Easter saw 47 pupils and 6 staff make the long journey to Los Angeles and New York for an 8 day trip. This follows in a long line of transatlantic trips St. Chad’s have been on in the past few years. Setting off from Manchester on a Saturday morning we traversed time zones, headed west and arrived in LA in time for a traditional diner meal late on Saturday night as jetlag took its toll! Here pupils began to sample the contrasting cityscapes and ways of life. Los Angeles offered touristic delights such as warm sunny weather, Hollywood’s “Walk of Fame” with its many stars on the pavement (or should I say sidewalk?), Universal Studios with its thrill rides and movie based attractions whilst Beverly Hills offered exclusive shopping and Santa Monica a beautiful idyllic beach and themes of the 1960’s. Here pupils enjoyed burgers on Santa Monica Pier at the end of Route 66 before heading towards the psychedelic Venice Beach. Following three days in LA we left the hotel at 4.30am on Tuesday to head east to New York……
On landing at Newark Airport in New Jersey we were immediately struck by the sight of the world famous Manhattan cityscape in the distance. New York as opposed to LA was densely packed and busy with what seemed to be a 24hr working day. It offered us its world famous urban attractions such as Times Sq (where we were based), the Empire State (although the view was somewhat ruined by a very cloudy night!), The Statue of Liberty, Central Park and 5th Avenue. We also visited the poignant 9/11 Museum that is housed within the foundations of the original buildings destroyed back in 2001 where 2,996 people were killed. This visit in particular proved very emotional for staff and students alike due to the variety of “real life” personal possessions and stories on offer. The pupils were taken by the fact that ordinary people would turn up for work one day, never to return to their loved ones. Pupils showed great respect in this museum even though at the time of the disaster most would have been only just born and not aware of its significance for many years.
Overall the trip was enjoyed by all and even though few slept much (including the staff) because of the hectic schedule I think they all agreed it was a trip of a lifetime and many are keen to return one day with their families. Finally I would like to thank all the staff who gave their time over Easter to help out on the trip, it was much appreciated by pupils and myself in particular!
Mr.Duckers (Group Leader)