Well, I am “retired” after 47 years teaching middle school French & Spanish, and have just spent a month traveling in France and Hungary. I’ve been visiting Europe since 1982, but always with my students during their summer vacation in June-July. This time was a new experience for me – the weather was cooler, and there wasn’t anyone “on my coattails” – I missed that, because I love pointing out / explaining / introducing students to all the sights, sounds, smells, tastes and culture / history / traditions of the countries we’ve explored.
I remember the times we went to Sainte Chapelle in Paris, and hearing the “oooh”s and “aaah”s as the kids climbed that winding stone staircase and entered the upper chapel with sunlight streaming through those amazing windows. It gave me goosebumps every time.
This year I visited friends in Vác and Budapest, Hungary, then stayed at a villa in southern France with friends from home, followed by a final visit to Paris (just us “girls”). I said “maybe I’ll post every day, maybe I won’t … who knows.” Well, as it turned out, I did. This was really for the International Baccalaureate students that I left behind. They’re 8th graders now and it was hard to leave them after two years, so for me this might be the “student tour” I didn’t get to take with them.