Wednesday, September 12, 2007

What I Did on My Summer Vacation

As expected, one of Lisa's first assignments for English class was the timeless 'What I Did On My Summer Vacation" paper. The kids were asked to write 3 paragraphs. Lisa could hardly keep it to three pages. Here is slightly condensed version of her submission. When you are 12, things are very cool.
I can’t believe it; we’re already back to school! I had the most fun, busy, exciting, summer EVER! I was only home for three weeks! I did some usual things. But I did one very, very unusual thing that I will tell you about in a little while. I’m going to tell you what I did in the opposite order of which I did them. First the usual things. These are probably the top 3 things that people do in the summer.

I went to the YMCA Teen Adventure Camp for the last three weeks of summer. That was pretty fun, we all piled on a bus everyday and went on field trips. I think every
week I hung out with different people. My favorite field trip was going to Six Flags. We also went hiking at Pack Monadnock, visited the Flume Gorge and enjoyed a day at Canobie Lake Park.

I also visited my great-aunt on Cape Cod. My mom’s Aunt Louise lives in East Falmouth, along with her 14 year old deaf dog named Blue. Blue knows sign language! My friend and I went to the beach three times that week. That was really fun. I got a pretty good tan too. The last time we went, the water was rough and we were body-surfing the waves.

The week before visiting the Cape, my dad and I went camping. We stayed at a camp ground, on Lake Winnipesaukee for a week, and slept in a tent. My dad has a WaveRunner, which is a large jet-ski. There was a place to “park” your jet-ski near a small beach; I saw a big black blotch in the water. My dad thought it was tadpoles. I stuck my hands in the water and scooped some up, they were baby cat fish! They were so tiny.
They all swam under a bush, then I saw mommy. She was about 7 inches long, and she would circle the babies and chase away and other fish that got near the babies. Almost every night we had a campfire and made s’mores.

Now we get to the really interesting part. In the first 5 weeks of summer I went across the country… on a motorcycle… with my mother! 35 days, 9,000 miles, and 25 states. It was a life-changing experience and I learned more than I ever could from a social studies text book. It is hard for most people to grasp the magnitude of this trip. I hope these next paragraphs can help you.

Our destination for the first day was Ottawa, the capitol of Canada. We got in around 5pm. The next morning we toured Ottawa. We saw the
Parliament buildings. They were very old and beautiful. We also saw the U.S. and Kuwait Embassies. The U.S. Embassy had major security around it. We saw the Natural History Museum and an art museum. One thing that I thought was really interesting where the black squirrels!

Glacier National Park, Montana was one of our big stops. It was actually the cause of this whole trip. My mom went on a cross-country trip in 2004. She stopped at Glacier and just had to bring me. That day we left from Grand Forks, ND. I could
see the mountains off in the distance the whole day. From 350 miles away! They just got bigger and bigger until they were looming right over me. We went on a road that wound through the mountains, beside a river that was emerald blue. My mom had shown me pictures of her stop at Glacier, but it’s not the same, you can not grasp the feeling from a picture. You must see it to believe it!

We stayed in Glacier for 3 days. We went white water rafting one day, and that was really cool! Literally; the water was 35 degrees. It was in the
emerald blue water I mentioned. One afternoon we took a ride to the Hungry Horse dam. We stopped at a small area on the side of the road to look around. The mountains were awe-inspiring. I was standing on a cliff, contemplating what it means to human, when my mom took a picture. It turned out to be one of our best out of 2,000. I was watching hawks soar and float around the mountain and was thinking what it would be like to fly.

Lisa heads to the Pacific
Ok, we’ve made it to the other side. It took us 2 weeks to get to Oregon. We rode down the whole coast in one day. We stopped at a beach and collected some sand. I touched the water’s of the Pacific Ocean, so I could officially say I went sea to shining sea!

On July 3rd we stayed in West Yellowstone, in the town right out side the West entrance of Yellowstone National Park. It was in Montana. The next day we missed our bus tour so we toured the park on the bike, and rode a western stagecoach. When we first stopped for gas I was saying to my mother “I hope we see something cool today”; right on cue, a bison lumbers across the parking lot. It was defiantly cool! On the second day we were stopped in traffic because of three bison in the road. We also saw elk and moose but no bears.

Heading back east, we traveled to South Dakota for the Black Hills BMW motorcycle rally. We were riding in the hills, and all of sudden we turn the corner and we could see everything. We were riding along a cliff and I swear yo
u could see for at least 1,000 miles. It was amazing! And the rocks next to the road were red! It was beautiful! When it was time for the rally, about 150 motorcycles enjoyed a police escort into town. Main Street was closed off just for us.

In Wisconsin we went to the 35th Annual BMW MOA International Rally. We volunteered at the registration tent, looking up peoples’ names. When we were there we camped in a tent, I had my own tent. One night was really scary because of a storm with heavy rain and 30+ mph winds! We won two awards: Long distance two up- female. And I won second place for youngest female passenger

Leaving Wisconsin, we headed to our last big stop on the trip: Washington D.C. We only had one full day in the city, but it was a very good day. We saw the Capitol building which was special to me because I made the Capitol Building for my landmark project. We also saw the Washington monument, where 3 helicopters flew over us and one landed at the White House. It could have been the President! We visited one of the Smithsonian museums, the Natural History Museum. We saw the World War 2 Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and The Vietnam War Memorial. D.C. was one of my favorite stops.


Tim said...

Excellent vacation report! Sounds like many lifetime memories were made!

-Tim (aka Nospamsatx on bmwmoa forums)

Anonymous said...

Gail and Lisa,
I continue to enjoy reading about your trip...even now as you reflect back on it.
Lisa, I just finished a 5500 mile trip. It's odd, but even the HOT, uncomfortable days fade into a memory that feels more like 'accomplishment' than 'misery'.
Gail, I look forward to hearing more stories and reflections from the road. Come our way again when you can!