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  • Writer's pictureDaisy Ruiz

Monsoons Take on Washington D.C. & NYC!

Spring break was full of traveling for some of our students – including 30 juniors and seniors who made the long awaited trip to Washington D.C. and New York after having their 8th grade trip canceled during the spring of 2020 & 2021 due to COVID-19. The trip lasted 6 days; 4 days in the country’s capital, Gettysburg and other parts of Virginia and New Jersey. 

Accompanied by Mr. Fong and Mr. Diaz, the group departed hours after being let out on spring break, taking a red eye flight to Newark, New Jersey, and were met by the wonderful Chris Marcheso, an Education First tour guide, and bus driver Sam, who would be a part of the journey all week. Changing in airport restrooms and grabbing a quick breakfast, the Soons made their way to the city to go see Martin Luther King Jr’s. memorial, the WW2 memorial for a veteran greeting ceremony, took an espionage (or spy)  tour through Georgetown with a former CIA agent, stopped by the Washington monument, as well as honoring the Korean & Vietnam war veterans at their memorials, then ending off the day by visiting Lincoln’s memorial. With a jammed-pack first day, the group (barely) survived and was delirious; ready to rest up for the next day! 

After a very needed sleep, the Monsoons had their first “full” day ahead of them making a trip down to Gettysburg, where they toured the museum, watched a video presentation (narrated by Morgan Freeman), saw a 377 foot long cyclorama of Pickett’s Charge in 4D, and got a special tour of Gettysburg grounds + visited the National Cemetery where Lincoln was buried. After a quick stop at Walmart for snacks, they took a night tour of Jefferson’s Memorial and the 9/11 Pentagon memorial that was absolutely empty to just the group. 

Easter Sunday was jammed packed with lots of remembrance; the Monsoons started their day by visiting Arlington cemetery, where they visited famous burial spots of the famous RBG, Kennedy family, and the tomb of the unknown soldier – where they also saw the changing of the guard ceremony. Following the theme of remembrance, they visited the National Holocaust Museum, where lots of emotions were expressed on the bus ride to other destinations. They visited Ford’s Theater, stopped by the White House in hopes of finding easter eggs and Biden himself, and honored FDR at his memorial. The night ended with a quick stop at National Harbor, to end the month of March and the middle of the trip.

To kick off April, the group made a trip to the Capital to get a guided tour and take a nice group photo to commemorate the experience. Then the group made their way in front of the Supreme Court where they held a mock trial to really capture the essence of the building. Following the mock trial, the Monsoons went to the Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History – both honoring beautiful cultures. After these museums, Fong and Christopher took the wheel and took us to a hidden – but beautiful – memorial that honors Japanese Americans who were mistreated during WWII at the Japanese American Memorial to Patriotism. Ending the day off, the group then embarked on a dinner cruise with lots of other EF travel groups from around the country to have a night full of fun at sea.

While heading home from the dinner cruise, the adults of the trip tried (and failed) to prank the students and say that the trip was being “cut short” due to the recent bridge collapse in Baltimore, claiming “ports in New York were closed” that would make our activities impossible. Nice try, Fong, Diaz and Chris! 

The fifth day was a very anticipated day for everyone: making the trip to New York for the final days of the trip! Luggages were stuffed and students were full of excitement to head into the city after a 4 hour bus ride. When entering the city, the Monsoons were welcomed to vicious rain and winds that had everyone missing California rain. The group stopped inside Rockefeller Center and St. Patrick’s Cathedral before heading towards Central Park for a quick stroll. Walking from Central Park to the subway, the group made their way to Time Square to soak the beautiful city in, souvenir shop and get pictures before making their way to dinner and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! The night ended with the Monsoons back in Time Square taking a group photo and heading to a hotel in New Jersey to get their last East Coast sleep. 

The final day of the trip was bittersweet for everyone, and the weather really caught the memo. The Monsoons were up bright and early to catch a ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, where the winds were blowing everyone off their feet. Stopped at the financial district and grabbed lunch before heading to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum + Ground Zero and visiting the famous Survivor Tree. 

After loads of technical difficulties from New York traffic and airline weather reports, the Monsoons said goodbye to Chris and Sam: two individuals who made the trip all the more fun. The group finally made it onto their flight by 12 AM EST and made their way back to Mayfair around 5 AM PST. The jet lag hit hard, but the trip made it all worthwhile as the class of 2024 and 2025 will be the only class from Mayfair High School to have had such a unique opportunity at it. 

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