California Summer Vacation - My Family Travels

In late July, 2011, my twin sister, Savannah, and I traveled alone to California to visit our older sister Mercedes, who lives in Lancaster. We stayed for five days before flying home to Arizona. While we were there, we partook in various activities ranging from sightseeing to riding death-defying roller coasters.

Our father drove us to Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix. We checked our suitcases, went through security, and got to our gate without a problem. Dad drove home after a goodbye, and after two hours, my sister and I boarded the plane to Burbank, California, where Mercedes met us at the baggage claim.

She drove us to go sightseeing throughout Hollywood. We took pictures in front of the Hollywood sign and drove down Hollywood Boulevard. Heavy traffic was the only inconvenience. We made a college visit to Pepperdine that day and UC Irvine the next.  After UC Irvine, the three of us drove to the San Diego Zoo, where we saw lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), and a multitude of other animals. The next day, we spent over twelve hours at Six Flags Magic Mountain with Mercedes and her friends. Even though the weather topped 100 degrees, we all still had fun. We rode a rollercoaster that goes as fast as the speed of fear, called Tatsu. Colossus, X2, and Superman were some other thrilling rides. During all the activities Mercedes took us to do, everyone was happy and enjoyed themselves. The only catch was the one-, two-, or three-hour drives to each site. On the bright side, Mercedes’s car had air conditioning and incessant music.

At night, Savannah and I slept in Mercedes’s guest bedroom. Mercedes took us grocery shopping the first night, so we could have food and snacks to eat on days she worked. On those weekdays, Savannah and I swam, played tennis, and watched television until Mercedes got home from work, around five o’clock. The weekend was when we did the exciting San Diego Zoo visit, and rode the adrenaline-pumping rides at Six Flags. Thanks to sunscreen, the sun did not burn us at Six Flags, and our flash passes allowed us to ride more roller coasters while we were there.

Most of the trip went well. Flying there was a snap, and the plane ride was roughly an hour and twenty minutes. Long car rides were made enjoyable by listening to Mercedes’s Taylor Swift CD. One night, Mercedes kindly dropped me off at the Marie Kerr Skatepark, fourteen minutes from her house, so I could skateboard for three hours. Other nights we watched movies before bed.

Though the trip went smoothly, there were some difficulties on the way home. It took my backpack two tries through the security scanner and a search before it finally passed inspection. Upon arriving in Phoenix, Savannah’s luggage was nowhere in sight because it had been taken off the luggage carousel. Twenty minutes later, we found it behind Carousel Four with a few other travelers’ “missing” luggage.

I had more fun than I would have had at home. I was ultimately glad I went. There was a time a month prior, when I had not planned on going. My excuse was I did not want to spend the money for the round trip. Now I come to realize that family is very important. I’m glad I went to California with Savannah to visit Mercedes. Family is more valuable than money. No matter what the price, I’ll always enjoy doing fun things with my sisters. I’ve learned that they love me, and family comes first.

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