Athena Petko

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This year I was lucky enough to be able to go on a trip to the west coast through this program Trip of a Lifetime. Trip of a lifetime is an amazing opportunity to behold and is by far one of the best things that I have been able to be a part of. This trip was so much fun and I learned many things, meet a lot of people,seen so many unique and beautiful landmarks.

When I first heard of Trip of a Lifetime through my school counselor I didn't really think I would get accepted, mainly because I was told about it the day befor it was due, but here I now. I waited for a week or two till getting the email saying I was accepted, when i was accepted I was so excited, and to be honest couldn't really believe it. Then t just a few days later we got another email about this gathering where you can meet everyone that was accepted, my friend was not accepted so I didn't know anyone there and I was really nervous. I talked to some people there but none of them were going on the trip I was going on. Then a month after that we had another get together where we got more information on the trips and learned who was going on the trip with us, also that we were doing this essay. The funny thing was I had a cold when we had the get together and when they were announcing who was going on the trip I sneezed and did not hear who was going on the trip with me, don't get me wrong I asked a around but I didn't know who they were until I got to the airport.

When I got to the airport there was about ten people there, I of course I was the last one there, it was really awkward I didn't really anyone, well I there where these two girls from trip of a lifetime but i didn't know them good. When I got onto the plain it was nice, the views were amazing, you could see the mountains with snow on top of them and the beautiful lake that ran through then. You could see the dry mountains, hills, and land of Nevada, not all of Nevada was desert like that but most of it. Then after the long six hour flight we got to our first destination,San Francisco where we went to our hotel first did some icebreakers then were allowed to go to our rooms and explore the hotel for two hours. I shared the room with these two girls Macy and Alexa, they were going to go and explore the hotel with the rest of their friends and I joined them. We had fun but the hours flew by so fast. The next day we did some sight seeing at pier 39 then to a baseball game for dinner. There was so much more we did on this trip

On the trip we also did white water rafting which was way more fun than I thought it would ever be, there was a couple of times where we went on these really rough rapids and I almost feel out of the raft, but instead I just kept falling out of my seat into the space between me and the person sitting next to me. Than near the end of the white water rafting we were passing this giant group of about 50 tubers. There was this one guy who was in this little raft with his wife and grandson, they were really nice, but started spraying us with there big dollar store water guns. In the middle of spraying us they gave us two water guns and we started spraying everyone, the best part about it was we were the only raft that got the water guns so it made things more fun having the advantage over other rafts. The next activity that we did after that was going to the campus of U.C.S.B. to stay a couple nights, it was really fun going to the campus because I have never been on one befor and it was really exciting getting to sleep in one too, to be honest it made me want to go to college even more. At the campus we we were allowed to explore the campus, there was a pool and a nice sitting area outside.. Another activity we did was surfing, I had never surfed before and never thought I would, it was really fun but I kept falling off the board or only getting too my knees. I only stood up on the board successfully once, but it was still really fun. Then after that came the last part of our trip, going to Los Angeles, in La we went to Universal Studios, my favorite part of the universal studios was probably the tour around the Universal Studio lots where we got to see sets from some of my favorite movies like War of the World's. Then we got to go to the world of the simpsons and the ride of The Walking Dead. The next day we did some sightseeing, we went to Beverly Hills and to the famous LA’s farmer's market. Everything we did on this trip was so much fun. It was such a nice experience to have the opportunity to go on this trip.

This trip allowed me to see how people in San Francisco live and how the beaches in California are, the beaches in California are brutal, I got really bad sunburn. I got to walk the golden gate bridge, the view from the bridge was breathtaking. Everything we did was new to me because one, usually I am with my family at vacations like this so it was very nice to have done it with a group of kids around my age. But mainly everything we did do was new to me because rwot these kinds of things never appealed to me befor. I feel like this trip opened up my eyes and allowed me to see more than what I have known. We did a lot of things on the trip that I had never done before or would have never thought of doing without this opportunity I was given by from trip of a lifetime.

In conclusion this experience was amazing,fulfilling,and a life changing experience I will never forget. All of this is thanks to Trip of a Lifetime for sending me on this amazing trip to the West Coast, so my last words are thank you for this amazing experience I will surely remember for the rest of my life.