Sunday, May 27, 2012


Over the years, my children, as with many children, have gotten the invitations, etc. to go on some really cool trips with school organizations.  You know, Italy, France, Costa Rica, Washington, D.C. We have read the emails, gone to the informational meetings, all that good stuff. We gag and cough as we leave the places, as we are shocked to hear the prices of these adventures.

Well, about a year ago, in the spring of 2011, BOTH, I repeat, BOTH kiddos were nominated by their two respective band directors for a trip. Not just any trip. But, I daresay, the trip of a lifetime. Colorado Ambassadors of Music trip to 7 countries in Europe, with an add-on trip of a Greek Island Cruise.  WOW! NOMINATED! Because of their responsibility, ability and character. Oh, yeah, this is one proud mama. It seemed like destiny, to have both of our kids nominated by two different directors, for the same trip. Destiny...

So, yes, we did go to the informational meeting, readying ourselves to faint or cough from the price. Yes, we did both! :) But, to have the experience to go to Europe, visit 7 countries, play American music in every country for the locals, BE ambassadors for our country all over the land, get encore requests from the same locals, for their favorite, "Stars and Stripes Forever", as the director explained, well, can we pass this up? A DEFINITE NO! We cannot pass this up.

So, I began to find every bit of savings, annuity,  and 401K loans, and enlisted family and friends' help (by 'sponsoring' my teens' trip to Europe) and scraping it all together to get them there. And, well, I AM a teacher, who has summers off, so I decided to tag along. Not as a chaperone, as a paying adult.

So, I guess you could say that Scott and I are giving our kids the trip that my mother (and my father's savings - even though he was gone to Heaven at the time) gave my sister and me, when Mom and the two of us girls took off to Europe one summer during our high school and college years back in 1978.

This is the French straw hat that
I HAD to have while in
the French countryside!

The Notre Dame Cathedral

The Italian Coliseum in Rome
At the Moulin Rouge in Paris: Suzie, Franco Fontana
(our Italian tour guide who spoke 4 languages),
Mama Johnnie Myers, Roberta ~ Summer 1978
My shot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
back in the summer of '78.
So, it seemed like a LONG time away, as we left the meeting, and began filling out all kinds of paperwork, receiving newsletters, calling and asking questions for clarification, etc. But, it's unbelievable that the Excellent European Experience is upon us in a few short weeks. Yes! That's right! A few short weeks! We leave from Denver International Airport on June 21, 2012!!!! I am so excited, scared, full of anticipation and trepidation, thrilled for my kids and myself, nervous to be a world traveler again after really so many years, proud, and I'm sure I will think of some more adjectives as we roll along with the adventure.

But, for now, we are wrapping up our preparations; passports - check; emergency paperwork - check; trip paid in full - check; super fun "spinny" luggage - check; extra fuel charges from several places :( - check; uniforms purchased - check; tickets for a London musical!!!! - check.

Still to go? Blow dryer and various other assorted electronics converters and adapters. I'm still confused on this. Gotta do some research at Radio Shack! Neck holders for our passports... British pounds...Swiss Francs...European Euros...wardrobe practices for the teens...rehearsal weekend preparations and reservations. Well, as you can see, there are a thousand things finished and a thousand thing to go, to get ready for the Big Bash.

So, just so you know, my best laid plans for the trip is that I will update you through my Suzie's Corner WEBlog while we are in Europe. I plan to post videos to  (and link those to my blog and to my Facebook account) so that you can experience this adventure with us. It should be pretty painless for you. It may be that my super-ambitious plan such as this will go by the wayside, but I surely will try. And, if by chance it doesn't happen when we are in Europe, you can bet that I will send lots of pictures and videos your way upon return.

So, for now, I will be signing off on the first installment of our Excellent European Experience!

Ciao, baby!

Grace is the first one on the edge playing
her flute.

Philip is the second from the left playing snare.