On the morning of 26 December, excitement filled the air as all the boys, dressed in their new Marist USA gear, gathered at school. Like many of my peers, I had tossed and turned, on Christmas night, unable to contain my anticipation for our trip to the States. It was a first-time experience for most of us, and bidding farewell to our parents and guardians, we boarded the bus bound for Sydney airport.

After a satisfying meal at the airport, we embarked on our journey to America. The 16-hour flight landed us in Dallas, Texas, where we dove straight into a whirlwind of activities. The varsity boys competed in a tournament while the Freshmen, Juniors, and Junior Varsity teams played in school games. Our itinerary was packed with visits to iconic sites such as the JFK museum, a Dallas Mavericks game, a Texan rodeo, a NHL match, and a tour of the Dallas Cowboys stadium. Despite changing hotels almost every night, the allure of Dallas and the Texan way of life had us all hooked.

Our next destination was Boston, where the contrasting weather immediately struck us upon arrival. We seized the opportunity to attend a college basketball game between Providence and Seton Hall, as well as engage in a friendly match against Boston College High.

The anticipation peaked as we reached New York City, with its bright lights and bustling streets. Walking through Times Square at night, snow gently falling, felt surreal. Our friendly match against Hunter College High and witnessing a Brooklyn versus OKC game added to our excitement. Exploring iconic landmarks like the Statue of Liberty, the 9/11 Museum, and One World Tower provided unforgettable experiences.

Finally, we arrived in LA, where our spirits soared during a full day at Disneyland. We now see why it’s called the happiest place on earth! Our last day in LA was spent touring Beverly Hills, marvelling at the Hollywood sign, strolling along the Walk of Fame, and enjoying the sights of Santa Monica Pier.

As our journey came to a close, the prospect of the 16-hour flight back to Australia loomed ahead. Yet, despite the exhaustion, the memories of our incredible trip will stay with us forever.

Owen Nihill

Year 12 Student