Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 and Paris: Here I Come!

The moment has come for my favorite past time... day dreaming about Paris.  2012 is about to begin and I am beyond excited.  I try hard to keep it at bay and not rattle on and on and on about my upcoming trips to anyone within earshot.  I really do.  But it just bubbles up and I can't help it.  In less than two weeks, I will be in the City of Light.  ACIS, the travel company I now use for my student trips, has invited me to Paris for three days. 
Mlle Artiste's backpack
 It's a Global Conference and there will be lots of new teachers for me to meet.  I went last January to a similar conference and met lots of great travelers.  I also had the freedom to explore new areas of Paris (without students in tow!), as well as attend meetings and learn how to make my student trips even better. 
I visited the memorial to the victims of the Vel d'Hiv after reading about this horrific event in Sarah's Key, a book written by Tatiana de Rosnay (it has also been made into a movie starring Kristin Scott Thomas).  It was a round-up of thousands of French Jews in Paris by French policemen on July 16 and 17, 1942.  They were held at the vélodrome, an indoor bicycle racing track and stadium (where the 1924 Summer Olympics were held), before being sent to Auschwitz.  I knew nothing about this event until I read the book.  The memorial is near the Eiffel Tower, along the Seine River, on Quai de Grenelle.  At Bir-Hakeim, the nearby métro station, there is a memorial plaque, also.  (Many thanks to Wikipedia and to a new blog I've discovered, Le Blog, for historical facts.)
The vélodrome no longer exists.  In 1995, former French Président Jacques Chirac apologized to his country for the whole horrid event.
Being wined and dined aboard a boat on the Seine at night was not a bad way to end the January trip.  While I always take the kiddies on a night time boat ride, a dinner cruise was a first for me.
Très élégant, n'est-ce pas?  Just a bit of kir royale left in my glass...
Foie gras and figs... pure heavenly delight
I feel very spoiled right now because I am hoping that another dinner cruise is planned and I am already mentally packing my little black dress and pearls.  And wondering what will be on the menu, bien sûr.  I am such a terrible gourmande.
My student trip will take place in March, 6 nights in Paris, followed by 6 nights with our exchange families in Provence.  I have 20 brave little darlings signed up.  This will be the first time we've had an exchange in several years.  I am very, very pleased about this.  A French teacher's dream-- to have her students speaking French with "real" French people and seeing firsthand how they live.  And I get to stay with Mme P (oui, chef!).  She stayed with me last spring and we had a grand time exploring Durham and cooking together. 
But back to the January trip...  I will leave Paris after three days, jump (maybe literally since I am so excited to be doing this!) on the TGV and head for Nîmes, then over to Villeneuve-lez-Avignon, where I will spend four days with Mme P, visiting her school and meeting the students who will host mine in March (thank you, Durham Academy!!).  I plan to take my brand-spanking-new iPad 2 with me and skype with my 8th graders while there.  Trop cool, non?
And last, but certainly not least, the BFF and I have put together a trip for "girls" to Paris and Provence for 10 days in July 2012. This is something we have talked about for a couple of years.  She came over to visit me twice while I was living in Arles.  She and Mo are my grape-stomping buddies.  Mo came over, too, and has signed on for a third trip with us!
Wine Authorities trip to Grove Winery 2010
 We are planning to see the sights of Paris (yes, BFF, the Musée d'Orsay is actually in Paris!), rent a house in Provence for a week, and head back to Paris for Bastille Day before coming home.  We hope to have 6-8 low-maintenance women travel with us. 
So, I have much to dream about and plan.
2012 will be a good year!

Bon appétit, 2012 and Paris!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Thank you for the shout out to Le Blog in your blog! I am always eager to meet other individuals as obsessed with Paris as I am, and your blog is so much fun! I am quite envious that you will be in Paris in two weeks, but I will tune in to live vicariously through you. I have some other blogs of my travels (links at Le Blog) if you really want to get yourself pumped up for your journey. I also recently took a course where I had to create a virtual field trip, and created one to Nazi Occupied is the URL if you would like to investigate it: Au revoir!