Coughing… trying to breathe as smoke clogged my lungs – seat positioned in rear of the plane where they allowed smoking.
Flirting, smiles sent to Christian, a French teen heading home.
Heavy eyes, trying to sleep. Uncomfortable seats, smoke, and the time not yet midnight back home blocking all attempts.
Landing, ready to pass out from exhaustion, the day bright and early: 7:20 AM.
Hot, a heat wave. Limbs heavy, dragging on asphalt. No air conditioning anywhere. Buying overpriced bottled water from every vendor passed.
Statues. The Louvre. The Mona Lisa, too small and protected by glass to match internal image.
Hot hot HOT. Dozing off in bus, head jerking up, catching myself asleep, unable to fight forty plus hours of sleep deprivation.
Relief, cool and blissful. Dreams of grabbing my pillow and sleeping here, ensconced in a corner, propped against the stacks of bleached femurs and skulls cleaned many decades before. Naturally cool catacomb air is welcomed and they have to drag me to the surface.
McDonald’s for lunch? Really?
Stairs, climbing, up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. A view of the Seine, football fields, l’Arc de Triomphe – a mere block from our hotel.
Dinner, distasteful tough beef. Hot. Beyond exhausted.
Hot. Stuffy. Sweaty. Opening the windows to shouts in french all night, better than claustrophobic heat.
Dreams of air conditioning.
Breakfast, delectable. Hot chocolat with a croissant and baguette dipped inside.
Montmartre, caricatures, artists. Opulent Versailles. Massive gardens. The metro.
Bond with another tour group. New friends made, no more outside looking in.
Night. Hot. Stuffy.
Snoring. Shouts. Sweat.
Mouth watering breakfast heaven.
Bus to the country. Castles and multiple chateaux.
Pastry stop. Chocolate eclairs to die for.
Normandy, war museum.
Nasty steak again, no choice of meal.
Breakfast of champions, my favorite.
Water everywhere, covering the parking lots, high tide at Le Mont St. Michel.
Beautiful. Soothing. Peace.
Already receding hours later, a virtual island no more.
Train, six beds to a car. Placed in coed one with mother, Mr. Donahue, and two guys.
Wake up to quartet of snoring, discordant harmony.
Rocking. Lulling. Air conditioned.
Best sleep ever.
Nice (pronounced “niece”).
Beaches of rocks. Scary speedos. Those topless who should not be.
Para-sailing with Tyler. Flying, soaring. Splashing into the water to land.
McDonald’s a third time. Out voted.
Shopping, missing new friends, finally joint touring again.
Longing for more freedom.
Our group of four, off alone.
Brian asks about a watch from vendor.
He cannot escape.
Heated talking. Vendor won’t take it back and let him leave without buying.
I race out of store, grab watch, and set it on rack. “He doesn’t need a watch.” Grab his arm and drag him into store.
He is stunned.
I am his “angel savior” for the night.
I bask and enjoy, knowing it is all I will get.
He crushes on our new friend from the other tour.
Chamonix, donning winter coat. Breath crystallizes, up high.
Blessedly cold. Relief.
Glacier view. Wow.
Small town, freedom to wander, relax.
Up at 5:30, cross to Switzerland. No time to tour.
Stopover in Paris.
Stuck on tarmac for de-fueling pump.
Three hours. Pilot buys us extra food, bread and cheese.
Finally in air, still no sleep.
Unscheduled stop in Maine, never leaving plane, just for fuel.
D.C. connecting flight ironically canceled. Airline picks up hotel.
Dinner. Falling asleep – it’s 4 AM France time.
Up at 4:30 AM.
This week’s RemembeRED prompt is from Jennifer Dillon of Whispatory.
School trips. We all go on them. What trip do you remember the most? Where did you go? Who was with you? How did you get there? Have you ever been back?
Write a memoir post about a memorable school trip. Word limit is 600.
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This tells of the school trip I took in August, just before my sophomore year of high school. It was with my 8th grade French teacher and people from my class. My mother tagged along. It was both awesome and miserable. I hated most of Paris, thanks to jet lag and a severe heat wave. I loved the northern coast and the south of France.
Someday I’ll have to revisit Paris, when it isn’t insanely hot.
Concrit is welcomed as always. I’m curious if the glimpses of my trip worked to give you a feel for what it was like.