We departed from Dillingen on Thursday, July 14th at around 4:00 pm Paris bound for a flight the next morning. Before leaving, however, I was able to get a picture with Carole and our lovely host family:
I MISS Y’ALL!!!!
Even though he wasn’t able to join us for the farewell I feel it necessary to represent our host brother, Leopold:
No really, don’t bother getting up to say goodbye!
The bus ride to Paris took twelve hours (!) and as we were crossing the border from Germany to France we were able to see some final fireworks in the French countryside in celebration of Bastille Day (yes, that’s how far behind I am on the blog…) In fact, we got into the City of Lights around 4:00 am, and as we didn’t need to be at the airport until 7:30 we did a bit of sightseeing. No, seriously though… with 70 children at the break of dawn the day after a huge national celebration in the capitol city we decided to visit the Eiffel Tower. To be more succinct, the campers got to sightsee while all of the staff were on drunken, skeevy French guy patrol. I took one picture in the whole process:
That’s all you get!
The whole endeavor went off basically without a hitch. Well, except for the fact that when leaving the tower I heard a loud bang followed by some mild yelling from our driver, Peter. I looked forward and saw an extremely inebriated reveler swaying in front of the bus and a large hand print on the windshield. So… maybe he walked in front of the bus and maybe Peter maybe maybe hit him with said bus. Maybe. He just kinda stood there stunned and stumbled off after a couple of seconds. I couldn’t help but laugh because the hand print stayed there for the remainder of our trip to the airport, reminiscent of that scene in Titanic when Jack and Rose get it on in the old timey car.
Get it little Frenchy!
Everything at the airport went smoothly and I took the opportunity to get a final group shot of the choir staff before we got back to the States. Even though we still have a couple of more concerts together one of the counselors, Seth, won’t be joining us… he’s being all selfish and moving to South Korea to teach English. Pfffft, whatever.
Zack, Jessie, Ed, Carole, Seth, Joseph, Kate, Sabrina, Josh, Zach!
If you would have passed me in the aisle on the plane you would have seen the following view. I was a bit paranoid about dropping my glasses or putting them somewhere where they might get crushed so I found what I would consider an elegant solution to the problem:
It’s always a bit nerve-wracking when taking a large group of inexperienced international travelers through customs and security but there were no problems to speak of. It wasn’t until catching my flight from Chicago to Dallas that I personally had a bit of a snafu. I mentioned previously in my birthday post about the glory that is Speculoos spread and how I received a jar of “crunchy” from Sabrina and purchased some “creamy” for Mallory. Now, being classy and European they were kept in glass jars; as such I decided to pack them into one of my carry-ons so they didn’t break in transit. Stupid me, apparently… sure, it got through French security and American customs, but they were not having it when I went through security for the domestic flight.
TSA Agent: I’m sorry, sir, but this liquid is over the allotted number of ounces.
Me: Wait, this counts as a liquid… it’s like peanut butter.
TSA Agent: Yes, sir, it’s considered a liquid.
Me: But you can only get this in Europe. Did I mention it was my birthday present?
TSA Agent: You are either going to have to exit security, check it and re-enter security or throw it away right now.
Sabrina: Wait, since one of them is crunchy and has a higher ratio of cookie chunks can we just count that one as a solid?
TSA Agent: *not amused by Sabrina’s logic*… … … Sir, you are either going to have to exit security, check it and re-enter security or throw it away right now.
So… I took the former option and did some major re-vamping of my other carry-on bag and checked the spread. Yes, that’s how delicious it is and how determined I was to get it back to the States for myself and Mallory. I made sure that they knew it was special property when I went back the second time as is evident below:
After about 36 hours of travel I arrived in Dallas and was picked up by my brother, Matt. That weekend was my granddaddy Dan’s 85th birthday party and then it was back to Michigan for the Blue Lake homecoming portion of our tour!! Obviously more on that later…
Artist: Dominick Argento/ Album: Postcards from Morocco