My Flight of Independence - My Family Travels
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In October of 2006, my family and I went to Washington D.C. to attend my cousin’s wedding. My brother and I were actually part of the wedding party. I was excited about going; I would miss school and be able to ride in an airplane, neither of which I do often. I did not know then that this trip would be so monumental for me.

Our trip started with trying to navigate through the Atlanta Airport. I love the airport. I liked the cool stores, the international population, and the train in between terminals. Because four of us were flying, I was able to sit by myself on the plane, without my family. I liked that small feeling of independence. I just enjoyed flying, it felt cool and posh.

Once we arrived at Washington D.C., we went to one of the best located inns in the city, the Phoenix Park Hotel. Our hotel was literarily four blocks away from the capital building. At night, we would see the capital dome lit up, and it was beautiful. In between rehearsals and parties, my mother and I would walk to the capital building, or we would walk to Union Station- the main train station in D.C. I loved going to Union Station; the basement is the actual train station, but the three floors above it consists of a mall and a food court. The mall did not look like a regular mall, it has marble floors and sculptures- it looked like a train station. It was so cool just walking around there, to be somewhere else, to be, almost, someone else.

I live in Columbus, Georgia. If we are lucky, it would feel like fall in late November- that is just hoping. When I went to D.C., it actually felt like fall. This may seem strange, but walking around the city, with the trees lining the streets in beautiful dark reds and plums, it looked beautiful. Also, while walking, the coolness gave me a chill- not because of the temperature, but of possibility, of difference.

I also liked that I was able to spend time with my mother’s family. I love them all incredibly, but because of distances, we are not able to meet as much as we would like. I would always go up to the penthouse suite (they rented one for the special occasion), and just talk, laugh, and help make candles for the reception, all the while looking out at the D.C. skyline. It was also fun, on the day of the wedding, spending time with the other bridesmaids. I tended to be with the older ones rather than the younger ones. By older I mean the women that were in their late 20s, I could not find any similar likes with the girls my age. It was fun. They took me seriously, which made me feel older and sophisticated. It was an all around good experience.

What I enjoyed most about this vacation, was not the fact that I was on a “vacation,” it felt more than that. There was a general “air” of independence and reawakening, almost indescribable. It was so exciting that this whole new experience and practically new world only occurred in a short time span. It was as if I took a quick break in my normal life, not even thinking about it, and lived a completely different one. This experience was so positive that I hope to have many other vacations with the same feeling.

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