Trip of a Lifetime | My Family Travels

Just this past summer (of 2007), I got the opportunity to leave my little town of Port Townsend, Washington and go on what sounded like a fun-packed road trip with my boyfriend, Ezra, and his family. We’ve been together for a year and a half and I love his family and they love me, so I thought I could survive two weeks on a road trip with them. Our main destination was Aspen, Colorado, which was where Ezra’s mom’s (Gayle’s) family reunion was going to be.

I felt honored that they considered me a part of the family enough to invite me to tag along with them. We left early on the morning of July 3 ready for some fun. Well, let me tell you that on this trip, I saw more than I would have expected to see in my whole life.

Our first stop for the night was in Couer D’Alene, Indiana, but the next morning we were up bright and early on our way to some family friends in Missoula, Montana where we would spend our fourth of July. It was there in Missoula that I experienced the hottest weather (106 degrees) and the loudest fireworks I have ever heard (it literally sounded like a sonic boom). For the next couple of days, I didn’t really know where we were as Gayle and Charlie (mom and dad) insisted we take all the back roads and no freeways.

Ezra, Hannah (his sister), and I entertained ourselves by taking pictures on the digital camera and listening to Eddie Izzard the whole way. Within a day or two we had made it to Yellowstone National Park. We stayed in Yellowstone two nights and spent both days at the park.

I saw more geysers and hot springs than I could handle and some of the most amazing animals including two moose, a grizzly bear and her two cubs, a pack of white wolves, four black bears, lots of elk (BIG elk), and tons of not-so-bright tourists. We also saw about 300 buffalo (plenty of whom were walking in the road) and got about 400 pictures of them, courtesy of Hannah. We visted Old Faithful and documented everything we saw by camera.

I have to say, Yellowstone National Park was one of those amazing experiences everyone should have. Packing up after seeing Yellowstone we started back on the long road towards Aspen. Along the way we stopped in Dinosaur, Colorado, which is very small and has dinosaur statues everywhere.

We went to Dinosaur National Park and got to see extremely old petroglyphs on the cliffs. I used to want to be an archeologist and the park said that there are fossils around (extremely cool) so I kept my eye out for them, but unfortunately didn’t find any. Back on the road we saw the Grand Tetons and stopped in Jackson Hole, CO just outside of Aspen where we found a motel and got the last room available.

Too bad the inside wasn’t as nice as the outside. We got a room for a little over $100 and it was a smoking and pet room but the lady at the front desk said it didn’t smell like either. She must have had a cold or something because when we walked in, the first thing I said was it smelled like dirty socks.

A lady came in, and traced the smell to a dirty, SMELLY, sock under the TV. We were out of there! The next day we reached Aspen which I immediately notice is the richest town I have ever been in. Ferrari’s, Porsche’s, Aston Martin’s, and everything else you could think of. I was definitely excited seeing all of my favorite cars. Also in Aspen is the most expensive house ever on the market at $135,000,000. You couldn’t even park downtown without paying for the spot.

Coming from such a small town, I was in awe at all the expensive stuff around me. There was a Gucci store, Raulph Lauren, and a Ben Jerry’s! That night was the reunion and I got to meet the whole family who were all very nice and would love to see again. On the way back home we stopped in plenty more national parks including the Grand Canyon. All in all we drove through eight states and ended up in Las Vegas where I was dazzled by bright lights and lots of machines.

Ezra, Hannah, and I flew out of Vegas the next morning to Seattle where my parents were there to pick us up. I tried to tell them everything we did in five minutes but to no avail. Gayle and Charlie stayed in Vegas for a conference and arrived back home two weeks later. I think that will be the most packed, educating vacation I will ever go on, and one of the most fun by far.

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