus.

I also made many relationships with girls from all over Illinois. After my first week at Girl’s State, I was going to go home – where I would of been alone for a week. My family had left for vacation the previous week while I attended Girl’s State.

They went to Twin Lakes in Michigan for one week and journeyed to Stephenson, Michigan in the upper Peninsula of Michigan for the second week. I returned from Girl’s State on Saturday June 23rd, at the same time my family made their journey from Twin Lakes Michigan, across the Mackinaw Bridge into the Upper Peninsula. I went to PAWS and volunteered at the local animal shelter on Sunday afternoon, and to my surprise – my grandmother picked me up that afternoon to drive me up to Racine, Wisconsin.

My stepfather met my grandmother and I in Racine and drove me up to Stephenson. I am grateful for the unselfishness of both my grandmother and my stepfather. My grandmother drove me two hours of the way and my stepfather drove me the remaining four hours.

If you put it into perspective, my grandmother had a four hour round trip, and my stepfather a whopping eight! While in Stephenson, I laid on the beach with that novel. Unfortunately I wound up with a sunburn and had to take it easy for the remainder of the trip. Note to self – do not forget the sun screen! The beach was beautiful, the water was crystal clear, and the temperature was balmy.

It was perfect, and I was with my family – including our two Golden Retrievers. All good things come to an end, and it is back to reality. On our way home, the car was a little more crowded.

There was my mom, my stepfather, my sister, her friend, my brother and two medium to large size Golden Retrievers – all in a minivan. One of the dogs vomited on the way home – long ride – five and a half hours. It was gross, but I really felt for him. We gave him ice cubes and kept petting him and he was fine. Glad to be out of the car, or home – I am not sure, but I enjoyed the journey (besides the puking) while it lasted!

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