M-A’s winter break, beginning on December 22, was eagerly awaited by many of our students. While some looked forward to sleeping in and spending cozy mornings at home, others were excitedly anticipating the trips they were about to take. Some students stayed in the area, driving up to Lake Tahoe ski resorts or heading down to Southern California. Others were packing for larger trips, ranging from New Zealand to Switzerland to the Galapagos Islands. Most are returning home around now and will surely have exciting stories to tell their classmates when school resumes on January 12. Check out the trips that thirteen of M-A’s students went on:
Lauren Baker and Lottie Plewman, Sophomores: Playa del Carmen, Mexico
“The most fun we had in Mexico was while going snorkeling in a cave and cliff jumping!”
Ilana Baer, Senior: Kirkwood Ski Resort, California
“I went to Kirkwood [Ski Resort] with my friend Carly [McLanahan] and we skied and drank hot chocolate and had a blast! On New Year’s Eve we fell asleep before midnight because we’re that cool.”
The holiday break is also a time of exciting reunification with past M-A alumni who have come home from college. Baer and McLanahan were joined by two graduated basketball friends from their 2015-2016 season, Annalisa Crowe and Sally Carlson, whom they went ice skating with while at Kirkwood.
Jace and Nikolai Ambwani, Juniors: Galapagos Islands
“Our family went to the Galapagos and met up with family friends from Italy…we are friends with their daughter and we spoke Italian basically the entire trip! It was a breathtaking experience with beautiful views and places. The islands were uninhabited by humans as the Galapagos are a reserve. The beaches, which we were lucky enough to go on, were of pure white sand and beautiful clear blue waters and marine life. We almost got attacked by a sea lion once —they’re aggressive animals.
We were on a cruise of about 100 people on the boat including us. We woke up around 6:30 [daily] for a hike on whatever island we had arrived at that morning; then in the afternoon we sailed to another island and did snorkeling, and then another hike in the evening. We’d go to sleep around 11— it felt like a really amazing summer camp. And since we were below the equator, the Galapagos were in their summer season so it was warm and sunny. Now that we’ve returned to California, it feels weird that it’s rainy!
I am blessed to have the privilege to go on vacations like this —I will never forget the Galapagos. We also learned a lot about evolution on Darwin’s island, but I didn’t really pay attention because we learned most of it in AP [Biology] (thanks Roisen!)”
Jillian Mullarkey, Sophomore: Southern California
“The most fun thing was probably riding sand dune buggies in Pismo Beach, but going to Joshua Tree National Park was also really cool.”
Lanie Van Linge, Junior: Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland
“We went to Wengen, Switzerland to ski, Berlin for Christmas with our family, and Prague, [Czech Republic]. I really enjoyed going back Germany to see our family there and Prague was one of the most beautiful cities I’ve ever seen.
The picture with the colorful wall is in front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague which apparently is pretty well known. The one of [my sister] and me on the rocks was taken in front of the Eiger mountain [in Switzerland]!”
Matthew Nelson, Freshman: Maui, Hawaii
“My family always goes to Maui over winter break, and when we go we basically do nothing. Everyday we go to the beach, eat good food, and watch sunsets. Since we were here for New Year’s we lit fireworks on the beach which was fun!”
Nicole Salz, Senior: Tahiti
“The most exciting thing we did was take ATVs [all-terrain vehicles] into the mountains in Moorea and drive through the pineapple farm there. We drove to the top of a mountain and saw a view of the whole island.”
Chris Iyer, Junior: New Orleans, Louisiana
“Since I play jazz trumpet, the most fun thing I did was sit in with a street band on Jackson Square (the big square in the French quarter). I also enjoyed listening and sitting in at jazz clubs on Frenchmen Street, a notable center for jazz in the city.”
Emma Milenky, Freshman: New Zealand
“The funnest thing that happened on my trip was being able to go backpacking amidst really beautiful nature and fully taking it all in.”
Angie Yang, Senior: El Paso, Texas
“I went to the Sun Bowl with the Stanford football team because I babysit for their coach. One of my most memorable moments is being crammed into the hotel elevator with all of the line men; I’ve never thought of myself as a small person, but I never felt smaller in my entire life! Also, everyone [in El Paso] was so nice.”
Our student body saw some incredible sights over winter break. However, whether you swam with sting rays across the world or relaxed at home and enjoyed everything the Bay Area has to offer, you were hopefully able to reenergize for a stimulating spring semester ahead.