Surprise! You Had Me At Merlot

Trip Region: Western Europe
Country(ies): France & Spain
Partners Trek? No
Trip Cost: $2435
Airfare Estimate: $1100
Nightlife: 3   •   Activity: 2

Does the prospect of spending a week frolicking around the French Riviera, wine tasting, island hopping, beach going, French cuisine eating, and of course, generally raging with the best of ‘em excite you? Yep, us too. Pack your fancy pants and get ready to live the good life as we explore the rich culture, bountiful baguette opportunities, and outrageously stunning coastal towns of the south of France all before whisking you off to a SURPRISE location somewhere in the Mediterranean. Here, we’ll finish off our trip baking our beach bods in the sun, conquering some extreme water sports, and training your livers boot-camp style for what they can expect from business camp – we mean school. Your five fearless trek leaders all met a year ago on their trip to Croatia and Slovenia, and trust us when we say that what happened at Yacht Week will (most likely not) stay at Yacht Week. So if watching the sunset over the Riviera, French wine in hand, baguette in mouth, surrounded by your 15 new besties sounds downright magical, we can’t wait to see you in Nice in August.

Day 1 — Sunday, Aug 20

Arrive in France! Once everyone’s checked in and accounted for in Nice [pronounced in French], we’ll kick off the adventure by wining and dining you by the French Riviera - fancy pants pulled all the way up. After dinner, we’ll find out what really happens when people stop being Nice [pronounced in American] and start getting Mtrek real. Remember all that stuff you just had to do at orientation? Sorry admissions, we don’t either.

Day 2 — Monday, Aug 21

Ain’t nobody got time for jetlag - it’s time to get bougie b*tches! For our first day in the Riviera, we’re training it to Monaco to see just how good the good life is in the south of France. Will Luis lose all of our money at the Monte Carlo casinos? (Probably). Will Warren woo a high-rolling, yacht-owning Frenchwoman? (Probably not). We’ll tour the old town of Le Rocher, complete with winding lanes and medieval homes, we’ll day-dream about the yachts we’ll all buy with those baller signing bonuses in our future, and we’ll definitely drink wine. Lots o’ wine. Riding that wine train back to Nice for the night will allow us just enough time to strategize for the night’s main event: The Flip Cup Off. That’s right, we hereby challenge you to a battle royale - MBA 1’s vs. 2’s in an epic Flip Cup Tournament - winners get bragging rights fo’ lyfe. Make no mistake about it - your infallible trek leaders won last year and we have every intention of maintaining our victory status. Start practicing now.

Day 3 — Tuesday, Aug 22

After you’ve licked your wounds of last night’s defeat, get ready to do as the French do and Rosé all Day. Pack your bags for an all day wine tasting tour today. Red? White? Rose? All colors welcome here. Once we get our fill of dranks, baguettes, and Riviera coastline, you’re on your own for the night to rest it up, party it up, or French it up however you like. You do you to your heart’s content.

Day 4 — Wednesday, Aug 23

To quote the wise and articulate words of T-Pain, today WE’RE ON A BOAT MOTHER F*CKERS. That’s right, we’re island hopping around the Illes de Lerins (pronunciation unknown) for some swimming, beach strolling, and Cannes celeb-hunting. After we wreak all of the nautical havoc we possibly can, we’ll return to Nice and shake off our sea legs with a night of group dining, dancing (just do whatever Christine does), and raging. It’s our last night in the city so you better believe we’re gettin’ after it. P(our)r decisions, here we come [see what we did there? Wine not.]

Day 5 — Thursday, Aug 24

New city time - today, we’re training it to Marseille to explore France’s oldest city. Here, we’ll get all of our French culture on with a walking tour of the old haunts and a stroll through the city's bazaars. For lunch or dinner or both, we’ll also spend time hunting down the best bowl of boullibaisse (local fish stew) we can find. You’ll have the night to yourselves to get your old city charm on, catch some zzz’s, and lament about how we’re halfway through the best trip of our MBA (and general) lives.

Day 6 — Friday, Aug 25

PLEASE EXCUSE THIS INTERRUPTION OF REGULARLY SCHEDULED PROGRAMMING FOR THIS PSA: Let’s go to beach ‘each let’s go get away, they say, what they’re gonna say, have a drink, clink, found the bud light, bad b*tches like me are hard to come by. Oh sorry, got in a Nicki zone. Guys, we’re going on an adventure today. We can’t tell you where we’re jetting off to from here (well we could, but we’re not gonna). We CAN tell you that we’re leaving France on a jet plane in search of some serious sunnin’, gunnin’, and all out funnin’. Once we arrive at this magical undisclosed location - let’s call it Mediterranean Narnia - we’ll spend the night getting our bearings in what will be our new home for the rest of the trip.

Day 7 — Saturday, Aug 26

Today is the day you’ve all been waiting for, and Sara is not so secretly dreading, cuz today we’ll put all 12 of the SPF 100 sunscreen bottles she packed to the serious test with a full day at da beach. Potential activities include: beach beer olympics (see this year’s spring break evidence of Shawn’s overwhelmingly successful game-list for reference), water sports, taste-testing all beach drink options, and/or getting generally turnt (just hopefully not burnt). At night, we’re gettin in with the Narnia locals for a food and wine tour of all the hidden gems and native secret spots.

Day 8 — Sunday, Aug 27

Eat your wheaties today kids, cuz we’ve got a big day ahead of us. Narnia’s coming in hot with some extreme sport action. Get ready to check some stuff off the bucket list (and instagram the sh*t out of it as we do)...Canyoning? Check. Kitesurfing? Check. We don’t even know what Paddle Surfing is but it sounds cool and we want to do it. It’s all on the table today for our picking and choosing. After earning our extreme sportin’ battle scars (just not any serious scars por favor...our travel insurance only goes so far), we’ll head off on our very last surprise for the night. Ignored our advice and skipped the wheaties this morning? Mistake. It’s your (lessbehonest he’s your favorite) trek leader Luis’s birthday tonight and that can only mean one thing. All out mayhem. We’ve got a few more secrets up our sleeves to make this night one we will most definitely forget.

Day 9 — Monday, Aug 28

After we sunrise party our way into our last day in what we’re still calling Narnia, we’ll eat off those hangovers at a family brunch before sleeping the rest of them off on da beach. This day is a free one to put the finishing touches on your perfect tan, buy that postcard for mom, and avoid the realities of Fall A classes for 24 more glorious hours.

Day 10 — Tuesday, Aug 29

You don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here. Just kidding, you do have to go home. Sadly, all good things must come to an end and Mtrek is no different. There will be tears, there will probably be beers (cuz if you haven’t figured it out yet, you’re now a full-blown business camp alchy), and there will definitely be hugs all around as we head outta Narnia and back to reality. But we promise, reality’s not that bad! We’ll see you at Skeeps next Thursday and you’ll believe us.

Warren ‘G-Money’ Rickards

Let’s play a game of word association. We say: ‘Yeah mon, I’m from Jamaica’ You think :….smooth talkin’ contraband-wielding dreaded man? Voila, meet Warren. Well, minus the contraband-wielding dreaded man part. But definitely the Jamaican-born smooth talkin’ part. The self proclaimed ‘closer’ (ask him to explain what that means), Warren will lull you into a don’t-worry-be-happy mood with his Jamaican vibez before you know what’s happening to you. Be careful though, Warren quickly starts worrying and is not happy when drunk, hungry, and in an all out manhunt for a cheeseburger. Hailing from the great (and by great we most definitely mean mediocre) state of Florida before bschool where he worked in sales and sold stuff, Warren will be taking Silicon Valley by storm like a boss this summer before schmoozin’ up the locals on the French Riviera.

Christine ‘Pop n’ Lock’ Weiss

Ever been woken up by the delicious smell of bacon in the morning and think that someone really does love you? Well, you’ve got Christine to thank for that. Sorta. Coming to business school from a dazzling career marketing bacon (and other meat products) for Applegate, Christine can be found doing Nielsen data wizardry by day and baked goods wizardry by night. Seriously, convince her to bake you things and then eat all of the things she bakes you. You’re welcome in advance. To burn off all the baked good calories coming your way, follow Christine to Live for a night of white girl dancing and prepare to be amazed. This girls got moves from the likes of Beyonce + Rihanna + TSwift combined. If you play your wine cards right, you just might get a free lesson on how it’s done in fancy pants France.

Luis ‘Good Time Charlie’ Quinonez

Our resident bonafide ladies man left a job on Capitol Hill doing politician things (read: greasing palms and making deals) to learn how to market super sexy things like feminine hygiene products and Charmin toilet paper with P&G this summer. A momma’s boy from Cali, Luis avoids the snow and cold of Ann Arbor like a champ by bringing the party to him…and as an amateur wine connoisseur and professional rager, you better believe it’s always a fun party (just ask the Croatian cops we met on our Mtrek last year). Between Warren’s schmoozin’ and Luis’s lady charms, we’re taking the over on the +/- 10 French digits these boys are bringing home.

Shawn ‘Ride or Die’ Logan

Rain or shine, Shawn brings the sunshine to whatever she’s doing – and whatever she’s doing is anyone’s guess because this girl is down for anything. Now, this is not to say she’s gooooood at whatever’s she’s doing (see evidence of Croatian mechanical bull riding), but she always gives 100% (see evidence of MBGAY drag show dancing). Originally from Vermont, Shawn knows surprisingly little about maple syrup but a lot about cool outdoorsy things like hiking and canoeing and pine trees. She’s switching coasts for the summer to hang out with the people that make Hidden Valley ranch dressings, which includes the important market research of dipping every kind of pizza into every kind of ranch sauce. TBD if her true condiment love of ketchup will prevail.

Sara ‘Ski Bum’ Faurer

A Colorado native who ‘lived’ in Chicago before bschool (while she traveled weekly for work) after graduating from school in Maine, Sara will confuse the crap out of you with her cross country sports team affiliations that include but are not limited to: the Broncos, the Red Sox, the Blackhawks, and of course, the all mighty Michigan Wolverines. She excels at dropping consulting words into everyday conversation when she’s timeboxing that econ paper in order to avoid boiling the ocean on non value added work (whatever that means). Always up for a challenge, you can find her going head to head with Luis on the Bus’s beer funnel station on Saturdays (spoiler alert: she usually wins) or taking on the banking world’s boys club at Goldman Sachs this summer. Since snow is her favorite thing in the entire world and sunburn is less so, you can find her lathering up in excessive sunscreen while lounging in the shade all along the the Riviera.