By Katie Dodd
My first trip without my family was to Pennsylvania in the summer of 2008. My Great Grandmother (G.G.) wanted to move to Pennsylvania. My uncle and aunt volunteered to drive her up and somehow I ended up in the plans, to stay with my cousins Jeremy and Christian plus their 4 boys (now 5 boys). Excitement was of course my first emotion, terrified my next – I mean it’s the first time I was leaving my family. So in a small five seat car, the four of us squeezed in – and if you count the luggage that added an extra person. So first off it’s Florida and summer, you can guarantee its 103F degrees – the car didn’t have air conditioning.
The first day went by mostly smooth – besides the heat and cramped space, I was fascinated. I felt grown up even though I was far from it. Driving long hours didn’t affect me much; seeing as I couldn’t drive anyway, I mostly slept. Then one day came, I can’t remember if it was the second or third, the back of the car was smoking. We immediately pulled over and got out. After a lot of looking we had to call Triple A to come tow the car to a repair shop. We sat there for more than four hours in plastic horrible chairs; as a 12-year-old I slowly grew agitated and restless. Back in the car I was still agitated but it was better than inside that place with a bunch of strangers.
Arriving in Pennsylvania was when my excitement finally jumped back up. No longer moody or restless, I couldn’t wait to see everyone I hadn’t seen in years. New state and no parents, I can only imagine what was running through my mind. I was a fairly good kid but, I was still a kid that liked to test my limits and see what I could do and not get caught.
Now at this time my sister/cousin, Serenity, wasn’t living with me. Little did I know the same summer she was heading up to Pennsylvania to stay with my other Aunt. My mom had gotten in contact and while talking to Serenity gave her the number to contact me – and she did. She ended up coming to stay with me for the rest of the summer.
Though much hadn’t happened that summer, I still find it amazing Serenity was there at the same time. After she came back with me and moved in – she never left again thankfully.
Our summer consisted of – swimming, walking to an ice cream shop (BEST ice cream shop in the world) and a park, running from a vicious dog, playing man hunt, avoiding being shot with an air soft gun, climbing trees to the top, making new friends, buying new things, and just living as a kid should.
At the end of our trip my mother decided to fly up and then fly us back down after staying a few days. The summer seemed to pass us by too quickly but now it was time to go home. At the airport my mom realized we couldn’t all sit together so talking to the one guy he said “One moment” and while we waited not really thinking we’d get to sit close, were told there were seats available and a lady proceeded to show us where – We didn’t have to walk far. It was First Class; we didn’t pay for first class.
My first summer away from home I got my sister back and my first time on an airplane was a first class experience. I continued going to Pennsylvania almost every summer with Serenity, even flying with just the two of us. More things happened but never like the first trip.
Now this summer of 2014 I’m going back with Serenity and for the first time my little sister Alesha too, hopefully not for the last time. But I’m 17 and soon I’m going to have to choose a college and plan where I want my life to go (though it probably won’t go my way), traveling most likely won’t be happening.
I have new adventures to start.
About the Author: “My name is Katie Dodd I’m 16 years old, and live in Clifton, Tennessee. My hobbies are reading, writing, walking, occasionally riding horses, and a lot of other activities. My passions are animals first and then comes writing. I love making random stories up or writing poetry to express feelings. I have a lot of goals in life like finishing college, and opening my own vet clinic and animal shelter. I also want to get one of my stories published. I can get very passionate about things like the government and my beliefs. I like debating, and just sharing what I know. Out of all the subjects in school I’d say History is my favorite, it may be the past but it’s what shaped the world and changed a lot of things.”