Travel bans alter summer vacation plans

Reading, welcoming a new family pet provide distractions

English teacher Mrs. Lisa Blamey skipped a summer vacation in order to welcome a new member of the family.

Photo submitted

English teacher Mrs. Lisa Blamey skipped a summer vacation in order to welcome a new member of the family.

Andrew de las Alas, Reporter

Spring break is often a time for escape. No grades or assignments and a chance for some sunshine. Even if you can’t get to a beach in March, you’ll be able to make up for it in the summer.

 Of course in 2020, this was far from the reality. Instead of relaxing in front of the water, many found themselves relaxing in front of their televisions, albeit begrudgingly. However, the break from the Cathedral family left many with time to strengthen their relationship with their own families at home.

 English teacher Lisa Blamey said her family was set to embark on a Caribbean cruise that would stop by the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and St. Thomas. Two weeks before the trip, it was canceled, for which Blamey said was actually relieved because she “didn’t want to get stuck on a cruise ship and get quarantined for two weeks afterwards.” 

As an additional bonus, she got her money back from the cruise line, she said. 

 Blamey said that she spent a fair amount of time cleaning, cooking and watching “every show Netflix has to offer.” To fill the overwhelming amounts of free time, Blamey said she would make trips to the grocery to stock up on cake mixes and half a dozen containers of frosting so her kids could bake. The family also got to watch Winnie, a new goldendoodle puppy, go from one day old to five months old over the course of quarantine.

 Blamey said that even though the end of quarantine may have been rougher than the beginning, she and her family were still able to interact more together, whether it was taking the third walk of the day, making an attempt at a puzzle or simply talking. 

 Senior Kieran McCauley said she and her family “were planning on going to Jamaica. There was a resort where we were going to stay with pools and we were going to go parasailing. Or at least try.” Initially, McCauley’s family hoped they could still visit the Caribbean island because the virus was making headlines mostly in Europe, but the agency canceled the trip due to a two- week quarantine that awaited any travelers from outside of Jamaica.

 “I was definitely disappointed. It was probably the best decision even though I didn’t really like it at the time,” McCauley said.

 Instead of pools, McCauley and her family turned to games. Euchre, Hedbanz and King’s Corner all made regular appearances. “Especially euchre,” said McCauley.

 Even though quarantine took away plenty of activities, it ended up providing an opportunity to connect with family for McCauley. “I normally wouldn’t have played all those games, but during eLearning I was able to get my work done early and then hang out with my family without the pressures of school.”

 Senior Kyleigh Braun shared a similar experience to that of McCauley. “My whole family, including my older brothers, were going to go on a cruise over the summer and stop by Spain, Portugal, Dover and see Stonehenge,” she said.

 The family reunion was luckily still preserved in the midst of lockdown. Skyler Braun drove from his house in Indianapolis and Kavan Braun ‘17 flew up from Texas to spend some time with their sister hanging out on Geist. Braun said that prior to the pandemic Kavan was in Austin working on an internship but once lockdown hit, she was able to see him for the first time since January.

 “They’re all off working or at college during the summer, so it was really nice to have them at home and to do stuff with them again,” said Braun.

 Braun said that during lockdown she was able to read much more than usual including titles like Turtles All the Way Down and When Breath Becomes Air. She also participated in an online medical course during the days she would’ve spent on a cruise.

 The two senior girls both kept an optimistic view. McCauley said “You can look at (the coronavirus) one way and it can seem awful, but if you look at it another way it can feel a lot better. Take it one day at a time. You get to see the little patches of brightness in the darkness.”

 Braun said, “Everyone’s in the same boat. You got to find a new way to deal with these problems thrown at us. Appreciate everything: school, not wearing masks and just normal things in general.”