The great state of California is famous for a lot of things, one of them being its many theme parks and beaches.

During the last week of February and early March, I was able to go with my family to San Diego. We spent five days roaming sandy beaches, losing our breath on roller coasters, and relaxing and kicking back with our grandparents.

The first day, we had to wake up super early to catch our flight at 7 a.m. And if there's something I absolutely love, it's flying on a plane! I actually don't mind airplanes that much; it's just the people that are there too. I'm a very reserved and introverted person, and I like my life to be a certain way. Same goes for my vacations.

After a grueling five hours at both airports, we finally got our rental car. But it was the wrong one. My dad was really mad about that, but he had to get over it. To add to this, we couldn't check into our hotel until 3 p.m., so we had to waste four hours wandering around.

We chose to get some lunch and then walk along the beach for a little bit. In a way, this was my favorite part of the trip. Just standing on the sand and watching the waves move back and forth is very satisfying. It was a nice, calm start to a long week in California.

On our first morning, I woke up especially early because of the different time zone. That, and this was the day that we were heading to Legoland! I know I'm always talking about growing up and maturing, but give me some slack. It's Legoland!

This park in Carlsbad was easily the best part about the trip. When it came time to leave, I dragged my feet along the stones and took my sweet time. We were roaming through a huge gift shop when my mom pointed out that my sister's and my favorite character was just outside. It was Lloyd from "Ninjago!" I was so surprised, I couldn't even say anything to him. After a few pictures, we toured the different Lego worlds, marveling at all of the statues and little things that made each land unique from the others.

Despite the entire theme park being designed for littler kids, I had the time of my life. It's all based on perspective!

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The next day, we went to SeaWorld. I'm not a huge fan of water, but I have to admit this one was a lot of fun too. We attended different shows, like watching the dolphins flip around or attending a Netflix trip with two very sassy sea lions. At the end of the dolphin show, one of the dolphins got away from her trainer and came to splash the crowd. It was very funny and cute.

My sister and I also went on a super fast roller coaster called the Electric Eel. We were so shocked, we couldn't even talk after that.

The last day, we went to Knott's Berry Farm with my grandpa. This was the most thrill-seeking day we had, being the theme park with the most roller coasters on our trip. I rode in the very front on a ride called the Xcelerator and nearly passed out halfway through! It was nice to see my grandpa so happy though. I would've done it again in a heartbeat.

We also watched a gun show halfway through the day, and it was really cool to see.

After our fun-filled day, we had dinner at a chicken restaurant where I ate the best boysenberry pie ever. I've been to Knott's Berry Farm before, so this time it was just like my last experience. But now I knew what I liked.

That Saturday, we stayed at home with my grandparents and just hung out. It was really nice to relax, especially after three straight days of theme parks. My littlest sister and I played Legos, we all watched a movie together, and then we went out to dinner.

I really enjoyed my California trip, but I also really enjoyed coming home. It's been nice to talk to my friends after an entire week and tell them all of my stories. One day, I think I'll go back to these theme parks and have some more fun. But they'll always be there. I only have one home.

These are the things we have to cherish in life: love and family. Over the entire week, I reflected on what it took to get to those parks. A lot of money and a lot of sacrifice. I was grateful for what I had, and I was grateful for those who gave it to me.

I will always have the nice souvenirs I bought during that week, but over time, they might lose their meaning. But memories are everlasting. I'm glad I got to spend some time and make memories with my family in San Diego.

Taylor Jenkins is a junior at Weber High School who loves to write. If you have questions or want to chat, email her at jenkinsta2@wsdstudent.net.

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