A Trip to the Beach

Summer has finally started. I walked outside my house to smell the hot air of summer 2010. My bags were packed and ready to be put in the car. We were leaving for Panama City Beach in half an hour and we were running late as usual. An hour later we were finally on the road for the 6-hour drive.

I was looking forward to meeting my family, but also not looking forward to seeing them. I wasn’t looking forward to seeing them because my mom told me they can be very unorganized and scatterbrained all the time. I had never met the twelve cousins I have on my mom’s side of the family before and I was kind of nervous to see what they were really like. As 4 1/2 hours of the drive have gone by I’ve reached peak boredom. There isn’t much a 7 almost 8 year old can do on a car ride. Finally, we reached the Emerald Coast.

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As I stepped out of the car I got a big gust of salty, humid air on my face. I also took a second to stretch because my legs got really cramped in the car. The whole family of 18 people were all sharing one four bedroom condo right on the water. I was curious how that was going to turn out. We carried our heavy luggage we packed for the week up to the elevator.

Exiting the elevator our room was only two doors down. Entering the room I heard screaming and arguing and that’s when I knew this was going to be a long week. It was almost dinner time and by now I had been observing my family. I knew which family members disliked each other and I knew which ones didn’t. Everything my mom had told me has been true so far. Everyone was running around the condo yelling trying to figure out dinner.

I just stood in the corner keeping to myself feeling like if I stepped forward I would be in the way. It was only the first night and I already didn’t like this family. After dinner was finally figured out, everyone went to bed. I was glad it was bedtime because now I could get some peace and quiet. The next morning I got up before everyone else. I decided to scope out where we were staying.

I looked out the giant window at the ocean. Standing there for a moment, I watched as the waves crashed against the sand and I watched early risers setting up their beach towels. I decided to go and peak out the door. I walked out a few steps even though I knew I wasn’t allowed to. I saw some people walking up the stairs then jumped back into the room.

About 20 minutes later, my Uncle David came into the living room where was I sitting. We exchanged Good Mornings but that was it. He minded his own business as he made his breakfast. As the morning went on more and more people began to tunnel out of their rooms and with that came more arguing and disorganization. By now all I wanted to do was go to the beach. After about an hour or so I started getting ready to go to the beach with my mom.

I was ready to go see the ocean and feel the sand between my toes. Walking down the walkway to the beach I had particles of sand already on my feet. I stepped down about 4 steps to the soft, white sand of the Gulf of Mexico. I was so excited I ran to our beach chairs, threw on my goggles, and jumped into the ocean. After a moment of messing around in the water, I noticed my surroundings.

I was alone in the area of water I was in, glad that my family was not yet outside. Then I noticed them start trickling down the walkway. They too, began to jump into the water. I decided I would get out. For the next few hours, I played in the sand. I made sandcastles, buried my feet, dug a hole, and made a wall.

It was a lot of fun. I then heard my mom yell my name. I turned and looked at her and she told me it was time to go. We left the beach and went back up to our condo for dinner. Dinner went the same as last night which was more arguing and disorganization.

We had Cesar salad. The next few days went the same. I woke up before everyone else, looked out the giant window at the ocean, and observed people. Then people piled out of their rooms and they argued some then got over it and went to the beach. I had my fun in the sand and then got called up for dinner. With dinner came more arguing.

But on the 5th day things went a little bit different. Everything was the same up until about 3:00 o’clock in the afternoon. I was playing in the sand as usual when the wind started to pick up. I looked up from my sand project and noticed everyone was packing up their things quickly. I turned and looked at the sky as I heard my mom calling my name faintly in the distance.

The clouds in the sky were a scary deep gray. I quickly snapped out of my awe at the weather and ran up the boardwalk back to our condo. By now the whole family was fighting over what the storm was going to do. I knew it was going to be a bad storm based on the clouds outside. By the time everyone calmed down the storm was really starting to pick up.

It was so windy you could hear the rain banging on the window. After about an hour of the storm, the power went out. Everyone started freaking out and arguing and yelling. I just sat in my room and listened. Eventually, we were all in the same room without arguing or fighting. We had been in the dark for about 3 hours by now.

Candles were lit, everyone was sitting and chatting and it was calming. It was almost like the arguing and fighting had never existed. I felt comfortable to be around everyone. Not like before when I was scared to say one word in fear I would be yelled at. Later on in the night, my grandma said she wanted no more fighting.

She just wanted everyone to be the way they were right now and I agreed with her. The next day we packed up our stuff and got ready to leave to go back home. I was sad to be leaving after I connected with my family so much. The storm we experienced may have hurt people somewhere else, but it helped my family work through problems we never thought we could work through. This experience helped me to realize that the problems on the outside can be wiped away and forgotten as easily as they can become.