Monthly Archives: March 2012

FRANCE!!!

Viva La France! We had an absolutely amazing time in France. Our itinerary was jam packed, so we were able to create many memories. The first days pictures are from; The Paris Opera House, A driving tour of Paris, Notre Dame Cathedral, The Louvre and the Eiffel Tower at night. The next day we split into groups in the morning to enjoy Parisian life. In the afternoon we met back up at Sacre Coeur Basilica and a walking tour of the Montmarte artist’s district. We then headed to the Loire Valley where we explored Chateau de Chenonceau and Chateau D’ Amboise (Where Leonardo DaVinci is buried). That night we had a French cooking class. The kids got to cook for and serve their teachers! Then it was on to the ancient abbey of Mt. St. Michel and to the coastal town of St. Malo where we had an uproarious time learning Medieval dancing. The final day was spent on the coast of Normandy. Our study of D-Day came to life as we visited Point du Hoc and got to see the crater holes left by shellings and the bunkers that were still there. We then visited the moving American Military Cemetery and walked on the sands of Omaha Beach.  History was alive as we reflected on the sacrifices made by such young soldiers. It was then back to Paris for a last ride on the Metro, and a delicious dinner before saying our goodbyes to this magical place.

The learning that happened on this trip is indescribable.  Not only did we learn and feel the history of this land, we got to directly participate in navigating in a different country. Ordering  lunch, in French, buying Metro tickets and watching busy Parisians in their daily life are adventures of their own. For many students, discussion was already taking place on where their next trip would be.

A huge thank you to all the chaperones that accompanied us. We loved getting to know you all better and hope that you had as good as a time as we did. You proved to have infinite stamina and patience navigating a week of middle school children through a foreign country. Always remember that a chateau is only as cool as its holes!

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” – St. Augustine

Last night

Can’t believe we’re on our last night already!! We’ll be seeing you all in just a few short hours.

Reminder: we’ll be coming in on Lufthansa flight 490 from Frankfurt, arriving in Seattle at 11:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Yesterday: Mont St Michel and St Malo.

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Today: Normandy.

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Terrible Internet connection in Saint Malo. Everyone still alive and happy – photos to come when we can get them up. Happy birthday Wyatt!! Reminder to ask your student about Wyatt’s Flaming French firecracker birthday cake. 🙂

Les chateaux de la Loire

Today we had a bit of a sleep-in. Why, you ask? Well aside from the fact that we’ve been going, going, going, it was daylight saving time in France!

We left the hotel at 10 a.m. today, roughly two hours later than our average so far, and headed for Chenonceau.

Many people said this was one of their favorite stop of the trip so far. We had a leisurely two hours to explore the chateau and grounds and had a fantastic time of it.

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Next we moved on to Amboise, the final resting place of Leonardo Da Vinci.

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Tonight we had dinner and a wander in Tours – tomorrow we hit the road for Mont St Michel.

As a reminder, we’re posting these simple updates on the fly – mostly to let you all know that we’re still all happy and healthy and having a blast. More details and photos will be posted once we return.

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Onto the Loire …

After our morning at Versailles yesterday, we continued on to Chartres Cathedral.

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From there, we made our way to Tours, arriving just in time for a French cooking lesson.

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Adults jumped in at first, but after chopping a few chives and carrots the scene became a bit too reminiscent of, oh, every single night at home. After that, we sat back, kicked our feet up, and let the students prepare the rest for us.

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On our way out, we received a wonderful compliment from the proprietor – she said it’s not every day that you find a group so polite, so intelligent, and so enjoyable to work with.

Today we’re venturing out into the Loire Valley to explore the chateaux of Amboise and Chenonceau.