By Clare Littleton | Staff Writer
To all of those northerners who hail from the most beautiful states where four entirely different seasons actually exist, I completely understand that being away from home during the most beautiful season of the year is definitely a real struggle. Call me biased because I am. I am from the beautiful state of Illinois in a small suburban town of Chicago called Frankfort. Fall was and still is my season. Ask my friends, they will tell you how often I see a leaf by the canal that is just lightly colored red or feel a rare chill breeze while on my way to class and shout out in happiness! I know I am not the only Ave Maria student who feels the absence of fall so deeply. But do not worry! With just faith and trust (and as Peter Pan would say, “a little bit of pixie dust”) you can get through Fall Break without there being any fall. This means not a hint of the beautiful luscious fall-colored trees and the fresh-scented air that makes you want to put on a sweater and your favorite brown boots, grab a warm cup of tea, and sit outside just looking out at the beautiful world. Believe me, it is possible.
Despite attending school in Florida where the irony of having a Fall Break is quite obvious, let’s be grateful for the ability to have four free days where we can choose to do anything we want. (There are many students who are not going home for break, and to those students that are, we wish you a fantastic time at home!) Now back to those staying. Four days could consist of you being extremely busy with homework from teachers who assign papers due the day after Fall Break, or where you are busy with sports and school-related activities. Four days could also, on the other hand, be extremely boring where you will find yourself sitting in your dorm wishing to get out and do anything, anything at all.
This is where I come in.
Now, although I cannot claim to know Florida very well, I can still claim to be a creative person. So now that the obvious has been mentioned, let’s continue with this theme and suggest obvious activities. The beach. There is never a time and never will be a time where the idea of going to the beach and spending a whole day there with a group of friends will get old. It is, to say the least, impossible. So there, one day down.
The next three days could consist of varying activities. You can stay and cheer on the football team and the soccer teams, sleep, sleep some more, binge watch Netflix, and have an all-night movie marathon with your friends in a common room (I suggest some of my favorites including A Walk to Remember, You’ve Got Mail, Saving Mr. Banks, old-time classics such as Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hitchcock’s Rear Window and To Catch a Thief—and don’t forget the original Lord of the Rings movie marathon!) To all of those creative individuals, here come ideas you will appreciate. Find a friend (or friends) who is as restless as you and go have a cooking or baking contest, arrange a scavenger hunt, play games, have a dance party, play volleyball, go to the water park, explore the campus grounds, Learn a new language, rearrange your dorm room, add fall decorations to your room, stargaze, catch up on books, Skype your friends and family back home, watch the sunset and stay awake to watch the sunrise the following morning—the list can go on and on!
Having a car (or finding a friend with a car) will also turn out to be quite beneficial. A car can give you that oftentimes necessary opportunity to get out of the Ave Maria bubble and head to a place in the world outside of our lovely school. Going to Disney World will be a fantastic way to spend your time, whether you’ve been there several times already or not even once. You could also make a trip to Naples and go to the movies with that special someone or with a group of friends. Dinner and bowling afterwards is always a good idea too.
Take advantage of our close proximity to Naples and visit many of the city’s attractions:
- Naples Botanical Garden: Admission is $14.95 for a great view of beautiful gardens and plants.
- Naples Zoo: Admission is $16.95 for a chance to visit your favorite animals!
- Naples Museum of Art: Experience both modern and contemporary art in this fine arts museum for just $10!
- Collier County Museums: Learn about the history and culture of Southwest Florida from these unique memorable museums.
- Revs Institute: A chance to see an institute full of classic, historic, and race cars with an admissions price of $17.
- Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary: Admission is $14.95 for the opportunity to view wildlife in the western everglades with a 2.25 mile boardwalk trail.
- Bird Rookery Swamp Trail: A great place to mix exercise with nature with 12 miles of hiking and biking trails and a boardwalk.
If you’re thinking of making a day of it, a visit to Downtown Naples to Fifth Avenue South and Third Street South will certainly be a great addition! It’s a great place to get some shopping in and oftentimes quite adventurous exploring done. Downtown Naples has sidewalk cafes, galleries, restaurants, and unique shopping stores. So pull out your adventurous spirit that we all have a bit of and explore!
I truly hope I was able to help those individuals who are currently asking every single one of their friends and even acquaintances what they will be doing for Fall Break. Do not expect to sit idly. Expect to have a fantastic four days of fun, family, friends, activities, and laughter. If you expect good things, you will likely experience good things.
Cover photo courtesy Gerry Lauzon.
Napes beach: Wilhelm Rozencrantz
Remote control: Iain Watson
Fifth Avenue: Charlie Anzman