Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Dobkowitz Adventures

So every summer I go on a road trip with my family for about 2 or 3 weeks. I have been taking part in this since I was born. So far I have been to about 14 countries and 48 states, excluding Hawaii and Alaksa. When my family and I go on a vacation, it is NOT a vacation, it is a TRIP; there is no lounging, relaxation, or time alone. The 5 of us usually rent a big van or SUV and travel the back roads of the country. We are together 24/7 and probably drive an average of about 500 miles a day, intense I know. So let's add this up. 500 miles times 14 (days) times 20 (years) = 140,000 miles. I have driven an AVERAGE of about 140,000 miles with my family just on vacation time. So now you know I'm serious when I say we are travelers.

Thanks to these thousands of miles, I have got to see many many fascinating things. One of our trips was dedicated to the back roads of the midwest and planned to see all the quirky things along the way. Among the crazy things we saw was the largest ball of twine, the largest truck stop in the world, and an 8 legged cow.

We have also traveled to the deep south many times as well, where we held baby alligators, fed alligators in the wild, and even ate alligator. (It actually tasted a lot like chicken)

Since I've been traveling for as long as I have, I can tell you that I have visited every single amusement park in the continental U.S. Not that I can rememeber going to every single one, but my family and I are huge roller coaster addicts, so my dad would plan to stop at every amusement park possible on our trips.

One of my most favorite places I've been to in the U.S. is the schlitterbahn. This is THE COOLEST water park ever, as well as the largest one in the country. The original park is located in New Braunfels, Texas. It's a huge water park that runs completely on river water. Some of the slides even end up spitting you out into the river at the bottom, so then you just drift down the river for a while. So much fun!

One year when I was about 14, when we were staying at the resort at the schlitterbahn, we decided to go on a tubing trip down the nearby river. We drove for about 45 min and ended up at our point. We starting floating down the river and having a really good time. We even had a cooler that floated down the river with us. As we would float down the river, we'd sometimes float down little rapids, which was fun. About 45 min into the trip we saw there were some bigger rapids coming up down the river. I was laying on my stomach on my inner tube and started going down head first into the rapids, I got scared and decided to flip my body over because I felt like I could have more control holding onto the tube that way. Boy was I wrong. I didn't realize that once I would flip over, I would then be going down the rapids backwards. That's when everything went wrong. Immediately after I fllipped over, I slid right off my tube, backwards into the rapids. I was going down the rapids for a good 20 seconds before I got to the bottom. I was the furthest one down the river, so my family watched this happen from above the rapids, not being close to help me. Lucky for me there were some other people that were at the bottom of the rapids. I was in shock at this point and limp. They put me into an inflatable boat they had with them and floated me over to a small boat dock on the side. Right as they did that, it started POURING rain with thunder and lightening. My Dad and Mom made it over to me really quickly, while my sisters were still in the river trying to drag the cooler with them. The lightening was so close and the wind was so strong, they could barely swim over to us. Once we were all out of the water we walked up a hill to a nearby house. The people came outside and offered to give us a ride to the hospital. While we were waiting for the car to come around and pick us up, lightening struck at tree 10 feet away from us and the tree almost caught on fire. We got to the hospital about 30 min later. It turned out I had no major damage, just a badly sprained wrist and bruises. I couldn't believe I did get any worse injuries, I was definitely lucky!

But that was my story, and I hope you enjoyed it.

On Sunday, I leave for OKLAHOMA! I wonder what adventures my family and I will have there.

And here is little music video montage I made from one of our road trips a couple of years back.

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