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“We’re going to Colorado for Christmas Break!” My dad announced to my brothers and I, with my mom standing next to him, smiling at us. My youngest brother, Nicholas, asked, “Really?” my mom nodded, and my dad asked him, “Are you excited?”
“Yes!” my other brother, George, exclaimed, though the question had been directed more to Nicholas. Meanwhile, I had a giant smile on my face and my mind was already swimming with thoughts of snow and sledding and snow-capped mountains. I was already anticipating the snowball fights and building snowmen, things that I had only imagined and seen on the cartoon shows during winter.
When we arrived in Denver, Colorado, there was snow, but it was the black, dirty kind. Even I wasn’t that eager to play with that kind of snow. We rented a car and started our three and a half hour drive to Breckinridge. During the car ride I mostly read, listened to music, and slept. Throughout the duration of the ride, I was mostly bored, and the thought of snow sort of slipped my mind in the uneventful ride. While I read and listened to my music, my parents kept saying, “Look out the window and enjoy the view. We’re not here every day, you know.” I ignored them and kept to my mundane activities. I always did this in car rides, trying to keep myself busy with something. There were a few moments when I grudgingly looked out. It was very beautiful. The white everywhere gave the scene a cold, yet dead, beauty and the evergreens were mostly white, covered in so much snow. The frozen waterfalls were amazing, like winter had just stopped time. Even when I had been looking outside, I didn’t really see, as in pay attention to, anything; I had been mostly caught up in my thoughts. My mind was mostly blank, like a cave with music echoing inside it. Mostly, though, I thought of what I would see when we got there. When we got to our hotel room, I collapsed on the bed and slept, and whenever my parents tried to get me up, I complained that I was tired and wanted to sleep. Traveling always made me tired and put me in a bad mood. Whenever we went on a vacation, no matter where we went, Paris, Rome, New York, I always wanted to stay in bed in the hotel, watching television. I never liked it when my parents pulled me out of the room, which was often, and our outings usually lasted the whole day. I especially didn’t like it when they took me out and, as they tell me, I have a good time. This may seem confusing because it is. Whenever I say I don’t want to go and they tell me, “You’ll have a good time,” and as it happens, I do. Then they tell me, “See, you did have a good time.” I hate admitting that they were right.
The next day they got me up by saying they had booked the family a session to go dogsledding. I eagerly dressed thinking, Finally, something good. We dressed in very thick clothes and cowboy boots. My mom had refused to buy us real snow boots saying, “Your boots will give you enough warmth.” The drive was a bout thirty minutes and, again, I listened to music, but this time I did look out the window. Looking out the window, I didn’t really take notice of the outside scenery. I was too absorbed in my thoughts. They consisted of ideas like if the dogs would bite or specifically what we would do on the ride.
When we arrived, my parents signed some papers, and we got on the snow mobile because the couple, who had been paired with us, had volunteered to get on the sled first. About halfway on the course, we kept going straight when we should have turned left. We went about thirty meters out, and the front of our snow mobile got stuck in a small stream. Our guide tried to get us out but we were stuck really badly. Finally, she called for help on her black walkie-talkie. While we waited, I thought back to before we had got on, in the tent where my parents had signed the papers. I thought back on how happy and excited I was, the thought of sledding filling my thoughts. They had explained to us how to use the sled and how to order the dogs. My heart was racing, and the smile on my face was almost frozen there. It was starting to hurt, but I couldn’t stop smiling. I was very jumpy, in a good way, because I was so delighted and because I always get a little hyper when I get cold.
My mind went back to the present as two men started coming towards us in the distance.
“Aw. You almost got across it,” one of the men told our guide.
“Yeah,” she replied, seeming a little agitated. I guess because she would get in trouble with her boss later, or something of the sort.
They took us back on their snow mobile, after walking the thirty meters to get to their mobile, which, by then, I was already freezing. The ride back seemed to take forever. I felt so frozen that even my thought process had almost nearly shut down. I think my body was more concerned with retaining heat. When we got back we went to the dressing room where people put on extra, borrowed coats. Inside, there was a giant vent that let out really warm air. We took off our boots and tried to warm our feet, which was really painful because we had gotten a mild case of frostbite. I was in no mood for my parents’ attempts at cheering us up. They kept saying, “Wasn’t that fun?” I couldn’t tell if they were joking or were trying to make the best out of a bad to worse situation. I thought they were crazy. Us freezing in the wind and snow, not to mention wearing cowboy boots, wasn’t exactly my idea of fun. At that moment in time, being in a desert seemed like paradise.
When we got back to the hotel, I took a hot bath, put on my pajamas, got in bed, and started watching my cartoons. I didn’t say a word, just quietly simmered. I started thinking of how the day had been sort of slow and bad. I rated it a four out of ten. My parents went out for a while and came with marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate, and packets of powder to make hot cocoa. I immediately jumped out of bed and ran to their side asking, “Are we going to eat them now?”
“Yes,” my mom replied, “if you behave.”
So my brothers and I remained quiet as they started a fire in the fireplace in our room. They made at least three s’mores for each of us and I had two cups of hot chocolate. My mood had completely turned around. It didn’t take that much to change my mood, being ten years old at the time. I was thrilled at the thought of smores and gobbled them up. The taste of hot chocolate washed down the smores. I mentally forgave my parents. I thought of how the day had gone from ok to bad to worse to good. It was then that I realized that life is unexpected for everyone, even me. Before, I didn’t really think that something in my life could happen that catches me off guard, except for presents. I had been a little naïve thinking that, and this event was sort of one of the steps I took coming into the real world. I realized that life cannot be predicted and your own planning can get ruined. I thought that although my day had started out bad it had turned out pretty good.