A little bit over a month ago, my brother, Blin, and I were talking over the phone. In the midst of our conversation, we realized that even though we both live in the West Coast of North America and less than a two-hour plane ride away – we had not seen each other for almost one full year. We are both busy university students with on-campus jobs and several other commitments. Therefore, our demanding schedules make short trips to visit each other quite difficult. However, block break, a four day break at the end of each block, was approaching and I did not have any commitments or assignemnts. Thus, I decided to travel to California and finally see my brother, after one full year!
On Thursday morning, I went to North Vancouver with my friend Eva. Afterwards, I took a bus, a train, and finally made my way to the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). At this point everything felt more real and my level of excitement had reached its peaks. I was excited to travel to Calfornia, enjoy the sunshine, and spend time with family. In addition, I looked forward to my parents’ reaction when they would hear that I went to Califoria since we had kept this trip a secret from them.
The plane ride was quick, not more than two hours, but it felt really long. However, the beautiful sky, the giant Pacific Ocean, and a good book made my experience a better one overall. Blin had classes until late in the evening, so I spent the afternoon with Sarah (his girlfriend) and Milo (the cat). Sarah and I spent some time catching up on each other’s lives, talking about academics and life, and playing with Milo. Afterwards, we made a delicious Italian pizza, which included basil, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and balsamic vinegar. Finally, several hours later, I heard someone knock in the door – it was Blin.
After hugging each other for a long time, we had dinner, and then decided to call our parents. They were expecting to see Blin only, since I was supposedly in Canada. Thus, when they saw me, they were really surprised and for a few minutes could not believe that this was real. They were really happy to see that I had decided to go to Calfornia and spend some time with my brother, especially since I am not able to go back home to Kosovo very often. After talking to our parents, we continued talking to each other for several hours. Afterwards, due to exhaustion and early morning obligations, we decided to go to sleep.
Since both, Blin and Sarah, had to go to school early in the morning the next day, I spent most of the morning and early afternoon at the communal pool. It included a large swimming pool, a bath tub, several tanning chairs, and even a fire pit that I did not use since it was so hot (of course!). It was nice to treat myself to a relaxing and sunny day, especially since it had been rainning in Squamish for quite some time. I read my book, swam, and took lots and lots of pictures.
Afterwards, both Blin and Sarah came back from school. We quickly made dinner and then headed to Universal Studios for their Halloween Horror Nights special. The event included several mazes, a terror tram, various shows and rides, and different scare zones. I was terrified especially by some zombies holding fake, but loud and smelly chain saws. I kept screaming all throughout the night, which probably explains why I lost my voice the next day. After doing some of the Halloween special attractions, we headed to the normal part of the park. We rode several roller coasters and interactive rides, attended shows, and even saw a live dance performance. It was such a fun, energetic, full of activities kind of night. By the time we made it home, we were all exhausted and ready to go to bed.
The next morning, we headed to a pumpkin patch. This was my first time ever visiting a pumpkin patch and I was mesmerized by the amount of pumpkins, the hot weather, and the large number of people. It was so hot; it felt like it was a July afternoon not a late October afternoon. We picked fruit, rode a tractor, petted and bottle fed little goats, and even picked our own pumpkins to carve later in the evening.
Afterwards, Blin and I headed to Santa Monica, which is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles county, California. For a while we walked around on Third Street Promenade, explored the Wilshire Boulevard, and enjoyed the view from Santa Monica Pier. Afterwards, we decided to rent bikes, in order to bike in the beach path and make our way to Venice Beath. Since it was quite late afternoon, we were blessed with a beautiful and breathtaking sunset. I could not believe that this view was real.
After biking for several hours, due to exhaustion and hunger, we headed to a Turkish restaurant for dinner. I ordered the Mediterranean Döner whereas Blin order the classic one. They were both very delicious and reminded us of our trips to a local resturants back in Kosovo, where we would always order döners. Afterwards, we headed home and carved our pumpkins.Even though, I tried quite hard, mine did not turn as pretty as Sarah’s and Blin’s. But hey, that okay, at least I had lots of fun!
I am so happy that I decided to go to visit my brother, because it truly was such a special and heartwarming experience. I needed some sunshine, family love, and adventure in my life, especially after quite a demanding course.
I look forward to more Californian adventures with my brother.