Not Everything is What it Seems | My Family Travels
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My first instinct was that I wasn't going to like the Estrella Mountain community. There was not much too it. All I saw was, The Elliot Market drug store, a gas station, and houses. In mind that was really all there was and I didn't understand why my single mom wanted to settle here.  It has now been 11 years since that first drive up the Estrella Mountains and no one is prouder of my community then I am.

Quarter Finalist 2013 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship

Like many places, the Estrella community has grown. To this day there is a Safeway, a Chase bank, a Subway, a Papa Johns, and even a Frogo frozen yogurt shop! But none of these new installments are why I love my community. Nothing reminds me of the beauty of where I live everyday than the numerous outdoor activities that one is able to do.

I remember my first hike like it was yesterday. I had been cooped up in my house watching the cold  TV screen, when my mom vigorously shaked my shoulder. She then and asked me the  question, "Do you want to go on a hike with Jim and I?" As a kid who liked the coolness of my home and was skeptical to new things I gave her a look of pure confusion. My mother assured me I would love it and after constant begging, I reluctantly gave it a shot and am glad that I did.

Stepping out into the sunlight made me hiss like a vampire. If I was doubtful before, imagine me now.   As we continued our steps, what I started to notice amazed me. I could see the little flowers blooming out of the ground, the rows of cacti standing tall, and most of all, the natural radiance the desert gave off. I  was mesmerized and by the time I had reached the very top, I was sold. Here I was looking at my whole community and the greater Phoenix area. Nothing warmed my heart more than being able to spot my little speckle of a house. Somehow this little community I had once known before seemed different and opened up a whole land of opportunities. I couldn't wait to explore like never before.

To this day I realize that because of my community I have done a little soul searching. I have discovered the outdoors women in me and that's the beauty of where I live. You are able to enjoy the fresh breeze of the air and there are no distractions from the outside world.  As one who has experienced every hike in the FINS trails, taken a breathtaking walk around North and South lake, rowed the canoe boats, taken a swing on the Golf of Estrella course, looked  at the view of the Goodyear Valley on top of the Estrella Star Tower, taken a nice dip at the community Starpointe residents club and  ran on the miles and miles of sidewalk , I can say I am never bored on things to do. To sum it up I can truly say it's worth the small drive up here to take the time and unravel what my community really is. After a wonderful outdoor activity of your choosing what more can you ask for then going to Taste of Italy, the only sit down restaurant, where you can grab a slice of pizza and feel as though you're apart of the family. The Estrella community has really made me realize you really just need to get out of your own backyard (literally!) to discover what their is to offer in life.

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