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The Trip to England
By: Aminah M.

During the summer of 2016, I heard my mom and dad talking about getting me and my brothers passports. Ooh! I thought. Maybe we are going somewhere this summer. Then, the summer ended, and we only went to Chicago and Atlanta. The passport was soon at the back of my mind.

In September, my dad told us my uncle was graduating, and that we would attend the ceremonies. “But he lives in England! I cried out. “Well, that’s where we are going,” said my mom. The next few weeks were a blur. My father told us to deep clean our rooms, and that while we were gone, the carpet cleaners were going to deep clean our carpets. So I moved everything out of my room except my bed. After I put my desk in the basement, I went back upstairs to my room and closed my door. That is when the disaster happened.

I looked around my room, feeling accomplished. There was nothing on the floor except my bed. Satisfied, I turned to leave my room and I turned the doorknob and pulled. However, my door didn’t open. It must be locked, I thought. It wasn’t. I panicked a little and pulled on the door harder. Still, nothing happened. This went on for about 5 minutes. I yelled for my mom and dad but they didn’t hear me. I yelled again, and they finally came. I told them my door was jammed. They pulled and pulled, but the door didn’t budge. Then, they unscrewed part of the door and the knob came off, but i was still stuck. I don’t exactly know what the did, but somehow my parents got the door open. I was left doorknobless for about another day, but that was alright.

On a Tuesday, we drove off to Chicago. Instead of staying at my grandmother’s house, like usual, we stayed at my mom’s old friend’s house. The next day, we packed up our van, and drove off to Walgreens. At Walgreens, we got some gummy worms and gummy bears and gum for the flight. Also, we got some chips because why not? We got to the O’Hare Airport 5 hours early. We printed our boarding pass, and then checked our luggage. Then, we went to the TSA and we passed. We looked around in the stores a bit, and then headed for out terminal. Once we were there, we sat for about an hour. Then, we boarded the plane. My brother and I sat together, but since I am a nice sister, I let him sit in the window seat. We took off an hour late because the plane was having some troubles.

When we first took off, I was afraid the plane was going to fall. It didn’t. I stared out the window until all I could see were clouds. Then, I turned my attention to the inside of the plane. I looked around and looked at all the passengers. When I was convinced it would be a safe ride, I sat back and relaxed.

At about 5 a.m., the crew announced that we would be landing soon. We passed over Ireland, and I saw a castle-looking building. Then we went over the U.K, and I saw a few more castle-like buildings. Then, we started to descend. My ears hurt so much and my younger brother and this other little girl started bawling. I chewed gum, ate gummy worms, but nothing worked. We finally landed.

We grabbed our stuff and walked out of the plane and into Heathrow Airport. We rode a shuttle to the rental car place and we rented a car. It was weird how we drove on the opposite side of the road. However, my dad had been to England before and he was sort of experienced. As we drove, I stayed up for about 1 hour, and then I fell asleep.

Later that day, we went to my uncle’s house in the countryside of Cambridge. The day we were there, my cousin was at my aunt’s house. My cousin didn’t even know we were in England. My uncle was really happy to see us. I forgot what we had for dinner, but we went to sleep.

The next morning, we drove out to the city of Cambridge and we stopped at a house we were renting. The people renting it would be my dad’s two sisters and my grandparents (who had just flown in that day), my uncle (who lived there), us, and my cousin. We met up with my family minus my cousin, and we all got settled in. Then, my cousin’s mom texted my uncle and said they were almost there. My cousin only knew that my uncle (her dad), my two aunts, my grandparents, and my dad were going to be there. Me, my mom, and my brothers all went outside and hid. Then, my cousin and her mom (who was in on the whole thing) went in the house, and said hi to the family. And then we came out and shouted, “Surprise!” She was so surprised and so happy! After we all said hi, we went to this restaurant called ‘The Giraffe.’ It was a pretty cool. That night, my cousin said she was so happy I was there, ‘cuz she was afraid she would be alone the entire trip.

The next day, it was my uncle’s graduation day. We were so excited, and we hurried over. It was really fancy, and the only other children there were me, my cousin, and my two brothers. My uncle introduced us to some of his friends, but me, my brothers, and my cousin were bored and we just ran around. Then, my uncle showed us around campus, and he had a ceremony, and we went out to eat for dinner at this Indian restaurant. The next day, we headed over to this boardwalk area, and we did this punting tour. The guy was really nice, and the river we were on had tons of different universities. While we were floating around, we even saw a couple’s boat tip over!

After the tour, we walked around the boardwalk a little more, and then we went to this hot cocoa place, and afterwards we went to a candy store. That night, we had fish and chips. On the following day, my grandparents left.

We woke up early, and drove to the Warwick Castle. We parked, and then walked up the hill for about half an hour. When we got to the castle, it was super tall, and REALLY long. We stopped at the bathrooms, and then explored.

One of the places we went to was a maze. It was made of tall hedges, and there were interesting notecards about some of England’s history. When we got out, we went inside the castle, and saw the bedrooms, suits of armour, and important documents. We went outside to a huge courtyard, and we saw a dungeon, which is where prisoners were punished. We saw a bear tower where bears were stored. Then, we got lunch from the lunch place. After that, we had Ben and Jerrys and went home.

Then, my aunt (my cousins mom) came to pick up my mom and me, and we went to her and my cousin’s apartment in Ipswich. We had a really good time.

The next day, back at my uncle’s house, we explored the city a little, and then we had a barbeque. That night, me, my cousin, and my brother camped in my uncle’s backyard in a tent. We had a flashlight on in there, and it was dark outside the tent, and we kept seeing shadows. Then, something walked up the outside of the tent. It looked weird, but then we realized it was the neighbors’ hairless cat. I let it in, and then let it out, and we went to sleep.

We woke up, and then drove to Birmingham. The drive was four hours, I think. On the way there, there was this weird-shaped building covered in what looked like giant push pins. We got to our hotel, and it was super old. They even showed us this tunnel that they had in a secret room in the basement, and it went all under the city and to old buildings where royalty and aristocrats lived. It was in case England got attacked, the rich could go through the tunnels and out the city. Sadly, the hotel was one of the last remaining buildings that had part of the tunnel through it, because almost all the buildings got burned in a fire. He said Queen Elizabeth had slept in the room we were staying in because it was a room reserved for royalty and it was the largest room there.

The rest of my time in England is kind of blurry, but I do remember the night before our flight to England. Me, my brother, my cousin, my uncle, and my dad all stayed up playing Mario Kart. The next day, unfortunately, we missed our 12:00 pm flight. Thankfully, the airport was really big, and it was like a mall. It even had an adventure place for little kids.

We got on the 5:00 pm flight, and we flew to Chicago. The flight was really smooth, and we landed in Chicago really late. My grandpa picked us up, and drove us to his house, which was in Shorewood, a 2 hour drive. When we got to my grandparents’ house, we said hi to my grandma, and I don’t exactly remember what we did after that. We were pretty jetlagged.

Early the next morning, we drove home to Saint Louis, and arrived at 6 pm. We went to sleep, and then…… Schooltime. Woo hoo!

BWorks – 30 Years and Counting

For three decades now, BWorks has been offering programs that spark creativity, innovation and teamwork among St. Louis-area youth, all while enriching their lives for years to come. We hope you can join us on Saturday, October 26, from 4 to 7 p.m. to help us celebrate this milestone.
Food / Drinks / Games / Friends

Free to RSVP –> https://www.eventbrite.com/e/celebrating-30-years-tickets-70669005899

Create-A-Book student Blogs.

Dog HILL
by Margaret F.

It was spring break. Time for fun with me and my siblings. My siblings Carmen and Owen were riding their bikes with me in the alley behind our house. If you walk down the alley, this is what you would see: about 7 houses going down the alley, each of them different, then a crossroad. You can go to a small bit of alley before the road comes. We call that Turnaround, because you have to turn around before you reach the road. The other way is Dog Hill. I’ll explain why. 

Carmen and I had been going on walks over the summer, and we both knew that there is a scary brown dog. It is very large, and likes to jump around with such ease that you think he could jump right over the fence surrounding the backyard. Also, add snarling teeth and a very loud bark. You take an ordinary steep hill, then you add a ferocious dog barking at you as you try to keep yourself upright. To make matters even worse, there are bushes, street signs, broken branches of trees, and even an old shed in the dog’s yard that he likes to hide behind, then jump out and scare you halfway down the hill. 

We decided that we would ride in a line, and switch who was in the front after that person had gone down the alley, down and up Dog Hill, then back up the alley. I was the first person in line. I was kind of scared, but also happy that I was the first to go down our new route. I went down the main alley, easy-peasy. Now came Dog Hill. 

I went halfway down, then the dog jumped out from behind the large bush in the yard, teeth bared. I raced down the rest of the hill, but now I had to get back up. Shifting my bike to 1 for friction, I carefully pedaled one step, then another, but then I was back within the dog’s sight. Barking all the way, he ran along the fence, chasing me up the hill, before finally, I stood panting in front of my siblings. 

I was done with bike riding for the day, but tomorrow I would check to see if the dog was really there, or if he was just a daytime nightmare. (Guess what: He was real! I’m not crazy!)

Create-A-Book student Blogs.

My Adventure on My Bworks Bike
By: Troy W.

My brother Cole and I did the Bikeworks program. Bworks is a nonprofit organization that teaches kids different things like in my bike class. I did it with my brother and at the end we each got a free bike. We love our bikes and ride them a lot.

This was our first trip to somewhere else besides my ally or my backyard. My dad took me, my brother, and my sister out on a bike trail about a year ago. There were two trails: a half-mile trail and a five-mile trail. I wanted to do the five-mile trail but I had to stay with my parents who were on the shorter route and stayed close to my sister. Cole rode ahead with me. I crashed a few times. It was pretty funny. It was only funny because of how I fell. I would fall over the front of my bars.

Cole laughed and helped me up off the trail. We kept riding through the 105 degree weather. I was going so fast and getting so much moving air from my speed over three- to five- foot jumps off of ramps made from fallen trees and sloped rocks that I wasn’t hot at all. But my whole family was dying from the heat. By the time we got to the end of the trail there were maybe four cars left out of like 38 cars that were there when we started our ride. They all left because of the heat. I begged my dad to let me go on the five-mile trail. He said no, and we left. We went to QT, and I ended up getting a pepperoni pizza and a Mountain Dew.