When I was informed in April of 2008 that my family would take a vacation to New York in May to celebrate my stepsister’s graduation, I was temperately excited. Obviously the news of such a trip should excite any teenager; however, I was fairly unsure of whether or not it would be a nice voyage because my older brother would not be accompanying us. This was unusual because my brother had been there for every vacation I had been on before, and I was having trouble adjusting to the fact that college had taken him away from me. After all, my mother had only recently remarried; I was nervous because my stepsister Danyel and I did not know each other well at all, and the prospect of spending twenty four hours a day for five days with her was a daunting idea for me. Not to mention the fact that whether we hit it off or not would determine my future relationship with my niece Cadence, who was in Danyel’s tummy at the time. However, in contrast with my worries our trip turned out to be a success; I grew close to my new immediate family, and had a grand time while also saving money.
In order to save money and be eco-friendly at the time of our trip, we had a few solutions that truly helped. To save the dough that would have otherwise been spent on gas, we stayed in Flemington, New Jersey and woke up at dawn each day to catch a train to New York City. It was an exciting experience for me being my first time to ride on a train, and it was accomodating towards the end of the day to have room to lie down and nap on the way back to the hotel. This nap was definitely necessary, considering we rolled out at five every day and did not leave the city until around midnight. Staying in Jersey also made our hotel fees more reasonable; since it is more expensive to stay in or near New York City than in Flemington. Since we would be eating all the delicious (and calorie- filled) foods of The Big Apple to get an authentic feel for the city, we decided it would be beneficial to walk to each of our destinations. This was an excellent idea; except the first day when I unfortunately insisted to wear cute rather than comfortable shoes, and paid for it later with blisters.
During our visit we did a variety of exciting things; went to the top of the empire state building, took a boat tour around Long Island, shopped in the world’s largest Macy’s department store and M&M’s store, and watched The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. I would propose all of these as the best activities to a prospective visitor, but the paramount facet of the trip for me was definitely that I got to spend every minute of it growing closer to my new and improved family, and experiencing a new sensation of peace with my mom. This sensation was the result of a desire of mine being granted- sharing an extended family with my mom that we both can love and care for, and my gratitude for this realization goes to God for making our vacation possible. This vacation allowed me to grow closer to my mom, step-father Darrell, and Danyel; who I am with nearly every day now. It also taught me to compensate for my brother not being around much anymore, now that he has moved out and gone to college.
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