Holly On Hiatus - My Family Travels

I am able to reluctantly admit that my memory is, in the simplest of terms- not top notch. While some will occasionally walk into a room and suddenly forget they are there in the first place, I seem to do such a thing on a daily basis. My family likes to say that I don't fully focus on what's going on around me, but I figure that my head is just too full with dreams and fantasies to really pay attention to reality.

During the summer of 2009, I got to partake in the trip of a lifetime. It was such an amazing event at that point in my life that I can proudly say that I remember every detail of that vacation, as if it was just a vivid daydream in my head. That summer, I had just been promoted from middle school to high school, and as a present, my parents decided to let me spend the summer with family in North Carolina. Never really being away from home for more than a day or two, I was nervous and excited at the same time.

It was a summer full of firsts. My first plane ride. I was so scared as I peered out the tiny airplane window, waiting to rise up into the sky and see the world as I never had previously viewed it. I fell in love with the land and clouds during that plane ride. I felt like the plane was swimming in a sea of marshmallow clouds, and when it emerged, I was flabbergasted by the beauty of the landscape below. Mountains, rivers, farms and busy cities, I never realized how gorgeous our world is. Just that simple plane trip really made me passionate about traveling and seeing all the other beauties of the world.

When we landed in North Carolina, we drove down the tree lined interstate 40 to Valdese. I stayed with my aunt and uncle, who lived in this adorable house with a backyard that went super far back into the forest. I was overwhelmed with the clean air and greenery. While I was in North Carolina, my aunt liked to take me to places in the great outdoors, because I love being active and in nature filled places. We went to a place called Mount Mitchell, which is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River, with an elevation of 6684 ft! We didn't hike all that way though- we drove and then hiked to the very peak. It was so fresh up there and such a breathtaking view. Another time we went to the caverns near Grandfather Mountain, and I got to see one of the very rare places in the world where you can experience absolute darkness. 

One thing I loved most about that trip was seeing all of my family. I got to see my cousins who were just returning from the Marines and Navy, and I got to meet my little cousins who were just born, Izzie and Zoe. I hadn't see most of my family from the east coast since I was really little, so that was the perfect opportunity for a huge family reunion. 

Overall, during my summer trip to North Carolina, I got to experience nature at it's purest, and those magnificent sites really persuaded me to visit and see as much as I can in my future travels. I got to bond with my family, and that was the biggest reward of the whole trip. 


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