RED, WHITE, AND GO BLUE!

Trip Region: United States
Country(ies): USA! USA! USA! (California and Nevada)
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $2000
Airfare Estimate: $350
Nightlife: 4   •   Activity: 6

Breathtaking views, sandy beaches, world class wine, and vibrant cities… obviously we’re talking about America. Ditch the visas and jet lag and join us out west for the Mtrek that will take you to San Francisco, Sonoma, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and Las Vegas. Many Mtreks will claim that they have something for everyone, but this is the only trek that will actually include all the elements necessary for the best vacation ever. If you want a diversity of partying, nature, and relaxation, this is the trip for you. Staying in a tent and a luxurious hotel? We’ve got both. Hiking, shopping, wine tasting, and partying? Yep. Come travel with us and get ready to shout: red, white, and GO BLUE!

Travel Day — Saturday, Aug 17

Congratulations, you’ve survived orientation! While the rest of your new Ross BFFs have a 12+hr flight squished in the middle seat between two crying babies, you’re breezing over to San Francisco like it’s nothing. Arrive anytime in San Francisco, and get some early reps in on the sourdough bread and ghirardelli chocolate that SF is known for. We’ll meet up at the hotel in the afternoon for a welcome meeting, plenty of icebreakers, and head off to our first group dinner.

Day 1 — Sunday, Aug 18

How’s your jetlag? JK, it’s only a 3 hr time difference so you are feeling GREAT. We’ll be up for a leisurely breakfast before we hit the ground rolling - literally. Our first activity of the day is a bike tour of San Francisco where we’ll acquaint ourselves with the trendy neighborhoods and beautiful landscapes of the city by the bay - Google/Facebook/tech company hopefuls, take notes for where you want your future internship housing to be. We’ll spend the afternoon cruising across the bay to fit in some history and ghost stories at Alcatraz Island, the most infamous prison in US history. Come evening, it’s time for dinner and a night on the town with 16 of your new best friends.

Day 2 — Monday, Aug 19

The bay area is certainly known for its ultra cool tech companies, but to be honest your MBA2s are more interested in the offerings of the California wine country. It may not be Bordeaux or Burgundy, but anything is a step up from our $4 bottles of Trader Joe’s finest. We’re heading up north for a day in Sonoma, where we’ll take tours of beautiful wineries and taste some even more beautiful wine. We’ll all be practicing our fancy wine etiquette, so we highly recommend completing the pre-work by watching the netflix documentary Somm. Smell? Check. Taste? Check. Spit? No thanks. We’ll head back to SF for one last night out for a few days, so take a nap on the ride back and drink some pedialyte, because we’re going out.

Day 3 — Tuesday, Aug 20

Happy trails and until we meet again, San Francisco. We’ll spend the morning on a bus to Yosemite National Park where we’ll live out all of our outdoorsy fantasies. We’re staying at the historic Half Dome Village, and after checking in to our rustic tents, we’ll head out on a tour of Yosemite park. Get your cameras out to snap stunning vistas of granite cliffs, waterfalls, and sequoias. Your trek leaders will be sure to get a few pics of you doing something sporty for your instagram.

Day 4 — Wednesday, Aug 21

The sunlight is filtering through your tent, the birds are chirping, and it’s time to get up and take a guided group hike. Pack your comfy walking shoes, sunscreen, trail mix, and get ready to put some miles down. Take in the fresh air, spot some beautiful nature, and send up a quick thanks to President Theodore Roosevelt for making this land a national park. Once we’re all safely back from our hike (no 127 Hours here, please), the afternoon is free for you to do what you want. More hiking? Napping? Rent a bike and take a ride? Whatever you want to do, we’re sure you can convince one of your new Mtrek friends to do it with you.

Day 5 — Thursday, Aug 22

One last hearty campstyle breakfast in Yosemite and we’re off on our next adventure. We’ll leave behind our rustic accommodations for a slightly more luxurious stay in… Lake Tahoe! We’ll be spend a few hours riding in style in our private bus from Yosemite to Lake Tahoe and then check into our lakefront lodge. Lake Tahoe is known for its beautiful scenery and relaxing accommodations, so get ready to pamper yourself after all that hard work hiking in Yosemite. First stop? Civilization. And by that, we mean testing out Lake Tahoe’s best watering holes.

Day 6 — Friday, Aug 23

Ahoy, matey! We’ll spend a few hours cruising Lake Tahoe and reenacting scenes from our favorite boat-themed movies: Titanic, Life of Pi, Jaws, Captain Phillips, The Perfect Storm, etc. Oh, buoy!

Day 7 — Saturday, Aug 24

Tahoe free day! Are you tired of your trek leaders yet? Yes? No? No matter the answer, we know you’ll have an amazing free day to explore all that Lake Tahoe has to offer. Work on your tan on the beach, impress us with your coordination on water skis, or even earn a little more spending money by winning a few hands of blackjack. The day is yours, but be sure to meet back up with us for an amazing group dinner and night out.

Day 8 — Sunday, Aug 25

We depart Lake Tahoe and take a short flight from Reno to Las Vegas for the last stop on this epic trip. We’ll be staying on the strip and we’ll be within walking distance of everything serious graduate students like us could ever need. Feast your eyes on the nightclubs, resorts, and buffets. Everything the light touches is our kingdom, MBA1s! Tonight we will be taking Vegas by storm and hittin’ da clerbs. At least 4 people will be married before the night is over, one of us will win $5 at a craps table, and someone will lose a shoe, but all of us will have a good time. But it’s fine -- what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Day 9 — Monday, Aug 26

We’ll recover from the previous night’s shenanigans by gambling away our tuition dollars, lazing by the pool, and indulging in a little retail therapy. In other words, rest up because this is our last night together before heading back to your new home in Ann Arbor. We’ll have one last big dinner together where we highly recommend wearing a flexible and comfortable waistband. And finally, one more piece of culture - tickets to a Vegas show!

Departure Day — Tuesday, Aug 27

All good things must come to an end. It’s time to head back to Ann Arbor and tell everyone about the trip. But, please, remember to use S-T-A-R format.

Jane “The Train” Danstrom

Jane “The Train” Danstrom has literally never gone by this nickname. We have already elected her the Bride-to-Be for an undisclosed but guaranteed memorable night on the town. She claims to be an introvert and also read 1,000 words per minute, but we have yet to see her literacy skills in action. As Co-President of Follies, she effectively manages her ghost writers and alcohol stipend, while also taking all the glory for the hilarious sketches. Our Mtrek will be an extended audition for the Follies live show, so have your monologues ready. This sweet Minnesota transplant leaves no prisoners during a “festive”  board game night with friends (TLDR; she will crush you and never make eye contact with you in the halls of Ross again). Should we find ourselves stranded at Alcatraz or lost in the wilds of Yosemite, rest assured that Jane will keep only herself warm with her Deloitte Patagonia Better Sweater but will strategize a way to get us out in 8-12 weeks. Her non-negotiables for the MTrek include but are not limited to SPF +70, one Magic Mike Matinee in Vegas, and a few hours of Personal Screen Time.

Kimby “Top of the Curve” Josephson

What era is she from? We may never know. Do not be confused, Kimby is in fact her name and business school is her game. Rumor has it that she has had a full “Excellent” sweep so far, setting the curve in each core class and tutoring less fortunate MBA students on the weekends. A humanitarian who has been compared to Ghandi and Mother Teresa, she is very sweet, a little loud, and truly bouncy (it will all make sense soon enough). Hobbies include those of the geriatric genre: knitting giant blankets for those chilly Michigan nights, battling herself in crossword puzzles, and pouring a neat Fernet each weeknight. If you find yourself staring at Kimby and just trying to figure out who she looks so similar to, we implore you to do a quick Google image search of “It’s Me, Mario.” This year was treacherous for Ms. Josephson: while maintaining her sterling academic record and signature curls, she also received community recognition for extinguishing a small fire caused by her own personal menorah on the fourth night of Hanukkah. Please join her when she wants to play a bus game–the sooner we start, the quicker it is over.

Laura “M’Lady” Malecky

Laura hails from Richmond, aka Pittsburgh, but don’t let her fake southern charm fool you: this Tauber queen keeps her friends close but her enemies closer. You will never know when Laura is truly displeased, but look out for that dangerous soft smile. She’s like a chameleon and can thrive in any environment, from the deep woods of western Massachusetts to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. She now resides in a lovely two-bedroom apartment she shares with Kimby, where she can be found cooking anything and everything in butter and stealing blankets, tupperware, and hearts. Every day you’ll wonder: are Kimby and Laura in a domestic partnership? By the end of this trip, it will still be unclear. At Sonoma, Laura will be offering flights of La Croix (their stock may be down but market share is up thanks to her patronage). She will also be the only person in Las Vegas requesting kombucha at the club. We anticipate that Laura will lead nightly reflection sessions for the group, where we will think deeply about gender, race, and the next Bachelor contestant.

Neil “Six Sigma” Yeolekar

Our main man Neil is a modern day Renaissance guy. Engineer by day and thespian by night, he hails from the Indiana of India and also has called Indiana, USA home IRL. Coveted by McKinsey and Follies alike, we often ask ourselves 1) how did we land ourselves this international superstar and 2) when we do get to learn his casing skills? Don’t be fooled by his seemingly demure ways, we will all bear witness to Night Neil applying a lean management framework to bottle service. He wanted the whole MTrek to be on the Strip, but we had to talk him off the ledge. He is our resident polyglot, speaking Marathi, English, SQL, and Python. If you want Matlab knowledge and a backstage pass to Cirque du Soleil to kick off your MBA ~*journey*~, Neil ensures this is a buy one, get one situation.

Michelle “Snoop” Yi

Just when you think you have this former Army Commander figured out, she’ll show up in her Snoopy Pajamas bearing a TGIFriday’s takeout order, conveniently delivered by her friends at UberEats. When she is not scooting around town on her personal electric scooter (Bird is trying to re-recruit her in the fall), she generously offers her skincare consulting services pro bono to friends and AFA members alike. A health enthusiast and founder of the “Keto When It is Convenient” Ann Arbor chapter, she will assure you it is fine to eat ranch dressing on the Whole 30 diet. The team is currently lobbying Michelle to drive her Subaru out west to provide shuttle services from Sonoma to Yosemite and pass on these savings to you, our beloved MTrek crew. We all wait with anticipation and fear for the unveiling of “Vegas Michelle.” We (aka her entourage) have been told to not schedule anything before 4:30pm and to remember who really is the star of the show. Commander Yi was selected for the prestigious K-Pop MAP project, which entailed an immersive week of K-Pop bootcamp, the rigor of which exceeded her military training. Nobody puts baby in a corner and nobody puts Michelle Yi in a box.