Traveling around the U.S.A.

Traveling around the U.S.A.

By Esther Campanella

Honorable Mention, 2016-2017 Young Writer’s Short Story Contest

Download a PDF of Traveling around the USA.

There is a family who is very busy traveling. You will find out about them if you keep reading this story.

On Autumn Drive, in Grapevine, Texas, a little brown house sits. Inside this house are two playful children, a mom, and a dad. These two children are named Alex and Kate. Alex is ten. Kate is eight.

One night, at dinner, Alex and Kate’s dad started talking.

“Children,” said their dad, “I have been offered a job I love. I am going to take it. I will take photos from different states in the U.S.A., and they will get printed in magazines. For now, we will move to Arizona.”

The children were not very happy about moving.

After someone had rented their house and after a lot of packing, they were ready to leave. Mom said they would rent a house in Arizona. One thing they were all worried about, though, was Dad. Dad was a worrier.

They each brought something to do in the car on the trip to Arizona. Dad brought magazines, Mom brought her knitting, and the children brought games. First Dad drove, and then Mom drove. Once they arrived at their new house, they opened the door. Inside their house were three bedrooms, a kitchen, and a TV room.

The next day they awoke and had oatmeal.

“Today we will go to the Grand Canyon,” said Dad. “And I will take some photos.”

They got in the car and started driving toward the Grand Canyon. When they arrived, a man asked Dad what he was doing.

“I’m part of the U.S.A. Camera Jobs,” Dad said proudly.

“Cool!” said the man. “I’m part of that too. Do you need any help?”

“What are you doing here? Who are you?” asked Dad.

“I’m Kyle. But I don’t have family, like you do,” he said.

“Thank you, Kyle. But I do NOT need help,” said Dad, holding his head high.

“Are you sure?” asked Kyle.

“Leave me alone, please.”

“Stubborn people,” muttered Kyle.

“Who was that man?” asked Kate that night at dinner.

“Kate,” said Dad, “that man distracted me from doing my job. I just don’t like it!”

“Please, calm down,” said Mom.

“May I be excused?” yelled Dad, in protest.

“Dad is determined about doing his job,” explained Mom. “Dad ALWAYS makes sure nothing gets in his way.”

Dad, Mom, Alex, and Kate stayed in Arizona for a few months. Alex and Kate met new friends at school. Mom made sure the house was clean. Dad, on the other hand, got into more and more fights with Kyle, and things were not going well.

In about a year, they were ready to move. This time they were going to Philadelphia to see the Liberty Bell. This trip would be a longer drive.

One night, the doorbell rang.

“Come in,” said Mom.

Kyle walked in the door.

“Not again!” yelled Dad.

“May I go with you on your next trip?” asked Kyle.

“NO!” Dad yelled.

“May he come with us, Dad?” asked Alex.

“Yeah, I like him,” said Kate.

“Okay,” said Dad, with a big sigh.

A month later, they all loaded into the car. After many days of driving and a lot of rest stops, they arrived in Philadelphia. They went right to the Liberty Bell. Dad and the man started taking photos. Mom and the kids explored.

After some time, they were ready to leave. They were not staying very long in Philadelphia, so they were staying in a hotel.

In every state they visited, Dad promised to get each child a souvenir. In Arizona, Kate had chosen an Arizona necklace charm, and Alex had picked an Arizona baseball cap. This time, in Pennsylvania, Kate got a Pennsylvania pen, and Alex got a Pennsylvania duffel bag.

Dad and Kyle still didn’t get along. One day at work, the men started talking.

“Do you like my photos? Do you like my new haircut? Where are we going next?” asked Kyle, still full of questions.

“Won’t you give me QUIET?” yelled Dad. “And I might turn that ‘are we’ into ‘am I,’ because you’re staying here this time!”

As soon as Dad got these words out, he knew what was coming. SLAP!! SLAP!! PUNCH!!! And before he knew it, Dad was looking up at the bright, blue sky.

Dad suddenly got his strength back and hopped up. He then turned his back and left.

A few days later they were ready to go to New York to see Niagara Falls. Mom forced Dad into taking Kyle with them. In New York they got to see Niagara Falls. Instead of a souvenir each, the children got a puppy and named him Flounder. The whole family loved Flounder.

One day, while the men were arguing, they both said at the same time, “I NEVER want to see YOU again!” After that they laughed and laughed, partly because of what they had just said, and partly because of their silly fight.

Meanwhile at home, Mom and the children went up to the attic. There was a lot of dust. Kate looked in a bag and pulled out an envelope that said “photos” on it.

“Mom,” said Kate, “what’s this?”

“Good question,” said Mom. “We’ll open it at dinner.”

That night they opened the envelope and pulled out photos of college-aged men in graduation gowns. Dad and Kyle opened their mouths in surprise.

“Is it true?” asked Dad.

Kyle was thinking the same thing.

“Did we go to the same college?” asked Dad.

“I think so!” said Kyle.

“Yes! Yes, you may stay with us!” Dad said.

The family and Kyle traveled back to Texas. The others treated Kyle like a member of their family. And soon they’ll be traveling again around the U.S.A.—this time, with Kyle too.

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