Summer adventures included several trips

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Summer is slowly but surely coming to a close. The temperatures are falling (and, unfortunately, rising at times, too), the trees are changing color, and the air is getting ever drier, if that’s even possible.

Now that school is back in session, everyone, including myself, is looking back on what we did this summer.

To commemorate the occasion, I’ve decided to write this column in summer-school-essay fashion. So, metaphorical Mrs. or Mr. Teacher, how did I spend my summer? Well, it went a little something like this.

My summer took off with a bang, or more specifically, a trip to the Anaheim Convention Center to go to the 7th annual VidCon. This video conference/convention, created by John and Hank Green of the Vlogbrothers YouTube channel, among other things, celebrates the Internet’s biggest names – and their fans, of course!

People from all over the world flew in for countless panels, meet-ups and stage shows. This three-day affair was action packed with a huge expo hall for awesome booths, merchandise stores and a Nickelodeon-themed arcade, together with two video-gaming stages and two interviewing stages. YouTube, Vine, and Musical.ly stars – as well as other internet comedians, musicians and life bloggers – spent time with their fans in the meet and greet halls.

They did interviews and challenges in the expo hall, saving the giant stages and Kia Arena for the variety shows that happened daily.

Over 500 creators joined the fun, making this year’s VidCon the biggest yet. Besides getting some T-shirts and watching several panels with my favorite people, I got to meet Jon Cozart. Jon, also known as “Paint,” is a YouTuber who creates songs and funny videos about his life.

After waiting in line for about an hour, I hugged him and talked to him for a few minutes, before taking a picture with him. Then, I was off to another panel. The entire weekend was one big awesome experience, and I’m grateful to have been able to go.

After VidCon, I took a break from the giant Internet world before packing my bags and flying across the country. All alone, I flew from Ontario to Chicago, and from Chicago to Manchester, New Hampshire.

What was I doing there, you might ask? Well, I was meeting my best friend, Lily, for the first time.

Lily and I met on Instagram when we both started accounts about our favorite YouTubers. Skip to a year and a half later, and I was hugging her for the first time – in an airport parking lot at about 2 in the morning.

When we first ran to each other and hugged, it was strange to see the familiar face that was usually on FaceTime. We couldn’t stop laughing and smiling. It’s definitely a moment I won’t forget.

I spent the week at her house, meeting her siblings and exploring her small town. She showed me her favorite places in the area; it’s safe to say that a lot of them are some of my favorite places now, too. She took me to a trampoline park a few towns over one day, and the next we were swimming in the freezing lake a block away from her house.

It was so much fun to meet everyone and live in such a different area for a week. Her town reminded me of Canyon Lake, surrounded by mountains and hills; however, hers were covered in luscious green trees.

To get back on topic, a week in New Hampshire went by all too fast. Luckily, when I flew home, Lily came with me. She stayed at my house for a week, so I was able to show her the way Canyon Lakers live. We also went to Universal Studios Hollywood one day.

She tells me that she can’t wait for us to meet again next summer; she really took a liking to the little bit of paradise we call Canyon Lake. I hope we can make it happen next summer too, as her little town in New Hampshire is one of my favorite places to visit now.

A week came and went, and Lily flew home. Again I was able to relax for a little while before I went to my next summer adventure: a concert in San Diego. My sister and I drove to San Diego State University (SDSU) to see Twenty One Pilots, one of my favorite bands. I discovered them online earlier this year and have been hooked ever since.

The concert was better than I expected, everything I dreamed it would be and more. The music was loud, the performance was perfect, and the people dancing around me made me feel at home.

This summer was, although very busy, enormously fun. I made new friends and visited some old ones, all with a smile on my face and sun in my hair.

I’ve learned over time, and especially recently, that the World Wide Web can bring people together. Whether it’s people you’ve never met before, or friends you’ve known for years, social media, YouTube, and the Internet, in general, can bring people together; and it’s a beautiful thing.

I hope you all had a summer as amazing as the way I think mine was. Good luck in the new school year, and happy almost autumn!

From printings on paper to musings in your mind, my name is Hannah. Thanks for reading.

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