Let me interrupt my European travel chronicles by this particular post which happened today.
We attended the grade school awarding ceremony this morning at the kids' school for last schoolyear's performance. Kyle graduated with honors in preschool last March. Third quarter of last schoolyear, I remember reprimanding Matthew for being lax in his studies which resulted to a grade below 90 in one subject. I was almost sure that he has just disqualified himself from getting even the bronze medal. So when we arrived from vacation, I was really surprised when he happily announced that he is again one of the medalists, the ranking to be known during the awarding.
This morning at the ceremonies, I wasn't prepared for what I was about to see. I hurriedly opened the programme to look for his name half expecting a bronze. There it was in the Grade 3 list (he is now in Grade 4), his complete name right beside the word: "GOLD".
What a really proud Mom that made me!
The Flight to Paris and Geneva
June 6, Friday at the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), I noticed lots of people flying Air France were lined up early for the 8:00 AM flight to Paris. Regular check-in didn’t take too long. Everybody’s temperature was taken right before the first x-ray machine – a measure to detect symptoms of the SARS disease.
As I looked at the passengers, I couldn’t help but wonder why these people were going to Paris. Were they going to Europe for the first time too just like Jerry and me? Were they as eager as we were to see all the wonderful and breathtaking sights we only read in books and see on National Geographic? Probably… God only knows how excited we were. I couldn’t even start to put it into words!
The flight took all of 14 hours – the longest single time I wasn’t in front of the computer, so far. What a break!
Breakfast consisted of egg omelette and sausage with croissant and “pan de sal” and was pretty filling. Then our first French meal was served for lunch. Jerry and I had yummy fish terrine, Waldorf salad, medallion of pork, Meaux mustard, potatoes au gratin, French green beans, cheese, French toast and pineapple slices for dessert. Unlike most of the people on board who took soda and fruit juices with their meals, Jerry and I opted for nothing else but French red wine – a small bottle each of Vin de Pays de la Cite de Carcassone. What could be more French than that?
The flight to Paris was rather long but the inflight movies kept me from being bored. Not much of a movie-lover, I surprised myself by watching 3 movies in a row: Frida, Chicago and How to Lose a Man in 10 Days. The movie marathon was interrupted only by naps in varying lengths plus a few trips to the restroom.
Finally landed in Paris at 5:30 PM. The smooth touchdown was impressive but the queue that formed inside the tube as the French airport guards checked everybody’s passports was a big letdown. Jerry and I were caught in the middle of the long line and had to endure the almost unbearable heat in the glass tube. They should have set-up the checkpoint somewhere inside the airport where it was cooler and more convenient. The unwilling lady employee in the waiting lounge worsened the situation all the more. But hey, this is supposed to be a great vacation, so enough of the negative comments.
There was a slight delay in the Paris-Geneva leg but the waiting time was okay. We enjoyed taking shots and watching other passengers while we waited.
Our in-flight food was a baguette of ham and cheese plus a teeny-weeny can of orange juice.
Met up with Junnie and Mitzi who took us around Geneva for an evening tour. Then capped the night with pizza and pasta at Molino’s, a popular café cum restaurant.
Switzerland and the little that we saw of it was already beautiful. We were excited to see more of it in the coming days… (to be continued...)
Arrived in Manila yesterday for a Finance meeting at head office. It was good seeing my counterparts again though one of the original managers migrated already. We were able to thresh out a lot of things.
As a result of yesterday's meeting, this afternoon was spent making and sending memo/emails to make sure that all concerns are addressed in the Visayas group even before I go on vacation. So happy...a big chunk of my to-do list has been done and over with. All that was from the comforts of my sister's room. I didn't have to go all the way to Cubao to connect and send emails and stuff. Don't you just love the different modes of connectivity?
It was a busy weekend for the family. I had some work to finish before my Tuesday meeting. Jerry had some preparations for the new business (Gulf oil). We had to finalize our packing. And we all had to finish up with shopping for school supplies. The latter we tried doing Friday night.
Scouring National Bookstore, I was aghast to find that notebooks nowadays cost P20 each! Ack! Some even more! Mentally computing how much notebooks alone could cost us, I arrived at P600 for the answer. Pretty stiff, if you asked me. Even the tacky ones with showbiz personalities on the covers was almost P10 a piece.
Well, not to be overcome by impulse, we just knew that if we looked some more we would find something that would give us value for our money. True enough we found ones that cost P12 each. These had unknown cartoon characters on the cover but what clinched the purchase was the free plastic cover that these notebooks were already wrapped with. A valuable feature that saved us from all the plastic measuring, cutting, folding and taping... All Jerry had to do was to put bond paper to hide the distracting cartoon prints and voila!
Friday, the notebooks. Sunday afternoon, shoes. We were again faced with choices...