Anna’s Blog: Stuck in the sand on Daytona Beach

The Saffron Walden Young Carers group in America

The Saffron Walden Young Carers group in America - Credit: Archant

Youngsters from the Saffron Walden Young Carers Group are currently on the trip of a lifetime in the USA after raising the money themselves to get there.

In total, £24,000 was raised through car washes, quizzes and other fundraising events to take 11 members of the group to Florida.

The carers group, which is based at Fairycroft House, is made up of young people in Saffron Walden who look after members of their family on a regular basis. Among the 11 to make the trip to America is aspiring journalist Anna Percival, who is writing an online blog for the Reporter about her experiences.

Here is her second entry...

I may not have believed it before but now I definitely believe we’re here. Our first experience was arriving at the house and working out who had what room, moving beds from one room to another for people and generally just getting used to being there.

But our first real American experience was sitting in a restaurant called Denny’s at 4am waiting to pick up food for thirteen people. The only way I can really describe Denny’s is as a much bigger Mocha but, to be honest, everything in America is bigger than in Saffron Walden.

This also goes for the supermarkets. If you can imagine the size of Waitrose only two or three times bigger then you have yourself Walmart. It was seriously massive, which made it sort of challenging to try and find all the things we needed.

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Although it seemed like we were in there for ages,it was a lot of fun, especially when the sweets, or using the American term ‘candy’, were found. We ended up needing a separate trolley for everyone’s ‘candy’.

This also meant that the youngest member of the group had to be pushed around in a trolley as she insisted on it(and she can be VERY demanding when she wants to be, despite being nine years old). Thinking about it, more ‘candy’ was bought than necessary (this applying to certain people more than others) but it’s pretty easy to understand the appeal, I mean everything is so completely different to what we’re used to back home in Walden.

Speaking of things being not what we’re used to, Daytona Beach really proved that point mainly due to the fact that you can actually drive along the beach. It was so abnormal, but really cool at the same time. What wasn’t cool was when one of the wheels got stuck in the sand while parking.

Now don’t get me wrong, this was hilarious but it was also seriously embarrassing when the person driving (who shall remain unnamed) kept revving the engine in an attempt to get us out yet we moved nowhere. Apart from that little hiccup the rest of the day was great.

It was the first time I’d been to a beach where it was actually warm and you could swim in the water (yet another major difference between England and America).

As awesome as the beach was we did eventually have to leave and after the wheel had been dug out of the sand we were on our way. This was when we had another little hiccup. As we’re such a large group we have to travel half and half in a van and a car, with the car following the van. Now you’d think by this point the way back to the house would be pretty simple, especially with the help of a sat-nav but apparently not.

Somehow the car behind us managed to get lost and the last time we saw them was when we were leaving the beach which is pretty worrying considering the journey takes a good while.

Fortunately, they eventually showed up at the house a little while later and all the terrible thoughts about what may have happened to them were put to rest.

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