My family and I are close-knit have always enjoyed travelling together; experiencing new places is something we look forward to doing every summer. However, from Jacksonville, Oregon, the farthest from home we had ever travelled to was Phoenix, Arizona in 2003. This summer, we planned to take our most extensive vacation yet; we drove from our home in southern Oregon all the way across the country and back in five unforgettable weeks that we will cherish and remember for the rest of our lives. We hit the northern portion of the United States on our trek east, before hitting New York City, and headed south to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida before our final swing west through the southern U.S. home after five weeks and thirty-two states.
â–º QUARTER FINALIST 2012 TEEN TRAVEL WRITING SCHOLARSHIP
With five weeks of my family and me experiencing the best our nation has to offer, I could write a book on our experiences in our journey across America; yet there is only so much I can tell. I will first focus on the lifelong effect this trip will have on our family. There are five of us in our family, my father, Ashlee (20), Chris (me, 17), Troy (14), and Amber (10). We all still live at home right now, however in a few years half of the kids will move away. This trip was my dad’s idea; and I got the sense that he knows it was one of our last chances to spend precious time together.
The fact that we were able to experience this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity together is very special to us; it is something we will always appreciate and remember when we each have our own families.
On our trek through the northern United States east, my favorite destinations were Yellowstone National Park, and Niagara Falls; both have beauty that has to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.
After Niagara, we visited Boston, another one of our favorite stops; this because we were lucky enough to be in Boston on July 4, and witnesses of the most spectacular fireworks show we have ever seen, even with the rain storm.
Boston marked the point in our trip where we began our drive south to Philadelphia, New York City, and Washington D.C. Our nation’s capitol is where one of the most unexpected events of the trip took place. As we stood in front of the White House taking pictures, suddenly we heard behind us the roar of three enormous helicopters in a triangle formation, marking the arrival of our president as we stood and watched in amazement.
After this, we continued south to Orlando, Florida where we stayed four days in Disneyworld, an obviously awesome experience. We had been to Disneyland in California many times before, but it is no Disneyworld, which consists of four excellent parks.
After Orlando, we turned west, visiting places such as New Orleans, and San Antonio along the way. We finally arrived home on empty, completely worn out from the five week trip of a lifetime across America that we did not only have a blast on, but it changed our perception of ourselves and the nation completely after visiting the most important places our nation has to offer in over 200 hours and 10,100 miles of driving. As the day our family will individually move on to our own lives looms closer, this was a trip that will stay with us to the day we die.
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