Wednesday, July 27, 2005

How Long is 5 Years? Part II: On the Road Again

Trips and Vacations

You might feel like you don't travel much, as I do from time to time, but I've found that as I look back I've actually had some great fun travelling over the last 5 years.

The first real trip I took after returning home was my Spring Break vacation in the Spring of 2001. Interestingly enough, its the only real Spring Break vacation I've ever taken, and certainly it stands out as being a really fun trip.

I spent a week with some of my new friends and a couple people I didn't even know before that. We drove to Hurricane late the first night, our arrival at Marlon's house delayed slightly by getting pulled over for speeding only a mile or two from our destination. A crazy ordeal which took place at approximately 2 am, and included such never-before-seen insanity as a cop pulling over two cars at once, the car I was in running out of gas while we were idling at the side of the road, the driver of our car finding out that her license was suspended or something like that, and finally us getting our pictures taken with the police, for fun of course. The best part was the policeman taking the picture giving suggestions for how to get the best lighting on the shot.

Early the next day we set out of Los Angeles and had only made it St. George before getting another speeding ticket. I was riding shotgun in the same car, but with a different driver. We got a nice long lecture from officer-poopy-pants about how dangerous it was for us to be going 80 or 90 or whatever it was on the freeway.

Finally we made it Val's parents house in Cali and we had a great time. We went to Santa Monica, and the walk of fame. To the Universal City Walk outside of Universal Studios. We drove down to Newport Beach for one night and I ate at the Cheesecake Factory for the first of what is now three momentous times. I rode the ferris wheel at Balboa Island with Matt Maher and we blew our kazoos like crazy as we did it. We drove up to Six Flags Magic Mountain and finally drove to Vegas for the last night and then home. All in all I spent around $100. Talk about a bargain.

That summer we had a family vacation to Lava Hot Springs which will go down in Tripp family infamy as the worst vacation ever, at least to date. Note to anyone thinking about it: Lava is great for one day, terrible for 3. The only places to eat are local greasy spoon type places. The only things to do involve you being in your swimming suit, which is fine, but not for three days. Just wanted to give a heads-up to anyone considering this idea.

In August of that year, I helped George and Kimi move out to Omaha which wasn't so much a vacation as a long drive with some remodeling at the end. But it was my first time that I could recall visiting the midwest, and I saw a lot of corn along the way.

Then on Labor Day weekend, I went down to Hurricane again to Marlon's parents' house. We went repelling, crawled around in caves, all of which was a bit tense for me. We hiked the Narrows in Zion, went to a ghost town. I think the trip was best summed up by my asking "when do we start vacationing?".

After that things settled down, as I started having jobs that required me to work during summer and spring vacations. The next trip I took was a family vacation to Aspen Grove, which was okay, but really made me feel too old to fit in. Fast forward to the summer of 2003 when we went to Oregon for the second time as a family which was lots of fun. We enjoyed beach golf and seeing lighthouses and tide pools.

I don't recall going anywhere after than until the next year when I started traveling heavily again. In June, I traveled to Nauvoo for family vacation and also to Indianapolis for my first NLM Training meeting. In September I went to San Francisco for the first time to attend MedInfo. Over Christmas Break, I went to Tempe, AZ to watch the undefeated Utah Utes finish up their season in dramatic fashion by spanking the Pitt Panthers in the Fiesta Bowl. Over President's Day weekend, I flew to Omaha to visit George and Kimi and we saw some church history sites, like Independence, Liberty Jail, and Winter Quarters. And just recently I returned from a trip to DC for the NLM Training meeting.

I have to be honest when I say that I've had more fun on trips with my friends than with my family, but I guess thats just the way it goes. Looking ahead, I'd like to visit California again sometime soon, and maybe save up and find someone who wants to go visit Argentina, but that might be too ambitious. Who knows?

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