Taking a break from our annual beach routine, I remember when the talk of Mexico was still on the table for discussion. I was only in third grade, but a vacation was a vacation to me and I would have gone anywhere. Just the thought of going somewhere new made me excited and anxious, especially when it involved shaving off a couple days off school as well. It was April, and even though the weather in Connecticut was just getting back to its usual warmth, the promising sun and sand of Mexico allured me and made me think it was a paradise away from home that I had to visit. In the back of my mind I knew my mom wanted to travel within our vacation and see landmarks and just be tourists, but I also knew my dad had family on the Texas border he was yearning to see, so I had a little thinking to do. But at my age all I was thinking of was enjoying myself no matter where we went, and I was ready to agree to anything as long as it meant leaving our hometown.
But it was more than just leaving the small town in Connecticut I grew up in, for me this was a vacation of many firsts, and many experiences I will never forget. To get the vacation started, it was my first plane ride. I remember entering the bustling airport seeing many people all going their own ways, but not me. I had a firm grip on my bag and was never more than an arms reach away from my dad. I even remember him saying “I don’t want you boys to get lost before our vacation, this isn’t the movie home alone”, and thinking back, if I did get lost there was no way I could manage like Kevin did in the movie, so it was a good thing I listened and kept up with the pace. But once aboard, I remember the safety instructions, almost as if they were painted right onto my brain forever because we were in the row right next to the stewardess who did the demonstration, I followed her every move smiling, anxious to take off.
Though I didn’t get a window seat, when...