My Vacation Places
Every year, I always spend my summer vacation in a different place. However, my best summer vacation years so far were from 1999-2005. During those years, not only was I able to see new and exciting places, I was also able to learn new things.
In any journey, you will always need a partner or a companion whom you can share your feelings and experiences with. As for me, my partner was my Uncle Payman, who drove me to all the places we went to.
In 1999, my uncle and I first went to Disneyland in California, where we were able to relive my favorite Disney movies of all time. I was able to meet characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Peter Pan, Buzz Lightyear, Aladdin, Genie, Woody, and many others. I also had a grand time in the park’s wonderful attractions.
In the Buzz Lighyear Astroblaster ride, uncle Payman and I took command of our own spaceship and battled against the Evil Emperor Zurg. We truly blasted off to “infinity and beyond” as we navigated our Star Cruiser and used our hand-held laser cannon to shoot down numerous enemies that were threatening to destroy the peace in the galaxy. Following our adventure with Buzz, we then explored the many mysteries of space as we flew across shooting stars, comets and other heavenly bodies in the Space Mountain ride.
After our journey space, we then went back to Earth to find the notorious pirate, Capt. Jack Sparrow, who needs our help in battling his nemesis, the cunning Capt. Hector Barbossa in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. My uncle and I agree to join him and in the end, we outsmarted Capt. Barbossa and found the hidden treasure.
Finally, our Disneyland adventure ended with a scream in the Haunted Mansion ride as we were horrified by Jack Skellington along with ghosts, ghouls, and other paranormal entities. We also confronted the disgusting and revolting Oogie Boogie.
The following summer, in 2000, my uncle and I embarked on another journey. However, unlike our magical adventures Disneyland, this year we drove through a hot dessert in Nevada. As we drove, we could see beyond the humid dessert the colorful lights and wondrous structures of our destination.
Our jaws literally dropped as we were awed by the sheer elegance of the Las Vegas Strip. The whole place was filled by grand casinos, posh hotels, luxurious restaurants, and high class entertainment bars. It is no wonder why it is called the Entertainment Capital of the World. My uncle and I played a few casino games but since it was my first time in the place, he played more than me.
In addition, we also dined in famous restaurants such as the Delmonico Stakehouse, where we enjoyed its sumptuous, world-class, beef. Its fresh blueberry bread pudding with lemon ice cream and caramel sauce was also exquisite and is a must-try for any visitors dining in the restaurant. Las Vegas also lived up to its name as it had smaller versions of popular landmarks around the world such as the USA’s Statue of Liberty and France’s Eiffel Tower.
Personally, my experience in Las Vegas was both entertaining and enlightening at same time as I saw with my own eyes how rich people lavishly spend their money on leisurely things such as high-end casinos and entertainment bars. Nevertheless, I was thankful that I was able to visit a place whose popularity is evident all around the world.
From the glamorous city of Las Vegas, my uncle and I then proceeded to a historical site which is the Hoover Dam in Arizona. It was named after former US President Herbert Hoover and was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1985. The dam had a unique architectural built as it had a steep concrete arch. According to tourist information posted there, the architecture of the dam was basically Gothic-inspired. Personally, I think the view of the arch-shaped dam was breathtaking. Considering its architectural ingenuity, historical significance, and colossal size, the Hoover dam was not only an important supplier of power and electricity, but also a true work of art.
After our historical voyage, the following summer, 2001, we then went to the coastal city of San Diego in California. In this place, relaxing and unwinding is never a problem as it is literally filled with ideal vacation spots. We stayed at the Capri By The Sea Condominiums which was beside the seashore, giving us a perfect view of the ocean. Aside from enjoying the hotel’s amenities that include a heated swimming pool, jacuzzi, and sauna, we also went to several tourist spots such as Mission Bay where we cruised around the sea in a boat and Ocean Side City Beach where we marveled at the beauty of the waters. Savoring the taste of San Diego was not also a difficult thing to do as the city had restaurants with cuisines from all around the world. My personal favorite was Bucaa di Peppo restaurant and its Mozzarella Caprese and Fettuccine Alfredo dishes.
In the summer of 2002, we then went to Santa Catalina Island which is again in California. Although, like San Diego, the place was full of gorgeous beaches, what stood out was its abundant and beautiful marine life. The island’s Undersea Tour enabled my uncle and me to plunge five feet underwater using semi-submersible boat, and see the various fishes, corals, and other aquatic life forms.
In summer 2003, we went back again to California, however, unlike our previous vacations spots which are highly commercialized and are best known for their beaches, our destination this time was a city rich in culture and magnificent sites and is called Santa Barbara. Even before we arrived we could see the soothing and spectacular view of the Pacific Coastline, which I believe is the best part about the city. Santa Barbara is also the ideal place for classical music lovers as there are numerous symphony orchestras that perform almost everyday. However, what we enjoyed the most was the city’s annual Summer Solstice Parade, where thousands of people gleefully walk along State Street wearing colorful costumes. Moreover, the city was also rich in Spanish architecture and cuisine.
Afterwards, we then traveled to Solvang, which is a city in the Santa Barbara County. The name Solvang is the Danish term of “Sunny field.” The place certainly lived up to its name as it was full of happy people and wonderful German architecture. However, for me, the best part about the city is its abundant and delicious Danish pastries and restaurants which enabled my Uncle and I to get a taste of Denmark in our own home land.
The following year, in 2004, we then drove to arguably one of the most popular cities around the world, San Francisco. My uncle and I were amazed at the number of bustling people in the city. Moreover, I do not need to elaborate on the city’s famous landmarks which include the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and the world-famous Frisco cable cars.
Finally our journey in the summer of 2005, took us back to San Diego, where my uncle and I visited the San Diego Zoo and Sea World. In the zoo, we enjoyed watching the various animals that could otherwise be seen only in certain parts of the world such as panda bears and polar bears. The San Diego Zoo also taught me how to care properly for the animals and discovered that certain species are facing extinction.
On the other hand, we virtually went under the sea in Sea World adventure park. In an underwater glass pathway, we experienced the best of marine life as we saw killer whales, dolphins, and multiple species of fish.
Over-all, I consider those years as the best times of my life so far. Aside from going to a lot of places, I was able to appreciate the small things in life and as a result, I grew as a person. More importantly, I have learned that in life, it is the journey that is important not the destination.
Moreover, I realized the satisfaction I received after seeing all the places during those years would not be complete without Uncle Payman. His companionship proved that in any journey or adventure it is always best to have someone to share the experience with.
In addition, my travels to various parts of the country made me even more excited to see the thousands of other places I haven’t been to. Now I realize that I do not necessarily need to travel all around the world to experience its beauty because some of the earth’s most wonderful and most astonishing places can be found right here in America.