Bask in the snow

Spring Break is about getting away from school and stress. But while most students might think about sandy beaches and suntan oil, there are a group of students choosing just the opposite.

Junior Crystal Arroyo is one of those students. Arroyo is going on a ski trip to Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia, through USF’s Outdoor Recreation trips.

“I wanted to do something different (for Spring Break),” Arroyo said. “I’ve always stayed in Tampa.”

Arroyo first attempted to organize the trip herself with some friends, but when a girl in the Marshall Center approached her with a flyer about the USF-organized trip, she didn’t want to pass it up.

“I called my friend and we decided we’d let somebody else plan it and we’d just go,” Arroyo said.

The trip was cheaper than anything they could find, Arroyo said. All that was required at the time was a $50 deposit. The rest of the $476 trip could be paid in installments over time as long as it was paid in full by the time of the trip.

The recreation center is providing buses to take students on the approximately 15-hour trip to West Virginia. The group leaves Saturday at midnight and returns to Tampa around 7 a.m. on the 19th.

The hotel stay and ski rentals are included in the price, but snowboarders had to pay a little extra.

“I’ve never skied before and I wanted to jump right in and go snowboarding,” Arroyo said. “But my friend said it was hard and I’d be in the snow most of the time so I decided just to ski.”

Arroyo’s parents are helping her pay for the trip, but she has been working two jobs to cover the rest. She plans to save money in West Virginia by purchasing groceries from a local Wal-Mart and cooking in the lodge room’s kitchenette.

Arroyo wanted to do something unique for Spring Break, and since she hadn’t seen snow since she was five and moved from New York, she thought this trip would be perfect.

“I figured it was time to get out of Florida,” Arroyo said. “I always wanted to try skiing and it was a really good opportunity.”