I am cruising along the California coastline, staring out my window at the breathtaking view of the rocky coast, noting where the Pacific Ocean meets the milky blue sky. As I take in the simplicity of the landscape, I think about how just a day ago I wasn't even sure that my family would be vacationing in California.
The morning my family left for the airport, I could barely hide my smile. California would definitely be different from Pittsburgh. After arriving at the airport, my family raced to our gate. My family flies for free because my mom used to be a flight attendant, so we fly on standby. As ticketholders started getting up to board, I was still hopeful. My nerves kicked in when the only people left sitting down were people that were also flying standby. We didn't get on the flight, or 5 more after that. It was late at night when we decided to try the next day.
Failing to catch the first flight the next day, we started thinking about going somewhere else. Then, we saw a flight heading to Philadelphia, so we decided to try it. After getting to Philadelphia, there was finally an open flight to California. Relieved, my family boarded and we were off to San Francisco. I learned to be patient, and things don't always go as planned from this experience. The long wait wasn't planned, but the rewards from the rest of the trip made us forget.
After arriving at the San Francisco Airport, we went straight to our Holiday Inn for well deserved rest. We got up quickly since we all were excited to explore the bay area in San Francisco. Walking along the wharf, we saw all of the seals packed together, "arfing" happily. The morning air was very cool and bit me with every little breeze. We looked over the murky water at Alcatraz, and then decided to head over to Chinatown. We got onto the trolley and rode up and down the steep streets. They were lined with shops filled with Chinese clothing, food and jewelry. We learned about how old Chinatown is and how it's historic. After a little window shopping, my family headed towards Lombard Street. I had never seen anything like it! As we drove down it in our car, I tried to take in all of the colorful houses lining the streets, along with the beautiful flowers. We were off to Meer Woods. My family was in a hurry to move onto a new place because we had lost a day due to our airport escapade. All I remembered was that the trees were bigger and older than any I had ever imagined! The forest was so serene and peaceful. What a great end to a wonderful day!
The next few days consisted of visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium, driving down Rodeo Drive, visiting Hollywood with my aunt and uncle, going to Legoland, and touring the Hearst Castle. We learned about the sea life at the aquarium, saw the stars on the sidewalks of Hollywood Blvd. and buildings and places of the world constructed completely of Legos in Legoland. My family was mesmerized by how exquisite and intricate the Hearst Castle was, and how much history it holds. Driving along the California coast was breathtaking, every time we stopped to take a picture, I thought that I would fall off a cliff! California is definitely one of the best places in the country to vacation!
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