The Class of 2019 Takes Orlando

This year, our Class of 2019 was presented with the opportunity to visit Orlando, Florida as opposed to the usual senior trip to Mo-Ranch and San Antonio in Texas.

The trip started off with an eighteen-hour overnight bus ride to Orlando. Students listened to music, laughed, and played video games until their eyes could barely stay open. With stops every 4 hours to switch bus drivers or fill up gas, it is sufficient to say it was a rough night for many students, especially the ones that didn’t bring an ever-important blanket and pillow.

“I had just fallen asleep before we had to get off the bus,” senior Damien Lajoumard de Bellabre said. “I don’t even remember what was going on, only that I wanted sleep.”

Soon after their arrival in Orlando, the intended beach trip was replaced by a day at the hotel waterpark after the exhaustion settled in. It was clear to the seniors that they were not physically capable of sitting out in the sun for hours and were very glad the chaperones felt the same. For the students that were not excited about the water activities, the hotel had a multitude of activities available until rooms were ready.

The senior trip’s first full day was a trip to Disney World, where students were free and encouraged to roam. They rode roller coasters, spent way too much money on food, and went back to the hotel with more excitement for the day to come at Universal Studios. The first night ended with everyone gathering at the center of Disney to watch the famous Happily Ever After fireworks show that featured sequences of Beauty and the Beast, Tangled, and Frozen.

Many seniors found Universal Studios to be overwhelming at first, as it is generally the intensity of Disney World five times over. However, as they walked through the various parks, settings, and scenes,  that feeling disappeared for them. There was a ride for everyone, whether that meant the Spider-Man 4-D adventure, Dr. Doom, which drops its riders from over 10 stories up, or The Incredible Hulk, which twists and turns until the rider loses their sense of orientation.

Four days after the seniors’ departure from Houston, it was time to begin the journey back to Houston. That night, the bus wasn’t filled with anticipation or excitement: it was filled with melancholy. The realization that ‘this is it’ set in for many and that months from now, everyone on the trip would be scattered around the world.