Escape for the summer!

March 25, 2010
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As I boarded the plane the strong smell of cologne and newly opened bags of peanuts surrounded me. 1a, 1b and 1c… As I settled down in my coach seat, the fact that I was on the plane shocked me. I gazed around the airplane, the scuffed windows, creaky chairs and noisy air vents gave me the real effect. ‘We’re on our way”, my Mom cooed as I leaned over to share an excited glance at my Dad who greeted me with a tired grin.

Lying on my bed in the oppressive July summer heat, I was pondering what I should do for the day. Then I remembered the never ending choice, should I have my birthday with my friends here at my mountain ranch or in Scotland with my family? The possibilities raced through my mind like a thoroughbred on a racetrack. Family, friends; family, friends? Friends are fine, you can have fun sure, but family… it’s weird! You can really mentally connect without saying anything at all. As I went to get my usual lunch of a toasted cheese sandwich, I questioned my Dad about my thoughts, and of course his usual effortless answer, “It’s up to you.” Of course, it’s always up to me. Not bothering to ask my Mom and expecting the same answer, I set off down the woods of my back yard in search of some quiet time alone to find the right answer. Birthdays have always been an important thing to me, followed by Halloween. I just couldn’t quite wrap my head around the idea of doing something other than having a party with my friends.

Sluurrp! As I sucked out the last of my strawberry and banana smoothie, those airplane peanuts just dry you out. Though that must not have affected Dad, whom was viciously chomping into a greasy Pizza Hut pizza,, seeming to show it who was boss. Man, were all airports in Houston so grey or was it just here? Boring grey chairs, boring grey ceiling, I mean the only life in the room were the British tourists wearing their edgy punk London style. “Want some?” Dad sort of choked out with his mouth full of food. “Mmm…” I nonchalantly said, plainly showing my sarcasm. He gave me an angry look, yet I took no notice of the fact, I was thinking of Granny’s cooking. Oh I wish I was in her little cottage right now watching the cute little bulldog on TV who advertises insurance. “Glasgow Stirling, last call for Glasgow Stirling.” Mom, Dad and I all at the same time, jumped up and rushed through the airport to catch our flight, we obviously didn’t hear the first announcement for the plane. As I boarded the airplane, the strong smell of cologne and newly opened bags of peanuts surrounded me. 1a, 1b and 1c… As I settled down into my coach seat, the fact that I was on the plane shocked me. The scuffed windows, creaky chairs and noisy air vents gave me the real effect. “We’re on our way,” my Mom cooed as if she were a morning dove. As I leaned over to share an excited glance with my Dad, he greeted me with a tired grin.

As I skipped through the wet stone parking lot, smelling the popcorn and listening to my cousins singing “We’re off to see the wizard, the wonderful wizard of Oz”, I couldn’t help think of how happy I was at my choice of not staying home and having my party there. As we skipped up to the enormous, tasty smelling building in front of us, the sliding glass doors opened. Then a voice, seeming to come from the Heavens, told us “Welcome to Xscape!” “Thank you.“ I exclaimed in a voice so small. Compared to the Heavenly voice, I sounded like a mouse. Then as we looked on, a gasp escaped from my mouth. The conglomeration of sights and smells and the high excited, nervous squeals of children overwhelmed me. As we stood frozen in the doorway of Xscape, the sound of “Wow!” escaped from Ross’ mouth. We walked over to where the building map was and I became flabbergasted by the amount of things they had to do. Rock-climbing, bumper cars, suspension, laser tag, a mechanical arm ride, an indoor skiing and snowboarding area and a 250 foot high swinging, wooden gymnasium, suspended from the ceiling. After we signed up for Catherine, Ross and I to do the wooden gymnasium and 100 foot drop, Catherine chickened out. So Mom willingly decided to volunteer, much against her better judgment. After the terrifying gymnasium, next was the 100 foot drop. The kind man adjusted my harness and told me to jump! “Of course,” I told him “I’m not scared one bit, ha-ha just kidding, I’m a little scared.” He just laughed and told me I’d be fine. I built up enough courage and leapt for it. Suddenly the harness came to the end of its rope and “Boing” I bounced like a bungee jumper. When I reached the ground, I immediately fell over. Everyone laughed, including me. I giggled at my Halloween candy mix of Scottish curly-wurly words, loaded with American apple pie. It was right at this moment that I knew I had made the most flavorful choice.

The morning we left the air was full of fog and “Love you’s”. “Love you, bye, love you more, no I love you more.” We got on the plane by twelve in the morning and got home at seven at night, plus the eight hour time difference between countries. When I reached home, I missed them already and became inattentive of the people around me. I was enveloped in homesickness, my real home. After such a high, I had come crashing to the ground without my harness, fully realizing, exactly how much fun we really had as a family and how much I missed them. That choice impacted and completed my best summer ever. It seems to me that even though your friends are fun to hang out with, family can be even better than you could ever imagine.





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