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Saturday, March 22, 2008

I Survived the Band Trip

I finally am updating my blog after returning from the high school band trip. This may be a bit long, so my apologies up front. The photo album can be viewed from the link below.

WHS Band Trip 2008

We left on Friday after school was out for Spring Break. We took three buses, three directors, 104 kids, 13 chaperones, and a van with the banner in it. The trip was scheduled to take about 20 hours, but it was actually a bit longer. We watched about three movies before everyone on my bus crashed for the night. Of course the drivers had to stop periodically by law and most kids got off for those 15 minutes of break. We stopped to eat breakfast near Pensacola, FL on Saturday morning.

When we arrived at the hotel, it was about 4:30, an hour and half late. We had about an hour to get checked in and ready to leave for the Pirate Dinner Show. The show was a lot of fun with the whole restaurant divided into color groups represented by a pirate wearing the group color. Our group spread across red and yellow. The story was fun and there were some interesting games and stunts performed. The food distribution was interesting to watch. The servers had huge carts of food that they pretty much just slopped onto the plates in front of people. It was very much like cafeteria food and there was a lot of it. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

The next day was the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. I was in charge of a group of eight freshman boys and one sophomore girl, who is dating one of the boys. The band director instructed us to keep the students' passes so that they wouldn't lose them. So as soon as we were inside the gates, I collected them up and asked them what they wanted to do. Most groups ditched their chaperones and went off in groups of three or four. My group wanted to hang together and they didn't mind if I hung out with them. The first place we went was to Space Mountain. I think I really impressed the kids with my willingness to ride the rides. And let me tell you, we rode a lot!

The next day we added a person so our group because she wasn't having too much fun with her group of girls. We spent day two at Hollywood Studios and the first thing we did was ride the Tower of Terror. Everyone wanted to do it again after dark, so we made plans to come back. Before the ride we got Fast Passes for the Aerosmith roller coaster. So then we went looking for rides to ride and things to do until time to ride with Aerosmith. That was a lot of fun. If you like roller coasters, the Rockin' Roller Coaster is one to do.

Right around dark we met up with several other groups of kids to ride the Tower of Terror again. There is something to be said for cell phones because all the kids had them and were able to hook up just about any time. So we all got into line as a huge group. There were 17 of us. Turns out that a car can hold 21 people. One of the other chaperones, who came as our photographer and was hanging out with us, had the two of us bookend the kids in the ride. On the way up the hill we had a bit of drama with the kids. One of the girls from another group lit into the girl who joined our group that day for something that had nothing to do with anything. It's one of those teenagers in love things and there was a spat taking place. I had to call down the attacker and told her that wasn't the time or place for that kind of behavior. The one being attacked wanted to leave, but I wouldn't let her. As a chaperone I couldn't have a single girl wandering around on her own in a park full of strangers. Anyway, we got on the ride and had a blast, even in the dark.

We got through the day and onto the next, my birthday. You know what was bizarre that day? The two girls that were fighting, who were from the same group, were buddies again. That day we went to Island of Adventure at Universal Studios. My group grew again. I guess word was getting around that Mrs. B. was cool.

The started out with breakfast at Denny's where one of the other chaperones bought my breakfast. As I was getting ready to leave, some of the boys from my group were coming in and sitting at a large table. The student leader of my group got up and wished me a happy birthday and gave me a huge hug. I think that made my day. Later, at the park, the group chose to go to Island of Adventure since that's where all the thrill rides are. Our first ride was the Hulk. What a wild ride! We stood in line for more than an hour, but it was worth it.

After that we worked our way around the park riding rides and getting wet. The next to the last ride we rode was the wild river ride, the one in the big round raft. We loaded our 19 kids into two of them and we got soaked! When we got back to the get-off point, there was no one waiting to get on the ride so they let us go around again. The boat turned 180 degrees from the first time around and everyone who escaped the soaking the first time got it good the second time around. We got off the ride with teeth chattering and bodies shivering. The other boatload of kids went around third time. While we were waiting for them, we were wringing out our socks and clothing as best we could. It was cold, but it was so much fun! And we had just enough time to ride the Hulk again. What a thrill that was!

I got back to my room and immediately took a shower to get warm. The next day was packing up and loading up to leave from Epcot. By the time we got to Epcot everyone was exhausted. I think a lot of people were ready to just go home, but we had one more day of "fun." My group kind of went their own way. There aren't many thrill rides at Epcot, so we went to the first one that didn't have a two-hour wait time, Test Track. We showed up there with eight people, but most of them decided to not ride or go in the single-rider line. I ended up with our group's student leader riding with me. We had been riding everything together anyway, so I don't think he minded waiting with me. We didn't have a lot of time at Epcot because we had to leave. We even left an hour earlier than planned because of some expected bad weather. I think the whole crowd was happy to be heading for the buses to go home.

One thing that I discovered was that my tennis shoes weren't the best for walking and standing in line for all day. After the second park day my feet were screaming. I almost couldn't walk to the bus and I stil had to do chaperone duties after we got back to the hotel rooms. The third day I wore my Crocs. I was concerned about how my feet were going to hold up in them, but I did even better on days three and four in the Crocs.

I'm still sufferning from swelling in my feet and ankles from the bus ride home and no matter how long I keep my feet up, I still can't feel everything with them. My sleep schedule is just now starting to get back to normal, and I have to go back to work on Monday. But despite all that I had a great time and will remember this for many years.

Oh yeah, DS#2 was on the trip, but I gave him his space, so I didn't see too much of him for most of the trip. I think he had fun. LOL!

1 comment:

Jackie said...

Sounds like an awesome trip.