Hello August

Happy August everyone! Holy Hannah, how is that even possible? Now is the time of year when school starts to creep back into the mind and DIY classroom projects begin. I’ve slowly begun with a few fun projects I’ll be sharing with you soon but today I’m going to tell you all about the final trip of the summer before all of the work starts.

This past Tuesday my mom, myself, and a couple family friends hopped in a car and drove 12 hours to the Middle of Nowhere (literally.) We drove from central Minnesota to Glasgow, Montana. The part I love about this cute little town is it’s referred to as the Middle of Nowhere, you even can buy shirts with that saying and the town on it.

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My mom and I went with her best friend and her best friend’s daughter who are close family friends. My mom’s best friend’s son lives out there and has recently gotten engaged, so we hopped int the car to go and celebrate with them.

When we reached Glasgow Tuesday night we walked around to take in the small town and then ate dinner at a 50’s knock off Dairy Queen diner called Flip. It was an adorable small town restaurant with only 3 people on staff at a time. We had the classic burger with fries and a shake. Amazing!

Wednesday we met up with the son and fiance and went golfing in the desert like grounds of Montana. It was beautiful but HOT. It was a nice 100 degrees that day. I had never been golfing ever so it was quite the experience but super fun. The scenery was incredible. We were surrounded by rolling hills and mountains with little to no civilization. We then all went to another small family owned restaurant and had fresh deli sandwiches for dinner.

That night we also went to get some groceries and I found the BEST homemade soap ever! I had to take a picture because they were so great!
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On Thursday we took a 20 minute drive out to Fort Peck, Montana. We walked over a bridge that has a dam right underneath. At the time, they had 2 “doors” open from the Fort Peck lake to the opening of the Missouri River. It was crazy watching the flow of the water rush through the gates and into the river. The bridge was pretty but SUPER high off the ground. There’s something about bridges and height that don’t mix well for me. The 4 of us were having fun trying to make a joke out of our actual fear.

We also went hiking around the area to take in more scenery that leads into the Fort Peck Reservation. A few years ago I traveled down to volunteer in the Dominican Republic and there was something about that scenery and this one that looked almost identical.

We then drove back to Glasgow and went to all of the local shops. I love a good family owned home store. Looking for little trinkets are my favorite. I found the best magnet that really seemed to resonate with me!

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Coming home we luckily got to chunk it into a 2 day trip instead of all in one night. (I seriously hate car rides.) We got back into the state yesterday and then had to rush right to a wedding of an old friend of mine who also happens to be a daughter of another one of my mom’s close friends.

It was a fun filled mother daughter week. My mom and I never get alone time together so it was awesome to get to experience so many new and fun things with her. I know I’ve said this before but my mom is my best friend and role model in life. She’s the reason I became a teacher and a coach, I wanted to be just like her. It was one of the best weeks of my life and for sure the best week of the summer.

Happy August again friends. For some of us that means we’re a month out from the start of school, for others you might be starting this week, and for some you might be in the middle of your years right now. No matter what August means to you, enjoy it and live it up. I know I’m going to make the most of my last 30 days of freedom!

 

With the school year around the corner, I’ll be back updating my instagram account more frequently with back to school projects, hacks, and classroom decor. Go follow me @lifeoftherookieteacher to be apart of my back to school journey.

14 School Days and Counting!

We’re almost there!! One of my coworkers has a countdown on her door and, as of today, we are down to 14 (school) days. Today in Minnesota, it is a beautiful 80 degree sunny day! It’s days like this that make me want summer even more. Beautifully warm days like today can be rare here, especially in May and June, so it’s nice to enjoy it while it lasts.

With the summer feelings sinking in, I wanted to do a summer craftivity with my kiddos today to get us in the mood. What I decided to do was decorate flip flops that show what our favorite activities to do in the summer are. At the beginning of the year, we made jerseys to put on everyone’s locker. The jerseys had to somehow represent them. The flip flops were a similar project but centered around summer likes rather than their everyday likes.

I found this activity in a summer activity pack I bought on TPT last year for my fourth graders. The pack is called End of the Year Activities and Printables. It was from TheHappyTeacher‘s shop and was $4.25. It is TOTALLY worth the price because it comes with a ton of fun end of the year activities (and time fillers.) I’ll be sharing different activities we’ll be doing from the pack over the next few weeks.

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In the pack, it has a “design a flip flop challenge” coloring page. The page says to make it a contest to see who can make the best flip flop in the class. I added the part about making it about themselves so they would put more effort into them. I put my own example on the board and set them loose.

They all turned out super cute and definitely matched their personal styles. We hung them in the hall to add some “summer flare” to the school.

I am SO ready for warm summer days lounging on the beach reading a good book but I have to remind myself that we still have 3 full weeks of school left to get through before those wonderful days are here.

 

For more day to day activities (especially as the year is winding down and more fun things are to come) go follow me on instagram @lifeoftherookieteacher!!

 

European Escape – Days 3-7

Bonjour everyone! I had planned to post my adventures everyday but I was so busy and preoccupied with my trip that I never got around to it. I am now back in the states, trying to avoid my jet lag, so I decided to share the remainder of my trip.

Again, I took advantage of a company called Education First Ultimate Break. This company is incredible! They have so many affordable trips around the world with everything done for you. They took care of my flight information, hotel payments, train tickets, and all of the unique activities we had the chance to be apart of.

Day 3:

This was our full free day in London and I definitely took full advantage of that. Our tour guide (who was incredible by the way) took us to a small market called Camden Town. This place was so cool and I highly recommend it. It was a mix between a farmer’s market and a craft fair but highlighting the different cultures that make up the UK. They had everything from food to jewelry. I had this AMAZING food called an arepa made by Venezuelan natives, so it was perfect!

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Once we left Camden Town we went to the UK’s National Museum and saw some pretty sick dinosaur bones! I had never seen a full size dinosaur skeleton before so it was pretty cool. We then were classic American tourists and took on the London Eye, which I loved! It was such a beautiful view. To end the day, myself and 4 other people on the tour, went to Her Majesty’s Theatre to see the Phantom of the Opera. Wow. That is all I have to say. It was incredible.

Day 4:

This day was all about travel. We left London and went back to King’s Cross to take the Eurostar Train to Paris. By the time we got to Paris and to our hotel, we had just enough time to take a quick nap before we headed to the Eiffel Tower. AKA MY DREAM COME TRUE!!

Our guide took us to see the Eiffel Tower at night so we could see it sparkle. I totally lost my sh** when it started to sparkle. The only way I can describe the experience was unbelievable. The view of the tower was so incredible that it didn’t seem real. It’s one of those things that is even better in real life. Photos do not do it justice. I mean, yes it is gorgeous in photographs but the real thing….there is nothing like it.

After the Eiffel Tower, we got a real French crepe (YUM) and took a river cruise to see all of the main buildings in Paris. It was breathtaking, but a little chilly. At this point, we were all STARVING so we went to the Latin Quarter and went to a classic, family owned, French restaurant where we each got a 3 course meal full of authentic French food. Honestly, nothing tastes better than authentic French cuisine.

Day 5:

We started the morning with a tour around the city. We stopped at all of the famous buildings and structures that make Paris, Paris. The tour ended at the Arc de Triomphe. Let me just say that the structure is also incredible. It is a sign of hope and fighting for what you believe in. They honor their fallen soldiers EVERY DAY by relighting a fire on the grave of an unnamed soldier rain or shine. Once the tour was over we got on a train and headed out to see Versailles. We got to hear the history behind the castle and got to see all of the famous rooms inside.

This day was jam packed because by the time we got back to the hotel we only had an hour before we left for a classic Paris cabaret show. It was a fun and crazy experience. We had another 3 course meal, lots of wine, and an amazing show. It was so exciting but by the time we got back it was midnight and I crashed before our last full day in the city of love.

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Day 6:

This was our full free day in Paris. Our guide took us to see the Basilica and then on a little shopping tour. I picked up all of my souvenirs for my friends and family and then splurged on some homemade macarons. Delicious! I then spent the afternoon at the Louvre. As soon as I got there, of course I had to go right to the Mona Lisa. It was crazy. She had a full sized room all to herself and the room was crowded! It was worth the crowd though, because you can’t go to Paris and not visit the Mona Lisa. It was like looking right into history.

To end our trip, we had a farewell dinner (another 3 course meal, I love the French) and said goodbye. I made so many friends and memories with them on this trip, it was sad to see it all end.

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Day 7:

This morning we got up and took a bus to the airport. My flight left at 10:10 Paris time and got back at 12:20 Minnesota time. It was a 9 hour flight so even if it was noon, my body was programmed to 7:00 Paris time. I’m trying my hardest to stay awake but it’s killing me right now (totally worth it!)

This trip was everything I ever wanted. I had dreamed of going to Paris for as long as I can remember. I’ve collected pictures of the Eiffel Tower since I was 10 and now I have pictures of my own. I am SO sad it’s over but I am SO booking another trip to Europe because I think I found the place that I belong.

If you, or anyone you know, wants to go on a trip out of the country but don’t think you can afford it, that’s not true. You can. Go onto EF‘s website and look into all of the trip options they have! Believe me, it’s more than worth it. They also have payment plans, so if you book a trip for next summer, you’d only have to pay 100 bucks a month until the trip came. You also could save some serious cash on this trip if you refer to me. If you do find a trip comment below, or on any of my other posts, and I can tell you how you’d get to save $100-250! Trust me, this company can change your life!

 

For more day to day posts and live action (and photos from my trip) go follow my instagram page @lifeoftherookieteacher. I’m also going to say this again, go look into Education First Ultimate Break‘s website. It is worth your time!!!

Day 2 – Living My Childhood Dream

Today was amazing and there were so many things I can’t even begin to explain what all happened.

We started the day off with a morning tour that covered most of London! Our tour guide was amazing and our guide was very entertaining (not like those tour guides that think they know everything and you no nothing)! We got the whole history run down of the city and stopped at some major places. We went to the Tower of London, walked over the Millennium Bridge, into the 2nd largest Cathedral in the world (St. Paul’s Cathedral), and saw many many more monumental buildings and statues. The tour ended with going to Buckingham Palace and watching the change of the guards. It was incredible.

We then got to have the afternoon to ourselves. We walked around central London for awhile and then went to a family Indian restaurant for lunch. I’m not a big spicy food person but I figured I’m in a new country so why not try something new? I wasn’t too bad!

I then hopped on the underground and headed to King’s Cross Station. If anyone knows why that is such a major place, we would be best friends. I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan and going to Platform 9 and 3/4 has been like a dream of mine! Of course I had to get in line to get my picture taken on the platform, I would hate myself if I didn’t. Ahhhhh it was so fun!! Haha I also went in to the Platform 9 and 3/4 store they have there and bought a Hermione wand. πŸ˜‚πŸ™ˆ I know I’m a child. Being there was amazing!!

For dinner, a friend on my trip and I went to this place called Duck and Waffle Local. It’s just as it sounds. It’s a bar/restaurant that specializes in duck and waffles. I ordered some mac and cheese that had a duck egg yolk on top. It was delicious and so different! For dessert, I had a mini waffle with caramel and fudge brownies. Seriously you guys, this place was to die for! I also ordered a drink and found something super cool and weird. I ordered a vodka lemonade (my usual) and they gave me a glass with vodka in it and a side bottle of lemonade so I could mix my own drink. I don’t know if other states around the country do this but in Minnesota that is NOT a thing. It was awesome.

I’m now back in my hotel room trying to keep my eyes open. I love it here, it’s definitely my perfect vacation. Tomorrow I’m taking on the London Eye and Phantom of the Opera at the London Theatre, I don’t really need to say this but I am so excited!