My memorable weekend of tattoos, a family celebration and Utah Christmas lights | columnists

Tattoos, a graduation, the Utah mountains, Christmas lights and pepper spray at an airport. That was my weekend. How was yours?

On Dec 7, I turned 18. My mother and I braved Snoqualmie Pass to make a mid-afternoon appointment for a very permanent event: my first tattoo.

While many questioned my decision and asked if I might regret it, I knew it was the perfect way to celebrate becoming an adult. Not just a rash decision, I knew what I wanted my first tattoo to be, or rather my first two tattoos. In tribute to my friendship with my mother, my first tattoo is based on a heart-shaped freckle on my mom’s left forearm.

For my second tattoo, I admitted myself into a sister-cousin bug club. My sister, Madison, has a beetle, while my cousin, Katelynn, has a bee — both on the back of the elbow. To join the club, I decided on the Queen Alexandra’s birdwing species of butterfly just above my left elbow. The birdwing butterfly is the largest in existence. It can have a 27-centimeter wingspan, and I chose it to match my expansive personality.

The next day, I joined my parents, sister, aunt and uncle, and my “Poppa” in traveling to Provo, Utah. Mostly known for Brigham Young University, Provo is also home to Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions.

For the past year and a half, my mother has attended RMU in pursuit of a transitional doctorate of physical therapy degree. On Dec 9, it was a proud moment to watch my mom walk across the stage and be hooded for her hard work and perseverance. The next time I saw her, she was Dr. Alison Cooper Longbottom.

In celebration of the occasion, our family drove to Utah Lake State Park to watch the sunset. We were a little late, but thankful to catch the sun in its final descent behind the mountains. The snow-capped mountains were the perfect backdrop to the array of warm colors from the sun.

After a celebratory dinner, we went to Pioneer Park to view a wonderful Christmas display filled with decorations and lights. Despite below-freezing temperatures, it was a beautiful sight to see. Every tree was covered in colorful lights and one was completely decked out with ornaments.

It truly was the perfect way to end a special day. My mom was able to get into the Christmas spirit after a challenging semester with her final project.

Finally, on our way home, we traveled 45 minutes north to Salt Lake City. My family enjoyed walking through Salt Lake City Airport with its large sculptures and Christmas decorations — until we hit security.

Security is stressful for everyone. It doesn’t help to be accidentally carrying an illegal object. After searching through my carry-on, the security agent gave me a look saying, “Are you serious?” as she found my pepper spray key ring.

In my defense, I traveled to Utah without being stopped and hadn’t realized I was carrying it. I had to throw away my trusty mace but, luckily, I was not detained. Seeing as I am an adult now, I couldn’t use the excuse that my mom packed my bag.

My weekend was full of adventure. But I think we got off track. Wie war dein Wochenende?

• Abi Longbottom is a senior at Naches Valley High School.

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