Planning a gap year?


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But feeling a little daunted?

Not sure which way to turn?

Wondering where you'll end up

And what might happen along the way?

Fear not!!

We have loads of tips and advice to share with you

From our own amazing Family Gap Year!

Sarah's USA Journal - aged 9

it was a lonnnnggggggg drive!!!!!! We didn’t stop once
(well maybe to ask for directions). - extract - Sarah

When we arrived in America airport we went to the arrival department and there daddy was so I hobbled over to him, it was so nice to see him! We went and caught a shuttle bus and then we were off to choose our car, we went in and signed all the contracts and then we were sorted and Lisa was very pleased. Then we were off to Hollywood. While we were driving we could see the hollywood sign, it was so cool! When we got to there we went exploreing and my ear got really sore so went to look for a motel. We found a Comfort Inn and we only stayed 1 day in Los Angeles so we went to see the stars and hand prints.

We saw Tom Hanks, Britney Spears, Maddona, Steven Speilberg and we also saw Whoppi Goldberg,it was awsome on the way back home we saw a really weird D.J. And then we went to our nice cosy bed.


Universal Studios

The next morning we woke up bright and early (well mum and them did but I just lay there the same as uasal wishing my ear would get better) and then I got out of bed and we went to Universal studios. When we got there we had to wait in a que for ages, but when we got in there we it looked really cool! We decided to go on a vanhelsing ride and that was really scary, people kept jumping out at you.

Then we went to see animal planet live. When we found it we went in and chose our seat and then the show began, it was really sweet because all the animals came out and preformed there own show and then the man came out with a Orangetang and then he started being really rude to the man but it was funny, there was a dog and he was of the movie Garfeild it was soooooo cool!!! And when the show was over we went and got our photos taken with the dog off the movie Winn-Dixie he was really sweet.

We went to see Shrek 4-D, It was horrible and when Donkey sneezed you could feel the snot being spatted on to you on to you it was horrible, and the seats moved. You had to were funny glasses and daddy looked really strange then when we got out off that ride and we went to a another ride called back to the future. And that was really cool you sat In a car with a screen in front of you and then the car moved it was really cool!

We went on a tour round the movie sets and we saw were desprate housewifes was filmed and we saw were war of the world was filmed we saw were spider man was filmed and lots more! We saw how thespeical efects were filmed. And then we went on a the Mummy ride and we qued for agesss and then when we got on it was pitch black and you felt black beatlescrawling all over you it was terrafing and after all the queing it wasn’t even 5 minutes and then it ended. Then we went and bought some toffe apples and we went to water world. It was very weird! It was when there was no land so then people fought over it.


Home exchange

We then decided to go leave and move on to the Yosemite. Because we were doing house exchange, it was a lonnnnggggggg drive!!!!!! We didn’t stop once (well maybe to ask for directions). When we got there we couldn’t find the house so we stayed at another Comfort Inn so we spent the night there. In the morning we woke up and Mum gave me my medication and then we went to the dockters whitch cost almost $300 so then we had to go and pick up the medicine from the Super Market Vons and that cost around about $55. Then we went looking for the house. We soon found it, so we un-packed and got settled and then Mum gave me the muti and then my ear started to feel a lot better! So that day we just relaxed. The next day we drove up from Oakhurst (where we were staying) to the Yosemite on the way up we saw loads of snow it was wondeful. We stoped while Mum and Dad took a photo so Lisa and I played in the snow it was fantastic.

We got back in the car and we drove off to the Village for some lunch. We stopped at a lovely restraurnt and it had a giant fire place. We had a nice meal and then we went to get a souvenirs, Lisa bought a torch and I bought a wrist band because my other one broke. The next day we were going to Fresno. When we first got there we went to another bead shop and we made a really nice braclet each! After that we went and had a Mexian lunch and it was delicous. We went to a book store, Lisa and I wonderd of and then came back with a pile of Calvin and Hobbes bookes. We went to a shopping centre I bought a shirt and Lisa bought pjamas.

Skiing

We then went home and played some games and had dinner and then went to bed. When we woke up the next morning it was time to go sking I was really looking forward to it! It was quite far where we were going and that was Badger Pass it was 60 miniutes to get there. When we got there we had to get all the gear on I was snowboarding so was Mum but Lisa and Dad were sking and then we were ready to go yipee.

When we got out there it was huge!!! We didn’t know what to do it was so big. We decided to go on the baby one to get started and then we went on a bigger one and we had to go on a chair lift up and we kept falling of when we were supossed to get off and it was very hard when you get up on a snowboard. When you go down the hill there are lump on it and you think your going to fall down a big hole.the shoes you had to were weren’t very comfy so we thought it was enough for one day.

A Ten Pin


When we went home wehad a lovely hot chocolate and a nice dvd and then it was bed. The next day I was so stiff I could barly move, it wads awful and it wasn’t a very nice day for sking so while mum was doing something on the computer me Lisa and dad went ten pin bowling, and as uasal dad won, and the man said wait and he went into a room and came out with a bowling pin and then gave it to me because he said I had a nice smile. So we went home but we weren’t sure if it would be ok to go in the suitcases but dad said he would put it in his bag so then that was settled. The rest of the day we spent relaxing and we made a decision that we were going to go sking the next day no matter what. And we kept our promise the next day was what they said one of the best days to go sking. This time me and mum skied aswell I found it a lot easyier than snowboarding. We wet down some much steeper hills than last time and the were also a lot scaryier than last time. It was awsome!!! the next day we were leaving and heading to san francisco and it was a long drive.


San Francisco

When I woke up were were in San Francisco, and we wanted to look around first and see what there was to do and then toataly by mistake we ended up going across the Golden gate bridge it was a really weird experience to finally see it for real and only by mistake. After that we went to look for a motel and it was quite difficult. In the end we found one and it was called Surf Motel. For dinner we went to a restraunt called ihop and it wasn’t the best meal I’ve ever had it was saugaes wrapped in a pancake. The next day we went to fishermans wharf. We went to peir 39!!! We went to see the seals and they were pushing each other off the jetty it was very funny. I bought my self a jumper that I had been looking for. For lunch Lisa and I had calimari and Lisa said she liked it but when she found out what it was she said she didn’t like it. In the everning we went to see a movie called ice age 2 it was really good.


San Francisco and the Explanatorium

The next morning we went to fishermans wharf again and we went to a dolphin art gallery it had some very nice paintings we after that we went to the hostel mum stayed in when she was last here it was quite big and it didn’t look any thing like the ones in New Zealand! There was another shop and it had some lovely wind chimes! The next day was when daddy was leaving to go to Los angeles!!! So he dropped us off at Union square and off he went. We went in to a shopping centre and we went into Macy’s and there were some lovely things there. Went on a tram and it was quite scary because there was no room for me to sit down so I was left hanging of the edge. We went to a bulding called the explanatorium and it had loads of thing to do and it was great because it was free it had lots of tricks and there was a tea cup but when you try to touch it it your hand would go staight through it. It was amazing.

That night we had a lovely Italian dinner I had pamazan chicken mum had a spicy salad sort of meal and Lisa had to be really boring and had chese and tomato pasta. The next day we were leaving so we packed up and waited for our cab when it finnaly came it was godbye America.

The End

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