Over this past summer, my family and I went on an Adventures by Disney vacation. We went on their mid-Atlantic Spirit of America tour. Disney advertises these types of vacations as ‘The adventure of a lifetime,’ and boy was it ever! Even though I’d been to Disney World twice before, I didn’t know what to expect.
I must say that at first I was not too excited about spending a week talking about history or walking around a bunch of stuffy monuments and museums, but was I ever in for a surprise—or rather an adventure! Disney took 30 people (ten families) from Philadelphia to Washington D.C. to Colonial Williamsburg. They had a representative meet us at the airport in Philadelphia and took us in a limousine to our hotel.
‘All right,’ I thought. This might be okay after all.’ Well it just kept getting better with everything we did. Our hotel was in Philadelphia right on to the Delaware River next to the Benjamin Franklin Bridge.
At night, the lights on the bridge made the water sparkle and it felt so good to be in this exciting place. To kick off the vacation that evening, we had an informal get-together and met all the families we would be with for the next week. Luckily, there were two other teenage boys my age, so I began to relax.
Right after that, we had dinner with Ben Franklin himself at the City Tavern where the Founding Fathers used to meet. We had two amazing tour-guides that showed us basically everything on our vacation throughout the week. It was like having two favorite aunts dote on me all week.
In Philadelphia we saw the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. We saw the places that the movie National Treasure was filmed and made it seem so much more real to me. At the National Constitution Center we visited the Signers Room, where we ‘visited’ with the men that had signed the Constitution.
(Even though they didn’t have much to say, they were fun!) After two days there, we took a bus ride to Washington D.C. That first afternoon we got to D.C. we went on a bike ride through the National Mall.
We saw all the sites: the Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, WWII Memorial, and the Washington Monument, just to name a few. The coolest part of all was standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and looking out at the reflecting pool. It was just like you see it on TV, but now we were there too.
It kind of made me quiet and made me think about what it all meant. During our days in D.C., we also went to several of the Smithsonian Museums and the Washington Zoo where we saw many different types of animals including the panda bears. The last part of our trip took us to Colonial Williamsburg. The town itself was very interesting with the old buildings and all the history. The people there live like they actually lived over 200 years ago. It was cool but it made me realize how lucky we are to live in modern times. In Williamsburg, we stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge for two days.
I’d never been to an indoor water park so I couldn’t imagine what it was like, but it was amazing! My two new friends and I did every massive slide over and over again and stayed in the water until the park closed. After seven days of reliving the past, it was time to come back to our present. The trip I was not excited about turned out to truly be the ‘Adventure of a Lifetime’ and one I will remember forever. I learned more than I expected to and even enjoyed some of the touristy things like having our picture taken with the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Even now, my family and I talk about this vacation regularly and compare so many other experiences to it. For now, this was the best vacation ever, but there are more adventures to come. In the summer of 2008 we are off to a Dude Ranch to ride horses and rodeo and 2009 will take us to the Grand Canyon.
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