For those of you who follow us on Twitter, we are sure you will have seen the photos and updates but in case you haven’t, here is a run-down of all of the amazing things our children have been getting up to…
Sunday 18th/Monday 19th June
What a day! Miss Nicholson, Miss Brown, Mr Mullick and I were met by 27 eager and excited Year 4, 5 & 6 children at 11.15pm outside of School on Sunday evening! Once everyone was signed in, we began our long journey to Paris – Chateau de Grande Romaine. There was a few sick moment even before we left school but thankfully that soon passed.
The rest of the journey was uneventful. The children were amazing – watching DVDs, chatting and some even had a sleep. We made good time and got to the Eurotunnel at about 6am. After breakfast, the bus boarded the train for the 7.20am crossing.
More DVDs and chatter and we arrived at the Chateau by 1.30pm after a packed lunch stop at the service station. We were greeted by the friendly PGL staff who allocated our rooms and gave us a tour of the site. A quick change of clothes and we had a good swim in the onsite heated outdoor pool (something we have booked most days).
Evening meal was carbonara, linguine, jacket potatoes, vegetables, soup, bread, salad galore, fruit, chocolate mousse, copious amounts of juice, hot drinks and water.
The evening was topped off with a game of Million Pound Drop (everyone was fit to drop at this point). Everyone was sound asleep by 10pm after a brilliant but shattering day!
We are up at 7am in the morning for a another action packed day beginning with a Town Trail in Brie and buying food for our picnic at the local market using our French speaking skills. It will be interesting to see what the children come back with …. It has to be something that doesn’t need cooking. I’m hoping for cheese and chocolate!
Day 2 – Tuesday 20th June 2017
After a wonderful night sleep, the children were all refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
We made our own sandwiches for lunch and then ate a traditional French breakfast of croissant, pain au chocolat, bread, cereal, juice, hot chocolate and much much more!
After a short coach ride, we arrived at the town of Brie. Practising our French, we were able to guide ourselves around town answering the clues. Then the children were tasked with buying something from the market for no more than 1€ to share at our lunch picnic. They all chose fruit rather than fresh fish or cheval (thankfully). The most imaginative being watermelon and tomato! During this time they were able to buy a range of souvenirs, including caps, watches, sunglasses, dresses and obligatory Eiffel Towers (even though they have not even seen it yet!)
After leaving Brie, we were able to stop at the local supermarket (Hyper U) to purchase more sweets, crisps, drinks and gifts for home.
It was time for a chill out afternoon. Back at the chateau, we ate our sandwiches and picnic followed by activities – archery, orienteering and trapeze. What an adventurous bunch!
Swim anyone! It is so lovely to see the children enjoying time in the pool together. It is like a ‘proper’ holiday! A change of clothes we were ready for evening meal of chicken, potatoes, vegetables, bread, soup, salad, etc. Again everyone ate something. It was topped off with a huge birthday cake that the centre staff prepared for my birthday!
The final leg was mini Olympics and rounders! Then the best thing (in the eyes of children) free time until 10pm!!!! Which in fact was 30 minutes, but you think we had given them the World! All were asleep by 10.30pm.
Your children are a delight! It is such a pleasure to take them away. We are having such a good time and a laugh together!
Bring on Disney tomorrow! Super, super excited!!!
Day 3 – Wednesday 21st June 2017
Best day yet!
Another brilliant night’s sleep! We had breakfast and headed towards the lights and glitter of Disneyland.
When we first caught sight of the big balloon in the air above the park and the children gasped, laughed and cheered!
We did so much!
So we went on:
- Snow White and the seven dwarfs;(Blanche Neige et le Sept Nains)
- The teacups;
- Peter Pan;
- Crusher ride;
- The studio tram ride;
- Space Mountain;
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Quest;
- Pirate Caves;
- Big Thunder Mountain;
- Ghost House;
- And a car track ride.
What was fabulous was that we all managed to go on everything together. Even though some children didn’t like roller coasters, they gave some a try. On some occasions, I sat with some of those who were a bit freaked by the loop-de-loop nature of some rides. We went on the less taxing rides/experiences.
Ride waiting times were between 5 and 30mins, which was amazing considering it is often over 1 hour in school holidays.
During the day we watched the parade of all the Disney characters which was truly magical! Everyone (and I mean everyone!!!) was clapping and waving with huge beaming smiles! They particularly liked the fact that they were shouting for Olaf to dab from the top of the float and he did. We had time to spend extortionate amounts of cash in the Disney shops before a few more rides and then the fireworks. This was another spectacular experiences with light/water shows, projections and the most amazing fireworks perfectly timed to Disney songs. It was certainly worth waiting around until 11pm. We were back in the chateau just after midnight and all went straight to sleep (some on the bus!)
Final day tomorrow – Paris and the sights.
Day 4 – Thursday 22nd June 2017
All up at 7.30pm for an early breakfast to get into Paris for a reasonable time. Another great night sleep after such a busy day and late night yesterday!
The traffic wasn’t too bad … But quizzes from Helen, our PGL guide, as well as a commentary of what we were seeing on route helped fill in the journey. Although we had to siphon true facts from made up ones. I’m sure there is not a cloud factory or a pea factory which discards its unwanted peas in the Seine!
We arrived at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and we WALKED at least 700 steps to the second floor. It was definitely worth it. What views! Although some people were apprehensive of going up, everyone managed! We are so proud of them all. Well done!
After 700 steps back down, we made our way to our boat tour. This was great. Not only did we get a great view of the city and sights, we were able to get some fresh air and sun. We had lunch on the boat as well as taking plenty of snaps of the Louvre, Eiffel Tower and much more.
We were going to be heading to Sacre Coeur and Monte Martre but due to the late night last night and traffic we decided to head back to the chateau for a swim instead. We bought them all an ice cream on the way back.
A good journey back meant that, we had time for a swim, packing and the disco. All children in their finest (or should I say least dirtiest clothes!).
The children have already packed as we will be leaving at 6am with a packed breakfast and lunch. We are aiming to be back about 6.30pm, however we will send a text in the afternoon to give you an update.
What an amazing week and fabulous opportunity! I am sure you will hear all about it tomorrow. From experience it will be one of two things: they will either not shut up for a good two hours from leaving the coach or they will see you and instantly cry from exhaustion. Just remember if this is the case, they have ALL had a marvellous time and we have looked after them like they were our own (we have the photographic evidence).
Once again Usworth Colliery kids are the best – wicked senses of humour, hearts of gold and brilliant friends!
Looking forward to seeing you all tomorrow.
We’re sure Mr Wright will include more details about the trip in next week’s newsletter but he has been in touch with school regularly and he is so incredibly proud of our children. They have been amazing on their trip and a credit to their parents and our school. Usworth Colliery children always do us proud! Have a look on our Twitter page for more photos of the children’s magical, lifelong memories!