When i was 13-years-old my aunt and uncle were traveling through our neck of the woods. I lived in Illinois, they lived in Oregon. They offered to take me out west for the summer. Normally, I didn’t see much of them except for family reunions and occasional road trips so this sounded like a fun opportunity. They had a VW camper and off we went.

It took 7 days to cross half of the United States. Though the trip now is mostly just a blur, but I remember in Reno, Nevada sleeping in the camper while my aunt and uncle went into the casino. I ate some pudding and slept in the popup part of the camper.

I also remember a restaurant near there that had a slot machine. To play, you only needed a nickel… and you had to be 18 or older. I wasn’t, so I gave my aunt a nickel to play for me. I won! The machine paid out more nickels than I had ever seen before. Then my aunt kept half of my winnings. :-(.

Once at their home and settled in, we took a day trip to the beach. Seeing the Pacific ocean laid out before me was quite majestic. I enjoyed walking out into the surf and boy, was it cold.

After a couple of weeks of mostly having nothing to do, I was ready to go home. My mom paid for my plane ticket and my aunt and uncle took me to the airport so I could fly home alone.

At the Denver airport, I had to change planes and a friendly staff member made sure the switchover went smoothly. I was proudly wearing my Continental airplane wings pin that one of the stewardesses had given me.

My mom and Happy (my dog) met me at Chicago O’Hare airport. What a happy reunion. My dog was so excited to see me that I think she was crying. I know I was.

( Post idea courtesy of the Daily Prompt. )