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From country to city, From farm to fireworks…Through marriage & children, Through employment & ownership, Life continues to be an amazing journey…

Wednesday, January 31

Help Send My Student Ambassador To Europe

Last year, my son was fortunate enough to have been selected as a student ambassador to travel with the People to People organization. Thirty Five students from this area traveled together in a diplomatic delegation to China for 17 days. The learning experience for him was amazing and really a life changing experience.

Dwight Eisenhower began this program 51 years ago in accordance with his hope for and belief in world peace. Every president since his reign except one has kept this program going. It was his belief that if people from foreign worlds were together for a long enough period of time, we would all realize that from one end of the globe to the other, for the most part, we are all a lot alike and share the same dreams and hopes together.

My son was interviewed and selected again this year to travel as an ambassador alumni. It’s his senior year, and a trip to Europe in the summer will finish a wonderful high school experience with more world travel and learning. While it’s an honor and a privilege to be accepted into this group, it isn’t cheap at all. The trips cost $5500.00.

I have had many friends and relatives inquire on how they could help Quaid attain his goal for this trip. I’ve had several blog readers state to me in e-mails that they would like to help as well. My goodness, if everyone that logged onto this blog in a few months just gave a tiny bit, my son would have most of his fund-raising done in no time at all. Because so many have been so generous to ask, I have placed a “PayPal Donate Button” on the right sidebar of this blog. Any and all donations will be gratefully appreciated, and my son has vowed to thank each of you personally. I also intend to post regular updates on his fund-raising progress, and should he be lucky enough to raise enough money for the entire trip, I will remove the donate button on his behalf.

Thank you in advance for your generosity, I know I find it’s always a pleasure to help the kids. If you have a son or daughter (even in grade school) that would like to get involved in this magnificent program… PLEASE CLICK HERE for a link. I wish I would have known about this program when my son was in junior high, he could have seen so much of the world with that many years to participate. Below is the itinerary for this year’s European Discovery. Good Luck student ambassadors!

Depart for France Day 1

Greet your fellow Ambassadors in your departure city before boarding your international flight to France.Paris, France Day 2Bonjour et Bienvenue en France! or a dazzling first impression of Paris, head to the top of the Eiffel Tower (899 feet), built for the 1889 World’s Fair to commemorate the French Revolution. Explore the magnificent Château de Versailles, built during the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King, and the seat of the royal court from 1682 to 1789.

Paris, France Day 3

Set out with your French guide for an orientation of the city Ernest Hemingway called “a moveable feast.” Marvel at the white Basilique du Sacré Coeur, who’s dome is the second highest
point in Paris. Experience one of the most unforgettable places in Europe, the Notre Dame Cathedral, a building that took two centuries to complete. Find Point Zéro, the spot from which all road distances in France are measured, in the courtyard of Notre Dame. Visit the historic Montmartre area, a haven for artists and writers before World War I.

Reims, France Day 4

Take a guided exploration of one of the most important art collections in the world, the famous Louvre. You will visit the principal parts of the museum — including a look at Leonardo Da Vinci’s masterpiece, "Mona Lisa." Au revoir Paris! Journey to Reims and spend the night.

Strasbourg, France Day 5

Cross the rolling plains of the Northeast to the region of Champagne, known for some of France’s finest landscapes and its fine wines. Alsace and Lorraine, regions containing many charming medieval towns, have changed nationality four times since 1871. Explore Strasbourg with your delegation.

Zurich, Switzerland Day 6

On the way to Zurich, make a stop in the medieval city of Lucerne. Stroll along the picturesque Kapellbrücke, the wooden bridge spanning Lake Lucerne, and have a look at the Lion
Monument, dedicated to the Swiss soldiers who died in the French Revolution (1792). Buy some famous Swiss chocolate for your friends and family back home.

Salzburg, Austria Days 7-8

Innsbruck (“Bridge over the Inn River”), the capital of the region of Tyrol and home of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics, will be your next destination. Enjoy lunch at the “Villa Blanka” in Innsbruck and try baking your own dessert — the famous Austrian Apfelstrudel. Continue through scenic Austria to
Salzburg, the city of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the
world’s greatest composers. Journey to Hallein, where you will visit the famous salt mines.

Home Stay or Guesthouse, Austria Days 9-11

Visit the concentration camp Mauthausen to learn the dark side of recent European history. Head to Vienna and enjoy the Prater Amusement Park. Meet your host family to experience life in Austria, meet the locals and make lifelong friends.

Vienna, Austria Day 12

Explore Vienna by bicycle. Take part in a discussion with a survivor of a concentration camp, a unique opportunity and a true honor for Student Ambassadors. Attend a concert at one of the famous concert houses of Vienna.

Sirnitz, Austria Day 13

Depart for the small castle town of Friesach, once important for its key location on the Venice-Vienna trade route. Enjoy a rousing medieval lunch at the Friesach Castle and a formal welcome by the residents and town officials of Sirnitz.

Jesolo, Italy Days 14-15

Before leaving Austria, stop to visit a mill and farm, and work with the local residents to gather all the necessary ingredients to make your own lunch. Continue on to Italy. Enjoy a typical Italian beach town, including a swim in the Adriatic Sea. Explore Venice: the bustling alleys, quaint bridges, narrow canals and one of life’s great pleasures, a ride in a gondola. See a demonstration of Venetian glass blowing in the factory, Veccia Murano.

Montecatini, Italy Day 16

Leave Venice and journey through the Tuscan countryside to Florence. Visit the Accademia Gallery and view Michelangelo’s colossal statue, David. Leave Florence and continue your drive to
Montecatini, where you’ll spend the night.

Rome, Italy Day 17

Travel to Pisa and discover the Square of Miracles and the Leaning Tower. At Volterra, which offers spectacular views of the surrounding Tuscan hills, you will learn about the old tradition of Alabaster arts and the many uses of the beautiful stones.

Rome, Italy Day 18

Visit the capital of Catholicism and the world’s smallest
state, the Vatican. Marvel at St. Peter’s Basilica, which contains hundreds of works of art, and the Sistine chapel, containing perhaps the most amazing frescoes in the world. Attend an educational meeting with a priest who will speak about
Catholicism in Italy and life in the Vatican, or with a nun who will explain her life in Rome. Have a rockin’ and rollin’ good time
at the Hard Rock Café.

Rome, Italy Day 19

Visit to the Roman Forum, the Colosseum and the Piazza Venezia, and explore the city center. Collect information about the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain.

Depart for the U.S. Day 20