In April 2011, I had the huge privilege to go on a performing arts tour with about 150 other students at my high school. We went to southern California, where we performed, had workshops, and enjoyed time at the beach and on a dinner cruise.
Honestly, it was the best week of my life. Can you imagine how much fun it would be to spend three days at Disneyland and a day at the beach with some of your best friends? That's what I got to do.
On our first night, which happened to be Palm Sunday, my choir got to sing during Mass at a Catholic church. It was amazing to share a message of redemption and hope with so many people. This was probably the most uplifting moment of the tour, because I got to add my own message to the faith and hope of a large congregation of people.
On day two, we went to the happiest place on Earth, where we got to goof off all day. I can't tell you how much laughing I did with my friends or how many great people I got to know better. It was such a great way to make new friends and strengthen old friendships. I think that's probably the thing I'll always remember most about this vacation, because I believe that the real purpose of any vacation is to strengthen relationships and to become closer with the ones you love.
Day three was another day at Disneyland. This was also the day that my choir got to perform in the park itself, which was a very interesting opportunity. Let me just say that backstage Disneyland looks nothing like the Disneyland that I've grown used to over the years! I loved singing in front of an audience there; the energy was great, and I know that I'll always remember those few moments on stage with my friends by my side and with a diverse audience from all over the world.
On our fourth day, we had a workshop in the morning, which was really beneficial for us. This was probably the time when we learned the most during the entire tour. I feel like the workshop really enabled the choir to grow and develop. And after that, we got to go to the beach, which is really fun for someone who lives in Utah and doesn't get to hit the waves very often. We also went on our dinner cruise that night, which was a great way to finish the day.
That Thursday was another day at Disneyland. I think that this was the day I'll remember as the conclusion to the trip. It goes without saying that any day at Disneyland is basically a party at an amusement park. I loved being there and being able to recall some of my best childhood memories. I was able to connect with my younger days and to reminisce on the beauty of that easier time, but I was also able to bring my new experiences and attitude to the park. That was a great opportunity for me to mesh my childhood with my present, and I loved it!
Overall, the trip was amazing, and I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to spend an entire week like that. I've never had such a good time with friends, and I wish I could repeat that trip every year! One thing's for sure… I'll never forget it!
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