As we awoke on Sunday, it seemed that the travails of the last ten days were finally catching up with the Men. It was an early start in order to leave Stanford and have our final group meal of the tour. This manifested itself in a brunch at the spectacular Counter restaurant, where we delighted in the ‘build your own burger’ set-up. As we ate, the tour awards were given out – highlights include Hugh winning the Hugh Benson award for the third time running, and Josh Darley coming away with the highly coveted Noah Mosley prize.
After much merriment and thank yous to all those involved in organising our fabulous tour, we left for Santa Cruz. The group was apparently revitalised by the meal, as shown by our willingness to invent games on our journey. Before our initial train journey we resorted to a game of catch with a pair of lemons, before they exploded onto the train tracks. Next came what will possibly be the most far-reaching phenomenon to be conceived by AtKM: the invention of the Samsonite X-treme Vortex Case Curling Challenge. It is expected that this will become a global obsession over the next few weeks, so we won’t reveal the details just yet… We arrived in Santa Cruz at around 4.30 o’clock, where we were met by the resident acapella group Acquire, who we would be singing with later. They were a fantastic group and loads of fun, but their name caused a fair amount of confusion initially… ‘ok you’re in a choir, but which one?’ Once we had got this out of the way, we were taken up to the beautiful campus, situated in the middle of a redwood forest.
In the evening we had a brilliant gig to a room packed with audience members on sofas and arm chairs; a relaxed and intimate affair. After each of our sets, we collaborated with Acquire on a couple of numbers, and their bubbling energy certainly rubbed off on us during the massed rendition of ‘Lean On Me’ which ended the show. All in all, it was a great finale to our tour of California’s universities. We headed back what was in essence the Acquire house for food, drink, and for several members, coursework. The music mid-term deadline was at around 5 o’clock American time, and our action packed schedule hadn’t allowed for much preparation, so it was a long night for some. Others got a reasonably early night for the long day to follow. The remaining company enjoyed a night of song, dance, and beating the Americans at their own game – a 3-1 flip-cup thrashing. A triumphant day.