There and Back Again: An Abnormal Teenager's Tale - My Family Travels

As I was up in Bishop this past week, I journaled everything that happened. Words cannot express how happy I am to be HOME. But, while writing, I've mentioned a few of you because something reminded me of you. Enjoy.

24 June 2012

Well, we're finally here. The ride up wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, but mostly because of the hard rock music that was played and how Shelby and I were able to entertain ourselves. We came up with a game that is a cross between Wheel of Fortune, hangman, and that uses a deck of cards. I do have to admit that she knows how to entertain herself.

And the phrase Poppa (grandpa) says about "it depends on how fast you drive" when questioning how long it will take to get somewhere was definitely tested today; at some points we were going 90 MPH: I can't believe I'm alive to tell the tale. I didn't know a car could go that fast, but we made great timing.

I'm going to be sleeping in Samantha's room (one of my two cousins) since she's at her mom's this week. I already miss my own room. I'm afraid I'm going to be way too warm in here, and I don't know if it would help to open the window or not. But I'll see what I can do. This is going to be quite an experience.

26 June 2012

It's only Tuesday. Well, I guess it's technically Wednesday since it's after midnight. But the point is is that I still have way too many days to be here. Yesterday (Monday), Shelby and I went to the park for a short time and that was about it. We slept in really late, and then I had some dry cereal for breakfast (mmm, crunchy!). Later when Uncle Toby got home, he took us out so Shelby could practice for the softball game on Tuesday. When we got back, we made dinner and he told us crazy stories about when he was younger (ex: getting a dart shoved through his hand, almost burning down summer camp, and getting a ticket the day he got his license) and about the time he was a bartender. Then we sat down and they had the TV turned on to a show called "Tosh.0". I could feel my IQ dropping and my attention span decreasing as I watched the show. They claimed I didn't enjoy it because I "don't watch a lot of TV" (which is true), but I just didn't enjoy it because I didn't find it entertaining or interesting, and definitely not educating.

This morning I woke up to drilling being done at the house next door, and it was very unnecessary. Shelby slept in late, so I took a shower. I didn't really know how to use it and it was really dirty so I didn't particularly want to touch it either, making this experience a lot like camp. When done, I went to watch TV and read. I probably read a total of a couple chapters today. Nothing very interesting happened at the house. Eventually we all left to go to the softball game. They won, 10 to 9, and during the middle of the game one of Shelby's friends came who would later come home with us. We made meatloaf for dinner (our Grannie's special recipe) and two more of Shelby's friends (Clay and Nick) came over. It was interesting to hang out with real teenagers. I say this because they talked about drinking, drugs, smoking, and used a variety of swear words. It made me realize how fortunate I am to have the friends I have; it' not like Shelby's friends are bad, but my friends and I don't have to do the same things they do or say the same things they do to have a good time. We're freaking HILARIOUS without having to do drugs. This trip is really making me miss Naomi. I feel like after this I need to have a super philosophical discussion with her to revive me. And I'm also missing Molly; I noticed the way Shelby and her good friends interact and it's nothing like we do. We must seem insane to people who don't know us, but I like it that way. I guess what we have is something special 😉

I've also realized by being in Bishop that I have to live in a big city; everywhere you go you see someone you know in a small town and I hate that (ya here that, Naomi?? London is looking better and better!). Also: I've decided I like the beach better than the mountains. It is beautiful up here, but I feel like I'm trapped: all I can see around me are these towering mountains and it feels like there's nowhere to go. But at the beach, although when you look out to sea it just seems like a vast body of water, stretching on for miles and miles, that makes me happy. It makes me think of all the opportunities ahead, all the great adventures that await. So, by being reminded of these things, I have to remember that I'm only going to enjoy this trip as much as I want to. There are opportunities here as well, and I just have to be willing to try.

27 June 2012

I think I know why I'm so good at fishing. Yeah, you have to know what you're doing, and have skill, but a good portion of actually catching a fish is LUCK, which, of course, I have. Today when Uncle Toby got home he took us out fishing. On the way up through the mountains of course all I could think of was Lord of the Rings; traversing the hills and valleys on a quest of great importance. The trees were beautiful and it was so green, unlike our little dirt hole of the AV. I love how it can be like 3:15 in the afternoon and you can see the moon out already even though the sun is still high in the sky. It seems other-worldly and just makes the atmosphere even more breath-taking. When we finally reached the water, the sun was just going down and the way it was lighting the mountains gave them this reddish tint that gave such and earthy feeling (which should happen since the mountains are made out of dirt, which is earth, duh). The way the sun hit the water made it shimmer like the top layer was gold, but as the sun sank (and I began to freeze my butt of even in the summer time), the water became black and eerie. It just goes to show you how effective lighting is.

Although we sprayed gallons of bug spray onto ourselves, the gnats, mosquitoes, and other undesirable flying things were still a nuissaince, but that's to be expected. I out-fished Uncle Toby (who caught one) and Shelby (who didn't catch any and was okay with that as long as we were going home to be warm) by catching two fish. They weren't very big, however both were bigger than Uncle Toby's. So it was okay.

Mom called tonight and said I should be very proud of her due to the fact that it had been three whole days that she waited to do so. i can't wait for her to come, because that means that I get to go. I swear, I'm not leaving my house for three weeks after I get home (I finally understand the way Noah works).

Earlier today, as I was in Sammy's room waiting for Shelby and her friend who stayed the night to wake up, I was playing solitaire on my I-Pod. No music was playing; all was quiet. Then, through the open window came a noise: a noise that Sarah had shared with us. It was the same noise she had described at lunch while talking about when she had heard two cats "having some fun" right outside the window while she was with Skylar. Awkward.

Speaking of using fancy gadgets for amusement, I observed something interesting when Shelby and her friends were over. They were all sitting around, had their phones/I-Pods/whatever out and weren't talking to each other. Every once in a while one would show another something on their phone, but that was it. And this is why our English language is suffering and this generation make me face-palm. If you're hanging out together, you should be DOING something together. These are the times (and probably the only times) that I thank my lucky stars I don't have a cell phone (yeah, definitely the only times).

And on the note, I guess I'll finish all this. I'm counting down the days until I will be free and be able to go home. I'm NEVER doing this again; I would rather trek all the way to Mordor and back again…

28 June 2012

Today I woke up with a massive headache and thanks to drugs (I'm talking about the legal kind, just to make things clear), it got better as the day went on. I read a few chapters of Two Towers and am past the half way point! I just find it funny how that the first half NEVER mentioned anything that was going on with Frodo and Sam and now that I'm finally into the second half of the book I get to catch up with them.

Shelby informed me that she was going to go outside and tan for a while, so I put on some shorts, took my book, and went out with her. I didn't last long. The ground was burning even though I had a towel laid down, and I was sweating buckets. We put on this tanning lotion that smelled like shea butter and coconuts, and I did get a little tan, thankfully (but it wasn't worth burning the top layer of skin off for).

When Uncle Toby came home and we had finished dinner, he took Shelby and me to go bowling with some of Shelby's other friends. My headache had returned, but I took more drugs (yay!) and went. We were dropped off and I wasn't sure what to expect with these other friends after meeting the others earlier in the week. Shelby spotted them and we went to join them. They were immediately nice and the complete opposite of what I was expecting. We all got along really well and I appreciated the way they included me. It felt like we had been friends for a while, instead of an awkward "I just met you and don't really know you and don't know what to do now" kind of vibe. This group actually reminded me of a few friends I knew back home. I think I enjoyed their company so much because they weren't trying to be cool. They were regular people hanging out with regular friends, not trying to be what they aren't and just having a genuine good time. I figure they probably aren't the populartist people at school, but I know that I would most likely hang out with them more than other people I've met.

After bowling, Shelby and I went home and watched some previously recorded "Jeopardy!". We've done this almost every night and it's been nice to just chill and relax at the end of the day. No matter how much fun our "quality time" is though, I'm still counting down the days and am happy to know that Saturday is almost here! That means my mom is almost here, and that means that I am almost on the way home. Please, just let me make it through this last day! I WILL survive! (hopefully…)

29 June 2012

SO CLOSE. Tomorrow Mom will be coming up with Poppa (not Grannie because she isn't feeling well), and I will only have ONE MORE DAWN, ONE MORE DAY, ONE DAY MORE!

Today we all went fishing at Lake Sabrina and I caught only four or five fish. Shelby caught three and Uncle Toby caught about twenty; this is ONLY because he was fishing the whole day and had more than one pole cast out. I stopped after a while because I wanted to read and enjoy the sun. We brought the boat up and I still feel like I'm rocking back and forth in it when I'm still.

When I was finished fishing, Shelby and I went out to some rocks that were pilled up where the boat was anchored. We explored the land (myself much more than Shelby) and I really enjoyed it. After some time, Shelby got bored crawling around on the rocks and decided just to lie on a tall, flat boulder in order to tan, but I continued on. The sun was high, the lake shimmered, the trees and vegetation were thriving. Crawling around on the rocks in a mountainous environment made me feel epic! It was like I was on my own quest, an adventure that I had to leave Shelby behind for (thankfully) to pursue. All that was missing were the companions to accompany me (yes, I'm talking about you, my beautiful friends!).

I was out all day (and have the sunburned legs to prove it), but I never once felt bored. However, as we were loading the boat back onto the shore and hooking it up to the car, I found that my copy of Two Towers had gotten wet. I think it'll make it through, but now it just looks like a much loved, well used copy. It's still a little damp, but it should be dry by morning.

All in all, it was a good day. Now I just can't wait for tomorrow.

30 June 2012

The thought that tomorrow at this time I will be finally home makes me want to weep tears of joy. Mom and Poppa got here around 12:30 and right then I wanted to leave. Later, we went to Vons and got food for dinner tonight. Again, I was reminded of how I will never live in a small town because you know everyone when you go anywhere.

I want to go to sleep right away because the next thing I know, when I wake up, it will be OVER! We're going to make some pancakes in the morning, so I must survive that, but as soon as my plate is clean, I'm booking it out of here.

1 July 2012

The first thing I did when I got home was take a shower. You know it's bad when you feel even too dirty to step into your bathroom let alone your shower at all. I didn't want to touch ANYTHING until I was completely clean.

This morning I got up before eight: I didn't even know I could wake up that early on summer vacation. As quickly as I could, I got dressed and stuffed a few remaining items into my bag. Mom and Poppa were already up (and ready to leave, too) and Mom decided we should go to the store to pick up a few things for breakfast. In the most pitiful voice I've ever heard him talk in, Poppa begged, "Can I come with you??" We stiffled a laugh, not wanting to wake up Uncle Toby or Shelby; no one wanted to be in that house. We had already packed a few bags and loaded them into the car so with the three of us driving away to the store, it looked like we had just packed up and left as soon as possible. But, alas, I still had to return and endure breakfast before freedom.

While the three of us were at the store, Poppa and Mom were complaining about how horrible being there was. I told them just to stop talking because they had NO IDEA: I had to survive a whole week. They apologized, and made known how sorry they were that I had had to go through all of this. We bought fruit to make a salad, and toilet paper (because they had run out of it at the house; who lets that happen?!), and then trudged back to the house. They still weren't up by the time we got back and I suggested that we just start cooking.

We got the bacon going, chopped up all the fruit, Poppa was flipping the pancakes, and the eggs were finished before Shelby was even awake. I told them that I figured it would be okay if we made everything, ate and left before the other two were up, but they didn't go for that. So finally, after everyone was awake and had breakfast, we were able to leave at 12:30. Of course Shelby left me with the heart-warming statement of "Keeley, you're really short", instead of something along the lines of "it was great that you came up and we hung out" or "I love you and will miss you a lot." No. I was reminded of my height compared to hers instead.

We were finally on the open road after stopping for gas, and while in the little gas station store Mom asked if I wanted anything to eat. I realized that this week had been like the opposite of Fat Camp for me: instead of an obese kid going to camp and then coming home to eat all the sugar they could get their hands on, I was coming home and wanting nothing but vegetables. I consumed so many carbs, starches, and sugars while there (because there was seriously nothing else to eat in the house), and now I just wanted protein, veggies, and real food. I picked up a Clif bar and a Snapple and was satisfied. However: I discovered that although the Clif bar was very fulfilling (it had 20g of protein in it so it should have been), me:Clif bars = hobbits:lembas bread, because I was pretty hungry again later on.

Before we went home we stopped by the Japanese Interment Camp called Manzanar and took a route up to a meadow that was like 20 miles out of the way. After the adventure of scaling the side of a mountain with a death grip the whole way up and back down on the door handle (think of it as that one time that never happened with Raven and me being scared, yeah, that kind of death grip), we were again on the road to home. As landmark after landmark was seen out the window, I became more and more relieved about knowing I was actually coming home now. I can't say that I really enjoyed myself all that much (or at all, really), but I do feel that I learned new things while in Bishop about society and the way people/relationships work in general. I will NEVER be doing that again, and hopefully will enjoy every part of my summer more than I did this past week. Talk about there and back again… 

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