By Jackie Ruiz, Editor
Summer vacation can bring peace, a sense of calmness, and happiness to a lot of families but that doesn’t always happen … at least not to mine.
This summer my family and I went on a roadtrip to Omaha and Kearney. As you can imagine not all went according to plan.
It all started two months before we decided to go on a trip. Both of my parents were discussing being tired and needing a break. They decided that it would be best to take some time off work and go on a family vacation.
We had to choose between four different places: Omaha, South Dakota, California, and Colorado. By the end of the conversation, we had narrowed it down to one and had added another. We would be going to Omaha and making a pit stop in Kearney.
At the time, my youngest sister, Andrea, was over the moon about going on vacation. She imagined swimming in big pools, going to the zoo, and getting to buy new clothes for school.
The night before the trip, my parents had told us that we would have to wake up at six the next morning to get packed and ready to go.
Most people wouldn’t wait until the next morning to get packed because people feel rushed and forget certain things, but that is what we did.
That very important “thing” we almost forgot was my brother, Miguel. He was still asleep in his room, since we had forgotten to wake him up and he had forgotten to turn on his alarm the night before.
He was in a sour mood since he wasn’t a morning person and had to pack all of his stuff in under 15 minutes. He came out with a pair of black underwear and socks in his hands. Nothing more and nothing less.
He had forgotten to bring a charger for his phone or video games to play with for the next two hours that we’d be spending in a cramped, humid car.
This proved to be more difficult for my mother, who had to listen to all of our chatter, than to him who did all of the talking.
She asked, “Why do you guys talk so much, don’t you have anything better to do?”
My brother, being my brother, responded, “Not really,” and went back to talking.
I think it took all of her being to not stop the car and drop him off on the side of the road.
Lets just say that by the time we made it to Omaha, everyone was tired and wanted to go to bed, but somehow we had decided it would be best to go to the zoo that afternoon.
As we arrived, we saw hundreds of cars trying to find a parking space. We were lucky that my father spotted one and got to it on time.
We walked for a couple of hours eating small hamburgers, warm French fries, and cool chocolate ice cream. We saw a lot of exhibits including the aquarium, the butterflies, the alligators, and more.
My favorites were the giraffes and the monkeys. I thought that it was fascinating seeing them climb through the trees and seeing the giraffes reach their long necks for leaves.
By the end of the zoo, everyone was hot and a little grouchy. Sweat started to pour down my back from walking all over the place.
As we slugged back to our car, my mom said we had one more place she wanted to see before going back to the hotel. She wanted to walk on the bridge that connects Nebraska to Iowa.
Of course we all moaned and begged her to go back to the hotel, since it had been a really long day, but she was the one in charge and my father couldn’t argue with her, so off we went.
The sun was beginning to set by the time we made it to the bridge, but it was still light enough to see everyone’s faces in pictures. My mom made us take a lot of those. I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much in my life, but that day my cheeks ached from smiling.
We stopped where the two states met and put our feet side by side. We were officially standing in two states at the same time.
After walking for a little while longer, we decided that it was best to go back to our hotel room and get some rest.
The rest of our vacation flew past in no time and we were on our way back home. My brother still bothered my mom with his chatting, but this time it didn’t bother her as much.
Although the start was a little rocky, my family and I ended up getting closer than ever and had a great trip. We learned a lot more about what it means to be a family and I think Miguel learned the importance of an alarm clock.
Jackie Ruiz is a junior and is in the Healthcare Pathway.