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For Spring break 2009, the Valley High School (from West Des Moines, Iowa) combined String Orchestra and A Capella Choir went on a tour of France including some places in Normandy and Paris. This page documents some observations and photos by one of the chaperons, Al Prosser, and his daughter Ariel.
We had an early and long day on Wednesday. The time change would make it a 30 hour instead of 24 hour day. We had to be up and out early. I do not even remember anymore what time we got up or left, I just know we were checked in and at the gate at the airport by 8:40 AM. Our old buses were waiting with new drivers, and we had the 150 people with two small elevators issue again. We had to split up in our travel groups, since it would take three airplanes to get us to Amsterdam.
We had about an hour wait in Paris, so I got some type of pastry and coffee. I also picked up magazines to share back home. The students occupied themselves by resting, playing cards, eating snacks. We had a 9:45 AM flight scheduled.
On the short flight to Amsterdam, we were served these small 15 cl cans of drinks. My daughter took pictures but there was nothing close to show perspective. Trust me, they were small.
We had a long layover in Amsterdam. My daughter and I had three missions: get lunch, use up the rest of our euros, and be at the gate on time. We managed to get food that left us only a couple coins to give my son. Some people bought stuff at the store that had to be put in sealed bags to take in our carry ons. They had a call for security very long (about 2 hours) before the flight. We had to answer the questions and get our passports stamped, then there was a separate waiting area for the rest of the time.
The flight home was entirely in daylight. Most of the passengers closed the window shades after we ate. My daughter took a couple pictures of Northern Europe, probably Scotland. We had dinner, consisting of chicken, apple pie, salad, crackers and cheese. More than I have seen on domestic flights in a while. I watched “The Day the Earth Stood Still” and my daughter watched the rest of “Australia”. I listened to music and watched the plane graphic cross the map. After a while, my daughter took some pictures of some arctic ice, maybe near Greenland or Canada.
On the bus home, we watched “Ratatouille”, then took a nap. We were supposed to call our rides when we got to Ankney, but I woke up as we crossed onto I235 and started waking others. When we got off the bus, everyone was so exhausted that we really did not get to say goodbye, just drag ourselves to the car.
If you care more about pictures, click on the picture of the day or the date. If you want to read the descriptions, click on the reference to thumbnail versions. The thumbnails are displayed 1/25 the size. See Note below.
March 16, 2009 - Paris. Choir concert at Notre-Dame. Louvre
Concert at La Madeleine. Dinner
at Monte-Carlo after short walk on Champs Elysees near Arc de
Thumbnail version of Monday March 16, 2009
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