Thursday, April 2, 2015

On the Road with the Class of 2015

Off with thirty-one members of Lee High School’s Class of 2015 and two of their teachers for a nine-day trip to Florida. The senior trip has been a long-standing tradition at Lee but this is the first time in three years a group is on its way to the non-stop, theme park extravaganza. No doubt Michigan’s horrid Great Recession contributed to the trip cancellations as the individual cost for each student was difficult to meet.

Here’s the itinerary our group is looking forward to:

Day 1, Thursday – Travel by motor coach with a stop at Mammoth Cave in Kentucky

Day 2, Friday – Arrive at Daytona Beach, Florida and spend the morning on the beach; travel to Orlando and check in to our hotel; Downtown Disney in the evening

Day 3, Saturday – Full day at Disney’s Magic Kingdom and EPCOT Center

Day 4, Easter Sunday – Full day at Universal Studios’ Islands of Adventure

Day 5, Monday – Disney’s Animal Kingdom and return to EPCOT Center

Day 6, Tuesday – Travel to Tampa for a full day at Busch Gardens

Day 7, Wednesday – Sea World and return to Universal Studios

Day 8, Thursday – Check out of hotel then to Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon for the morning; head over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for the rest of the day; load our motor coach and head north towards home

Throughout the trip, I'll be posting updates including some opportunities to converse with individual students about their high school experiences, their plans for the future, and what they look forward to most after graduation day.

Mammoth Cave, Kentucky

It doesn't take long before you uncover a few fears experienced by our kids, ranging from claustrophobia to fear of heights, fear of bats, and fear of just about anything with more than two legs. However, I think from listening to many of them throughout the two-hour cave experience, those fears are manifested more in their anticipation of the unknown than from real life experience. Well, almost all of those fears. It turns out the spiders are still "icky" and we really only saw one tiny bat along the hike.

All thirty-one did very well on the tour into the dark and damp underground (250 feet down, which meant climbing the same distance back out). I think they were quite amazed when the park ranger turned out the lights for a moment so we could experience total darkness. You could not even see your hand directly in front of your face.

Despite the narrow staircases, crevices, low-hanging ceilings, and sometimes slippery inclines, the kids suffered no injuries save one stubbed toe (the only member of our party who chose to wear sandals instead of shoes, and she now knows why).

Following dinner at a nearby mall (and the obligatory shopping that ensued along with some silliness as the photo below shows), we hit the road for a long night ride to Daytona Beach and day two.

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