I volunteered to chaperone at my son’s school field trip to Victoria today. It started really early in the morning at the school (and 14 hours later-still not home). We got on the school bus, and I promptly made my way to the back. So did the boys I was with. We laughed about poop jokes and cartoons.
The ferry ride was uneventful. My son and his buddy wanted to sit and play cards while we had a snack. We wandered the decks a couple of times and waved at a passing ferry. We got to Vancouver Island and boarded another bus. We took off to Victoria for the afternoon. Easy breezy and the weather fully cooperated.
Next came a whirlwind self guided tour of the Royal BC Museum. We hardly stopped to check anything out. Partly because museums are becoming a thing of the past when needing to get information out to the public. Also partly because the schedule was so packed in. I’ve seen this museum about a half dozen times in the past thirty years. It hasn’t changed much. We rushed from the museum across the street and into the Parliament Buildings.
This was a guided tour that was extremely informative and the kids did a fantastic job being courteous to our guide. The children were also asking great questions and having answers that were asked of them.
Then we did a mad dash back to the Museum for the kids to watch an IMAX film. This was only for the kids and the chaperones had some free time. We took off almost instantly.
So a group of eight of us parents found a patio for the next forty five minutes and chilled out. I’m not saying I had a Bellini or that the others had sangria or ice cold beers, but we did… have some adult time. We had good conversations about the school and kids. It was a nice break before the hecticness began. After a cold bevie- we met up with the school and headed out for dinner.
58 kids, 29 parents and 2 teachers took over the Old Spaghetti Factory for one of the noisiest meals I have been at since my days at Chuck E. Cheese’s. Absolute chaos was taking over. As a smart parent- I suggested to the other parents that we let all of the kids get seated and we take a few tables at the other side. Best plan!
After dessert we ran to our bus because time was running out. This time it wasn’t a school bus, but rather a charter bus. With plush seats. The kids doubled up in the seats and the adults each took a double seat to stretch out. The bus ride remained quiet. All was good.
Our ferry ride back was calm at first. Then the children began acting like caged animals. The real issue today was a lack of recess. Everything was planned to the minute and well organized. But kids will be kids. They had to burn off steam somehow- running around the decks was the only way to do this. Us parents just didn’t have it in us to stop them. The chaperones ended up in strategic locations in an effort to slow down the insanity. The Chief Stewart ended up making an announcement over the PA system: “No running on the ferry please.” It wasn’t just our school. Apparently another 200 kids were also on the ferry. The poor passengers hoping for a calm ride to the Lower Mainland were now doing their best to ignore the children.
Our final bus ride calmed the children once more. The bobble heads that the driver had on her dash mesmerized us all. All around a good day. I’m signing off now as we finish our ride back to the school. Pretty sure a few cold beers will end my night at home.