Last Spring, my son came home telling us his English teacher was sponsoring a trip to London. The trip would include a morning at the Globe Theater and two theater shows. We went to the information meeting and the teacher said that because of the short notice, if the tour didn’t fill up, she would open it up and let parents sign up as chaperones. It didn’t and we did.
These school junkets aren’t cheap as they include the cost of the tour guides, transportation, meals, and the kickback to the teacher organizer who gets to go for free. If by “free” you mean spending nearly a year handling paperwork and headaches and then chaperoning thirty or forty teenagers for a week. Somethings are too high a price to pay.
Then, right as the school year started, the teacher called us with some bad news. The school board had published some new rules that parents and spouses could no longer be chaperones on overseas school trips. While the teacher figured we could get reimbursed for the rather significant payments we had already made, my wife had her heart set on this trip. Since she was a teacher, she could still stay on as a chaperone. I was the one that would have to make separate arrangements.
Then the teacher called back with yet another option. She split the tour group in two and all the parents and spouses (including her newlywed hubby) would form a separate “group” independent of the main school tour. We would fly the same plane over and see the same shows, but we would have to stay in a different hotel, take different tour buses to and from the sights, and, worst of all, pretend we had nothing to do with our kid who just happened to be in London the same time we were doing the same things. We said “Go ahead and throw us in that briarpatch.”
So, tomorrow night we will board a plane for London and head off for the beautiful balmy sunny skies of mid-March London for a week. The only other time I had been in London was on a side daytrip near Christmas when we went to Paris nearly five years ago. And, of course, I blogged about that already. It was wet and damp and miserable. The weather forecast for the first three days of this upcoming trip is “heavy rain.” I’m not sure what that qualifies as by British standards, but it doesn’t sound conducive to the walking sightseeing tours we have scheduled.
The tour group intensive itinerary includes the following:
- Globe Theater
- Tower of London
- Piccadilly Circus
- Changing of the Guard
- Windsor Castle
- Stratford Upon Avon
- Lord of the Rings
- The Thirty Nine Steps
- Portobello Road/Notting Hill
- Abbey Road
- Westminster Abbey
- Tate Modern
- And, of course, shopping
I hope to blog while over there since we are taking my wife’s MacBook and the hotel has WiFi. Just don’t expect lots of pictures until I come back because I hate iPhoto with a burning intensity.
BlatantCommentWhoring™: In the meantime, feel free to tell me what I should be doing instead of what the tour company has planned.