UA students reminisce on their favorite spring break trips.

By Katie Chong and Daniela Wainfor, ’18

Spring break is a mere week away and chances are, most students have already shut off their brains in anticipation of this much-needed break. In light of this, take a look at some memorable spring breaks that students here at UA have had.

Katie Shrodes – Puerto Rico

Junior Katie Shrodes traveled south to Vieques, Puerto Rico for some rest and relaxation during spring break of her eighth grade year. Vieques is an island off the coast of Puerto Rico that isn’t traditionally known for its tourist spots, but there are many secluded beaches for snorkeling and boating.

“It’s not tourist-y at all because it’s not a vacation spot. It’s just an island so there’s not a lot of people there,” Shrodes said.

Vieques isn’t built for tourism, so Shrodes spent much of her time on the beach which was conveniently beside her house.

“We would walk down from the house to the ocean or you could go down further on the island and there was a pier that went out really far because Vieques used to be a military base,” Shrodes said.

Though the beach doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary, Shrodes encountered a unwanted surprise one day when she went snorkeling.

“We were out with the guy who owns the house and he harpooned a fish and I think a bull shark sensed the blood and swam near us…it was huge and really close so we all swam back as fast as we could. Later, no one believed us when we said that we saw a shark,” Shrodes said.

This year, Shrodes isn’t planning on encountering a shark, but she is hoping to see an alligator during her time in Florida.

Caroline Milo – Italy

Senior Caroline Milo spent last spring break in Italy touring the various cities that the little country has to offer. Milo traveled there with her family to visit her older brother who was studying abroad in Florence. Besides Florence, Milo also explored Milan, Rome, Naples and Venice.

Venice, nicknamed the “City of Water”, is known especially for its maze of waterway canals. While in America, taxis are the most common way to explore a city, in Venice the customary way to get around is by gondola.

“Everything’s on the water and the only way to get to other parts of Venice is on the boat so we would take taxis over the water…it was very different,” Milo said.

While Venice was a memorable place to travel and see culture along the canal, Milo said that Florence would have to take first place as her favorite city in Italy. While in Florence, Milo made sure to pay a visit to the Duomo, which overlooks the city much like the Eiffel Tower in France.

“You could see the mountains in the distance and where the city ended and it was really cool,” Milo said in her description of the view from the top of the Duomo.

This year, Milo plans to spend spring break relaxing on the beaches of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico with friends and family.

Varun Parwani – Hong Kong

Senior Varun Parwani spent his long-awaited week off exploring Hong Kong. During the spring break of his junior year, Parwani and his family spent a week touring the gorgeous city, eating traditional delicacies and appreciating all of the cultural differences with which the city is infused.

“I would compare it to New York City, but obviously there was a language barrier there, so it was a bit hard to communicate,” Parwani said.

Although the clamor of the city gives it a New York City vibe, the principal language spoken there is Cantonese. However, the language barrier did not stop Parwani from having a great trip and enjoying the city nonetheless.

Parwani and his family made the journey up the steep mountain roads to see the famous giant statue of a Buddha resting atop a lotus flower.

“We drove for two hours on this double-decker bus up these mountains, and it was scary because if you looked down you could see the edge and the bus was going super fast,” Parwani said.

While Parwani has no plans for this upcoming break, he hopes to explore many countries in the near future.