San of a Beach: Ruckus in ’Rico

Trip Region: United States
Country(ies): USA (Puerto Rico)
Partners Trek? Yes
Trip Cost: $1998
Airfare Estimate: $400
Nightlife: 3   •   Activity: 3

Are you and your significant other ready for our ten-day pre-Ross training session? We will cover everything you need to know before the two best years of your life begin: we will get you ready for The Bus with practice drinking on the beach, and get you ready for operations class through some hands-on analysis of the Bacardi factory. You should be ready for some or all of the following: competitive rounds of the newlywed game (marriage not required), learning killer dance moves from Paula, kayaking in bio-luminescent waters, zip-lining through the rain forest, and the unexpected.

Si Claro, Baby.

Day 1 — Sunday, Aug 20

Travel to San Juan. While you’re waiting for your new friends to arrive, take a walk and soak in the colonial architecture of Old San Juan. Or take a nap. No judgment -- you’ll need your energy for the week to come. We’ll all join up for dinner and see why San Juan is dubbed the “Culinary Capital of the Caribbean.”

Day 2 — Monday, Aug 21

Today’s our day for a crash course in Puerto Rican culture and history. In the morning, we’ll tour “El Morro,” the iconic 16th century fortress and World Heritage Site. Then, we’ll stroll over to Calle del Cristo to take in the charm of Old San Juan. Finally, we’ll dance on into the night with some salsa lessons.

Day 3 — Tuesday, Aug 22

We’ll switch gears today and head for El Yunque National Forest. Buckle up for a nine-hour ziplining adventure through the forest canopy, including a gut-wrenching ride on the world’s longest zipline.

Day 4 — Wednesday, Aug 23

We’ll enjoy a rum tasting tour of Bacardi’s distillery, which includes “access to the Cathedral of Rum.” Salvation never tasted so good!

Day 5 — Thursday, Aug 24

After nursing our rum hangovers in the morning, we’ll head out for another day of exploring the great El Yunque National Forest. Once the sun goes down, we’ll experience the magic of the bioluminescent bay on a nighttime kayaking adventure.

Day 6 — Friday, Aug 25

Today, we drive to Rincon - the surfing capital of Puerto Rico - to bask on pristine beaches and luxuriate in our private villa. Settle in and enjoy the best of island life. For the next three days, we’ll go wherever the wind takes us, with plenty of time to enjoy our private pool, nearby beaches, and the culinary expertise of your MTrek leaders (the best cooks in the class of 2018).

Day 7 — Saturday, Aug 26

Step 1: Wake up in paradise. Eat a lazy breakfast in the main house with your buddies. Step 2: Take surfing lessons. Or stay back and enjoy a book (or a drink) on the beach. Maybe you’d rather cozy up poolside or take a nap in a hammock back at the villa. This is your day to go wherever the island breeze takes you.

Day 8 — Sunday, Aug 27

Our last day in Rincon. Take it all in. We’ll have another day to lounge at the beach, and we’ll top off our stay in paradise with a group dinner (again, prepared by your MTrek leader master chefs) and copious libations (now’s the time to finish off the rum we bought at the Bacardi distillery...if it made it this far).

Day 9 — Monday, Aug 28

Back to San Juan. We’ll spend the afternoon exploring Rio Camuy Cave Park, and then we’ll gather for our farewell dinner and our last night of Ruckus in ’Rico.

Day 10 — Tuesday, Aug 29

Head back to Ann Arbor. Gear up for Saturdays at the Bus, potlucks with your new best friends, and the beauty of fall in Michigan.

James Wood & Marielle Bryck

James

Born and raised in the land of maple syrup and hockey, James finishes every spoken sentence with “eh.” Prior to Ross he worked in the professional services group for a tech company. He likes all things related to tech, food and cooking, and, like all Canadians, igloo building.

How would your partner describe you? Tall, dark, and handsome. Convenient space heater/bed warmer.
If you were a drink, what would you be? Canadian whiskey, neat with a dash of bitters. Manly and all you’d ever need.
Describe your perfect MTrek day: Lots of food, drinks, time with new friends, and outdoor activities. Also, nobody on the trek dies (or is hurt in any way).

Marielle

Marielle is a commuting Ross partner who travels to Ann Arbor on the weekends from Toronto. She gets very jealous of partners living in AA, so don’t ask her about how the long-distance relationship is going. She is a major gifts fundraiser for The National Ballet of Canada, and serves on the board for the Partners’ Club at Ross.

How would your partner describe you? Obsessed with ballet. Odd accent, overly chatty. And did I mention obsessed with ballet?
If you were a drink, what would you be? I would be a mimosa – bubbly and only slightly complicated.
Describe your perfect M-Trek day: Learning about a new culture during the day. Learning killer salsa moves from Paula at night.

Tim & Amy Chick

Tim

Tim, a former consultant, is always thrilled to plan a trip that doesn’t end in a cubicle. A real over-achiever, he has frequently been told that he makes the best chocolate chip cookies, even when using the recipe on the back of the bag. Impressed? You should be. He learned how to drink at a competing Big 10 school, so you know he can keep up, and his competitive spirt will keep him frustrating his beer pong opponents late into the night. Tim’s dancing skills prior to a few drinks are poor at best, but his dancing skiillzz after several more are extraordinary. If you are prepared to witness greatness, you won’t want to miss Tim attempting to Salsa with the locals in San Juan. Be there!

How would your partner describe you? Less likely than her to go streaking.
If you were a drink, what would you be? According to Buzzfeed, I’m a Bock, because I’m complex, malty and super satisfying. Buzzfeed seems trustworthy, right?
Describe your perfect MTrek day. I’d wake up to coffee and waffles, then take a stroll through town. In the afternoon, we could all go ziplining and then relax by the pool. Dinner would be local food, following by drinks till I hit my happy place (and attempt to get everyone at the bar to play Irish poker with me). What’s that? You’ve never played Irish Poker before?! Here, let me teach you!

Amy

Amy’s rule of thumb is that she’ll try (almost) anything at least once. If you need a pal to go on a daring adventure with you, Amy’s your gal. She’s not afraid to make a fool of herself, and she’ll go to great lengths to make sure everyone is having a good time. On a typical weekend, Amy can be found riding her bicycle around southeast Michigan, eating breakfast foods at various diners, knitting in a coffee shop, or walking around the Old West Side of AA with an ice cream cone from Washtenaw Dairy.
How would your partner describe you? He has been known to call me a “tremendous goof.”
If you were a drink, what would you be? A tequila shot because I like to get the party started and too much of me leads to running around naked.
Describe your perfect MTrek day. Hanging out on a hammock on the beach, sipping the national drink of Puerto Rico, having one (or two) too many and making everyone toast to their favorite strong, independent woman.

Fernando Rodriguez & Paula Prieto

Paula

I am from California and love dancing. Ann Arbor has been great and I have been enjoying all the great food out here, almost as good as Los Angeles! I went to USC so it feels like I am cheating on USC when I cheer for Michigan at the football games.

How would my partner describe me? He would say that I am an English Bulldog at heart. When I am not busy working, I love to relax and just hangout. He would also probably say that I love shopping too much, I am a Kate Spade fanatic!
If I were a drink, I would be: Pina Colada. Beaches and Pina Coladas were made for me.
My perfect MTrek Day: Gotta start with a great breakfast, and then take in some culture, followed by drinks on the beach, and finding time for a nap in a hammock. Then finish the night off with a fun night out of dancing and drinking.

Fernando

I am one of the biggest sports fans you will meet at Ross! Highlight of the year was taking in a football game in the front row with your fellow MTrek leader, Tim Chick!

How would my partner describe me? She would say I have way too much energy, and study too much. She would probably say I am like the Dos Equis man, I don’t always party…but when I do… it is always a good time if you are partying with me! She would also probably say I watch way too much ESPN.
If I were a drink, I would be: A shot of Fireball. Straight to the point and ready to get the party started.
My perfect MTrek Day: Waking up and having an awesome group breakfast, followed by getting ready to go out and doing something adventurous. Then after cheating death, coming back to the hotel and bonding over a couple cold ones. After that, I would enjoy hanging out in a pool or Jacuzzi and getting ready for an awesome dinner and night on the town. At the end of the perfect day, I would have made memories and started building new friendships.

Erik Mensch & Emily Faltesek

Erik

Erik grew up in Minnesota, worked at Target as an analyst for four years before coming to Ross. He will be interning at Amazon this summer in Finance.

How would your partner describe you? Sarcastic, fun, loves to push his own and other’s comfort zones
If you were a drink, what would you be? Mojito – easy-going, sweet and a bit sour but refreshing.
Describe your perfect MTrek day: Surfing in the morning (maybe, I’ve never actually surfed), a little light day drinking and snacking at the pool/beach, cook an awesome dinner, and transition into night drinking.

Emily

Emily also grew up in Minnesota, and last worked as a buyer at Target before coming to Michigan, where she works as a buyer for Art Van Furniture.

How would your partner describe you? Fun, adventurous, willing to try anything, driven, and not afraid of a debate.
If you were a drink, what would you be? Moscow Mule – spicy, stronger than you think, great in hot or cold weather, in an awesome, shiny container
Describe your perfect MTrek day A mix of adventure and relaxing – try something new, then spend the rest of the day low-key hanging out