Everybody I know loves winter break.
It gives us time off from our schoolwork, and gives us time to connect with family and friends over great food.
In particular, my winter break experience this year was wonderful.
When my last final ended, I set off for my hometown, which is six hours from Erie.
I arrived at my house late at night, and so began my long vacation.
The first half of the vacation gave me a long time to relax, but also have fun.
I spent the second half of December catching up with old friends, including some who I had not seen in years.
We usually go see a movie that is playing in the theaters or go out for a few drinks somewhere downtown.
When I was not out and about, I was relaxing at home with my three cats.
I rarely get to be with them, but when I arrive, they recognize me, even if it takes them a little while.
Once they remember me, they warm up to me and allow me to hold them.
Once you feel their soft fur and listen to their purrs, you will never go back.
Being with those cats never gets old, especially because I do not get to see that often.
Seeing family is another blessing, especially my grandfather.
Every Sunday, my parents drive him from his home to our house, where we eat brunch.
Every Christmas, my mom’s side of our family goes over to his house, even though he lives in a retirement home now.
Even though my aunt and uncle live there now, to me, it will always be his house.
There is always a huge dinner with countless desserts.
You’ve never tasted better food, I can promise that.
The desserts seem never ending, and I know that I never want them to end.
Every Christmas, we start the day by opening up our many presents.
When everyone has arrived at my grandfather’s house, we get to open even more.
Eating my favorite food with my cousins is another highlight of my time back home.
Eating good food, meeting old pets, and reconnecting with distant relatives, what’s not to enjoy?
My dad loves to take my cousin and me to an oyster bar, and every time we go, each of us ends up eating at least 50 massive oysters.
Oysters never get old for me.
They are my favorite meal so I can always eat an infinite number of them.
During my spare time, I visited the local zoo and the many museums.
Many of them are owned by the federal government, but I made sure to visit them all before they got closed during the shutdown.
My parents and my sister got to go to this new restaurant that serves Afghan cuisine.
It is a very popular and beloved restaurant so it is hard to get a reservation.
From what they told me, the food was great.
That was only the first half of my winter break.
The second part of it involved an unforgettable excursion.
I spent the first half of January sailing on a sailboat made in the 1890s, the great Lettie G. Howard.
This was a trip sponsored by the AIM program.
We sailed from Miami to St. Petersburg, Florida.
We even stopped in Key West for some sightseeing!
While we were sailing, we took turns steering the ship and keeping watch.
While in St. Petersburg, we got to go to the Ringling Museum in Sarasota and the Siesta Key Beach.
The journey was an incredible experience.
Seeing all those different beautiful places and getting to experience the journey was magical.
On the whole, I would say I enjoyed my winter vacation very much.
It gave me a chance to get in touch with my family, along with giving me time off from my schoolwork.