Home Stretch

We started our day this morning with a visit to the Boston Public Market. This was a change of plan due to rain this morning, but everyone agreed it was a great place to visit. The Boston Public Market has a diverse array of local artisans – students ate yummy crepes and donuts, sampled teas and coffees, had kumbacha, crème soda, pretzels, ramen and more! It was a great time and the students all enjoyed it.

From the Public Market, we journeyed by train to the Museum of Fine Arts. Here we divided into groups and explored the diverse artwork and artifacts of the museum. We saw Monet, Greco-Roman artifacts and coins, mummified Egyptians, Ancient Near Eastern reliefs, and much more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After lunch at the Fine Arts Museum, we split groups to explore the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the MIT Science Workshop for the opposite groups as yesterday. At the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, students learned how the museum came about, saw an eclectic collection of artwork and a beautiful courtyard. Students enjoyed the beauty of the museum. At the MIT Science Workshop, students were challenged to build a bridge across plastic cups that would hold 200 grams at the center. They were given newspaper and tape. It was great to see them put their math and science knowledge into practice. After they experimented with the bridge, they designed cables for a suspension bridge which were 3-D printed and they determined how much weight their bridge would hold. The students really enjoyed the workshop!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then journeyed by train and bus back to the airport for our return flight home. We have gotten dinner and are waiting to board our flight. Everyone will be happy to be home and sleep in their own beds tonight.

Our stats for the week: We totaled over 72,000 steps, 100 flights of stairs, and almost 30 miles!

by Janet Andreasen, parent blogger

Trading Places

We had a little later start this morning which was appreciated by everyone! We started the morning with a walk through Boston Gardens on our way back to Harvard. The groups went to the opposite museum of yesterday. On our way there, we explored a little bit of the beautiful Harvard campus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we finished at the museums, we traveled to Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers – a famous burger place in Harvard Square. The burgers were great, and the students enjoyed the meal tremendously. When we were done with lunch, we separated into two new groups to explore new locations – the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the MIT Science Workshop. The groups will again flip tomorrow for the students to explore the opposite location. More information on those sites tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We re-visited the Quincy Market for some souvenir shopping and then had dinner at different international dining options – Greek, Indian, Malaysian, Chinese, and such. We are turning in earlier tonight prepared for one more day of exploring Boston and then flying home tomorrow night. Everyone has had a great time.

by Janet Andreasen, parent blogger

Artifacts, History, and America’s Pastime

 

After a late night last night at the Boston Pops, we journeyed out early this morning to visit the USS Constitution. We took a ferry across the Boston Harbor which was a beautiful, but chilly voyage. The USS Constitution was an amazing ship, and we had a great tour guide. We learned about the ship’s history, why it was called Old Ironsides, how it was created, what wood was used (there was a Florida connection there!), and all about its battles and life on board. Ask an 8th grader what they learned. We saw four different decks of the ship climbing through ladder wells to get between the floors. Some of us could walk without ducking, but not many…

 

 

 

 

 

 

After our tour of the USS Constitution, some of the students conquered Bunker Hill – all 300 steps! We walked across a pedestrian bridge to the North side of Boston for an amazing lunch at La Famiglia Giorgios. After this, we journeyed by train to Harvard. The campus is beautiful! Half of the students explored the Harvard Art Museum while the other half explored the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Highlights of those tours included examining artifacts with Dr. Reid including a canopic jar and coins (the coins were a favorite) as well as exploring the artwork in the museum which included Monet, Van Gogh, and Degas just to name a few. The Museum of Natural History included interesting rocks and a whole room of flowers made from glass. Tomorrow, we will return to Harvard and the groups will switch places to explore the other museum.

We finished our night with America’s Pastime – a Red Sox game at Fenway Park! It was a fantastic game that went to a 10th inning with a thrilling 6-5 victory by the Red Sox. Students experienced baseball dining with lots of hot dogs, hamburgers, pretzels, and, of course, peanuts, and Cracker Jacks!

by Janet Andreasen, parent blogger

Cars, Planes, Buses, and Trains, Oh My!

Our journey started bright and early at the Orlando International Airport. Students arrived at 5 am(!), and we proceeded quickly through security. Everyone was excited to be there, although tired, too. For many of us, this wasn’t our first plane ride – 20 of us have traveled by plane to destinations more than seven hours away! But for two students, this was a new experience for them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We traveled over 1120 miles, and the temperature dropped 30 degrees between Orlando and Boston. We landed in Boston shortly before 10 am, and the adventure began. We have been going non-stop ever since.

We have experienced multiple train rides all around the city and have learned some interesting facts about people in history and the city of Boston. We have climbed lots of stairs (32 flights), walked up and down hills (9.5 miles), and explored the Quincy Market, New State House, Boston Commons, the Skytower Observatory, and the Boston Public Library.

We learned some interesting facts including where the saying, “it costs an arm and a leg” comes from – you should ask an 8th grader after they get back to explain it! We learned about the sacred cod, the holy mackerel, and the pine cone on top of the state house. We were able to see beautiful and huge views of the city from the Observatory and learned all about the Boston Public Library.

We finished our day with a pizza dinner at the hostel and the Boston Pops where we saw Star Wars with the Boston Pops accompanying the movie. This was definitely a highlight of the day! Students also enjoyed the variety of food at the Quincy Market and the tours at the state house and the public library.

by Janet Andreasen, parent blogger

 

Mama, I’m Coming Home

“I have found out there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.” – Mark Twain

There is no way to adequately communicate how proud you would be of these students and the way they have pushed themselves through very early mornings like today. The bags were packed, meals eaten, and buses departed by 7am. There was noticeable excitement on the bus to get home and see parents, pets, and even a few siblings.

The teachers, administrators, and chaperones made a collective decision that arriving at 11:30pm was not going to cut it so the trip blogger got promoted to travel Nazi, and we came up with a plan to shed some travel time. Phase one of the plan was to create a competition between the boys and girls to see who could finish their Cracker Barrel lunch first. The lunch orders were out of the children’s mouths before the waitresses had finished the welcome, people were paying and using the bathrooms while the food was still being prepared, and the boys were running back on the bus in 54 minutes and 48 seconds. George Washington would have been proud. The girls made a valiant effort, but finished up about 13 minutes later. We are now 35 minutes ahead of schedule.

Phase two: our scheduled ‘recess’ stop was turned into a quick restroom break and just enough running around to allow the girls to catch up. We are now 50 minutes ahead of schedule and there is not a more important number on the bus than our GPS ETA.

Our bus drivers are fully behind our cause at this point pushing the buses to the limit of their governors and quickly making course corrections around accidents utilizing country roads as necessary. This is probably a good time to talk about the legend that is Terry. Terry is the boys’ bus driver who has won the hearts of everyone on the trip. Terry, a very large former football player and corrections officer who seamlessly blends teddy bear and Incredible Hulk, loved these kids, giving each student a high five every time they loaded and unloaded from the bus. Only Ms. Sherrick was able to squelch chants like “Terry! Terry! Terry!,” “Terry 2020!,” “What’s your favorite food? Terry-aki!” or, my personal favorite, “What’s the best dinosaur? A Terry-dactyl!” It is truly astounding how much you can do with the name Terry.

Somewhere in the deceivingly large state of South Carolina, the students and chaperones all participated in the 15th annual Geneva’s Got Talent, brought to us by ‘Terry-ble Productions.’ We saw magic tricks, comedy routines (thank you Pax), skits, juggling, commercials, music and a grand finale by the Renfrow, Dietel,  and Davis trio singing “Sweet Williamsburg.”

The girls took advantage of their newer and faster (and better smelling) bus and pulled ahead, but that was time easily made up at the next Cracker Barrel…or so we thought. We made record time at dinner thanks in no small part to the chaperones who ordered a to-go box to arrive with their meal, but just as they were getting their first bites in the parking lot, we realized we had no bus drivers. The drivers for the last leg were an hour and a half late and all our progress is wiped away. This must be how Cornwallis felt at Yorktown.

Again, I just can’t say enough about the resilience of both the kids and chaperones as we watch the ETA creep back up toward 11pm. Somewhere around north Georgia the bus bathrooms were opened, cruise controls set, and these busses were not stopping until we see The Geneva School.

 

 

 

 

 

 

In all, this was a tremendous trip where we learned the history of our country, deepened our friendships, and grew in our gratitude to God. The students are already looking ahead to the 6th grade trip to Washington DC, that is, if Jesus Terrys.

by Jim Davis, parent blogger

Independence And Providence 

But by the all-powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation; for I had four bullets through my coat, and two horses shot under me, yet escaped unhurt, although death was leveling my companions on every side of me. – George Washington

Washington was never born to be killed by a bullet! I had seventeen fair fires at him with my rifle and after all could not bring him to the ground – A Native American fighting Washington in the French and Indian War

Our last day in Williamsburg started off a bit slower and (sigh) baconless. I guess the hotel learned their lesson. We bussed over to Yorktown where we learned the French really can fight! They still had a sour taste in their mouths after losing most of their New World claims in the French and Indian War, so they supported the cause of American independence and, in so doing, insured that they would not be speaking German in the 21st century. The French may have waited until momentum was on the side of the colonialists to commit soldiers, but for most of the war they supplied the Continental Army with everything from munitions to uniforms.

Yorktown was the battle that truly secured our freedom and put an end to the war, so we were thrilled to be able to tour this site with the insight of a Park Ranger who held every student’s attention. She told us how Washington made the British think he was going to attack New York and then, in the heat of summer, marched his men 450 miles south in less than six weeks to surprise General Cornwallis who was now blocked by Washington on land and the French navy by sea. It was clear to the students that to lead an army, you not only have to be brave, wise and hardworking, but excel in math, science and history as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After touring the battle site, we went to the Yorktown Victory Center to see what life on and off the battle field would have looked like. Life as a family in the colonies will shame the hardest working among us. Only the coldest parts of the year, when everyone is snowed into a one or two room house for weeks on end, would there be any rest. We watched as historians dressing the parts walked us through planting farms, making dinner, patching clothes and more. Some of our boys took a special interest in hauling water to do laundry so don’t be afraid to show them the washing machine when they come home.

When war broke out, though, families had some hard decisions to make. Does the husband go fight? If so, for which side? Do the wife and children remain at home or join the husband at camp? Park historians showed us what the life of a soldier would have demanded. The camp was cramped and smelly, the food was meager and more soldiers died from disease than gunshots. The students were shown their tight quarters (6 to a small tent), where food was prepared, how the injured were tended to, how troop movements were organized and even how secret codes were sent between troops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One soldier demonstrated how a real musket fires and the origin of the phrase ‘half-cocked.’ We learned that rifles had been in use for some time by the outbreak of the war, but muskets were chosen for our armies because, despite being much less accurate, they could reload in a fraction of the time and send out three times as much lead. The kids had fun trying to shoulder this musket, but proved the British would have been in no danger:)

We talked about how hard it is to imagine a war in our own backyard raging twice as long as American involvement in WWII, the cost paid on all sides of the Atlantic or Americans, French, Native Americans and Africans all storming Yorktown armed side by side. But even more astounding are all the very little things God alone can control that came together to insure an American victory. The storm that protected Washington in Boston. The fog that protected Washington’s retreat in Long Island. The storm that prevented General Cornwallis from retreating at Yorktown. The bullets that simply could not hit Washington. As you retrace the steps of the American Revolution, you can’t kick the feeling that God wanted this country to form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The kids spent the end of the day back in Colonial Williamsburg seeing some more of the old town, getting muddy in the brick making building and spending whatever money they had left on trinkets they won’t care anything about in a week. But, we did create great memories!

by Jim Davis, parent blogger

Monumental Men With Monumental Flaws

If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong. – Abraham Lincoln

The day started early again, but the students quickly revived when bacon made its first breakfast appearance. There is no way our hotel was prepared for the amount of bacon our students consumed. You just don’t think you’ll ever have to make rules like ‘one cereal bowl full of bacon per person.’

After consulting our Apple Watches and Fit-bits, Tanner Dietel gets the award for most steps in a single day at (are you ready?) 26,610! The commitment of the Dietel men to this trip is only surpassed by the pig who provided our bacon.

 

 

 

 

 

Fully fueled, we made our way to the Shirley Plantation, a highlight for many in our group. Shirley was the first English plantation in America designated in 1613 by King James to grow the tobacco that would fund Jamestown. The 700 acre plantation (down from 4000 acres in the 17th century) is fully functional and run by the 11th generation of the original family. It would be hard to find a founding father who had not been hosted at the Shirley Plantation.

So, how in the world did this gorgeous home on the southern side of the Mason-Dixon line survive the Civil War? It just so happens that General Robert E. Lee grew up here and one of his best friends from school was a Union general who prohibited any Union forces from harming it. One small perk of a civil war, I guess. The students toured both the home (which is still occupied) and grounds and even learned to use quill ink pens and small pieces of slate just like school children of that day. It would have been a truly amazing place to grow up…if you were white.

This year marks the 400th anniversary of the English importation of African slaves to America and this plantation would have received the earliest shipments. By the American Revolution, African slaves made up 52% of the population of Virginia. On this tour, our students were reminded that our freedom came at the cost millions of enslaved Africans.

While the Spanish and Portuguese imported primarily male Africans who worked harder, English slave trade imported women as well. When the importation of African slaves was banned in the US in 1808, the atrocities continued as the large families that had developed in Virginia were separated and sold to supply the labor demands of the southern states.

The tour of historical contradictions continued over in Charlottesville as we visited Monticello, Thomas Jefferson’s home. To say the plantation is pretty would be like saying UVA has a good basketball team. It is the only house in the US designated as a United Nations World Heritage site. Sitting almost 900 feet above the town, we looked as far as the eye can see in almost every direction. The house is an engineering marvel from the clock, compass and day and wind indicator at the front door to the mechanized dumb waiters that silently deliver bottles of wine from the basement up into hidden compartments in the dinning quarters.

The students got to meet our third President in all his brilliance, boldness and blemishes. How is it that the man who wrote the Declaration of Independence could write that all men are created equal, yet own 607 slaves, only seven of whom he would ever free? How is it that he could give his life to form a government for the people, but exclude those in closest proximity to him?

Today encapsulated much of the triumph and the cost of this great experiment. It is a great opportunity for us to consider our own blind spots and the grace of our Lord Jesus who willingly gave up His freedom that we could be set free.

by Jim Davis, parent blogger

Patriots and Patrons

If this be treason, make the most of it – Patrick Henry making his case for independence in Colonial Williamsburg

We traveled forward about 150 years from the Jamestown settlement today to tour Colonial Williamsburg, the capitol of Virginia from 1676-1780, named after King William. Thanks to money from John D. Rockefeller, the entire colonial center from this era has been perfectly restored and staffed. The students, dawned with breeches and doublets, were able to visit the blacksmith, printers, silversmith, gaol (jail), the House of Burgesses, the old governors palace, and many other 18th century businesses. We got a glimpse of what trial without representation looked like and we were, once again, thankful for 21st century America.

Our tour guide taught us all the manners expected of the day including how to bow, curtsy and where to the find the ‘necessary’ when necessary. We visited a wig store for those willing to spend a month’s salary on dark hair for the day and another month’s salary on gray hair for the evening. The students were proud to have learned that George Washington resisted the style of the day and wore his own hair. That’s the kind of first president that you want!

The staff in this town are much more than actors. They are historians who can knowledgeably answer any questions the students have. When explaining that we are from Florida, one colonialist responded, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard of Florida.” We all had fun dressing up in the garb of the time, but one of our parent chaperones, Warren Dietel, gets the best colonial dress award. He was actually stopped multiple times by inquisitive tourists who thought he was part of the show.

We were able to attend a noon day prayer service at the 300 year old Burton Parish Church. The names of the dignitaries who frequented the old church were written on the pews and in the center was a large, throne like chair reserved for the sitting governor of Virginia. You can imagine the self-control the students had to muster up to leave that chair alone! Speaking of self-control, we are so proud of these students. Almost everywhere we go we are complimented on how well-mannered, inquisitive and engaged they are.

If you ask your kids what their favorite part of colonial Williamsburg is, you will likely hear, “Anything with A/C!” Yes, it was hot, but that is all part of the experience 🙂  The boys shed all they could, but the women, well, not so lucky. Fortunately, it did cool down around dinner and then…off to the dance.

The students went to a colonial ball in the Capitol Building and it began just as awkwardly as you would imagine. They were paired up and taught three English dances and one French dance. The students did beautifully, though, and gave you the impression they might even enjoy it.

by Jim Davis, patent blogger

The Geneva School
The Geneva School
September 20, 2019
  • US - A Schedule

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • Progress Reports Sent Home (3rd-6th)

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • LSC Convo

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 8:25 am- 8:40 am
    See more details

  • 6th Gr - TEAM Day

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 8:30 am- 2:30 pm
    See more details

  • 7th & 8th Gr - Moms Coffee

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 8:30 am- 10:30 am
    See more details

  • MS Coed Soccer Home Game vs. Kingsway

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 4:30 pm- 5:30 pm
    See more details

September 21, 2019
  • 7 & 8 Grade Choirs, Rhetoric Choir & Ladies Choir Retreat

    Date: September 21, 2019 - September 21, 2019
    Time: 9:00 am- 1:00 pm
    See more details

  • JV volleyball Tournament

    Date: September 21, 2019 - September 21, 2019
    Time: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm
    See more details

  • Katie Kaples - Bishop Kenny High School

    Date: September 21, 2019 - September 21, 2019
    Time: 3:45 pm- 9:30 pm
    See more details

September 23, 2019
  • US - A Schedule

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • Moms in Prayer

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 8:15 am- 9:15 am
    See more details

  • LSC Convo

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 8:25 am- 8:40 am
    See more details

  • MS COED Soccer Home Match vs. Hope Charter

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 4:30 pm- 5:30 pm
    See more details

  • 11th Gr - College Night for Juniors

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 6:00 pm- 7:15 pm
    See more details

September 24, 2019
  • US - A Schedule

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • National Punctuation Day

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • 3rd Gr - Character Day

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 8:15 am- 3:00 pm
    See more details

  • LSC Convo

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 8:25 am- 8:40 am
    See more details

  • Girls MS Volleyball Away Match vs. ICS

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 4:00 pm- 5:00 pm
    See more details

  • MS Coed Soccer Away Game vs. Faith

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 4:30 pm- 5:30 pm
    See more details

  • MS CC Meet at Trinity Prep

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 4:30 pm- 5:45 pm
    See more details

  • Girls JV Volleyball Away Match vs. ICS

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 5:00 pm- 6:00 pm
    See more details

  • Girls Varsity Volleyball Away Match vs. ICS

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm
    See more details

  • 7th - 9th Gr - Discovering Math at Geneva

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 7:00 pm- 8:00 pm
    See more details

September 20, 2019
  • US - A Schedule

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • Progress Reports Sent Home (3rd-6th)

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • LSC Convo

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 8:25 am- 8:40 am
    See more details

  • 6th Gr - TEAM Day

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 8:30 am- 2:30 pm
    See more details

  • 7th & 8th Gr - Moms Coffee

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 8:30 am- 10:30 am
    See more details

  • MS Coed Soccer Home Game vs. Kingsway

    Date: September 20, 2019 - September 20, 2019
    Time: 4:30 pm- 5:30 pm
    See more details

September 21, 2019
  • 7 & 8 Grade Choirs, Rhetoric Choir & Ladies Choir Retreat

    Date: September 21, 2019 - September 21, 2019
    Time: 9:00 am- 1:00 pm
    See more details

  • JV volleyball Tournament

    Date: September 21, 2019 - September 21, 2019
    Time: 9:00 am- 4:00 pm
    See more details

  • Katie Kaples - Bishop Kenny High School

    Date: September 21, 2019 - September 21, 2019
    Time: 3:45 pm- 9:30 pm
    See more details

September 23, 2019
  • US - A Schedule

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • Moms in Prayer

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 8:15 am- 9:15 am
    See more details

  • LSC Convo

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 8:25 am- 8:40 am
    See more details

  • MS COED Soccer Home Match vs. Hope Charter

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 4:30 pm- 5:30 pm
    See more details

  • 11th Gr - College Night for Juniors

    Date: September 23, 2019 - September 23, 2019
    Time: 6:00 pm- 7:15 pm
    See more details

September 24, 2019
  • US - A Schedule

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • National Punctuation Day

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 12:00 am- 11:59 pm
    See more details

  • 3rd Gr - Character Day

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 8:15 am- 3:00 pm
    See more details

  • LSC Convo

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 8:25 am- 8:40 am
    See more details

  • Girls MS Volleyball Away Match vs. ICS

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 4:00 pm- 5:00 pm
    See more details

  • MS Coed Soccer Away Game vs. Faith

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 4:30 pm- 5:30 pm
    See more details

  • MS CC Meet at Trinity Prep

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 4:30 pm- 5:45 pm
    See more details

  • Girls JV Volleyball Away Match vs. ICS

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 5:00 pm- 6:00 pm
    See more details

  • Girls Varsity Volleyball Away Match vs. ICS

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 6:00 pm- 7:00 pm
    See more details

  • 7th - 9th Gr - Discovering Math at Geneva

    Date: September 24, 2019 - September 24, 2019
    Time: 7:00 pm- 8:00 pm
    See more details

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