Summer sands, ski slopes call to students on February break

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Graphic by Caroline Coffey '22

During February break, students resort to the beaches or the ski slopes for a moment of respite.

Come February break Staples students are quick to exchange their backpacks for suitcases and set into motion the plans that have occupied their attention prior to the final tone of the bell. 

The prospect of aquamarine seas and sunshine beckons student-turned-vacationers to hop on a southbound flight and escape the trademark chill of northeast winters. 

Mairin O’Neill ’22  seeks to shed her winter coat during a short escapade to the Florida Keys. With the recent decline in COVID-19 cases, O’Neill is eager to visit with her grandparents for the first time in months and rekindle old traditions.

“Usually, we go fishing on my grandfather’s boat, go to the beach, at night we’ll watch stars,” O’Neill said. “We love to chase sunsets and sunrises. They are getting older, so any time I share with them is truly cherished.”

Usually, we go fishing on my grandfather’s boat, go to the beach, at night we’ll watch stars. We love to chase sunsets and sunrises. They are getting older, so any time I share with them is truly cherished.”

— Mairin O’Neill '22

In addition to spending time with family, O’Neill is eager to cast away school work stresses and reel in opportunities to explore the warm waters. 

“My family and I are thinking of doing a guided kayak tour through part of the Everglades and go on some paddle boarding adventures,” O’Neill said. 

Further inland in Ocala, Florida, the horse capital of the world, Samantha Diprato ’24 will spend a majority of her time in the saddle, competing in horse shows in far less frigid conditions than Westport.   

“I’m going down to Ocala to show because it’s a great opportunity to compete out of state,” Diprato said. “My favorite thing about showing is the experiences you have because your round might not be perfect every time but you have your friends there for you to make it fun.”

While some students avoid the snow, other students take advantage of the waning hours of winter for a ski-cation, awaiting the adrenaline rush that comes with flying down snowy mountain sides. 

Caroline Cooper ’24 has packed up her skis and several layers of clothing in preparation for several days of speeding down ski slopes. Cooper sees value in the vacation as it allows her to spend time with her family and relax during the short window that the winter break provides.

“Every winter I look forward to skiing with my family,” Cooper said. “February break gives us the opportunity to go on a trip together without the stress of worrying about school.”