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Bruin adventures in the summer sun

Juniors Grace Billingsley and Grace McDaniel shared a summer trip to Newport Beach, Calif. Courtesy photo

This summer, many Bruins decided to seas the day by enjoying a variety of vacations.

While summer can be a time to simply relax and enjoy your lack of responsibilities, it can also lend a hand in creating opportunities for exploring and traveling the world. Students and staff members at Bear River have taken this opportunity, going with family and friends to places like Israel, Ireland, and India.

Junior Arieal Swindell said that she went to Israel for one month.

“I visited Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Eilat, and family,” she said. “[The best part was that] I became a certified scuba diver, [but] the worst part was leaving my family and friends.”

She described a few pieces of her experience that varied greatly from life here in California.

“On Fridays in Israel, all stores after 3 p.m. are closed until the weekend is over, and there are parties everywhere,” Swindell began. “There’s a very quiet morning because no one drives any cars and no one uses electricity.”

Fellow Junior Connor Ronka said that he vacationed in Ireland for two weeks. He also compared an aspect of life there to one here.

“The roads in Ireland are terrible,” he said. “Don’t complain about our roads until you drive there.”

However rough the roads were, he still used them to visit a variety of landmarks.

“We visited a lot of old castles and abbeys and churches,” Ronka said. “We also went to the Force Awakens Island.”

Ronka said that while he enjoyed the trip, it was quite an ordeal, especially with the time difference.

“I don’t remember anything fun,” he said jokingly. “Just tiring!”

Grace Billingsley, a junior, described her trip to Newport Beach.

“I went to Newport Beach, Calif. with my family,” Billingsley said. “We also took Grace McDaniel [a junior] as a special guest this year, and visited San Diego for a short time.”

She went on to detail the activities making up their vacation.

“We … drove down to Knott’s Berry Farm for our first day,” she said. “Grace and I spent the entire day with the rest of the family doing crazy roller coasters and trying new foods. Once we got to Newport, we did a lot of boogie boarding and hanging out in the ocean and collecting shells. When we weren’t at the beach, we were riding beach cruisers on the bike paths all around Newport and shopping/getting dinner.”

Billingsley also mentioned the more educational pieces of her venture.

“One day we went to tour Cal Poly Pomona,” she said. “A different day we went to San Diego, where we saw the USS Midway aircraft carrier and looked at San Diego State University.”

Next, she told a story about perhaps the most memorable part of her trip.

“So it was the last day before we had to leave for our trip on Saturday,” Billingsley said. “We had been out all day at Balboa Island. (Grace and I) came back ahead of my parents because my mom had to return her rental bike. We were home for maybe 10 minutes when we hear this lady across the street screaming.”

According to Billingsley, her first reaction was wondering if someone had been shot. She went outside to investigate and saw a man stumble out of the house across the street and collapse on the ground.

“The lady is still screaming,” she said. “Some guy who sees what’s going on from the other side of the street drops all of his beach stuff and literally sprints across the street and hurdles the fence in the front yard to get to the man and help him. … The stranger who came over helps by holding the injured man’s arm up into the air and using a belt as a type of tourniquet.”

She said that even from so far away, it looked like something had ripped his arm partly off, and she was wondering if someone had knifed him. Another guy came out of the house across the street and called 911, resulting in the swift arrival of an ambulance.

“They get a stretcher out, and they’re helping the man and they’re talking to the lady who was screaming,” she said. “She’s hysterical, and she keeps yelling ‘We thought it was a puppy, we thought it was a puppy!’ We realize that some dog or puppy or something must have bitten this guy’s arm partially off. They load him into the stretcher and zoom off with him.”

According to Billingsley, she and McDaniel never quite got closure on the situation.

“We never heard what happened to him, but I’m assuming he was okay,” she said. “I told Grace that our vacations aren’t usually so dangerous!”

On the flip side, Senior Nathan Farey said that he did not find his vacation exciting.

“I went to Montana with my parents,” Farey said. “Nothing exciting happened and I didn’t enjoy it all that much.”

Ava King, a sophomore who went to Hawaii this summer, also had a simpler perspective on things.

“I snorkeled, swam, and had lots of shaved ice,” she said.


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Bruin adventures in the summer sun