The summer after graduating from high school was meant to be the one to stand out from all of the others; and it did! The day after my 18th birthday I took my first cross country trip, with no parents! From Sioux City, IA three of my friends and I started our long distance drive to Atlanta, Georgia. We planned to visit friends in Atlanta, as well as take a mini-trip to Panama City, FL as well.
The drive was approximately nineteen hours, we continued through the night while driving in shifts to make good time. We eventually got so tired that we realized we didn’t even feel tired anymore! Running on approximately half an hour of sleep for myself and everyone else on just a few hours we finally made it to Atlanta! We then had to attempt to find our way through the confusing city to a close family friends house.
With directions from handy dandy MapQuest we made our way to the house and only got lost once! That was an achievement in itself and so we celebrated with a nap. After resting up and getting our bearings we ventured out and began to explore the city. We visited the World of Coke Museum, Stone Mountain and of course Six Flags! The experience itself was exhilarating, although spending that much time with even the closest of friends can take its toll. But we managed to get through that and on our third day of the trip we drove down to Panama City, Florida.
The drive to Florida was quite different than the drive to Atlanta, for one it was shorter but mostly it was so much more fun! We met some characters on the road and goofed off the whole way. After finally arriving we hit the beach immediately. Unfortunately the day we were there the tides were too high and dangerous for swimmers so we didn’t have the full ocean experience but the visit was still fun nonetheless. We visited the restaurants and got many souvenirs from places like Pineapple Willy’s and Dirty Dick’s Crab house. None of us wanted to leave the beach but we were also eager to get back to Atlanta. So the next day we visited the beach one more time, collected as many sea shells as possible, bottled as much sand as we could and started to head back to Georgia.
The drive back was a little harder than the drive there and we continued our tradition of being lost; but just as before we found our way back to Atlanta. After re-arriving to the city we checked into a hotel for the remainder of the trip. For the last three days we enjoyed the Stone Mountain Laser Spectacular, fireworks in downtown Dekalb, a rocking middle eastern restaraunt called Nichola’s, and continued to sight see. The trip was definitely worth it, along the way we learned a lot about each other and even though we had our differences, it made us all closer in the end.
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