After spending most of a week involved in lacrosse, service and excursions like whitewater rafting and ziplinig, the Princeton men's lacrosse team had a day to itself in the coastal resort town of Tamarindo, Costa Rica Wednesday.
The day started early for those who wanted to go surfing, which was basically everyone.
It continued with the beach, the two different pools, golf, bicycling, buying souveniers and basically relaxing.
If you're looking for the surfing champ, it might have been head coach Chris Bates - or his 10-year-old son Nick. Or assistant coach Mike Podgajny. Or Californian Alex Capretta. Or Long Island's Will Himler and Brendan DeTommaso.
As surfing is unkind to the tall, Alex Beatty, all 6-7 of him, struggled to get on the board. So did 6-2 Mike Flanagan, who bailed early and headed to the golf course.
More than one player, including Beatty ("Diplomacy," by Henry Kissenger) and Tucker Shanley ("The Grapes of Wrath"), read, even though they'd just finished with finals not long ago, prompting several askings of "are you taking a summer class?," which neither one is.
Some ran on the beach. Others walked. A group of four - Bryce Chase, John McPhee, George O'Neil and Margot Putukian - rode bikes on the beach.
The day was perfect for leisure, with warm temperatures but enough clouds to keep the sun from beating down on everyone and enough breeze to be a complete contrast to the wild humidity of Samara, two hours from here.
Princeton's one-week trip to Costa Rica ends tomorrow, when the Tigers fly back to Newark.
Unlike many of the tourists who visit this country, Princeton certainly saw a great deal of it, not just the beach resorts. The Tigers take home a perfect perspective of what life is like in Costa Rica - and they leave behind the aftereffects of the work they did, both to help grow the game of lacrosse and on the community center in Samara.
The final activity of this trip was a team dinner Wednesday night, which is not only a farewell to this week here but also to the 2012 Princeton men's lacrosse team. The recent graduates will scatter for various jobs and other opportunities, and there will be a new dynamic when the team reconvenes in Princeton this fall for the new school year.
Princeton turned around its lacrosse fortunes this past year, going from a 4-8 2011 to an Ivy League championship and return to the NCAA tournament this year.
They've ended it with a great reward, the opportunity to travel together and explore a culture together as teammates.And to end it with whatever leisure activity they wanted.