Sunday, April 14, 2013

How I Spent My Break

I'm re-posting this for my e-mail feedburner subscribers.  For some reason blogger did not send out notifications to you.

No, this is not a re-hash of something I wrote for the first day back to school, but it is school related.  My son's eighth-grade trip was a trek through Europe and parents were invited to go along.  My husband and I and many other parents decided to go on a fast-paced whirlwind peek at London, Paris, Florence, Assisi, Rome, Pompeii, Sorrento, and Capri.  We traveled by plane, train, automobile, bus, boat, subway, cab, funicular, and mostly on foot! One of the travelers wore a pedometer and we clocked between five to seven miles a day.  I didn't lose any weight though.  I guess it had something to do with pasta, pastries and wine.

WARNING:  If you do not enjoy looking at vacation photos that aren't yours, skip this post.

Our first stop was London.  We left DC at 6pm Thursday, arrived in London 7am Friday, and hit the ground running.   No sleep for us.  We toured all day in a snow storm and collapsed in our hotel room after dinner.

Piccadilly Circus

London Metro

My Son in the Classic Phone Booth.

We were thrilled to see the actual Rosetta Stone in the British Museum and see so many of the Egyptian artifacts that we'd only seen in books.  I may have taken a nap in a chair somewhere near here.

My Son and His Classmates in Front of Buckingham Palace

Did I say that it was snowing?  My son is on the left with the hoodie.  When we were packing he didn't want any hat or gloves.  That hoodie saved him from almost freezing.

Snowing in Trafalgar Square

Tower Bridge

The London Eye was not to be missed.

The Eye

Riding the Eye

Birds Eye View of London from Inside the Eye

We all had a chance to catch up on sleep on the train ride through the Chunnel from London to Paris.

My Son and His Classmate Out for the Count

Of course our first stop was the Eiffel Tower.  We also took a night cruise along the Seine.

Seine with Eiffel Tower in the Background

View of Paris From the Eiffel Tower

 My son took all the photos.  I loved this photo he took from the opposite side of the river.

The tower at night was pretty impressive.

My son and husband in front of Les Invalides, burial place of Napoleon.

The Louvre was wonderful.  We needed more time there.


We made a day trip to Versailles.

The Hall of Mirrors in Versailles

The gardens and their symmetry were impressive even though nothing was blooming.

Gardens at Versailles

We took an over night train from Paris to Rome.  I would not recommend the accommodations.  This had to be the worst night's sleep ever.  But, we arrived and our first visit was to the town of the Medici, Florence.


Then on to Assisi, home to St. Francis, particularly significant with the name choice of the newest Pope.  It was very quaint but so steep and hilly.

Town of Assisi

Church of St Francis

Back to Rome and its ruins, the Forum, and aqueducts.  Our favorite was the Colosseum.

A view of the warrens underneath the sand-covered floor.  (The floor was partially reconstructed to give you an idea of what it looked like.)  This was where the gladiators and animals waited their turns to fight.

St. Peter's Square was especially crowded on Good Friday.

The Vatican Museum was impressive.  The Sistine Chapel was amazing (no photos allowed).

Courtyard Outside the Vatican Museum

Loved the peacocks at the Vatican Museum

We made a wish at the Trevi Fountain one evening.

Next was a visit to Pompeii.  I was relieved that we ran out of time and couldn't climb Mt. Vesuvius.

One of the Streets in Pompeii

Ruins in Pompeii

My Son and I in Pompeii

Next stop, Sorrento.  The town appeared to be carved into the rocky coastline.


We took a short but choppy boat ride to the beautiful resort island of Capri.



What an exhausting trip, but what a fabulous opportunity for students and parents alike.  Now it's time to take another afternoon nap and catch up on my sleep.



  1. Wow...... Kathy, you must be totally worn out! What an amazing and wonderful trip. I agree with you. One of my worse night's sleep was an overnight sleeping train ride in Europe. Worse night of my life I think. And my seat/bed was broken which didn't help any. Made for some great stories though. Get some rest! :) xo

  2. Kathy, That was definitely a whirlwind trip. It looks like fun but I don't know that I could have keept up with you. Wonderful that you could share this experience with your son.