Europe Trip Account Refund

28 05 2010

Hello Travellers,

It almost seems the trip was a distant memory with everything that has been going on!  We finally have been billed for all items and have worked out a refund of $176.86 per person.  This amount will be automatically transfered into the individual traveller’s account at the school.  It can be used towards and school fees for Graduation, Sports, etc.  If you are happy with this, you don’t have to do a thing.  If parents/students wish to have a cheque issued for the amount, please contact our business assistant (Ms. Sandi Goertz) at  When you contact her, please include the following information: 1) who the cheque is to be made out to, 2) student traveller’s name in the ‘memo’ section, 3) address the cheque is to be mailed to.

Europe Trip Staff


Home Sweet Home

4 04 2010

Home Sweet Home

Isn’t it nice to have the comforts of your own home and sleep in your own bed? I am sure the dust mites are happy for your return too!

In the past 16 days, we visited four countries, six cities, and stuck to the trip’s philosophy of seeing as much as we can in the allotted time, and developing effective and efficient travel skills.  I am confident that all students were able to learn how to use the public transportation systems in the cities we visited, and learned how to make decisions regarding health (sleep, clothing, etc), the use of foreign currency, and safety.

Students: if you are struggling with a bit of jetlag, do your best to stay up until bedtime.  Sometimes physical activity or fresh air can help with that.  If it is hard to resist going to bed, go out and take the temptation away.  The sooner you take on the struggle, the sooner you can get back to feeling comfortable in this time zone (and the sooner you can get back to being a student!)

As a staff, it was always our intention to get the biggest ‘bang for the bucks’. We were able to increase the number, variety, and the quality of the experiences because of the great currency exchange rates and we were also able to save by booking all of the items on our itinerary ourselves, and lead the group throughout our destinations. This way we were also able to make sure the students got lots of exercise with tonnes of walking, a mountain of stairs, and even optional jogging in the morning.

Overall, we the teachers were extremely pleased with the group who were able to meet timelines and move efficiently through sometimes extremely crowded places.  We were able to see a great variety of things and have loads of fun at the same time.  It is with a bit of sadness to stop the experience but as I said earlier, there is no place like home.  We do truly hope that the memories and experiences will translate into lifelong learning towards future travel and this trip will be one of the highlights of your adolescent years.  Parents, thank you for your support by believing that we could provide your children with a significant learning experience over  sixteen days on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean!

So what is next?  There is still a fair amount of work to do but in about one month, we will plan to have a wind up of the trip.  STUDENTS: please have a look through your photos and pick your best TWO PICTURES and email them to Mr. Soong ( as soon as you can.  When you choose your pictures, think of your favourite things/places and try for clear and high resolution shots.  They are intended to go into a slideshow.

More Snippets and Quotes…..

3 04 2010

Raechel Malapitan, Lindsay Dagenais, Justine Chu – ordered their entire last Paris dinner in FRENCH!

Emily Bonisteel has new YELLOW soccer boots!

Tawnee Chambers:  “I can’t wait to watch a hockey game at home.”

Sunny Sandher has NO control of himself when he gets near a shop with football (soccer) jerseys!

Piradeepan Uthayakumar is most definitely an early riser and went running a number of times in the morning!

“Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Hoooooooooooooooooooo”  Guess who?

Ms. Weathermon’s favourite: “Warwick Castle!”

Alicia Dekkar: “Somehow my white shirt turned blue in the wash!  It actually looks pretty good this way.”

Shane, Bryan, Ben, and Karson – bought jackets together, AGAIN!

Daniel McDougall saw his fashion twin in Paris: Skinny red jeans, hoodie, and old school sunglasses!

Lia Andrianos: “Where is William Shakespeare (in St. Paul’s Cathedral)?  “My mom is bringing me macaroni and cheese to the airport!”

Don’t go shopping in Western Europe for a few days because all the stores’ stock is in Maya’s big red suitcase!!!!

Colin’s favourite candy: Jelly Bellies

Rachel Higgs: “Heyyyaayyy!”

Alex, you can buy Orangina at London Drugs!!!

“If I were here (St. Paul’s Cathedral) on my own, I would spend the entire day here.”  Ms. Fuller

Whizzing Across the Channel

30 03 2010

We started off yesterday with an interesting walking tour through the St. Germain des Pres area of Paris, where we were able to see the living and working spaces of such great writers as Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde.  We were also able to peek through St. Sulpice church, which contains the “rose line” from the Da Vinci Code.  Some of us were invited into what is now an Art Academy, and climbed the stairs up to Picasso’s studio, where he painted some of his most famous paintings.  After lunch in the Latin Quarter, we hopped the Metro to the Arc de Triomphe, and climbed more stairs (the students love these) to see some great views of Paris.  Then we did some window shopping down the Champs d’Elyssees (the French phrase for window shopping is “window licking”), since most of the stores were well beyond our price range, although fun to look at, and met at the obelisk at the Place de la Concorde.  We returned to the Latin Quarter for dinner, where many of the students chose to have a real, sit down French dinner.

Today was a travel day, but we still managed to fit in some interesting activities.  We left Paris early this morning back to England, but stopped for a visit at the Vimy Ridge Memorial.  The memorial is a huge and absolutely stunning sculpture, capturing the mood of grief and loss, with the names of thousands of Canadians who lost their life in the battle.  Some students found their own last names or names they feel connected to.  The area is still pitted with holes from bombs and grenades, and we were able to view trenches preserved from the war as well.  After this, it was off to the coast to cross to England through the chunnel.  This required our bus driver to squeeze our beautiful (very new) bus onto a train car with very little space to spare.  However, he did this without a problem.  In fact, he has performed some amazing feats of driving on this trip, because the tiny streets of Paris and other places we have visited were just not meant for big buses like ours.  Our crossing took less than an hour (wouldn’t it be lovely to have something like this between Vancouver and Vancouver Island?) and we were back in jolly old England, and back to the Ace Hotel.  Some of us headed straight back out for some shopping while others relaxed or did laundry (socks and underwear seem to be getting in short supply!) but we all met later at Covent Garden for dinner.  Tomorrow will be a busy day with the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and the London Eye. from Ms. Fuller

Quotes and Snippets….

28 03 2010

Ms. Fuller at the Palais de Versailles: No wonder there was a revolution!

Elliot Letts in Sacre Coeur: This trip has been an eyeopener.

Maya Macatumpeg: “Thats what I am talking about!”  This was after she jumped into a ad hoc dance off with street performers.

Two boys bought roses for ……..

Alicia Dekker was giving out high fives after she faced her fear of heights on the ascent of the Eiffel Tower.

Rachel Letwin bargained her way down to 6 euros from 10 euros!

“Oh my god, more stairs?!?!?!?!”  Many.

“I accidentally threw my Metro pass in the garbage!” Shane Wlodarczak.

“I am so mad about how those kids (non-McNair students) are behaving here!”  Lia Andrianos in the Flanders Fields Museum.

Justine Chu has a beautifully written sheet of “Common French Fraises” to be practiced while shopping.

“I feel like I am crowd-surfing.”  Isabel Wong in an over-crowded Metro car.

Sunny Sandher offered his seat on the Metro to a surprised Parisian lady which brought a huge smile to her face.

“I actually had tears in my eyes.”  Taniesha Day when she saw the Eiffel Tower with her own eyes.

Karson Schroeder took one LOOK at his spectacular crepes dish and ordered a second on the spot.  Yes thats right, he hadn’t even tasted the first one yet!

Kaitlin Stoneman = French Translator….. which means Mr. Soong gets yelled at less in furious french.

I got a little teary when I read an actual Notification of Death letter to the family of a fallen Canadian soldier.  Soong

“Any more of those chocolate covered raisins?”  Weathermon

Its late but we will try to post more of these in days to come.  Trip Staff.

The Silver Lining

28 03 2010

Unfortunately one person in our group was the victim of a pickpocket.  As beautiful as Paris is, there is the ugly side of having your personal items lifted from your possession.  With that said, Facebook was a useful tool today.  Bella, who was the victim of a pickpocket, discovered a message on her Facebook page of all things.  It was a note from a Dutch tourist that found her wallet and said that he had turned it in to the Lost and Found in the Gare du Nord Train Station on his way out of Paris.  He said that there was no money in the wallet but a whole bunch of cards that he figured would be useful to the owner.  So upon having her name, he took the time to send an inquiry to “Isabella Cabido” with the information above.  Further, Bella was greeted by a number of our group singing “happy birthday’ (and its not her birthday!)  They pooled together some Euros and gave it to her as a present to tie her over until she was able to get her financial situation sorted out.  So as the saying goes, “every dark cloud has a silver lining.”


Down and out in Paris…

28 03 2010

Bon Soir a Paris!

Another great couple of days on the continent! Yesterday we went to the Louvre where the riches of the French empire were on display. There were exhibits on Greek Antiquities, Egypt and the European Renaissance to name a few, and all were amazing. Apres le Louvre nous allons a Notre Dame. This cathedral is an absolute marvel once you get past all the vendors hawking their wares. Within the walls are a multitude of chapels dedicated to different saints, the most prominent being Mary (“Our Lady” = Notre Dame). Sacre Couer was just as amazing and awe inspiring, I’ve never seen the kids so respectful and reverent. After the sites it was off to Montmarte for a nice sit-down group meal which left the gang sated and sleepy — ready for a good night’s sleep!

Daylight Savings has arrived in Paris and boy are our students tired! The loss of an hour’s sleep makes a big difference on the group’s energy level, it’s a good thing we had an hour’s bus ride to allow everyone to catch up on some Z’s. There was a purpose to the bus ride however, as we were on our way to Versailles to visit the luxurious Palais de Versailles. The opulence and extravagance of Versailles is immediately apparent. The golden fence that marks the entrance is only one small part of a vast and expansive palace that is full of luxury. After the palace it was home for a meal, then off to the Eiffel Tower. We were able to take some great pictures from the Champs de Mars as we waited for our turn to get to the top, once there it was hard to get anyone down. The view from the tower is inexplicable. From the tower we were off to the Latin Quarter for another group meal… which again left us satisfied and tired (there seems to be  a pattern evolving).

C’est tout… au revoir a Paris!

Mr. Tuerlings