California | My Family Travels
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During the summer of 2007, I took my first trip ever to California. I was so excited the night before that I could hardly even sleep! It would be my first time to ride an airplane and I was very anxious. When I got on the airplane, my stomach began to feel queasy as the anxiety grew. As we began to take off and everything began to get smaller, I started to calm down because it didn’t feel as bad as I had anticipated. The soft blue of the morning sky actually helped me find tranquility and feel secure. What a beautiful view I had up there, about ten thousand feet from the ground! What a beautiful landscape it was! And what beautiful blue cotton-like clouds there were! As soon as I arrived, my wonderful adventure full of new experiences began.

On the first day, my family and I went to Eastman Lake to spend a wonderful, relaxing evening together. We barbequed and I rode a boat for the first time ever. On the second day, we all took a trip to San Francisco to visit the Golden Gate Bridge. I couldn’t believe I was actually standing on the bridge I had seen so many times on television. After visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, we went to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk where I swallowed my fear of roller coasters and rode the Giant Dipper; a hundred year- old rollercoaster made of wood. On the third day, my dad’s cousin hosted a family reunion in which I interacted with family members I had never met before while playing silly games like musical chairs and racing with our legs tied together. On the fourth day, I went to “the happiest place on earth,” Disneyland. Going there was like dream come true; it was everything I had ever expected; like a fairytale. On my fifth day in California, I visited the very famous Hollywood sign and walked along Hollywood Boulevard where the sidewalk was covered with stars recognizing many famous people. On my sixth and final day there, I went to Carmel Beach with my cousins. We all relaxed on the shore after a week of many new experiences.

It had been a trip filled with fun, laughter, and above all, many firsts. My first time to ride an airplane; my first time to ride a boat; my first time to see the Golden Gate Bridge in person; my first time to ride a hundred year-old rollercoaster; my first time to attend a family reunion and interact with family members I had never met; my first time to visit Disneyland; and my first time to visit Hollywood. What a fulfilling trip it had been! It allowed me to realize that there is a whole world out there just waiting to be discovered.

Before, the farthest I had ever gone was my backyard and that was it for me. I had no idea how many beautiful places there were in the world and how wonderful it felt to be able to see them. After that trip, the Travel Channel no longer fulfilled me; I wanted to see the world!  

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