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    The $4,000 Graduation Gift Essay

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    “I cannot say goodbye to those whom I have grown to love, for the memories we have made will last a lifetime, and will never know a goodbye. ” – Anonymous There is a time for work and a time for play; I just hope that when the time comes to play I don’t let it slip by too fast. Life is short and you will always have the memories you make with the people you love, so don’t take it for granted. When you are given the moment to take memories that will last a lifetime make it great and don’t hold back.

    I have been to quite a few vacation spots over the years with my family and friends including; Yellowstone National Park, Hilton Head, Disney World, Gatlinburg, TN, St. George Island, and Universal Studios. Each place that my family visited holds different and special memories that I will never forget. My favorite places would have to be St. George Island and Universal Studios, although they are very different they both have one thing in common and that is keeping me excited and interested.

    The destinations are both wonderful, but the best adventure for my friends and me would be to go to Universal Studios because this vacation spot is a better value, it is filled with great cuisine, many unique stores, and very exciting rides. I love the beach; it is one of my favorite places to be in the world because it is so calm and relaxing. St. George Island is a small island off the coast of Apalachicola, FL. The eastern nine miles is a nature preserve that you can visit during the day or camp at night. It has many boardwalks, observation decks, and hiking trails (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. . On one side of the island the water is salt water and on the other side is fresh water.

    Every morning, without fail, dolphins swim by the island for all to enjoy. There are some locally owned stores on the island but the bulk of the places to shop at are located right off the island in Apalachicola. You can also find an array of unique restaurants and ice cream shops. The best store in Apalachicola, in my opinion, is the Apalachicola Sea Sponge Company. They sell a wide variety of sizes in sea sponges and sponges with soap attached to them.

    The soap is made from goat’s milk and olive oil and they also have many different scents available for purchase in store and online. My favorite part about going to St. George Island is being able to lie on the beach and bathe in the sun. It is very relaxing and calming, especially for someone who has a lot of stress in their life. The soothing gentle breeze and the calming sounds of the ocean’s waves could help anyone de-stress. The room and board of any beach destination is also key to relaxation and also, so you will not break your bank.

    I researched two options at St. George Island, Beach Breeze and 15 Sea Place, both of which are lovely. Beach Breeze is a luxurious three bedroom and three bathroom house with a private boardwalk, outdoor shower, and a park-style grill. It has one king bed, one queen bed, two twin beds, and one queen sleeper sofa. The home also has a kitchen and a dining room so that you can bring and prepare your own food. This home, in the low season of 2015, is $1,440 a week and the turn day is Saturday (Beach Breeze). The second and cheaper option is 15 Sea Place.

    This house is also a three bedroom and three bathroom with a private boardwalk, outdoor shower, and a park-style grill. It has one king bed, one double bed, and two twin beds. The only difference in the houses are the prices, 15 Sea Place is only $1,200 in the low season of 2015 (15 Sea Place). Once you figure in the estimated price of gas down and back, the estimated groceries for the week, and a spending budget the highest total for the whole trip comes out to be around $2,855 leaving plenty of money left over (Advameg, Inc. ).

    Although I love the beach and have not been in a few years when I imagine a trip with my best friends I imagine something a bit more excited then just the beach a shopping. Universal Studios the home to many exciting rides, unique characters from various movies, and an experience that is always different no matter how many times you visit. Unlike the calm, tranquil setting of St. George Island, Universal Studios is a place filled with excitement and a fast pace movement. There they have five different theme parks including the Harry Potter theme park.

    The theme parks include; Universal Studios Florida, Wet n’ Wild Water Park, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Hogsmeade, Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and The Wizarding World of Harry Potter- Diagon Alley (Universal Studios). If that isn’t enough to keep you satisfied you can also go outside of Universal and visit Downtown Disney, a very large shopping center with many different stores featuring Disney paraphernalia. Downtown Disney also has various restaurants with out of this world ambiance. There is the Hard Rock Cafe-Rainforest Cafe, T-Rex Cafe, Planet Hollywood, and many others (Downtown Disney Area).

    Down Disney is also a great place to walk around and enjoy the breeze and the beautiful waterfront. St. George Island may have some very tasty restaurants with local seafood but Universal and Downtown Disney have a wide variety of types of food ranging all the way from seafood, Greek and Italian to Southern cooking, plain old Subway, and my favorite Mexican restaurants. In Universal Studios they have more than twenty five amazing rides and attractions including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Transformers: The Ride- 3D, and Despicable Me Minion Mayhem.

    In Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey “enter through the towering castle gates and make your way down the familiar passageways and corridors of Hogwarts™ School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You’ll visit iconic locations such as Dumbledore’s office, the Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Gryffindor common room, the Room of Requirement and more. Then get ready to soar above the castle grounds as you join Harry Potter and his friends on an unforgettably thrilling adventure, coming face-to-face with an array of magical creatures!

    This amazing attraction uses groundbreaking, state-of-the-art technology (and a little magic) to create a one-of-a-kind ride experience. ” (Universal Orlando). This is just one of many great attractions and rides and Universal Studios for you to enjoy. Just like in St. George where you can see the dolphins every morning Universal Studios has many exciting things for you to see every day. If I were to purchase the Exclusive Package with a Deluxe Hotel for three adults I would be getting a very good deal for $2,084. 2.

    This package includes; “4-Night Hotel Accommodations, 2-Day Park-to-Park Ticket with 3rd Day free, Breakfast at the Leaky Cauldron in Universal Studios Florida, Breakfast at the Three Broomsticks in Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Early Park Admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter one hour before the theme park opens, and Special Themed Welcome Parcel (Convenient at-home delivery of your theme park tickets, Souvenir owl plush, and Welcome letter)” (Universal Studios).

    This package incompasses many different items that would be more expensive if sold separately. My friends and I would love this package because it has so many fun things to do and we are big Harry Potter fans. Every day you spend in the park is a new and exciting adventure. Altogether the total is $3,290. 90. This includes the gas to and from, food arrangements, and a spending budget of $200 for each of us (Advameg, Inc. ). The grand total for St. George is only $435. 90 less than Universal’s total and yet at Universal Studios you can do so much more.

    St. George Island and Universal Studios are both wonderful vacations to go on with your friends. The deciding factor between the two locations is based on whether or not you feel like relaxing for a week or going on an adventure for four days with your two best friends. No matter where you will go you will always have fun if you are with the people that you love. Universal Studios is the better choice for my friends and me because we want to have an exciting time and make memories that will last a lifetime.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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