What started out as a typical extended family vacation turned out to be just what I needed to restart before school.

My family always does a big family vacation every couple of summers. I have cousins that live in Florida and every once in a while, we meet in the middle and spend a week together. This year, my family decided to go to the Lake of The Ozarks, Missouri. We decided to drive and my family flew into Kansas City, Mo.

The first day, we drove all the way to St. Louis and went to the top of the Gateway Arch. We stayed at a shady hotel a couple hours from the lake and in the morning, we went to the Meramec Caverns. The cave was super cool and it was a cheesy tourist trap- but my family enjoyed it.

The next day, we drove to our rented lakehouse and chilled out that night. My boyfriend brought a bunch of his fishing gear so we fished right off the dock. In Lake of the Ozarks, all the docks are floating, so it was really weird to constantly be moving all the time!

Our first full 2 days at the lake we spent on the boats. Our family had over 20 people, so we rented two huge pontoons and one of them had a slide. We went pretty far out and explored our side of the lake. We ate lunch at the Margaritaville Resort and fished a lot more. We played the saran-wrap-ball-with-prizes game and had a lot of fun messing around.

Our last day, we went to the Ha Ha Tonka State Park and the Bridal Caves, both within 30 minutes from where we were staying. Then we woke up in the morning and drove all the way home.

This vacation was short but it was what I really needed. I needed some time with my boyfriend and family before I start a stressful semester at college. I needed a break from my job and time away to think about this upcoming year. It's always a good time around my family and I can't wait for our next vacation together.