Traveling during a pandemic


Taylor Chronert

Florida has some of the most beautiful sunsets and beaches

Taylor Chronert, Staff Reporter

I was so excited when I found out we were going to Florida for a family vacation. I hadn’t been out of Texas since before COVID-19 hit, so I was happy to get out of the state. As my sister and I weren’t fully vaccinated yet, my mom and dad didn’t want to take any risks by taking a plane, so they decided to do a family road trip and drive to Florida. I thought it was an awesome idea since I’ve never been on an actual road trip before. Before we drove to Florida, we spent the weekend at Cedar Creek Lake in Dallas with some close family friends, and before we knew it, on Wednesday, we were up at 7 a.m. and on the road.

As it was going to be a long drive from Dallas to Florida, we planned to drive the whole day and stop somewhere for the night. My parents weren’t comfortable with driving for the whole night and felt like they needed rest to be ready for the drive the next morning. 

The first place we stopped at was in Mississippi. We stopped at the Vicksburg National Battlefield Museum where we got to see a collection of different monuments and artifacts from the Civil War. We even got to see the grounds in which the Siege of Vicksburg happened, as well as some cannons that were used during the battle. My family and I got to race up the stairs at one of the memorials and it was no surprise that I ended up beating them. One of my favorite parts from the museum was the Shirley House because it was such a unique structure, and so different from any other house. It was also very interesting to find out that it was the only wartime structure that was left standing and the only structure remaining inside the memorial.

After the memorial we went on a walk through the town of Vicksburg and even discovered a Coca Cola Museum, which was super cool. Later that evening we checked into our hotel for the night and got a good night’s sleep in order to get ready for the next day. 

In the morning, we woke up bright and early again, got breakfast and were back on the road. The drive to Florida was a little stressful as there was so much traffic and so many people, but my sister and I were able to find ways to entertain ourselves and to stay quiet. Soon enough, we arrived in Florida. 

The week we spent in Florida was the greatest vacation ever. Even though it was very crowded with lots of people, we still had a blast. On the first day, my sister and I took a sunset walk on the beach and got so many cute pictures. We even dipped our feet in the ocean which felt very nice. My family rented bikes and we would ride to town and explore which was super fun. here were so many cute shops and lots of yummy food. My favorite food vendor there was a grilled cheese food truck. I am also a very big shell collector, so I knew while in Florida that I was going to have to collect some shells and bring them home with me. By the end of the week, I had over 500 seashells; I wondered if I could win a world record for collecting the most shells in a week. My favorite part of the vacation though was getting to try lobster for the first time. It was always something that was on my bucket list to try and when my parents announced that we were going to Florida, I knew I had to try lobster. After I tried it the first time, I enjoyed it so much that I had it again for dinner another night.

The trip went by so slowly as I was having such a blast, but soon enough it was time to make the long journey back to Texas. Like on the drive up to Florida, we stopped somewhere for the night, and my family chose to stop in New Orleans. My parents have wanted my sister and I to see New Orleans because we had never been there before, so we arrived by the afternoon in order to walk around and explore. New Orleans was one of the craziest and most interesting places I’ve ever been to. There were so many people and so much music that I’m pretty sure I did some dancing in the streets of New Orleans. We even got to go on a ghost tour and learn the history of the French Quarter and got told so many different ghost stories, which are all true by the way. We woke up the next morning and headed back home after a very eventful day.

What I enjoyed most about this vacation was all the time my family and I got to spend together. As someone who is going to be graduating and heading off to college soon, I want to spend as much time as I can with my family before all that happens as it will happen so fast. My favorite part about this vacation was how crazy my family was on the road trip: from me getting a random nosebleed in the car and my sister making it more funnier by recording it, to my sister and I listening to the exact same song without even realizing it till one of us started to sing that song, there were many funny moments that happened in the car. This will always be a favorite trip of mine, and I will always remember it not only as being a trip during a pandemic but also just being a trip where I spent a lot of time with my family. Now I know that if my family ever goes on a road trip again, chaos may come along with us.