Last month, I was one of a dozen chaperons escorting our kids on a trip to Fremont and San Francisco, California. At first, I didn’t think much about the travel being more than just another field trip.
What the heck was I thinking when I raised my hand to volunteer??!!
Over the years I have been the mom that goes on field trips braving the chatter from the children on the bus, and herding them while at our destination. The kinder kids always fell asleep before we returned to the school, but as they got older they stayed awake more often than not. The volume on the older kids’ chatter goes up and herding them was a bit of a challenge. For this field trip, I was not escorting little children, I was responsible for high school students- BIG K I D S. Oh, my!
We took two buses filled with giant size kids, school staff, chaperons, and musical instruments. Our kiddos were competing in the in the Forum Music Festivals at Ohlone College in Fremont, California. They entered all fields: Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, and Orchestra.
Surprisingly the big kids were quieter than most middle school kids I have been around. Driving up from Los Angeles to San Francisco, people are treated to the beauty of California. There is a stark difference between the city, mountains, coastal waters, desert, and open country. You get it all!
Our first stop was in Kettleman City. There, we had a chance to stretch our legs and grab a bite to eat. I don’t know why it stunned me, the city seemed more like an open field with just a few buildings to accommodate passerby-s. I have family in central California and have seen this part of the state many times. Still, I was a little stunned at the “emptiness”.
Back on the road, a new fondness for my home state grew within me. My roommate for the long weekend sat across from me on the bus. As we were nearing our destination [Fremont, CA] we saw rolling hills splayed across the landscape. She told me it reminder her of her home state of Connecticut.
Once we arrived at Fremont and settled into our rooms, most of the kids and and chaperons headed out for a little supper. It was late and cold out, so I just opted for a light meal- Japanese tempura, miso soup, and sake.
It was a long day- thankfully the kids were fantastic. Our trip was for four days/three nights: we stayed in Fremont, spent day two in San Francisco, and day three at Great America. I have more to share about this wonderful trip. Keep an eye out for parts 2 and 3 coming up very soon.