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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Friday - London to PARIS to London - in 19 Hours

Lulu's class in front of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Lulu on the street of Paris in front of "ideal librarie."

Ratty old Cargo Vespa. I love the scooters of Paris.

Class on bridge over the Seine River right after boat ride on way to dinner party.

Everyone's favorite picture from the tour boat in front of Eiffel Tower.

A ship is a boat that carries another boat. note the little amphi-car on deck.

Seine River cruise with a little champagne.

Students on the boat cruise.

More students on the boat cruise. In Paris a bottle of champagne was cheaper than a bottle of ginger ale. We brought the ginger ale home.

The Eiffel Tower is just so big - over 1000 feet tall and about 500 wide at the base.

These are Vespa Apes - a small 3 wheel scooter capable of carrying 7 people.

Arch of Triumph from our double decker open bus on the Champs Elysee.

I once had a friend that bought a purse at this place for $1500.

This is the PAris opera House from our bus.

There is an Apple store in the base of the Louvre now - appropriate for a work of art.

Lulu's class mustered here after their visit to the Louvre.

One of the highlights of Lulu's class every summer is to go to Paris. In the past - she has taken the students there for up to a week - but they seem to prefer going for one day of class with some staying over for the weekend on their own.

Yesterday was busy 19 hours - but lots of stuff cramped into that time. It started out at 4:30 AM - the group mustered in front of the apartments. The walk to St Pancras Station took about 15 minutes. At 5:30 - our Eurostar Train was rocketing across the British countryside toward the English Channel Tunnel.

We lost an hour due to time zone change - and at 9 AM the FSU staff was waiting at the Gard du Nord Train Station with the subway passes and Louvre tickets. After a crowded subway ride - we arrived at the Louvre Museum at 10 AM. While the students were turned loose in one of the world's greatest museums - Lulu and I made a visit to a neat little deli and pastry shop to line up the group's lunch - rather than have them spend a fortune on museum food. We also dropped by a grocery to pick up some champaign. For the next few hours - I was lugging around a backpack full of the bubbly.

After the Louvre - we boarded a double decker bus for a sight seeing tour of the city. They sky was pretty foggy and overcast - but no evidence of rain. We zigzagged across the Seine - seeing the Opera House - the Champs Elysses - circled the Arch of Triumph - and made a one hour stop at the Eiffel Tower. Since it was very crowded there and the sky was still overcast - most of the kids decided to climb the tower the next day. We would save this time for the board tour and supper.

After the Eiffel Tour - it was back on the bus and a rush to Notre Dame Cathedral to catch our 3:45 river cruise. Lulu rushed ahead to get tickets and make sure the boat did not leave without us. It reminded me of the old credit card commercials where the kids were jumping from the dock to the boat. We were all settled in on the upper deck for the lifetime cruise. The sun broke out just in time for an unforgetable time. As we left the dock behind and circled the Isle de France and Notre Dame Cathedral - pop pop pop could be heard as the champagne corks were flying. Lulu had purchased "champagne glasses" at the dollar store back home - and to my amazement - they are survived. As we poured the champagne - I kept watching Lulu's back as she pour the bubbly. Interestingly enough - the bottle of ginger ale that we bought cost more than the champagne - Dom Perignon is was not. But that did not matter - and the bottle of ginger ale made it back to London unopened.

Cameras of the media classes were clicking at the speed of light as the boat made a u-turn at the Eiffel Tower. The sun was blazing at our back as we cruised back up the river.

The kids had an hour to spend touring the Notre Dame Cathedral and getting in some shopping. At 6:30 we trekked up the hill to our hokey restaurant. The food was great - but the best part was the entertainment. The roving musicians but on a fantastic show and so did some of Lulu's students. You will see plenty of video of them dancing and singing - a really nice bunch and really good sports.

At 8:30 - 6 of us had to leave the party to catch our train back to London. 15 stayed on for the weekend - and front he noise as we left - it appeared the party would drag on a little longer. FSU was picking up the tab for that dinner - Lulu paid the bill as we left.

The beeline - down the hill - past Notre Dame - into the subway - went fast as the sun was setting in the west. As our Eurostar pulled out of the station - we watch that big orange ball drop over the Seine to the west. No one remembers much as the train zoomed at 200 MPH through the chunnel. Everyone slept.

The train pulled into St Pancras Station at 10:30 - and by 11 PM were in beds.

Pictures and videos will follow - the internet is having trouble handling all those precious memories. We will always have Paris - even if it was only 19 hours.

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