If you haven’t already figured out I have a big family. My dad has 7 brothers and sisters and my mom has 2 sisters and a brother. Overall, I have about 30 cousins. All of which I am very very close to. We are all like brothers and sisters. I have about 60 second cousins. So you can tell, we are all close knit since I can name each and every one of my cousins and list almost everything there is to know about them.
Although we fight at times we all have learned to stick together no matter what. I think that is what family means. Sticking together. Friends may come and go but you will always have your family. Family is the most important thing to me. I don’t know what I would do without them. I wouldn’t survive. We have all seen each other grow.
We have been through major lows and major highs. Such as my cousins graduation high school and college. My sophomore cousin who just committed to Rice University for volleyball. My cousin who also won the junior olympics. My sister who choreographed her own dance and presented it in a dance showcase. My other cousin who plays 2 years above in Basketball. My two twin cousins who are graduating this year and are headed off to Texas State and my cousin who plays a year up and sets all around on her team. My cousin who is the secretary at her school. This is what family means. To know everything about each other no matter how bad it is. We have all called each other names, gossiped about each other. But at the end of the day, we are all still best friends. I don’t just consider them my family and oh, I have to hang out with them. I consider them as my best friends and I wouldn’t want to spend time with anybody else.
I can remember a time. All of us were in Galveston. We each promised that once all of us have graduated college. Only us girls, would take a cruise around the world together. This is something we have all looked forward to and we promised that if any one of us couldn’t afford it, we would all pitch in to help. This is loyalty. This is how we stick together. We know that we are going to stick together no matter what happens. Whether its a death or an injury or sickness. We will always be together forever/
We have shared some funny moments and some tearful moments. I think this is what keeps us close. We’re not afraid to cry or to laugh or to be embarrassed by each other. We all just laugh it off and know everything is going to be alright as long as we have each other. I do not know what I would do without them. That is something that I could never imagine. I don’t know how I could laugh or smile without having them by my side. They are all my world and I love them deeply. I think that this is what family means. It doesn’t mean a group consisting of parents and children living together in a household. It means sticking together forever, and feeling empty inside when they aren’t around, loving each other unconditionally. That is my definition of family.
One continent I have traveled to is Europe! It was a really fun trip. We took the long plane ride from Texas to Barcelona. We stayed there for a couple nights touring the city and looking at all of the beauty it holds. We then took a train to Venice. It was so pretty! Once we got off our train we had to get on a boat to actually get to the city, since it is on water. We got to our hotel which was more like a condo place. It was so fun walking around and shopping especially. We rode on the gondolas and visited different parts of the city! It was my favorite city! Next was Florence, we took a quick train ride there. Florence too, was beautiful. My mom and I climbed 830 steps to the top of this beautiful tower. The view was amazing! My sister and dad later came and met us there. It was so beautiful! We then went to lunch on this water front restaurant. I ate the most delicious pasta! After spending about 2 days in Florence, we traveled to Rome. Rome was the best! We had come at an amazing time. Right when we got into Rome, the new pope has been chosen! It was the most beautiful thing. We saw the pope for the 1st time there and it was something really special. We also got to tour some of the buildings that were apart of the palace. We also visited the Colosseum which was very pretty! I would love to go back and I am so excited to visit my cousin who lives there. He is doing a broad program at Columbia University. He lives in Prague and it is so pretty! I cannot wait to go back as soon as I can!
A fun game is volleyball basketball. How you play is your have a regular basketball and you bounce the volleyball on the ground. One it bounces you can have as many touches but one person can’t touch it two times in a row. It is about the same rules as volleyball. The way you call it, you say: “Bounce once and it’s mine!” and then you try setting or passing it into the basket! It is such a fun game and it is very competitive! You can also try to pass to a teammate and you can steal but it has to bounce once before someone else hits it and you MUST call it or else its the other teams ball automatically so it is very hard to try and remember all of the rules.
All I could see were graduate caps flying around me. I couldn’t believe it. I was officially a high school graduate. I could see all of my family standing there applauding and whistling very loudly. This was by far, the happiest day of my life. Although it was fun and games that day, I had to go back to work the next day. I work for an internship at Apple in California. I love it there, my coworkers, my boss and the special privileges of testing out Apple’s new products. I have been working there since my junior year in high school. I knew that I had to take advantage of the time I have there, because college was rapidly approaching.
I got home one day, and I saw it. I saw the letter from my soon/hope to be college waiting right there on the kitchen table. I quickly grasped the letter and opened it. I got accepted into Boston University! I expected my parents to be thrilled because they both attended college there! They both arrived home from work and I began to wave the letter around. They both jumped up and the air and started chanting “HOORAY!” I, felt like I was on top of the world.
Later that night, I received a call. It was my boss, Lauren. She had said there was a job opening to work full time at Apple. I soon realized this was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I knew I couldn’t go to college and still work because B.U. is across the country. I didn’t know what to do, say or even think. I just sat there frozen. My parents finally came into my room and I told them the news. They both were stunned by this last minute opportunity. I had told them that I wished to work at Apple instead of going to college. That was a very bad idea. They both were furious. I told them I could live in the city and I have full health benefits/insurance. They told me that if I left, they would cut me off, and that I would have to make it on my own. I told them to leave and let me think about it. I slammed the door behind them. I was so confused. I didn’t know whether to go to college and make my parents happy, or go chase my dream. My fathers questions kept echoing in my head “What will you do if you get fired, what will you do when you have no money, what will happen when you look for another job and they see you did not go to college, what will happen then?” I stayed up all night, thinking of the do’s and don’ts. I had finally made my decision. Early that morning, I woke up my parents and told them that I was going to take the job, they yelled at me and told me to leave and never come back. I packed my things and set out to the city. That day, I had gone apartment hunting to find the best place for the best price. I had found one close to the facility and it was not too expensive. I moved my stuff in and spent most of the day unpacking. In the morning, I woke up, cleaned myself up and set off to my first real job. I was ecstatic! The next week, I received my first paycheck. I opened it up and there was a thousand dollars in there. A big smile appeared on my face, and I sang a little tune to myself, my parents are wrong, I am right. I was able to pay rent and still had a lot of money leftover to do some shopping for myself, because I desperately need a new wardrobe especially since all I have are town’s clothes. I needed to go shopping to get a new city wardrobe. I got home that night and heard a knock on my door. I opened it, and I saw both of my parents standing there. I welcomed them in, and offered them some food. It was quiet, and then they both started talking. “Audrey, there is still a chance to go to B.U., as long as you leave as soon as possible.”
“No.” I mumbled.
“No? Audrey, are you seriously going to stay here? There is a whole different world out there, you don’t want to stay in California your whole life. Do you?”
“Yes I would, I love my job and I intend to stay here.” I yelled back.
They both walked out without saying a word. I leaped into bed with tears flowing down my face. I couldn’t understand why they didn’t want me to work at Apple. I can live by myself, I am aresponsible young lady, I just kept thinking that to myself. Although, day by day I couldn’t have felt more lonely. I had no friends and no family. The following afternoon, I decided I need to clear my head, so I began walking through the park. There, I saw my ray of hope. The sign had said “Roommate needed, 18, Nicole.” This was my opportunity!! I called the number and a young girl picked up. I told Nicole I was in need of a roommate, told her she could stay with me as long as we split rent. About an hour after that, I heard a knock on my door. This young, enthusiastic girl walked into my apartment. “This is your apartment?”
“Yes! Don’t you just love it and it is a perfect amount of space for 2 people to live. We have two bathrooms and two beds!” I said very enthusiastically.
“I cannot wait! Thank you so much! I am in sort of a bad place right now. I chose not to go to college and follow my dream out here, to work at Apple.”
I couldn’t believe it. She worked at apple too? “Me too!!”
We both squealed. I was thrilled. Turns out she was in the exact same position I am in. She got cut off and has no family or friends. To resolve both of their problems, they both agreed they were going to invite their parents over for one dinner at their new apartment. Both parents bonded, but they both ignored Audrey and Nicole. Audrey became furious. She stood on and stomped on the floor and yelled. “What is wrong with you guys?”
Both parents yelled back “What?”
“You all ignored Nicole and I the whole dinner, don’t you have some sympathy for either of us?” I said angrily.
“We just wanted you girls to have a safe and bright future!” Both parents screamed back.
I could see a tear run down my mothers face, it was something I had never seen happen before, my mother crying.
“Well Nicole and I just wanted you all to love us no matter where we go or what we do, we just wanted for you to be our parents.”
Now Nicole started to cry.
“We as parents dream of our kids going to college, but even though you didn’t, that did not make us one bit less proud of you. We are so proud that at such a young age, you both were able to get a job at a big company.”
“I’m so sorry Mom and Dad.” They both cried.
“We love you so much.” We both cried back.
Later that night both parents called, they apologized and told us they only were mad because they loved and cared about both of us so much. It had hurt them to see us give up on college, we both forgave our parents, but we also told them we still did not want to go to college. Both of our parents said that they were okay with it, and they want Nicole and I to follow our dreams.
My heritage is Mexican and Hispanic. I love it! My mom is full Mexican and is fluent in Spanish. My Grandmother (Mi Abuela) only speaks spanish. I have many, many, many cousins. That means we have a Quinceañera almost every year. A Quinceañera is a celebration of a Mexican girl when she turns 15. It is such a fun event. You have so much fun! You dance, sing, eat and just have a blast. You first must find your dress. The dresses are very big and poofy! Next, you have your court. Your court consists of mainly cousins and a couple friends. The day of, you spend getting ready. Since most Quinceañera’s start at 7, you leave your house at around 4 to get to pictures. Pictures include the whole family. Once pictures are done. The Limo is ready to pick you up! You ride around town, listening to music. Finally when you arrive at about 7:15, your court gets out first and they walk in. Finally, its your turn. You walk in, while the mariachi band is playing your favorite song. Next comes the fun part, you dance and sing and have so much fun! I have been to 4 so far out of my cousins. They were all a blast. It is the most fun thing that I have ever been to! I am so excited for my cousin and I’s! We have planned so much! We know our dresses, food, and music!
My family and I love to RV! We are very active and love to travel. We have traveled many places. We have gone to many places, such as Tennessee, Maine, Boston, Florida, Las Vegas, California and many other states. One trip that really stood out to me was the time my cousin, Joanna, my family and I traveled to Colorado to meet our other cousins and our good family friends.
The drive was long, exhausting, and well worth it. We finally arrived in Colorado after about 3 days of stopping and touring other cities. We got to our RV park to find out that there was many activities to do there. One was the High Adventure Ropes Course. We knew immediately we had to do it! We all first had to learn what rope courses consisted of. They attached us to a harnest and we climbed up about 70 feet up on a tiny ladder leaning on a pole. Slowly, one by one we all reached the top. They attached us to the rope at the top to keep us from falling and we all stepped onto our first course. The first course was a shaky bridge with a giant hole separating two pieces. We had to run across a bridge and jump over a big whole. Quickly, everyone jumped across. Next, all of a sudden we see tiny wooden swings dangling over the river. We all immediately knew that this course would be very challenging. We went three at a time. As I was going, I looked back and I saw my cousin dangling over the river, trying to get back onto the swings. I looked forward and I realized that I was really close to the platform. Right before the platform I felt myself start to slip and all of a sudden, I too, started dangling. I kept trying and trying to get back on. It took me about two minutes until I could finally get back on. I got to the platform and I saw my cousin, still dangling, still trying to get back on. He kept trying to get back on but he couldn’t. Everyone started laughing because the instruction had to climb up and get him back on the swings. Once everyone was settled, we traveled to one of the last obstacles; the tight rope. I had to go first. I walked across trying to catch my balance. I felt myself wobble a little bit to the right and then a little bit to the left. I realized that maybe if I went fast, that I could get to the platform. I walked very fast and I reached the next platform. Now, the second to last course was where there were two ropes and you had to hold onto them while leaning back. That one was the easiest course out of all of them. Last, but not least was the zip line. We had to climb another ladder to reach the platform. We got our helmets on and we each zoomed off. As we were zooming by I saw the famous “leap of faith”. The “leap of faith” is a bar about 6 feet from the platform and you must jump onto it and hang on. If you don’t catch onto it you fall into a giant net. If you do grab onto it you reach onto the platform on the other side and then climb the ladder down, or you can fall into the trampoline.
White water rafting was next. We drove to the river where it took place. We got our lifejackets and paddles and headed out. I looked down at the river and all I saw were rapids everywhere! I was so excited! We got in our boat and we all started to paddle. The guide had two big paddles to help us just in case we went a little off course. We were fighting very strong rapids. We almost tipped over! Then, out of the blue I heard a loud noise. We were approaching a waterfall. We all got soaked! As we finally started to dry off, we stopped. All of the other boats were approaching. They all pulled out water guns and they started to shoot us with water! Our tour guide gave us all water guns and we got water balloons. We also splashed the other boats with our paddles. It was so fun! We also tried to sneak up on them and take their water guns. At one point we had every single boats water guns and balloons. It was so much fun!
That night, we all played a game of glow in the dark capture the flag. It was about midnight and we were all still up playing. It was so much fun because no one could see each other and they could only see the flag. It was the easiest, yet the hardest game I have ever played. We finally finished at about 1 am and we had won! I cannot wait to go back to Colorado!
According to National Geographic: “Dia de los Muertos honors the dead with festivals and lively celebrations, a typically Latin American custom that combines indigenous Aztec ritual with Catholicism, brought to the region by Spanish conquistadores. (Dia de los Muertos is celebrated on All Saints Day and All Souls Day, minor holidays in the Catholic calendar.)
Assured that the dead would be insulted by mourning or sadness, Dia de los Muertos celebrates the lives of the deceased with food, drink, parties, and activities the dead enjoyed in life. Dia de los Muertos recognizes death as a natural part of the human experience, a continuum with birth, childhood, and growing up to become a contributing member of the community. On Dia de los Muertos, the dead are also a part of the community, awakened from their eternal sleep to share celebrations with their loved ones.” http://education.nationalgeographic.com/education/media/dia-de-los-muertos/?ar_a=1
I went to Costa Rica over the summer. I absolutely loved it! I had such a fun time. We got there and met up with our cousins and drove two hours to get to the house. We finally arrived at Los Suenos and got into the house. All you see around is palm trees, the ocean, and iguanas everywhere. We drove golf carts around the whole resort. The second day we hung out at the beach club which was a club at the resort. We had a swim up bar and a sand volleyball court. Then at night, we went to Jaco and ate at a taco bar. The fun thing about the taco bar was that they had swings. They had a table and as chairs they had swings! It was amazing! The food was so good. I loved it! Then the next day we went surfing. It was so hard it took all of us so long to stand up. That night we went to a restaurant near the resort. It was so good! The next day we went on a rainforest tour. We saw tons of animals like sloths and monkeys! It was so fun because one of the monkeys crawled onto the top of my head! We ate a beautiful restaurant that looked out onto the ocean. One of our last days, we went to Tortuga Island. It was so beautiful! We went snorkeling and jet skiing. It was so fun! I wish I could go back and if anyone has the chance to go, definitely go!! I can’t wait to go again soon!