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Published: March 8th 2018
Ok - this blog will be a little different than usual since I'm literally travelling with 38 teenagers and 5 other teachers... not quite my usual solo trip lol. But that's ok! New adventures, and so far so good despite the sleep deprivation of Day 1. I have to say, it's a really fun vibe so far - it's a whole different atmosphere obviously than when you're at school, and it's nice to just chat and relax and experience the world with a great group of kiddos. (Now, I might have a different tune after 10 days with them haha, but hopefully not!)
And so it begins! I have to say it was pretty tough to teach period 1 and not just dance around the school. It was super cute seeing the kids arrive though - some super excited, some super nervous - and it was even more sweet to see the parents and their range of emotions. We're taking their babies <3
Airport was surprisingly smooth considering how many we were. A lot of the kids have never travelled and were so scared to go through security - moment of joy when that was done for them.
Security was also funny because the guy asked me where the teacher was. My group laughed as I'm like uhm, I'm the teacher? He got all flustered. It's ok the older I get the more I take it as a compliment lol. I guess sweatpants and a hoodie make you look like a teen...
Post-security the kids roamed and we grabbed lunch at D'Arcys. Jay told us some great stories from El Salvador and that was pretty much that. Flight to Toronto was good. Take-off was priceless just listening to the excitement and nerves of the kids. If anything, I'm already realizing that probably the best part of this trip will be seeing the kids discover travel - it will remind me of all the little joys - the rev of the engine, the hustle of the airport, seeing Best Buy vending machines, or my favourite the moment of realization we are flying through a cloud lol.
Boarding our Toronto-Frankfurt flight was crazy..! We lined up off to the side (group then teacher so you see your group physically get on the plane) and random people were butting into the line once they called our section. Like. We
are very obviously are all together. It felt like when I was directing traffic for Terry Fox lol - I basically did a physical block with my arms out. And so it begins haha.
I didn't sleep, as usual in the plane... small solace that it was a nice and comfy plane at least. I watched Coco and then stubbornly tried to get comfy to no avail. Then the toilet had no toilet paper. Swell. But surprisingly German customs were fine..?? They didn't ask a single question. We had to go through security again though and that was not fine. Like. Holy crap beyond thorough let's just say. And lastly we had our short and sweet flight to Vienna, which was funny because some of the girls were obsessing over how one of the stewards smelled (but like to be fair, he did smell amazing).
Once we landed in Vienna we ended up going to the hotel to drop our bags off (and get changed! yesss!) before heading back out into the city. We did a super quick walk through part of the old town, near the National Library and old town shopping area... and then the kids
pretty much had 3 hours to do whatever. Most of them just shopped since that's where we were lol and to their credit, they didn't want to get lost. Also they were all cold because at the hotel it seemed a solid 5-6 degrees warmer than in the city. Anyway. I didn't want to shop so I just wandered aimlessly around the area... as one does. St Stephen's Cathedral wasn't far away, so I went there too - always a good time to see a Cathedral. I lit my usual candle and went on my merry way.
Supper was pretty good - we had wiener schnitzel and some of the best potatoes I've ever had, followed by legit the best apple strudel ever. It's kind of fun that our dinners are all included - certainly different than my usual street food fare or making my own food at a hostel.
Walking back to catch our bus was interesting perspective-wise once more. First off, kids are super excited by the idea of Paprika Pringles... which are everywhere in Europe. Also, they're intrigued by the complete apparent lack of road rules lol (and how complicated some of the lights are).
Also, the girls are finding literally every single boy under the sun is gorgeous - clearly all about the Euro vibe. And lastly, all their stomachs were like dead because they didn't eat any fruit/salad all day between the plane meals and our proper supper. They have learned their lessons.
We have a bunch of free-time again tomorrow, so I'm trying to decide what I want to do with it. It's hard because a lot of the times and locations are up in the air until we're there... which is good flexibility wise, but not great for planning things to want to see.
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