Thanksgiving Travels: Something to be Thankful For

Lenny Roque

More stories from Lenny Roque


Lenny Roque

From rural Colombia to urban New York, Gables students traveled to various locations over the Thanksgiving break.

While many Coral Gables Senior High students might have stayed home and enjoyed the Thanksgiving holiday around the table with their family, others decided to spend the five-day break elsewhere. Traveling far away from the Cavalier campus, students visited new places and gathered with their family to indulge in the classic “turkey dinner” in their own unique way.

Senior Jasming Senel

Her first time traveling to North Carolina, senior Jasming Senel spent her break on a road trip, stopping at several states along the way. Leaving Thanksgiving morning, Senel arrived in Savannah, Georgia after an eight hour trip and joined her family at a local restaurant to enjoy a traditional feast soon after.

After her time spent in Georgia, Senel drove off to North Carolina where she visited a friend who attends the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Taking tours of both UNC and Duke University, two colleges she is interested in applying to, Senel had the opportunity to get a feel for the atmosphere of the schools.

Duke University’s vastness and architecture gave Senel a greater appreciation for the campus. (Courtesy of Jasming Senel)

Apart from the universities, the senior wanted to get a feel for the state as well. A possible location of her future college, Senel took advantage of her time in North Carolina by taking time to appreciate the culture, listen to the local music and try new cuisine.

“I was shocked about how cold it was. In Savannah it was around 50s while in North Carolina it was like 29. Another thing I found surprising was that North Carolina has a lot of Asian restaurants and a large Asian population. I think North Carolina people think of it as southern, but they also have a lot of culture,” senior Jasming Senel said.

On her way back to Florida, Senel stopped at a little island outside of Georgia called Jekyll Island. A secluded town, the place was overflowing with Christmas spirit with ornaments, figurines and even a street that was decorated with a 12 days of Christmas theme.

Junior Brianna Duardo

Returning to one of her favorite travel destinations, Brianna Duardo went to New York over the break to visit her godparents in Manhattan.

Her first time riding the subway, seeing snow in person and attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Duardo crossed off a few bucket list items throughout the trip. Used to the tropical Miami weather, Duardo had a difficult time getting used to the piles of snow and layers of sweaters. However, the Cavalier eventually got used to the frigid temperatures and enjoyed the unfamiliar weather the most out of anything during her visit.

For Duardo, her trip to New York was not complete without a sweet trip to BIAO Sugar to get boba tea. (Courtesy of Brianna Duardo)

“In Times Square I was craving ice cream for some reason in 37 degree weather. So I saw a soft serve food truck go up and just get a cone. It was very cold, but it was really good. People looked at me like I was crazy when I was walking around. It was worth it and I have no regrets,” junior Brianna Duardo said.

The last time Duardo traveled during the Thanksgiving break was in 2018, which made this trip especially significant since her family was making up for the years past. Combining the traditional whole baked turkey and honey ham with customary Cuban food of her culture, her family enjoyed Thanksgiving dinner together as one.

Senior Ella Londono

Traveling to Rionegro, Colombia, senior Ella Londono visited her family’s farm in the mountains above Medellin. Visiting her grandparents whom she had not seen for two years due to COVID-19, Londono’s visit was marked with a large family reunion to commemorate the time lost.

Ella Londono visiting the waterfall near the town of La Ceja in Colombia. (Courtesy of Ella Londono)

“Although we didn’t actually celebrate thanksgiving because we were in Colombia I was very thankful to be back with my family and wish we could have stayed longer,” senior Ella Londono said.

Immersing herself in nature, Londono went on a hike known as Salto de Buey to see a waterfall and soon after went ziplining. The president of Gables Earth, Londono was able to observe the biodiversity of her family’s country and learn more about the habitat surrounding her.

In addition to the outdoor activities, Londono watched her two uncles play songs at the family reunion, a tradition significant to her because she is the lead singer for a band. Being able to see her family bond through music reflects Londono’s own passion for music and her admiration for the way music connects and brings people together.

Although Cavaliers are back in their regular classes, the short break gave students time to cherish moments spent with their loved ones. Whether students spent the break out of town or in their own home, for the Cavalier family, Gables remains the heart of what proud Cavaliers are most grateful for.