As I walk the halls of school, I cannot help but overhear of the exotic and tropical adventures of my peers reminiscing upon his and her Spring break vacations. Speaking excitedly with hand gestures followed by high-pitched laughter, the senior girls tell tales of the numerous men they encountered while sitting at the cabana in Cancun.
Instead of sitting at a cabana, I spent the majority of my spring break 2012 in a car with my parents, destined for the colleges of Tennessee. Tennessee may sound like an unusual choice, but ever since 2006 when my family and I drove through on our way to Florida, I fell in love with the state’s music, nature, and people. For this reason, I wanted to live and possibly attend college in this riveting Tennessee culture.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHip
Leaving early in the morning, we started off on the road towards my possible future. My time spent in the car consisted of 4 things, sleep, music, texting, and talking. Sleep seemed to turn back time, making up for those late night hours spent studying for the Pre-calculus semester final the week prior. Driving through what seemed the largest place in the world, Illinois, my dad and I saw a sign for Effingham and made jokes about what we wanted for dinner. As we drove onward the terrain became rockier and the grass and trees more vibrant, and eagerness struck me, because I knew we were close and my dreams would soon become my reality.
After spending fourteen hours in the car, we pulled into Chattanooga, Tennessee in the middle of the night and I could see the outline of the mountains glimmering of the lake as the rain fell. I stayed up all night staring out the window of our Days Inn hotel room at the mesmerizing landscape in the moonlight and thinking to myself that one day this may be my home. My favorite memory of that week would be when we hiked up lookout mountain where the birds and clouds wisped below us. We took an eerie, creaking trolley that astonishingly ran vertically with the mountain to return to the bottom, where my dad practically kissed the pavement with relief. The next day, we toured the Chattanooga college that unfortunately did not meet my expectations visually. After touring, we went to a comfortable Wally’s diner, where on their menu listed brownies, peach cobbler, apple pie, and french fries as a vegetable item, and I thought to myself, Tennessee is the best place ever. We spent the nights swimming at the hotel and trying to find a nice restaurant that was open, but there never was.
The next day we packed our bags and left for Knoxville college, but along the way we encountered two serious car accidents that set our schedule back four hours, but we took the time to pray for the individuals involved and thanked the Lord that he had kept us safe. When we arrived I immediately fell in love with the campus, and purchased a Tennessee car magnet. Laughing and joking about our new southern accents and experiences, the ride seemed shorter as we destined for home, where we soon hugged and told my brother and sister everything wonderful about Tennessee.
Every time I glance at my car magnet I am the one reminiscing about my spring break, and while a small piece of me may envy the senior girls, an even larger piece would not trade spending my spring break time in Tennessee with my loving parents, even for Cancun .
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