Well, the Classe de Mer trip has finally come and gone. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, you can read back through to figure it out yourselves: start by reading this, then read this, then this and finally this. Put down the Soduku and consider it your daily mental exercise to put the pieces together.
As a teaser, I’ll give you the very short story: the school takes the kids away for a week every year, with no parent chaperones allowed, only teachers, and somehow everyone comes back alive. How that happens is a mystery to me.
I’m not exactly sure what would possess an elementary school teacher to take away a class of kids for five days, but as a parent, I fully support this program. I am such an enthusiastic supporter of this program, in fact, that I took all that enthusiasm and crammed it on to a train and headed to Paris for two nights with Tim during the Classe de Mer trip. I will be the first to admit that my ensiasm for this program knows no bounds.
This year the school headed to a small town called Sables d’Olonne on the west coast of France for a week at the beach. Here are the raw facts about the trip:
- there was a 5.5 hour bus trip to get there
- there were sailing lessons (too chilly to surf)
- there was a visit to a shell museum
- there was a visit to ‘les marais salants’ where they make French sea salt (‘fleur de sel’)
- also included was a visit to a zoo
The only minor drama in the lead up to this trip was the fact that I put Eamon on the wrong bus to start things off the morning that the trip started and there was chaos as the teachers scrambled to find me. After all, it was 6am and completely dark out.
Aside from my trip to Paris, the highlight of the Class de Mer trip were the postcards the kids sent home. A couple of days after they arrived back in Fontainebleau, we got an envelope with two postcards inside. The front of the postcards were the standard tourist fare, but the backs were outstanding.
Here is what Eamon’s said:
Je m’amuse bien et vous me manquez.
This roughly translates to “I’m having fun and I miss you.” When I read it, I said, “Aawwwwww. Did you miss me?” Eamon’s response: “No I didn’t miss you at all. The teachers made me write that.”
Then I read Owen’s postcard. It read (in English):
Dear Mom + Dad,
It is so fun. Can you make an extension for me to stay? I do not miss you at all!!!! Today, “Wednesday” we went sailing I was the driver of the boat. I got a room of two with Diego Eamon had to sleep with the cps. We got a great view of the sea and the lake!!!! We have got to come back here. It is a cool beach town with lots of little shops and Big WAVES.
Love Owen XOXOOXXXOOO
When I asked him about his postcard, he said, “I really didn’t miss you at all. See that ‘do not’ on the postcard that I underlined in red? I really meant it.”
Truth be told, when I was sitting at a cafe in Paris, O &E weren’t the first things on my mind either. Sometimes a little separation is a good thing.
This was the view from the apartment we rented in Paris: