Summer always gives you that feeling. A feeling that is never present during the rest of the year. There was just something about diving into the deep end of a pool, noticing the freckles on your shoulders that come out of hiding or smelling the smell of freshly cut grass and freedom that made you not worry about what happened last year. Instead you looked to the future and what was waiting there for you. Every summer, being an Arizona native, I looked forward to our family trip to Carlsbad, California and the nice weather that waited for me there. One summer, a year ago, I met a group of kids that changed my opinion on friendship and how I value myself and are still, to this day, in my heart.
I was innocently playing volleyball with my brother and sister in the quart yard of our beachside hotel when I was asked to join a separate game by two young girls. Lizzy and Megan where from Havasu, Arizona and were best friends. Lizzy had a mouth on her and almost everything she said was funny. Megan was more quiet and loving but had this twinkle in her eyes that led you to believe she always had something cooking in there. Through these girls I met more and more kids our age that were staying in the same hotel. Tanner and Nick were from Chicago and their accents drove the girls crazy. Dylan and Taylor where two cute twins that were right around my age and where the only ones that were local to Carlsbad. My two siblings and I ended off the group with me being the oldest.
The rest of the trip was nothing but midnight treks down to the beach, walking around town with dripping ice cream cones and long, meaningful talks on the boardwalk. This large group of friends started to become my family; so much so that when it was time for our real family to go home, each one of us sat in the car with a heavy heart and tears on our sunburned cheeks. Each one of my friends taught me something different. Lizzy taught me how to find humor in some of the most depressing situations where as Megan showed me how to love with out abandon. Tanner showed me that no matter how loud and proud you are on the outside, it’s okay to cry when you’re upset. Dylan and Taylor taught me the meaning of family and sticking together through all the tough times as well as being proud of who you are. Every time I look back on that summer, I wouldn’t change a thing. Each fight, each laugh and each day meant something to me as well as the others. And now that summer has passed and school has faded our tans, I still will always remember that time in my most favorite place in the world; Carlsbad California.
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