Oh, Canada! 2010


Should I begin with the overnight bus ride on Monday?  Or maybe I could start with the snow storm on Tuesday? Hmm…I could start backwards and talk about the 14 hour bus ride back during the day and the 2 hour stop at the border patrol….

I could talk about teachers falling asleep, students falling asleep, and even tour guides falling asleep.

I could talk about being completely annoyed by 25 tired, cranky, hormonal 13 year olds.

Cirque du Soleil Totem…now that could be an amazing piece of writing!

Or maybe I could talk about the food…oh the food…pucapuca, breakfast, sugar shack, chez marie, spaghtini… Mr. Bennett falling in love with maple butter and bread and the other chaperones eating cake that was so good that it brought tears to their eyes.

I could focus on the Sugar Shack, where our kids put aside their differences, let down their guards, and became a family.

What about Anne-Sophie, our tour guide, with her energy and enthusiasm for life?

I could highlight the moments of calm and inner peace that we felt at St. Anne’s and Notre Dame.

I could attempt to reflect on those funny moments…the ones that had us laughing so hard that we were crying, but you wouldn’t get it anyway.

Maybe I could talk about the last 2 hours on the bus on the ride home where one student had the ability to break down the walls of the entire grade by saying what needed to be said in an honest, emotional, and thoughtful way.  When those walls came down, the tears were flowing…reflection, healing, and bonding had begun.

…but…I won’t.  There are no words to describe this trip or the emotions that come with it.  This is my 6th year chaperoning, and the power of  it never ceases to amaze me.  Those memories are sacred and unique to each class.  They are a special moment in life for all of the people on the trip.  Thank you, class of 2010, for allowing me to be a part of your memories.

This is the itinerary for the trip followed by video from the Sugar Shack as well as a photo video memoir of the trip.  Enjoy.

Au revoir, class of 2010! C’est Malade!

5 thoughts on “Oh, Canada! 2010

  1. Dave

    Looks like a good time had by all. I hope you enjoyed your trip to “la belle province.”

    Come out to Saskatchewan in Western Canada. Even more fun!

    What is the Sugar Shack? Your itinerary looks good. Maybe a trip for us to go out east sometime.


    1. mrspal1 Post author

      Thanks for stopping by, Dave!
      We live outside of Philadelphia, so I just don’t think a bus trip to Western Canada is in my cards! I would love to take my family there when the kids are a bit older, though!
      The Sugar Shack is where they make maple syrup! It is a traditional 17th century French Canandian extravaganza! Here is the link to their website. I highly recommend exploring this beautiful part of your country!

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  3. Dr. Jim Karustis

    My wife and I spent our 2nd anniversary in 1990 on the Ile d’Orleans, just outside Quebec City. This brings back so many memories, including St. Anne de Beaupre, Frontenac, on and on. We really felt like we were in Europe, not at all in North America. There was the Act 101 (sic?) movement then, ruling that signs in Quebec could ONLY be in English. I’d be interested in whether or not that has been enforced and if ‘yes’, how the students handled that full immersion into French. Enviously, Jim Karustis

    1. mrspal1 Post author

      Hey Jim.
      The road signs were all in French, however, most “Quebecers” speak enough English that it is not a problem at all. We encourage the students to use as much French as possible, and even teach the Spanish students enough French phrases to get through. The tour guide that we had was great at encouraging them to speak French. She gave them fun French phrases to say instead of “cool” or “wow”. She also taught them more casual phrases that teens would use in real life instead of the more “formal speak”. I’ve been going on this trip for 6 years and look forward to it every time! What a beautiful country!

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