Lights, Camera, Compaction - My Family Travels


               As a young girl, growing up in front of the television, dreamily scanning through countless magazines, and attempting to sing like the vocalists on the radio, I was constantly surrounded by the productions of Hollywood.  Back then I hadn’t a clue where most of the fame and fortune was being processed into perfect images and sounds so kids like me could only dream to be as great.  I only knew it was far away from where I was. I also knew my father had been there.
           I know what you’re thinking, “Who’s your dad? Is he famous?” let me just cease the thoughts with a simple no. Since before I was even born, my dad has been a truck driver. With that given fact, let it sink in that my dad has been about everywhere in the United States. Yes, I didn’t get to see him that frequently when I was younger, and yes, the constant distance caused my parents to separate, but that didn’t stop me from wanting to go with him whenever I could.
           My fascination of accompanying my dad on his trips began at the kindhearted age of three, and though it slowed along the years, those days in stowed upon me a love for traveling. I not only absorbed the excitement and the anticipation to get to the destination, but I also was captivated with the ride. The simple landscape of the earth kept me amazed for hours, until all of a sudden the unasked question of “Are we there yet?” was answered with a yes.
            As time went on and age found me more and more, I realized there was still one place I longed to go, the factory that created the stars. No, I did not want to visit space; I desperately wanted to go to Hollywood. My want to travel to California was finally granted in the summer after my freshman year had come to an end.  In May, as soon as school let out, my dad had found a load leading us across the country, all the way to the golden state. I was more than excited to accompany him.
            We departed on a Friday night. The air was cool and the weather clear. As I sat in the front seat of his Peterbilt, I was overwhelmed with all the memories of the trips I had taken with him. All the sleepless nights I had sat up there with my dad, keeping him company while he drove through the blackness. Remembering all the mile markers I used to count for him, when I was just learning how to count and wanted to show off my newfound ability. I was ready to make some more memories, without letting my age or attitude get in the way.
             After about a week, California was finally under our tires. When I first spotted the Hollywood sign I almost fainted. I was seeing it in real life, what I’ve seen on so many movies and television shows. A feeling came over me unlike any other.  Just thinking of what I was looking at, and how many people, famous people at that, had been looking at the exact monument I was seeing now. I thanked my dad for being able to grant this childhood dream and for the next few days we hung out in Los Angeles; walking the walk of fame, touring Paramount Studios, and doing some shopping.
            Although the trip wasn’t as glamorous as I imagined, it was amazing to be with my dad, in the place I always wanted to go.

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