Good End to a Bad Beginning - My Family Travels

During the spring break of my sophomore year, my school’s AVID program organized a trip to London and Paris. It was a nine-day trip and open to any AVID student and their parents. I went with my mother two of my closest friends and their mothers, and we extended our stay for three additional days. Our first stop was in London, England, where we would be staying for four days. Once we arrived in London, we learned that my friend, Andrea, and her mother’s luggage was not on the flight with us, which delayed our entire agenda for the day. When that was all sorted out, we got onto a bus, which had a group from Canada on it as well, and was supposed to take us to our hotel. The Canadians were dropped off with ease, but our bus driver could not figure out where our hotel was. It took an hour of driving around to finally find it, which pushed back our schedule even more. Our group mutually decided that we should call it a day, and start over the following day. The room assignments had somehow gotten lost, so it was basically whoever wanted to room with whoever, as long as everyone had a room and they were the same gender. Our mothers agreed to room together so that Andrea and I could be together, while our other friend stayed with her mom. We had not gotten a proper dinner, or even lunch, so we walked around with some other students to find food, but because it was nearly midnight, found nothing. Our first day in Europe was a complete disaster.

The next day, we woke up and looked at the clock, which said it was about eleven. We were supposed to be ready to leave by six, so we frantically got ready, thinking everyone left us. We ran downstairs to find a few of our friends sitting casually. They had just gone for a run and it turns out we were actually early; we had forgotten to adjust our clocks to the new time zone. Since we were awake and ready, we ate breakfast and waited around for everyone else. The day was filled with sight-seeing and museum-hopping, and Indian cuisine for dinner. We turned in for the day early, so that the adults could regain their energy. At the time, Sudoku was fairly new, so Andrea and I had a big book of the puzzles, and took turns filling them out in the hallway because we didn’t want to be inside. As our friends walked past, they stopped to see what we were doing, and ended up staying. Soon enough, there was a relatively large crowd, and a Canadian down the hall told us to go inside because we were too loud. Before we knew it, everyone from our school was inside our room, all because of a Sudoku book.

The rest of our trip had its highs, like seeing visiting Disneyland Paris, and lows, like me getting sicker than I’ve ever been before. What started out as a nightmare actually turned out to be the best vacation I’ve ever been on. I learned that vacations really are what you make out of them, as cliché as that may be. We turned lost luggage into a clothes swap, cancelled plans into bonding time, and a book of puzzles into a party. I had been on school trip with my mom before, and by pushing her away, it was awful. Since that experience, I kept her close and had so much more fun than before.


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