Friday, December 9, 2016

Further Summer Trips, part 1: Youth and Singles Event

     So... today I'm going to tell you about the youth\singles event I told you I was going to way back in this post. Here goes! :) 
(really long post, by the way!)

    It was the beginning of August, and our trip to the west coast was coming to a close. Me and my older sister headed out in a big van full of people that night, and the next morning my younger siblings and my mom were flying back home. Since I still had another trip to go on, leaving wasn't very bad for me. Anyhow, we drove off into the night thus starting the pretty unpleasant  trip over half-way across the United States. 

   At midnight, or somewhere in the wee hours of morning we stopped to pick up a few more passengers (we were a caravan of vans, by the way. And probably a few other vehicles). Then drove on. And guess what? I didn't sleep. Maybe for a little while, but if so, not much at all. I tried to sleep, but I was in the middle seat. The back of the seat wasn't very tall, so you had to scrunch down in order to rest your head back on it. Morning eventually came, and we were in Montana. 

   And that first day of our trip, one of the vans broke down. So we stopped at a rest stop and some people took the van we were riding in to go look for a place to rent another van or something. So we sat inside the rest area building with some of our cousins, cold and wishing our van would come back so we could be warm again! :P It did, and we continued the crazy van break-down dilemma. At one point we had to squish in a few extra passengers and their luggage for an hour to the place where we'd get our rental van. At least a lot of the people we were riding with were cousins and all. ;)

   We finally got a rental van at an airport. Here's some pictures I took there (two above pics and one below). And some people I took pictures of out the van window. ;P  

      Finally we were actually going somewhere! We drove and drove and drove and drove. Or more accurately, we drove and drove and stayed at rest stops for two million hours and drove and drove. :P But really, people took FOREVER whenever we stopped. Ugh.

      And that whole first day we were in Montana (I'm pretty sure). It's really beautiful, but I got sick of it.

     It wasn't fun, thinking about how long we still had to drive. I was a little despaired, I think. :P 

    Night came yet again. And again I hardly slept, if at all! Not fun. I tried sitting on the floor and laying my head on the seat, all kinds of stuff. Nope, wasn't sleeping. So for part of the night I just listened to the driver and his friend tell stories- I think so the driver could stay awake. They were good storytellers, but their stories quickly got... iffy. :P Seriously, could you just make it funny, and not creepy and gross??

    I remember stopping that night at a rest area. Lack of sleep must have been working on me, because I felt weird. Kind of in a dreamy state. I walked to the building in the night, and sprinklers were watering the grass. Maybe if I would've tried to let them get me wet, I wouldn't have felt so hazy. :P But really, lack of sleep makes you feel weird.
   It grew lighter and I remember seeing really flat, barren land, and I figured we must be in North or South Dakota. I think I was still in a dreamy state. I think we were actually STILL in Montana though. :P
    Morning came again. And this day was when I finally got sleep! I think after we stopped in a town on the edge of North Dakota, close to Minnesota's border, I decided to lay down on the floor where we put our feet. So I got my pillow and went down there- and at last, blessed sleep came! I think I just needed to actually lay down. When I woke up, we were in central Minnesota, going through the town we lived by when we lived there! :D It was my first time being back. I must've went back to sleep soon after. I slept really well down there, and it's a good thing, because I probably would've really been dead when we finally arrived! :P

    That LONG road trip was OVER! YAY! ;) We went inside, then went out brought our luggage to our room. Then we took showers, and went to look around. :)

      There's me. :)

     We (me and my older sister) went down to the lake, too.

Isn't it pretty? :)

    I wanted to go out on the canoes and boats while we were there... but never did. 

         When it was time for... lunch, I think, we went through line and sat in the lovely eating area. :)

      There was spaggetti, garlic bread, and some other things I can't remember. But I do know that it tasted SO good! After eating our "travel food" for two days, that "real" meal tasted awesome. ;D

   Our room had two bedrooms and one main area, with a fridge and everything! ;) We had ten people sharing this room, but at least it had more than one room in it. :)

  Just a main area... if you look at the stairs you can see one below this one, and another one going down (where the guys rooms were), and some stairs going up to the window room. :) This floor I was standing on had the entrance to the girls rooms, the area were we had services, and the eating area and kitchen. :) 

This is the window room- the top-est place in the building. :) 

The lake in the distance.

Me outside the window room, with the lake in the background. ;)

       That middle window on the far left was our room, I think.

   Looking down on the volleyball players. They played volleyball ALL THE TIME. In the gym mostly, I think. 

Taking secret pictures of people. ;P 

Playing chess my sister! :)

  So we just walked around, hung out, and ate delicious food! :D One night me and my sister and cousins their friends sat in the hallway where the food line usually was, and talked. And people just kept joining our group, chatting and telling stories. :D There were people who were probably my cousins who I had never known. Seriously cool. ;D We talked probably until we were required to go to our rooms. Or, THEY talked. I pretty much just listened. ;)

   On the last day there was tug of war. :) States against states, last names against last names. Stuff like that. ;) One guys tried to tight-rope across the rope, but they let go and he fell in the water. ;P 
  I didn't actually play, for some reason. 

  Then that night we all went down to have a bon fire by the lake. There were so many people, I didn't actually get to be by the fire. Just sat off to the side with my sister and cousin, and uncle. :) And it was kind of cold, with lots of mosquitos. :P And we had to sit there while people told testimonies and stuff, and it went on SO LONG. So we kept on going up to the building for various reasons. Me, my sister, and my cousin went up to get dessert, and when we were going we met our uncle and his girlfriend, so we accompanied them back into the building. ;) And we decided not to go back to the fire. Instead we went out to the "runway". It's not really a road, but it's paved. We opened up a bunch of glow-sticks and "played" with them, throwing them up in the air into the dark sky- it looked so cool. :) And it was so fun. It was just us for a while. We went back to the building all dresses up in glowsticks, and everyone thought it was SO cool. ;P When we went back out, more people joined us, and then it wasn't as fun. ;)

  That night we were allowed to stay out of our rooms until one in the morning. :)

  So the next day, we had to leave. Everyone I knew (except some people I sort of knew) left, and I was there alone. I stood in the gym, waiting until my ride to MN took off. Some guy came and talked to me, trying to convince me to come back next year, even if I had to drive myself. ;P He was probably teasing, but I'm like, "Um, my parents would NEVER let me drive all the way there by myself!" :P

  Then I left. The drive was not bad at all, and we only stopped like, a couple times.

  All in all, it was a very great trip, and I would go again! I probably won't have enough money, though... plus I'd have to fly.

   This probably wasn't very well written, as I tried to get all my memories and thoughts down. Sorry. :P 

  Anyhow, it was great, and I made some awesome memories!



  1. Wow, that sounds like such a long and exhausting road trip!

    That place in Minnesota looks amazing, though!!

    It's really cool that you weren't "required" to do anything; a lot of the youth events I've been to (for teenagers and young adults) absolutely require people to do things -- like play volleyball and whatnot. (Which is awful, because I am literally the worst athlete in the world... and a huge introvert, so I've spent as much time as possible hiding in the dorms with a book. :P )

    That chandelier is gorgeous! It looks like the one in Beauty & the Beast. ;)

    Glad you had a good time!! It sounds like fun! :D


    1. Yea, it was. It wouldn't have been as bad if I was traveling with a smaller group, and we didn't have a breakdown. :P

      Oh, I guess I made it sound like it was in MN- it's NEAR there. ;)

      Yea! You could just do whatever you wanted. ;) Some people went around meeting everyone... not me. :P

      Isn't it? I loved the dining room! :)

      Thanks! It was fun! :D

  2. Ooooh!!!!!!Makes me want to go so bad! My cousin, Kirsten wanted to go next year, but she can't because HER cousin is getting married and she's standing in the wedding. I told her that was okay - we can go the NEXT year together. I'm sure my mom and dad would let me by then because I'll be 18. *shudders at the thought* And I SO want to see her stand in the wedding, and I won't have enough money by next summer so it all worked out. ;P Of course we were just TALKING who knows what will happen two summers from now.
    Now that I can sort of picture it and what you do there I REALLY want to go!
    But the drive there sounds horrible. I don't know if I'd want to go with the vans from around here. Maybe drive ourselves. Seems like that would be more fun.
    I know what you mean about the first REAL meal being awesome! On our horrible road trip to NH a couple years ago we ate nothing but Wendy's or McDonalds the whole way, and when we got there we had quick and easy food because we were all so busy with the funeral and all. And then my aunt and uncle had us over for lunch and it was REAL food! Oooh! It was SO GOOD! =D
    Hey I recognize some people in those pictures you took out of the van! (I don't KNOW them, just know their names, faces, and parents - and I can guess their ages ;P)
    You make it sound so cool! I enjoyed this a lot! =D

    1. It was really fun! :) Maybe if you go in a couple years, I would be able to go again. ;)
      Yea, it was pretty cool, and I DO want to go again sometime... maybe I'll be really crazy and meet new people. ;P
      Oh yes, it wasn't very fun... at least not after the van broke down. It would be WAY better to drive by yourself with friends. Way better. ;)
      YES! All we ate was food we packed, like nuts and peanut butter and jam and stuff. That's more healthy than McDonalds, but it wasn't REAL food! The spaghetti tasted absolutely delicious. :D
      Oh really? That's cool! :)
      I'm glad you enjoyed! This trip was probably one of the most "independent" things I've ever done... besides going to MN by myself. ;)

    2. Oh yes! If I do go sometime, you should try too. That's the point of it, isn't it? I always thought that that was why it's called what it's called , but I now know it's the name of the PLACE. But it still works. That's where all the youth of the church meet. ;P
      I do want to go SOMETIME. I seen that dinning room and was like, "okay, you've convinced me." ;D

    3. Yea, that would be cool. =D
      Haha, yes, it's a lovely dining room! ;)

  3. Ah, good memories!! Except for the road trip; I was soooo tired! It took me forever to recover after getting home, ha!

    But yes, the yummy food, playing chess, goofing around with glow sticks ... that was great! Oh yes, and talking in the hallway until 1 o'clock! :D We had some great times. I'm soooo glad you got to come with me! :)

    Fun post! I really enjoyed reading it and remembering. ^_^

    1. YES! :) I know, that was a tiring road trip! I'm not sure I'd want to do THAT part again... not in those vans. ;)

      I know, I especially loved the glow sticks! Such a special memory to me. :) And talking in the hallway, yes!

      :D I'm glad you enjoyed!

  4. Great post, girl!
    You poor thing, that trip sounded like it was pretty hard on you. =\ But those pictures you got in Montana are BEAUTIMOUS!! I loooove the mountains! We don't have mountains where we live, so all I can do is look at these pictures and sigh. XD
    But it did sound like you guys had a lot of fun! The place where you all stayed is SO BEAUTIFUL. (and the tug-of-war looks really fun...did anyone in your family compete in it? *whispers* did any of them fall in the pool...? ;)) You got some awesome photos, and it looks like you had a wonderful time! =)

    1. Thanks! :)
      Oh, I was fine, but I wouldn't call it a fun trip. ;P
      It is pretty, isn't it? :) I got sick of Montana, though. It's too big. ;P :) We don't have mountains either, and I do love them!
      Yes! :) The place was really cool. A lot of my cousins did the tug-of-war. ;) Not very many people fell in, and I didn't know any of them very well. ;)
      I did have a good time! Glad you liked the pictures. :)

  5. WOW Natasha, you are an INCREDIBLE photographer! I enjoyed this post :D. It looks like it has an amazing time!

    ~ Savannah

    1. Really? Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. :D It was pretty cool- I made memories. :)