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Blinn College's Drama and Art Trip (12/27/10 - 1/7/11)


ANNOUNCEMENTS & REMINDERS:
the official word on LUGGAGE!
Hi Again,

Ok, here's the official word on luggage and how many bags you can check!

Yes, only 1 checked bag and 1 carry-on.  ACIS does limit baggage due to storage space on the bus but obviously it’s not something we can really enforce.  I would just encourage everyone to only bring 1 checked bag and 1 carry-on so that everyone can easily manage their own luggage and won’t be assessed any luggage fees.  You will have to pay to check any extra bags on your way to Europe and on the return. 

There you have it folks!

Cheerio,
Greg
Posted on 12/22/10
helpful links

Hi again,

I've just posted some useful links (check "FAVORITE LINKS") of places that are on our Trip, as well as a few things suggested for your free time that Kristi and I mentioned for both sections.

ciao,

Greg

 

Posted on 12/22/10
about internet service

Hi Gang,

Wow!  We leave in FIVE days!!  Thanks so much for the chance to meet with you for classes this past week--Kristi and I have had so much fun sharing with you and preparing us for the trip.  Please feel free to call/write us with additional questions as we continue the countdown to Departure.  I will be checking my email daily.

Here's the info on internet service in our respective cities & accommodation from our Tour Consultant.

The Mercure Suffren in Paris charges about 7 Euros per ½ hour to use the computers in their lobby (yikes!), but according to the main desk, you can bring your own computer and log in for free in the rooms.  I’m not sure if it’s wifi or broadband but it sounded like you just had to put in your name and address and then it would give you free access. 

 

As for the Park Plaza Victoria, it’s about 3 pounds for 1 hour or 13 pounds for 24 hours for broadband service in the rooms with your own computer.  They also have a business center with computers that can be used. 

Merci & Happy Holidays

Greg

Posted on 12/22/10
Our Journey Begins!
Hi Gang,

A note to remind everyone Classes begin Monday, Dec. 20 - Wed. Dec. 22, 8:30 a.m. - noon.

Room L 259 & L262 (2nd floor above the Library on the Blinn Bryan Campus).

See you there,
Greg
Posted on 12/17/10
classes begin Monday, Dec. 20 - Wed., Dec. 22, 8:30 a.m. - noon!
Hi Gang!

Our classes for the minimester begin on Monday, Dec. 20 at 8:30 a.m. - noon on the Bryan Campus.
We'll also meet Tues., Dec. 21 & Wed., Dec. 22 at the same times.  Classroom location is pending, so please keep checking the comment board and your emails for updates.

Also, all theatre ticket purchases for the shows of our choosing are confirmed!  They are:

My Fair Lady at Chatelet Theatre Musicale on Dec. 29.
The War Horse is the theatre performance on Jan 3
A Flea in Her Ear at the Old Vic is on the final night Jan. 6


For the Theatre folks, I'll have a list of additional shows I'd recommend you see in your free-time, but truly anything you can get your hands on at the 1/2 price ticket booth will be worth it!

Our classes will be meeting separately part of the morning, then jointly to watch some videos, get to know each other, and continue anwering/asking questions about traveling!

Kristi, Marcelo & I are so excited!  Please call or write if you have questions about anything.  Below is my email & cell phone.

See you soon,
Greg Wise
Instructor of Theatre
greg.wise@blinn.edu
979.203.0255
979-203-0255 (cell)
Posted on 12/15/10
countdown begins! we have our accommodations!

Hi Everyone!  Be sure to keep checking under TRIP DETAILS on the site here...our accommodations in Paris & London.  It lists the addresses of each.  It also lists our flight information.  Getting pretty getting!!

Greg

 
 

 

Posted on 12/6/10
New Recruits

Hi Everyone. Just wanted to let you know we can still add participants if they sign on and pay by Nov. 12. Be sure to announce it among your friends and classes!!!!! We got the same tour guide we had last time and he is AMAZING..... You will all love him. Also, great boots for keeping your feet dry in the Sundance catalog (plaids, and great colors).

Cheers,

Kristi

Posted on 10/28/10
0

TRIP AT A GLANCE



Tour Details:

Departure City: Houston
Duration: 12 Days
Overnights: Paris 4, London 6

Itinerary:

Dec 27, 2010 Overnight Flight
Departure from the United States.
Dec 28, 2010 Paris
Bienvenue! Paris greets you today. You have a carnet of Métro tickets to help you explore the city. Walking tour of Paris with your tour manager. (D)
Dec 29, 2010 Paris
A morning tour with a local guide shows you some of Paris' most famous sitesfrom Notre Dame to the Arc de Triomphe. This afternoon you will visit Musée d'Orsay, where you'll encounter not only Monet but also Degas, van Gogh, Cézanne and Renoir through audio headset. Tonight enjoy a theatre performance, via metro. (B,D)
Dec 30, 2010 Paris
This morning discover the beautiful Louvre, with a guided audio tour included. Enjoy the works of da Vinci, Rembrandt and Delacroix. This afternoon you will have a guided tour of the Opera Garnier. (B,D)
Dec 31, 2010 Paris
Exploration time in the City of Light today. Enjoy a visit to Montmartre with your tour manager while you are in Paris. You may want to shop for souvenirs or sample French pastry. This evening ring in the New Year Paris style! (B,D)
Jan 1, 2011 London
This morning board the 180-mph Eurostar for London, where St. Paul's Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and the Houses of Parliament await you on your sightseeing tour. Note: A week long tube pass is included during your stay in London. (B,D)
Jan 2, 2011 London
Today you have an afternoon excursion to Canterbury for a visit and entrance to the cathedral. Return to London where the remainder of evening is free to explore! Activities to be organized by group leader. (B,D)
Jan 3, 2011 London
Today is free to stroll through Hyde Park or the Mall! Evening theatre performance, with transfers included. (B,D)
Jan 4, 2011 London
This morning enjoy a visit to the reconstructed Globe Theatre where you attend a workshop, conducted by actors, that introduces you to the plays and playing conditions of Shakespeare's day. This afternoon visit the British Museum. The remainder of the day and evening are free to visit other places in London that you have not seen yet! (B,D)
Jan 5, 2011 London
Full day excursion to Stonehenge and Bath, including entrances to the Roman Baths and Museum of Costume. After dinner, return to London for a night's rest. (B,D)
Jan 6, 2011 London
Morning transfer to the National Gallery for a guided tour of the museum. Afternnon is free to see those sights in London you want to visit before you leave! Enjoy one last theater performance this evening, with transfers included. (B,D)
Jan 7, 2011 Departure
Depart for the USA. (B)
view more

What to See

Shopping
PARIS

Le Bon Marché, Métro: Sevres Babylon
First opened in 1838, this shopping center is considered to be the first department store in the world!

Les Halles, Métro: Les Halles and Châtelet
Since the 12th century, this large, central wholesale marketplace has been a popular shopping destination.  The area has been rebuilt since the 1970s and now features beautiful sculptures, fountains, and mosaics.

The Saint Ouen Flea Market, Porte de Clignancourt, 18th arrondissement
On the outskirts of the city, you'll find this popular flea market.  With over 2,000 stalls filling 17 acres of shopping heaven, Parisians and travelers alike browse the market every weekend.  Here you can find antique furniture, art, glassware and jewelry, as well as books, records and vintage clothing.  You're guaranteed to find something rare and beautiful.

LONDON

Portobello Road, Tube: Notting Hill Gate or Ladbroke Grove
For over 300 years, Portobello Road has been attracting tourists and natives alike to its varied markets. Throughout the week, Pembridge Villa sells high quality antiques at high prices, and on Saturdays the North end of Portobello Road offers more in the way of bargains, curios, and second-hand clothes.

Leadenhall, Tube: Bank or Monument
Originating in the 14th Century, the first building was destroyed by the Great Fire of London in 1666. Erected in 1881, the present victorian covered arcade retails meat, fish, flowers and foodstuffs. Fresh coffee from all over the world gives Leadenhall a delightful aroma. Open Monday through Friday.

Lillywhite's, Tube: Piccadilly Circus
This store claims to be the world's finest in sporting goods: from croquet mallets to football strips and cricket whites; it all can be found here! Open daily.

Hamley's, Tube: Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus
A short walk up Regent Street will bring you to London's finest toy store and, at one time, the largest. Five stories of toys, games, stuffed animals and many opportunities for fun! Don't forget to admire the window displays. Open daily.

Oxford Street Shopping, Tube: Oxford Circus
Shop here to stay caught up with all the latest fashions in clothes and shoes. Oxford Street is best known for Marks & Spencer, Selfridges and the other big department stores which are all found in the section from Marble Arch to Oxford Circus.

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Museums
PARIS

La Conciergerie, Métro: Cité
Eighteenth century prison held Danton, Robespierre, and Marie Antoinette during her final hours. Open daily.

National Museum of the Middle Ages - The Baths and Hôtel de Cluny, Métro: Cluny La Sorbonne
Built on the site of former Roman baths. Holdings include Dame à la Licorne tapestry and the oldest sculpture in Paris. Open daily, closed Tuesday.

Le Musée Carnavalet, Métro: St.Paul
Occupying two adjoining mansions, the Hôtel Carnavalet and the Hôtel le Peletier, this museum's holdings include fascinating pieces of Parisian and French history. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée d'Orsay, Métro: Solférino
Housed within an old train station, this museum contains an impressive collection of sculpture and impressionist work, sure to be a favorite. It houses works from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including Monet, Renoir, Cassatt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse,  and Degas. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée Marmottan, Métro: La Muette
Begun with Paul Marmottan's donation to the Académie des Beaux-Arts and augmented by a large bequest of his father's art to the little museum by Monet's son Michael, the Musée Marmottan houses Monet's late Waterlilies and impressions as well as works by Sisley, Renoir, and Pisarro. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée Rodin, Métro: Varenne/Invalides
Housed in the magnificent Hotel Biron, which was once Auguste Rodin's residence, this museum boasts impressive gardens of over 2,000 rose bushes as well as some of Rodin's most famous works: The Thinker and The Kiss are among them. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée National Picasso, Métro: Chemin Vert/St. Paul
The largest collection of his works in the world. It is housed in a beautiful 17th century hotel, the Hôtel Salé. Open daily, closed Tuesday.

LONDON

British Museum, Tube: Tottenham Court Road
One of the world's finest museums: "the closest thing this planet has to a complete record of its civilizations." The Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles and an incredible collection of coins. Open daily. Free admission.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Tube: South Kensington
A collection of fine and applied arts from all over the world are displayed here. Particularly noted for the clothing collection and the twentieth century design exhibits. Open daily. Free admission.

Natural History Museum, Tube: South Kensington
This museum illustrates all forms of life, from the smallest bacteria to the largest creatures, dinosaurs, and fossils. Open daily. Free admission.

The Science Museum, Tube: South Kensington
Over seven acres of hands-on scientific history. Also includes a history of medicine and an IMAX 3D film theater. Along with the National Railway Museum in York and the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television in Bradford, these museums together comprise the National Museum of Science & Industry ( NMSI ). Open daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free admission.

The Museum of London, Tube: St. Paul's or Barbican
From pre-history to the present day, the growth of London is charted here. A museum with something for everyone. Open daily. Free admission.

London Transport Museum, Tube: Covent Garden
For those interested in transportation throughout the ages, here is a fabulous collection of buses, trams, trains, and their history. The museum boasts hands-on fun for all ages and a lovely shop with lots of Tube-related merchandise. Open daily.

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, Tube: Baker Street
Madame Tussaud started in wax modeling making masks of victims of the French Revolution, and in 1835 she moved to England to this location. Be prepared for the Chamber of Horrors! Open daily.

The National Gallery, Tube: Charing Cross
A wealth of art from the early Renaissance to the nineteenth century is catalogued and beautifully displayed here. Spanning the period from about 1250 to 1900, it is one of the greatest collections of European painting in the world. Open daily. Free admission.

National Portrait Gallery, Tube: Charing Cross
This gallery houses a collection of portraits that well illustrate the history of Britain. The Great and the Good, along with some for whom the jury is still out, are represented here. Open daily. Free admission.

Tate Britain, Tube: Pimlico
This is the national gallery of British art with works from 1500 to the present day. Tate holds the greatest collection of British art in the world, including works by Blake, Hirst and Moore. Open daily, 10 a.m. to 5:50 p.m. Free admission.

Tate Modern, Tube: Southwark
This museum displays the Tate's collection of international modern art from 1900 to the present day, including major works by Bacon, Dalí, Picasso, Matisse, Rothko, Warhol and McQueen. Open daily. Free admission.

Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum, Tube: Wimbledon
Newly opened in 2006, the Lawn Tennis Museum features some incredible new technology in order to immerse the visitor in the world of Wimbledon.  There is a 200° cinema that screens a film about the science and biology of tennis, as well as a recreation of the 1980s dressing room where a projected image of John McEnroe gives you a tour.  Open daily.

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Outdoors
PARIS

L'Arc de Triomphe, Métro: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile
Commissioned in 1806 for Napoléon, although he died without ever seeing this edifice in its finished state. Incredible views of Paris and down the Champs-Elysées from the top. Beneath the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Open daily.

La Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Métro: Bibliothéque-François Mitterand
This incredible structure, in the form of four enormous glass books, houses the French National Library, also known as the La Grande Bibliothéque, the last of Mitterand's Grand Projects. Open daily.

Le Pont Neuf, Métro: Pont Neuf
Despite its name, this bridge is actually the oldest in Paris, and features turret-shaped recesses. Construction began in 1578 with Henri III and finished in 1604 with Henri IV.

Café de la Paix, Métro: Opéra, 12, Boulevard des Capucines
Most beautiful and expensive café in the city of lights, this societal landmark is adjacent to the Opéra building and was designed by the very same Garnier.

L'Hôtel de Ville, Métro: Hôtel de Ville
This has been the site of Paris city halls since 1260. The current structure, completed in 1882, is a néo-Renaissance marvel. Information center is open Monday through Saturday. Free admission.

Les Deux Magots, Métro: St. Germain des Prés, 6, Place St. Germain des Prés
The place to see and be seen in the Quartier Latin. 1950s haunt of intellectuals and philosophers. 

Les Buttes de Chaumont, Métro: Buttes-Chaumont
With 5 kilometers of walking paths, this park is full of beautiful panoramic opportunities.

La Tour Montparnasse, Métro: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of Paris, but lines to go to the top can be long and tiresome.  A great alternative that gets you a better view of the city skyline is the Tour Montparnasse, the only skyscraper in Paris. Although the tower is considered an eye sore for many Parisians, it is open everyday and offers a 360 degree open-air view of Paris.  There is no pre-booking needed and the tour can take less than an hour.  It is sometimes said by the French that the view from the top is the most beautiful in Paris, as this is the only place from which you cannot see the tower!

The Château de Vincennes, Métro: Château de Vincennes
Since its construction in the 14th century by Charles V, the Château has been, along with the Louvre, one of the most importat castles in French history.  Now after a 10-year rennovation, the Château has opened its doors for the public to explore.

LONDON

Changing of the Guard, Tube: Green Park
Most famously at Buckingham Palace along with a few other locations, this is a hugely popular tradition of pageantry.  Occurs daily or on alternate days depending on the time of year.

Regent's Park, Tube: Regent's Park
The Park is London's largest outdoor sports area with pitches and courts for a variety of athletic activities. It also boasts the London Zoo, an Open Air Theater, cafés, picnic spots and the renowned Queen Mary Gardens and Rose Gardens.

Camden Lock & Passage, Tube: Camden Town
The Passage offers a selection of antiques, while Camden Lock is the weekend haunt of London's trendy youth. Clothes, shoes, records and a mouthwatering variety of foods can be found here.

Knightsbridge, Tube: Knightsbridge
Home to some of London's most expensive shops. Here, you will find Harrods and Harvey Nichols as well as nearby Sloane Street's Chanel, Hermes, and Gucci.

Piccadilly, Tube: Piccadilly Circus
While on Piccadilly take the opportunity to visit covered arcades on either side of the street, offering expensive purchases. Admire the statue of Eros and stroll to Fortnum and Mason as it is the ultimate place to shop for luxury foodstuffs and is a wonderful shopping experience.

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Restaurants
PARIS

Café de la Paix, Métro: Opéra, 12, Boulevard des Capucines
Most beautiful and expensive café in the city of lights, this societal landmark is adjacent to the Opéra building and was designed by the very same Garnier.

Chez Omar, Métro: République/Temple
A trendy, Moroccan restaurant with nice outdoor seating.

Le Vaudeville, Métro: Bourse
Known to be an incredible (and hip) dining experience,this bistro retains its marble walls and Art Deco carvings from 1918.

Le Train Bleu, Métro: Gare de Lyon
In the heart of the Gare de Lyon train station, this restaurant was built to impress foreign visitors in 1900.  With gilded archways and beautiful murals painted on the ceilings, it is truly an elegant dining experience.

La MediterraneeMétro: Odéon
A favorite of Hollywood stars, be sure to make reservations early for this upscale seafood restaurant!

Café Marly, Métro:  Palais--Royal Musee du Louvre
Tired after you're trek through the Lourve?  Be sure to stop at this quaint bistro for a light lunch and a glass of champagne.

LONDON

Harry Ramsden's, Euston Station Foodcourt
World famous fish and chips.

Hard Rock Café, 150 Old Park Lane
Full of rock 'n' roll memorabilia and serving tasty, casual fare like the 10 oz. BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, this is the Hard Rock Caf
é that started it all. See the first donation, Eric Clapton's Lead II Fender, and derive inspiration from viewing John Lennon's hand amended lyrics to 'Imagine,' among many other items, in the Vault.

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