Editor’s note: Morgan Ward is a senior at Hoisington High School.
HOISINGTON — Twenty-five juniors and seniors from Hoisington High School, along with eight parents took an exciting trip to New York and Washington D.C. over this year’s spring break. Matt Koelsch, HHS history teacher, took the exact same trip when he was in high school. The trip was planned by Barbara and Merlin Dennis of Phillipsburg. The couple has been doing the same trip for over 20 years and are still going strong. The trip to New York and Washington, D.C., was a total of nine days.
All day Wednesday and half of Thursday was spent on the bus, putting them at their first official stop in Gettysburg, Pa. There the group toured the cemetery and the battlefields of Gettysburg. After the tours, the students were allowed to walk around and enjoy themselves. Since Gettysburg is one of the highest towns with reported paranormal activity, some students experienced a ghost hunt with real ghost detectors.
Friday afternoon, the group was finally in New York City, N.Y. They unloaded the bus and immediately began sightseeing. They saw St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rockefeller Center, and the Trump Towers. The students also got a chance to wander around the FAO Schwarz toy store. Friday evening, they walked the few blocks to Broadway to see the very famous show, “Mamma Mia.” The Broadway show was a definite hit for all of the students.
Beginning early Saturday morning, the group walked down to Fifth Avenue for the Today Show. Most of the students were even seen on TV! They then walked down to the St. Patrick’s Day parade. After the parade, they were able to walk around Times Square and venture into the 11-story Macy’s Department store. Madison Square Garden was next on their list along with some souvenir shopping. The next stop was literally breathtaking as they took a 48 second elevator up a 70-story building, known as the 30 Rockefeller Plaza. The sight was absolutely incredible! They ended the day with a trip to the Rockefeller ice skating rink where they got to skate for a few hours.
Early Sunday morning began with a ferry ride to Ellis Island where they spent a few hours touring the building and searching for their ancestors. Along the way, they went past the Statue of Liberty. Arriving back on land, the group got to experience Battery Park. Many students walked away with an exciting experience, but also some items they purchased. They then were transported to the World Trade Center site and got to look around. They ended their day in N.Y. at the Tribute Center and newly opened 9-11 memorials. The students loaded the bus, and it was off to Washington D.C.
Monday began with a breathtaking trip to Arlington Cemetery where they were given a tour and a chance to see The Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. Their next stop was the Smithsonian museums. The first one they toured was The Museum of Natural History, and next The Museum of American History. Next on the agenda was a trip to the Holocaust Museum, where they were given cards of actual Holocaust people.
The cards told the students how that person died and lived through the Holocaust. Some students even got to meet a Holocaust survivor, and they left with his autograph. They then headed to Pentagon City Mall for a break to do some shopping. A subway ride was awaiting the students as they left the mall, which took them to their evening tours of Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam memorials, and many others.
Tuesday was spent at Capitol Hill. They had breakfast in one of the House of Representatives cafeterias and then met with one of our senators, Pat Roberts. The students then got a tour of the Capitol building and saw the Senate side and the House of Representatives side. Botanical Gardens were next on their agenda, and then they headed to the World War II memorial. They ended the evening at a show in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, called “Shear Madness.”
Wednesday was their last day in D.C. They stopped at the Iwo Jima memorial, and headed back to the Lincoln memorial, and the Vietnam memorials. Next they headed to the National Archives where they got a chance to look at the Declaration of Independence and all the other important documents. The Air and Space museum and the National Gallery of Art was their next stop, although, they had to choose between the two. They ended their time in D.C. at Union State and headed for home. They arrived home Thursday afternoon, and it was a definite warm homecoming.
My experiences on this trip were absolutely unexplainable. Even after a few weeks of being home, I still can’t even comprehend what all I saw. I didn’t pay attention to where I was walking when we first got to New York because I was to busy looking up at all the tall buildings.
My favorite part of New York was definitely the Broadway show and then the ice skating at Rockefeller Center. A friend and I accidentally hit the emergency stop on the escalators at Trump Towers, which made everyone had walk down them. That was pretty funny. My favorite thing in Washington D.C. was touring the American History museum. It was huge, so I didn’t get to see exactly everything. I’m extremely glad I took this trip and got to see the things I did. We took a trip of a life time and crammed it all into one week, which was crazy but totally worth it. Barbara and Merlin Dennis were great to be around, and I will never forget this experience.