Arrived in Venice at our hotel late yesterday after we had a delicoious dinner (after about a 3 hour bus ride) with lots of beautiful scenery! We do not have internet access, so while the students are off enjoying some relaxation time at the beach, I stole away to an internet cafe to get on-line and catch you up a little bit! No pictures tonight as I have them all on my own computer so I am hoping we will have internet access tomorrow night when we are in Montecatini Terme which is outside of Florence! Tomorrow we get to see the David statue sculpte by Michelangelo which I know all of the students will be impressed with even if they are not into sculpture and art works, as it is truly impressive.

Our day today in Venice was a fun day and I think all of the students had a good time. Venice is an interesting and compelling city with all of its canals and evey different kind of boat imaginable. We started the morning with a one hour boat ride from where our hotel is then walked to where we boarded gondolas. What fun! The last time I was in Venice I did not take a gondola ride, so this was a treat for me!

After the gondola ride we walked some more and finally met up with the guide who took us on a walking tour.

Next it was lunch time. The first thing that I noticed when we arrived at the restaurant was that it was full of local workmen| Now you know a restaurant serves good food and adequate portions when the place is filled with local workers at lunchtime| First we had tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, which was delicious. The next course was a delectable plate of THE best lasagna I have very eaten (and for those of you who do not know me, I am a first generation Italian, so I have eaten my fair share of lasagna over the years!

The final course of this awesome meal was gelato = the Italian version of ice cream! Mmmmmmmmmmmmm good!

After lunch we were treated to a demonstration at a Murano glass store. The glass blower is a master artison who made two gorgeous pieces for us in such a short time, it was amazing. I took a video of it and will include that in one of my blogs when I have free wi fi! I know it will be interesting for you to see!

By the way, two nights ago we slept in a huge barn in Austria in Pavillions. I know you are having a difficult time conceptualizing this, so will also send pictures to you of that! But we also did not have internet that night either and no electricity in the pavillions, so….you get the picture.

I can truly assure you that your children have had some experiences on this trip that they will never have again in their lifetimes!

From Florence, we are on the downhilll slide to home! It is without a doubt that your children will return home with some very mixed feelings – though they will be so happy to see you, their much beloved parents. and their friends – they will long for the excitement of the adventures they are leaving behind!

That is all I have for now.

One more thing -Ms. Patti and I were chatting on the boat coming back this afternoon and we could not help but remark how awesome the students on this trip are! They are A number 1, the best ever, and I know you are so proud of them and their accomplishments!

Blessings and hoping to have a blog with pictures for you tomorrow !!

Ms. Millie

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A Few Select Pictures for YOU!!

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I am learning how to do it.  Will post more a little later this evening!  I am off to do room checks now!

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Testing Picture Uploading

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Some Pictures!

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Compliments in the Lobby!

After we had dinner at the “Latina Lounge” we returned to the hotel for our last night in Paris.  This was my night to re-pack my suitcase and do some re-organizing, but I also made sure I had time to go down to the lobby!  I don’t remember which  blog I did that night, though!!

While I was in the lobby, there was a large group of young students who checked into the hotel.  After our students went upstairs for room check at 10 PM, a man who had been sitting at the beverage bar (not all alcoholic drinks) approached the table where I was sitting and asked where we were from.  He complimented me on the behavior of our students saying that they were polite and respectful and he found it refreshing to encounter teenagers of any nationality with such wonderful manners!!  How nice to hear such a compliment and when I passed it on to the students, they applauded themselves!!

Our next stop was Strasbourg, France.  What a pretty little  city.  We did a city walk to the cathedral.  The tower of the cathedral is 142 meters high and the cathedral was built in stages over 162 years (from 1277  and then 1419-1439)!  The town is famous for the presence of storks who migrated there from Africa and will not go to any other village in the area.  We didn’t see any sitting on the roofs of the houses, but that is what is the best know feature of Strasbourg!  Our hotel was wonderful and had a swimming pool, so our students were very excited about that and I think all of them spent time in and around the pool, swimming and socializing!

One of the fun things about visiting Strasbourg was that when we returned to the square which was our meeting place, there were 2 guys dressed in costume – one Jack Sparrow from “Pirates of the Caribbean” and the other the “Hunchback of Notre Dame”.  They we quite funny and took great pleasure in scaring some of our girls.  I ended up having a “sword fight” with my cane with the Hunchback to get him  to leave our girls alone, but then I had to give him some coins for his collection so he got get some libations!
Tomorrow is a new day with new adventures!!  We will be on our way to Switzerland with a stop in Lucerne!

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Finishing our Visit to UNESCO

June 28, 2010 Day 4

From UNESCO we went to the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysee. Dinner was at a restaurant called “The Latina Lounge”. We had cordon bleu which Babs insisted was pork with ham and cheese, while one of the students said the waiter told her it was chicken with ham and cheese. It was excellent whatever it was!! We had a delicious green salad first, and French fries with the cordon blue, then the most delicious strawberry cake!! It was unlike American cake – very European – and was a hit with everyone!!

This weekend, Ms. Amanda from Massachusetts and I are in a hotel in a quaint little town in AUSTRIA called Vocklabruck. We are staying in a beautiful hotel while our students are off on their home stays. We have not been told why we are not having home stays, but will just have to make the most of this experience. There are two teachers who have done all the work arranging the students’ home stays who seem to have taken it upon themselves to make sure that Amanda and I are entertained all weekend. Amanda is going to go running tomorrow morning with one of them, then we will go together to the lake house of the other teacher for a barbecue with them both and many of their friends!

I am looking forward to the time here and to getting to know some of the locals. I think I may have a resolution to my technical difficulties, but will not know for sure until tomorrow if it is a complete resolution or only partial. Stay tuned for that result!!

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I am a Klutz

OK.  I just typed a long post and then hit an errant key and lost the post.  It is now already 11:30 and I am exhausted!  I am going to re-type tomorrow.  The students begin their home stays tomorrow afternoon and the leaders are not getting to stay with families so I will have time to get totally caught up on my blogs, AND hopefully will also be able to overcome my equipment problems and upload some pictures!!

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