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TAP Returns to Jolly Ole England

December 1, 2011

That’s right folks, in 2013, Minooka TAP is headed back to England.

Back to England?

Yup, back to England.

Wait a minute – let’s go down the list.  In 2007, TAP took their first trip ever, right?

Yup.  We went to Germany that year.

Then in 2008, you guys went to Greece.

Greece was incredible.

I remember that it was Italy in ’09, Ireland in 2010, and this past summer you went to Spain and Portugal, right?

You got it.  And we’re headed to Japan in 2012 and back to England in 2013.

There it is again.  What do you mean BACK to England?  Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Japan…  There’s no England on that list.

I know, that’s cuz we never planned a trip to England.  We went there by accident.

By accident?  How do you accidentally go to England?

You see, waaaaaaaaaaaaaay back in 2008, we were on our way to Greece.  We were supposed to have a short layover in London, just one of those quickly change planes things, then get back on our way to Athens sort of things…

Okay, I get it.  Technically you guys were in London’s airport.  That doesn’t count as actually visiting England.

Hey, you with the italics – calm down and let me finish.  As I was saying, we were supposed to have a short layover  in London, but some weather issues in Chicago botched things up for us.  We left O’Hare about 10 minutes late, which caused us to arrive in London a few minutes after our connecting flight to Athens took off without us.

So what, you sat around the London airport for a few hours and that counts as visiting England?

Do you even know what Minooka TAP does?  We don’t sit around.  Ever.

Sorry.  So what did you guys do?

Well,  we knew before we even left Chicago that we’d have a pretty long layover in London.  They told us we’d be on the ground for thirteen hours before there was another flight to Athens with enough empty seats to accommodate our whole group.  I went to college in England, so I felt pretty confident that if I got hold of a subway map I’d be able to give the group an impromptu tour of London.

That would be way better than sitting in an airport for thirteen hours.

Definitely.  It was a huge bonus to the kids on that trip.  They thought they’d see the ancient ruins in Greece, but they got a surprise tour of London too, and there was enough time that we saw just about everything.  We got off the Tube near Hyde Park and walked over to Buckingham Palace first.   Then we wandered through St. James park.  The kids went nuts when we got near the end of the park and could see Big Ben, so we walked around the Parliament building and over to Westminster Abbey.  It was so different from the Ancient Greek architecture we’d been studying for, that even the adults weren’t fully prepared to see that cool stuff.

Did you see anything else good?

Oh yeah, after Westminster, we walked along the river towards The Tower Bridge.  I bet the kids took 1,000 pictures as we got closer and closer to that famous blue bridge.  We stopped at St. Paul’s Cathedral and walked around the Tower of London also.  We didn’t have enough time to tour the castle, but walking around it was treat enough.  By then it had gotten pretty late, and we had free meal vouchers at the airport, so we headed back.  A few hours later, London was a memory and we had Athens in our sights, but ever since that day the TAP teachers have been itching to get back to England.

And next year you’re finally heading back to London?

London and a ton more.  We’re going to start the trip in London, but we’ll only spend about half a day there.  Then we’ll head south to Canterbury.  Before we go, we’ll read Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales so the kids will be more than ready to spend a day in one of the coolest cathedrals on the planet.   Then it’s Dover.

Ahhh, the white cliffs of Dover…

Of course, the cliffs are incredible, but Dover Castle is amazing also.  That’ll be the first castle we visit on the trip, so the kids will be pumped up for sure.  Then we’ll head back towards London and spend a day at Windsor Palace.  After that it’s south west to visit the ancient ruins like Stonehenge, Old Sarum, and Silbury Hill.  Stonehenge is certainly the most famous of those, but the other places are even cooler.

What’s after that?

Remnants of Ancient Rome.  Bath is an incredible town that was built by the Romans when they occupied Great Britain, and there are tons of buildings still standing there.  Then it’s off to my favorite castle of all time – Warwick Castle, and the hometown of my favorite writer, William Shakespeare – Stratford-upon-Avon.  We’ll tour the castle one day, then spend the next day wandering around The Bard’s hometown, and that night we’ll even get to see a play in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Then you guys leave England, right?

Yes, for one day we’re going to leave England and head into the mountains of Wales.  We’ll take a trek around Snowdonia, even taking a ride on these small Welsh trains that inspired the characters in Thomas the Tank Engine.  Then it’s across the island to York, where we’ll see Viking ruins and what’s probably the most amazing church in the world.  South through Nottinghamshire, where we’ll take some time to run around in the forest and play Robin Hood.

And back to London?

Absolutely.  We’ll spend our last few days in London, relaxing, soaking in the sights, and taking our time to explore one of the best cities I’ve ever been to.

And how do folks get involved?

The trip is an 8th grade trip, so current 7th graders can apply to be a part of TAP and tag along on our English Adventure.  Adults are welcome to come on the trip too, but kids have to fill out the forms found on the TAPplication tab on this site.  TAPplications must be submitted by Wednesday, December 14th if you want to be considered for this incredible English experience.

 

 

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. cj moody permalink
    December 7, 2011 6:56 pm

    sounds like id want to go there… but i think japan will be a little bit more interesting… i like the story..

  2. Bree simons permalink
    December 13, 2011 6:54 pm

    i can’t wait to go just reading this made me sooooo exicted

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