T-minus 10

Starting tomorrow, my 10-day weather forecast will start including the U.S. I, quite frankly, don’t like that. I will have to change my “Lives in…” status on Facebook, too. Ugh. BAck to my old life. My wonderful, fulfilling, comfortable life which I love more than anything. But this was becoming wonderful and fulfilling and comfortable, too. As my latest guests can attest to, my emotions are all over the place right now. And I’m not the only one. We are all snippy, cranky, exhausted, and short-tempered. We are in denial about change, about what awaits us upon our return, about saying good-bye. But the days are flying by so we’ll do this countdown and see where we are when we get to zero.

About a month ago, the school field trips, or sorties, stepped it up a notch. The permission slips flew in so quickly I wasn’t sure who was going where and if the permission slips and accompanying money got to where they needed to go. But they are having a great time and enjoying some incredible experiences.

A highlight for Elizabeth and Julian was, of course, their week-long field trip called a classe vert. Vert means green so a classe vert is usually describing a trip outside the city. Depending on the age, students may go to the mountains, the seaside, or even another country. Elizabeth and Julian traveled to Angers, about two hours away, and stayed in an old abbey. It’s a bit like camp in that, once there, the counselors, or serveants, take over. There is an outing each day; usually something they have studied in advance and prepared for. Their week included two chateaux, another abbey, a mill, a zoo and a tapestry. Highlights included wearing only slippers in the abbey, getting to wear pajamas to breakfast AND dinner, listening to quiet music at the end of the day when the serveants would come around and tap you on the head when it was time for bed, having lunch overlooking the giraffes, Elizabeth getting renamed “Babette” by her serveant, Luike, watching them make flour at the mill (Jody, I’m coming home with French flour!), and the boom. Oh, the boom. For weeks in advance we had to prepare for the boom. What to wear to the boom? Should I go to my friend’s house and we can all try on what we are going to wear to the boom? I am, of course, talking about a dance. And I am, of course, talking about Elizabeth, not Julian, at least when it came to preparing what to wear. It, apparently, was a success and I loved Mme Panzani’s philosophy of not taking pictures of the boom to share on the class blog (she posted pictures from the entire week so we could see what they were up to). She felt this was their special time and something they could keep for themselves. Not everything needs to be shared with Mom and Dad. I like that. In any case, they had a wonderful time and came home exhausted on Friday night. But happy.

The middle school Adaptation classes don’t take a classe vert but they are on the go all the time. Sometimes there are two or more field trips in less than a week! Sarah had a sortie to the ile Saint Louis for just a fun day last Friday and then Tuesday spent the day in Giverny and picnicked in Monet’s Poppy Field (Coquelicots), depicted in one of the world’s most famous paintings. How cool is that!?!? Last Monday her class spent the day in the Montmartre, tracing the footsteps of the Paris bohemians and old haunts of artists and writers.

While Sarah was dining in the poppy fields, I spent the day with Elizabeth and Julian’s class, along with four other classes, in Parc de Sceaux, an outing planned by their Sport teacher. We have not seen that many wide open green spaces since last summer! It was a beautiful park and so fun to watch the kids have a chance to just run and play. They spent the morning doing an orienteering game. Elizabeth and two classmates were the winners, medals and all. A bit of girl power which is always great to see. 🙂 It was hot, we were all sweaty and exhausted and I really didn’t do much of anything but make sure everyone made it on and off all the trains. On Friday their class is off to a Dynamo exhibit at the Grand Palais. And the following week they are hitting the streets to check out the amazing street art in the city.

I know their brains are sponges, but I wonder when or if they have hit overload with everything that has been thrown at them this year. They certainly haven’t shown signs of it but you hope they retain just enough to answer some great trivia questions in years to come. 🙂

(Check back for photos…)

Categories: Kelley's Kilometers | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “T-minus 10

  1. Colleen Hartman

    At the end of every trip I have ever taken ( and I certainly have not had any to compare to your long excursion) when it’s over, I just want to instantly be home! I have said ,” Beam me up , Scotty!” a number of times. No matter how great the trip, or how wonderful our travel companions have been, it’s hard to say good-by and I just want it over quickly and get back to the business of living my ordinary life. Then later I look at the pictures and read the journal and realize what a good experience it all was. You’ll never be sorry that you experienced this marvelous undertaking. Will be praying that all your travels will be safe. You will miss that wonderful bread though. ☺ Hugs

    • Linda

      Hi Kelley, Tom, Sarah, Elizabeth & Julian,

      Your old friends are eager to see you when you return to the states. I heard that you will be volunteering with the Allied Running Club. Which day(s) are you volunteering? I am helping on Thursday mornings starting June 27th. I went running this morning with Jamie & Jessica & members of the No Boundaries running club. We miss you. I can’t wait to hear more stories & see you in person. Let me know if you need any help with the transition from Paris. Don’t worry about what lies ahead. Savor your remaining time with your family and friends.

      Bon Voyage.

  2. Pat Foote

    Hi to the Engle family! So wonderful to recall places that I am familiar with! What an adventure! I lived in or near Angers for a month. I loved that city and all the surrounding areas. I saw all those chateaux, in fact I lived in one for 5 weeks with a wonderful family.

    Enjoy every minute you have there. It will be impossible to repeat this experience though you may wish that you could. You were so brave to take off on this endeavor and you have achieved your goal and then some. Good job!

  3. Karen Hoffmeier

    I’m sad for you but so proud of what you have done. Never fear, those kids will remember far more than trivia! What an adventure. We will be there to welcome you home. Someone told us once that, “Home is where the Mom is”! I guess for a while home was in Paris and now back to Middleton and who knows where the next stop will take you!

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