For as long as I can remember, my immediate family, my cousins, and I have always camped at a state park for a few days during summer vacation. That’s exactly what I was expecting during the summer of 2011, so when my dad and my uncle decided to break tradition and take us to South Padre Island for 5 days, we were, needless to say, absolutely ecstatic. We explored the white, clean, beaches that differed very much from those of Galveston, the only beach I had previously visited, rode twisting, wild rides at Schlitterbahn, enjoyed more food than any sane human should ever consume in the course of 5 days, and, my personal favorite, rented 3 jet skis for an adventure.
My cousins and I wanted to do something exciting that we couldn’t experience at home, and jet skis seemed like the perfect activity to quench our thirst for thrill. So we rented enough for everyone to ride. My cousin, Elexis, was the only one of us 3 girls who was 18, and therefore, old enough to drive the jet ski. My cousin, Elyssa, and I very reluctantly boarded her jet ski, and we took off behind a very friendly tour guide. For the first 10 minutes, I was clutching my cousin so tightly that I literally couldn’t feel my fingers afterward because her driving was so reckless.
I did not enjoy the prospect of ending up in the extremely deep, extremely fish-infested water. After a while, though, I loosened up, and we began to truly enjoy our ride. My cousin led us in a series of sharp turns, twists, and jumps that often ended in us nearly being thrown from the jet ski, but we were having the time of our lives. That is, until we went one sharp turn too far, nearly rammed into my aunt and uncle’s jet ski, and Elyssa and I were hurled from the back of the jet ski and plunged into the ice cold, terrifying ocean with a loud slap.
Salty water immediately rushed into my nose and eyes, my whole body ached from hitting the surface so roughly, and I didn’t know which way was up. I was certain that I was drowning, and I began to panic. Luckily, Elyssa and Elexis were able to keep their heads enough to realize that the deep, dark, cold ocean that we had been thrown into was actually only about 3 feet deep at that point, and they helped me stand up, all the while laughing hysterically at me. I never heard the end of that one.
Although the jet ski ride resulted in my perceived almost-drowning, it was truly one of the most thrilling, exciting experiences I have ever had on a family vacation, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. When we return to South Padre this summer, however, I may ride with someone a little bit less rash than my cousin, so that I hopefully will remain on the jet ski, instead of in the ocean.
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