During the summer following my first year at Conn, I embarked on a 14-state road trip with my friends Dani Maney ’20 and Samuel Piller ’20. We traveled great distances at once; at one point on the trip, we drove for 10 hours straight across the state of Pennsylvania. Since that road trip three years ago, I have not driven for longer than five hours nor have I rode shotgun or sat in the backseat for an extended period of time until now. Over Fall Break, my friends and I journeyed from Conn to Mount Desert Island in Maine. The drive was 6 1/2 hours each way, but the memories from the weekend were well worth it.

After arriving at my classmate and friend Erik’s house, we settled into our sweatpants and pajamas. Erik took us on a tour of the property, showcasing the magnificent New England views and walking us through his childhood memories. Our first night in Maine was wholesome. Erik’s mom outfitted us with homemade meat sauce, salmon and pasta (all my favorite foods). We cooked spaghetti, served it with the meat sauce and dined around the table together. While Harris Dining Hall on campus is great, sometimes it is nice to make a meal with your friends in an unexpected setting. After our delicious meal, we played Cards Against Humanity and sat outside, gazing at the stars until 2 a.m. The sky that night was so vivid that the stars were easily noticeable. My friend Christian ’20 brought his camera to photograph the sky. In my Cinematography I class this semester, we learned about the best ways to capture the dark night sky. I told Christian to slow the shutter speed down and he got some great shots of thousands of shiny stars.

The next day was easily my favorite part of the weekend. Acadia National Park is located on Mount Desert Island. I have seen countless shirts and sweatshirts over the years advertising this breathtaking national park. It lived up to the hype. We hiked three miles in the park; traversing the edge of a cliff, climbing on rungs, stepping over large gaps in the rocks and finally landing at the top. The hike down was definitely shorter. Acadia has some awesome man-made structures, such as stairs made out of rocks that are built into the cliffside, that make the descent much easier.

Our last day in Maine was spent at the house. Erik’s family has a nearby dock and several rowboats. We took a couple of boats out and rowed to a small island that is enveloped during high tide. I have never experienced anything so cool before. Between the hike at Acadia and this disappearing island, it is safe to say that I will travel back to Maine sometime soon. Despite the length of each trip, I think my Fall Break trip to Mount Desert Island was definitely worth it.

It is sad to reflect on this trip as my final Fall Break at Conn. In past years, I have gone home or gone to Shelter Island, which is a quick ferry ride away right from New London. I am happy I went the furthest this year and really dedicated myself to this trip and saying yes to all sorts of things. I think my trip to the island left me feeling both relaxed and more optimistic. My new attitude for the rest of the semester is to say yes to everything and take every day as it comes.