Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Traveling on the Plane..

Plan to wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing on the plane. You can pack a small travel pillow to put around your neck or you can use the airline pillow to sleep on. Drink plenty of water, chew gum and moisturize your skin and lips throughout the flight.

Get up and walk around at least once every hour (except during sleeping hrs. that drives every one else nuts).

Sleep whenever you can on the flight. However, try to during the designated sleeping hours. If you feel cold during the night, ask the flight attendant for a blanket.

There will be a couple on-demand movie channels and several music (comedy, talk radio, kiddie songs, etc) channels on the plane for your enjoyment. So if you cannot sleep watch a couple of movies or three...I find it helpful to take a couple of Tylenol PM or Benedryl pills to help me get to sleep.

The food in our flight will be "free" (more like pre-paid) so please endulge. Airplane food is packed in European portions so if you are a big eater, bring a yummy favorite snack or two. Trail mix works for me!


Our plane tickets are ready!! Before the travel agent sends them to me, though, everyone needs to have a payment balance of $0. Some still owe the $80 dollars for the optional excursions ($50 for the Greek Night banquet and $30 for the Pisa field trip).

If you are not sure if you owe this money, email me and I will check for your.

Pay ASAP and we get our tickets ASAP!!!


The following must be on file for each student prior to departure. Adults can keep their own documents and paper work.

  • 2 copies of passport picture page
  • $55 for tipping our Tour Guide
  • $20 for tipping our Bus driver
  • 1 Copy of your most recent physical (you can use the GLHS sports physical. Get a copy in the athletic office)
  • 2 extra wallet size school photos (or passport photos)
  • 1 copy of your Personal Information for Foreign Travel Form. Please sign all 4 signature spots
  • Health Form (signed)

Please turn these things in as soon as possible.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Eating in Greece

Eating out in Greece is a national pastime and a leisurely pleasure. Whether
dining at a local taverna (as traditional to Greeks as the pub is to the English)
or an elegant restaurant, Greeks take their time over food. The native cuisine is delightfully uncomplicated and quite different from what's found in Greek or
Cypriot restaurants abroad. Much of the cooking relies on simple seasonings and fresh meat and vegetables.
For breakfast, Greeks rarely eat more than bakery-fresh tiropitas (flaky cheese-filled pastries) or bread. They eat lunch in late afternoon, generally between 2 and 4 pm, and dinner around 10 or 11 pm. To stave off hunger between meals, they enjoy snacking on souvlaki (garlic-marinated lamb kabobs) or tiropitas bought from a street vendor. It's common for Greeks to make a lunch of mezedes, or hors d'oeuvres.
Typical dishes include fried meatballs, squash balls, octopus, shrimp, squid, cheese, olives, stuffed vine leaves, tzatziki (garlicky yogurt and cucumbers), eggplant dip, small sausages and giant beans. You can find mezedes at an ouzeri (serving ouzo, an anise-flavored liqueur) or at a mezedopolio (serving locally produced wine or beer); both of these types of restaurants are open only during the day.
For the evening meal, Greek tavernas serve such specialties as moussaka (lamb, eggplant and bechamel sauce), kabobs, pastitsio (lamb or goat meat with macaroni and tomatoes), stifado (braised beef with onions) and paithakia (grilled lamb or goat chops).


Thursday, May 11, 2006


When: Wednesday May 17th at 7:00pm- 8:30 appx
Where: Grand Ledge High School Library
What the Heck For: To learn more about our trip and to get your questions answered.
What to bring:
  • A snack to pass
  • Writing utensils (paper + Pen)
  • Your passport (yes, I have to make sure you have it)
  • Your mommy and daddy...
  • Of course, your self restrain cause we'll be in Europe next month...YAYYYYY!!

Please RSVP at I need a head count again.


Thursday, May 04, 2006


You will probably feel more comfortable wearing lose cotton clothing while traveling in the Mediterranean. Most Mid Western Americans feel compelled to wear shorts in the heat. Europeans do not wear shorts for the simple fact that very few people look good in them. Look around if you do not believe me...

Girls, you will feel more comfortable wearing a pair of sexy Capri khakis, a romantic flowing long skirt or a smart mini skirt than wearing a pair of short, shorts. Lads, baggy khakis do much better in 105 degree weather better than jeans. Fortunately for you, baggy shorts although they look sloppy, will do just fine just about everywhere. European men emulate American fashions but their pants don't look like they need a diaper change (gasp! did I just say that?)

T-shirts with logos are popular among young European males but you will find that females only wear logo T-shirts on the way to the gym. Girls do, however, wear logo less little Tees and spaghetti strap numbers that play up one's youthful back and shoulders in the moonlight. Shoes should always be comfortable. So if you can help it, don't plan to break in new shoes on tour. Instead, wear them for a couple of weeks before departure. Another great option are open toed sandals with a good sole because they allow your feet to breathe and protect your feet from the 1000 year old cobble stone pavement.

In the evening, women love to promenade in medium heal sling backs or those cute flip flops with heals. Europeans wear rubber flip flops only to the beach. So lads, have some pride and keep your hairy toes inside a handsome and flattering pair of sandals. Sneakers will do real well, if you enjoy ripe baked feet!

Europeans are very smart dressers and love to clean up to stroll in the streets or to go out for a late dinner. I am not going to require you to dress up for dinner but you will find that you quickly get in the habit of "blinging" out a bit in the evenings. During our trip there are only a few times where dress codes must be followed:

1. Emergency Church Kit (ECK): Italians expect everyone to dress appropriately when visiting their churches. Since we have a few friggin' amazing cathedrals to visit on this tour, you will be required to do as the Romans. Women are not allowed to bear their shoulders and/ or wear shorts or mini skirts inside a church. Men are not allowed to wear hats and short-shorts will not only bother the Italian saints but will gross me out horribly.
An ECK consists of a light sweater or shirt to cover ones arms, a wrinkle free wrap around skirt (see pattern at the end of article for a simple homemade version) or a pair of slacks. You can easily slip this kit on before you enter a church. I just plan to wear my ECK on the days we will visit a church so that I do not have to carry it around.
2. Blue and White Greek dinner on the cruise. Blue and white are the colors of the Greek flag so we honor it wearing our best nautical colors with anything blue and white. You can do an entire outfit or simply accessorize with blue and white scarf or bandana. Your call!
3. Captains Dinner on the cruise: This is the night we dine and dance with the captain of our cruise ship to celebrate our last night on his boat. It is a bit formal so have fun getting dolled up. Boys usually wear khakis and button downs (pack the wrinkle free type) and sometimes even a tie. Girls glam up a bit more. Dig out that cute semi formal that is in the back of girls (or your girlfriend's) closet. Here you thought you would never wear that thing again! Click on the picture for ideas.

Wrap around skirt: Joann fabrics has a half off all Indian fabrics sale so you can easily and inexpensively make your own. Simply sew 12 inch straps to both sides of a length of one and a half or two yards of flowy Indian fabric (depending on your girth). Wrap it around yourself and measure for length from your hip down (It can be slightly above the knee, Tea length or floor length), Unwrap the skirt to cut to desired length and hem. Tah dah!! Your own dreamy Indian wrap around skirt. When you wear the skirt, make sure the opening is in the back and that your roll the waist down to fit your hips. I am partial to the floor length skirts myself. I look fabulous in them...
If you cannot figure this pattern out, just bring your fabric to my classroom and I will talk you through it and show you mines...

Monday, May 01, 2006

I signed everyone up for the 2 optional tours. The first one is to the famous leaning tour of Pisa. It is a great place to take your "gift" picture (instead of buying pointless souvenirs). Frame this picture on 8x10 frames and gift it to Grandma and Grandpa or anyone who helped you pay for this awesome trip. This optional cost $30 ($40 on tour).
The second optional is a traditional Greek Night banquet and dance on our last night in Athens. For $50 ($60 on tour) you get a feast of kings, watch a traditional Greek and Turkish perfomers and dancers. You also get to learn to dance the famous Greek grapevine dance! I highly recommend these 2 optionals.
Please call the EF Costumer Service number 800-665-5364 to pay for your optionals by the end of this school week (5/5/06) or ASAP
If you choose not to participate in any of these optionals call the same number to tell them you are not interested. If you have already paid for your optional excursions, please ignore this post.

Day 1
Detroit Metro Airport* departing at 2:50 PM on Delta Airlines Flight # 5219
Arrive in New York (JFK) 4:34 PM

Depart New York (JFK) at 7:50 PM Delta Airlines Flight # 84 (overnight flight)
Arrive in Milan (Malpensa Airport) at 10:10 AM of 6/17/2006

Day 19 Return Trip

Depart Athens, Greece at 6:05 AM on Lufthansa Flight # 3385
Arrive in Frankfurt, Germany at 8:05 AM

Depart Frankfurt, Germany at 1:15 PM on Lufthansa Flight # 442
Arrive in Detroit Metro Airport* at 4:15 PM (same day 7/4/2006)

*Make sure you make transportation arrangements to and from Detroit Metro. You must be at the airport by 11:50 am on 4/16. (For a hard copy of this info, copy and paste info on to Word, then print)