Winter break travel recap


Ron Nuriely Kimel

Ron Nuriely Kimel enjoys time at the beach in Miami, Florida.

Adin Halbfinger, Incoming News Editor

At the end of three years that were characterized almost entirely by quarantines, closures and cancellations, many were hoping to return back to normal this winter break. However, while COVID-19 cases have died down, many faced another problem that threatened to wreck their plans: extreme winter weather.

Severe storms across the U.S. caused concern among travelers as they saw flight cancellations and delays fill departure boards. Southwest Airlines was hit the hardest by the harsh weather as they cut 70% of their schedule in the days immediately after Christmas. 

Junior Ron Nuriely Kimel was one traveler who was scared that his flight wouldn’t be able to take off for Miami due to weather cancellations.

“I’ve never been to South Beach, so I was really upset when I saw the headlines about flight delays,” Kimel said. “We made it in the end though, and it was really nice.”

Not everyone was as lucky as Kimel. Upper School STEM Coordinator Cassandra Batson’s plans to visit her family in Denver were stopped because her Southwest flight was canceled. 

“My family has never met my daughter,” Batson said. “So we were really excited to finally get home and have her meet the family and see where I grew up.”

Junior Ethan Safra was more fortunate than Batson as his family chose to avoid airports and instead drove to Atlanta and Nashville.

“It’s pretty common for my family to drive to Atlanta and then travel with my family from there to seemingly random places in Tennessee and South Carolina,” Safra said. “Nashville though was a lot less random than those other places which was cool.”

Safra doesn’t mind the long car rides and had a lot of fun in Nashville, where his family rented an Airbnb with a view of the city. While in Nashville, Safra and his family visited the Country Music Hall of Fame and the National Museum of African American Music. 

Students are not the only members of the school community to enjoy a week and a half off for winter break. Many teachers also traveled and spent time with family. Jewish Texts teacher Paul Blank spent his break hiking the Camino de Santiago trail, which goes through Portugal and Spain.

The Camino de Santiago is a network of ancient pilgrimage routes on the Iberian Peninsula that leads to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and the shrine of the apostle Saint James the Great (Ya’akov Ben Zavdi) in Galicia, Spain. It is known to be a very spiritual journey often taken by religious pilgrims.

“There’s no comparison between this and staying home,” Blank said. “This was adventurous and spiritual while staying at home and watching Young Sheldon is boring in comparison.”

Unlike Blank, Kimel rarely travels over winter break, and typically prefers to relax in the comfort of his own home. However, this year Kimel appreciated traveling over break, especially because of the large workload he faced as a junior, so he enjoyed escaping the real world when he went to Miami.

“It was 80 degrees there, while here it’s cold and depressing,” Kimel said. “I really enjoyed the much-needed change of scenery.”